Hall of Fame
We’re proud of our NAU College of Social and Behavioral Sciences alumni
Some of the greatest minds have received their higher education at Northern Arizona University. These renowned innovators have left an indelible mark, not only on NAU but on the world, and they all began their journeys as Lumberjacks. The Hall of Fame recognizes SBS alumni who have made significant contributions to the university, community, or their career. This annual award is presented to all inductees Homecoming weekend.
2021 Hall of Fame inductees
President’s Distinguished Alumni Award-Booker T. Evans, Jr., Partner, Ballard Spahr Accordion Closed
Booker T. Evans, Jr.
1971, Psychology (MA)
Partner, Ballard Spahr
Booker T. Evans, Jr. is a prominent white collar criminal defense attorney and commercial litigator with more than 25 years of experience defending multimillion-dollar cases for businesses and individuals. Mr. Evans has substantial civil and criminal trial experience; having tried cases involving allegations of defective products, bad faith on the part of insurance carriers, disputes over real estate holdings, copyright and trademark infringement, as well as a number of cases involving allegations of criminal conduct. He also handles post-conviction cases in Federal Courts and is often retained in matters involving the Federal Sentencing Guidelines. Before entering private practice, Mr. Evans served as a Chief Deputy District Attorney in Las Vegas, Nevada; as an Assistant United States Attorney in both Nevada and Arizona; and as Corporate Counsel for Arizona Public Service Company. He is licensed and practices in both Arizona and Nevada.
Booker T. Evans, Jr received his B.S. in 1969 and his M.A. in 1971, from Northern Arizona University. In 1978, he received his Juris Doctorate from St. Louis University School of Law. While attending Northern Arizona University, Mr. Evans served as the founding President of the University’s first African-American Fraternity, Kappa Alpha Psi; was the first African-American to serve on the Inter-Fraternity Council; was active in student government; and received his Gold Axe Award in 1969. He continued his relationship with the University after graduation by serving on the Board of Directors of the Alumni Association, including serving as the President of the Board in 1992-1993.
Kari Amarosso, Public Relations Manager, ASU Gammage Accordion Closed
1986, Broadcast Journalism
Public Relations Manager, ASU Gammage
Kari studied telecommunications and journalism at NAU, graduating in 1986. Kari was a front-row student and fan of the late Dr. Dale Hoskins.
Upon graduation, Kari immediately launched her broadcast career as a reporter and anchor at KNAZ-TV in Flagstaff and was later promoted to News Director. She quickly advanced to NBC affiliate KVOA-TV in Tucson where she was Assignment Manager at the #1 rated television station and worked with colleagues like Savanah Guthrie (NBC Today Show) and Joe Donlon (WGN).
Kari finished her broadcast executive career as Managing Editor at KPHO-TV CBS in Phoenix where she helped lead and coach for 14 years and was part of a team that won Edward R. Murrow and Rocky Mountain Emmy awards for news coverage.
She transitioned into public relations as PR Director at GoDaddy, the world’s largest domain name provider, where she generated massive media coverage for several Super Bowl commercials featuring Danica Patrick.
Kari is now Public Relations Manager for ASU Gammage in Tempe, Arizona – a venue famous for its Frank Lloyd Wright design and a reputation for bringing the best of Broadway to the state. She is the key behind Arizona PR campaigns for record-breaking box office Broadway shows like HAMILTON and WICKED, along with promoting many educational programs that connect the community to the arts.
Throughout her media career, Kari has mentored scores of interns, guest-lectured to NAU and ASU classes, and demonstrated a passion for helping aspiring news and PR professionals succeed.
Todd Sanders, President & CEO, Greater Phoenix Chamber Accordion Closed
1989, Public Planning
President & CEO, Greater Phoenix Chamber
Todd Sanders assumed the role of President and CEO of the Greater Phoenix Chamber in 2009.
The Greater Phoenix Chamber was established in 1888 and represents more than 2,400 companies throughout Arizona, making it the state’s largest chamber of commerce. The Greater Phoenix Chamber supports the growth and development of business in the region through municipal, state, and federal advocacy, data driven economic development, talent recruitment, workforce development and wellness.
Prior to joining the Chamber, Todd acted as a Research and Policy Analyst for the Arizona House of Representatives serving several standing committees in the areas of taxation, environment, energy, state trust land, counties, municipalities, and international trade. Sanders also acted as a liaison to the Arizona Mexico Commission on behalf of the House of Representatives.
Earlier in his career, Sanders joined Berlitz International in Bogota, Colombia, and was given responsibility for managing and fulfilling its agreement with British Petroleum in Cupiagua, Colombia, the site of the nation’s largest petroleum reserves.
He has been recognized as the Western Association of Chamber Executives, Executive of the Year and Pettit Excellence in Leadership Award, Arizona Capitol Times, Public Policy Leader of the Year and Phoenix Business Journal, Most Admired Leader.
Todd is a native of Bogotá, Colombia. He and his wife have a son and live in Phoenix, Arizona.
Al Zelinka, City Manager, Riverside, CA Accordion Closed
1989, Public Planning
City Manager, Riverside, CA
Al Zelinka’s professional goal is to make a difference in communities, and this aspiration drives his work on behalf of Riverside’s elected leaders, residents, businesses, and staff. His public service roles during the past decade include: Assistant City Manager, and Community Development Director for the City of Riverside; and Community Development Director and Planning Manager for the City of Fullerton.
Prior to his municipal service career, Al was Vice President with RBF Consulting and Principal of RBF Consulting’s URBAN DESIGN STUDIO. He has practiced city planning and delivered presentations or training in more than 28 states and the District of Columbia, directed more than 150 projects, and played an active role in another 100. He is the co-author of two books, SafeScape and Placemaking on a Budget, and is Past President of the California Planning Roundtable, a 35-year organization dedicated to advancing the practice and profession of planning and to providing leadership for a better California.
Al graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Public Planning from Northern Arizona University in 1989 and a Master of Regional Planning from Cornell University in 1991. As Riverside’s City Manager, Al believes that the community and region’s best days are ahead and, anything can be achieved through positive mindsets and commitments to healthy partnerships.