Fall 2013 Newsletter


Message from the Dean


Greetings from the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences. This is the first of what we plan to be quarterly electronic newsletters from the College informing you about the interesting and exciting events taking place here.

We will spotlight student, faculty and staff accomplishments, and also plan to include news about you, our alumni and friends. We would love to hear your feedback and ideas about the newsletter. 
Please email SBSnews@nau.edu with your updates for our next newsletter.

We’re looking forward to seeing many of you at this year’s Homecoming on Saturday, October 19, and if you are coming to campus at any other time, please let us know. Thanks for being supporters of NAU SBS. 

-Dean Stephen Wright

Alumni Spotlight


Q&A with Victoria Fimea, '83 BS

Victoria Fimea graduated from NAU in 1983. She majored in Speech Communication and minored in American Studies. This summer Victoria set up "The Fimea Family Endowment for Excellence in Communication" to benefit the students of NAU'sForesics program.

Tell us about the endowment you set up and why it is important to you.

I set up the endowment because I had a great experience at NAU. From the support I received from my parents as I went through college and then graduate and law school, and from the support I received from the professors at NAU, both gave me the foundation I needed to succeed. I have always been active in speech and debate (in high school and at NAU) and in Moot Court (in law school). Once I became settled in my career, I became active in NAU as an alumna. I enjoy serving on the SBS Advancement Council.  I also wanted to give back to NAU. Since NAU is a public university, I felt supporting NAU would be the most impactful for the most individuals - the individuals being the students at NAU and the professors who educate those students. Establishing an endowment at NAU fit that purpose. And, I wanted to establish a legacy that honors my parents. My parents' wisdom and guidance instilled in me the ethic of hard work and the sense of confidence that has served me so well not only in my career but in my life. 

Read More

Why do you support NAU's forensics program and encourage others to do so?
I support the NAU forensics program because NAU has always dedicated such great support for the program. The professors who coach and guide the program are terrific. I am an attorney, but you do not have to want to be an attorney to take advantage of forensics. Employers look for candidates for their jobs who can communicate clearly. Students must be able to speak well in order to do well in corporate America. Communications is an essential skill - whether you are interviewing for a job or trying to climb the corporate ladder. Forensics offers an excellent environment to build effective communication, organized thinking, persuasive advocacy, and self-confidence in a pressurized setting. Developing those skills will serve any student very well as they proceed through school and ultimately in their career.

What activities were you involved with at NAU while you were a student?
I was involved in many activities at NAU. I was active in student government, forensics, the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society, Mortar Board National Collegiate Honor Society, and the Pi Kappa Delta National Forensic Honorary. While at NAU I was named the 1981 Harry S Truman Scholar for the State of Arizona. Being awarded that scholarship - which was substantial - enabled me to fund my graduate and law school education.  I was also a State of Arizona finalist for the Rhodes Scholarship in 1983.  Also in 1983 I was selected as a Glamour magazine Top Ten College Women; the ten winners were featured in the August 1983 issue of Glamour - it was a fun experience being photographed for the magazine.

Anything else you want to add?
I encourage alumni to support NAU.  I think it is very important for alums to know that 40% of the student body of NAU are the first generation of their family to attend college. The student body is a living example of families achieving the American Dream - higher education. NAU is a public university. Public education is great tradition in our country.  NAU educates the next generation of leaders, inventors, entrepreneurs, teachers, and others who will each contribute to our society.  Even a modest contribution will help NAU's students and programs.

March 20-23, 2014 NAU's Forensics team will host the National Parliamentary Debate Tournament of Champions. 

The National Parliamentary Debate Tournament of Champions typically has about 300 teams from over a hundred colleges and universities across the entire country. "NAU has been very successful during the past two years, with one or more individual teams qualifying for elimination rounds at every tournament NAU has attended," says Dr. Dayle Hardy-Short, Director of NAU Forensics, "It is an honor to host the national tournament, and the NAU Forensics Team is very excited to show off its program and the NAU campus in this way."

Alumni News

Matt Foutz, '96 BS, is featured in an article in NAU's Pine magazine. In the article Foutz talks about his business, Sterling Turquoise; his Home Shopping Network show, Heritage Gem Collections; and shooting a possible new reality show. Read the full article.

Paul Oakley, '96 BS, has been named the new head of communications for Bridgestone Americas, Inc. Before his role as Vice President of Communications Oakley served as director of global communications and regional public and government affairs at The Dow Chemical Company. This year he was also named one of Philadelphia's "40 Under 40" by the Philadelphia Business JournalRead more.

Andreea Nica, ‘08 BS, is a freelance writer and the Founder of OrganiCommunications, empowering startups and social enterprises in strategic and digital communication ventures. Read a recent article by Nica.

Lyndsey Langsdale, '10 MA, is co-founder and owner of Lost City Farm, an urban farm in Reno, Nevada. Langsdale is featured in an article in the Reno Gazette-Journal about her Lost City Farm. Read the article.

Development Note


Join me in congratulating this year's SBS Hall of Fame inductees: Joe Cardone, '69 BS; Mary O’Driscoll, '82 BS; Tom Chabin, '76 BS; and Mitch Ettinger, '80 BS. We’d love to have you back to help us celebrate these extraordinary alumni as they are inducted into the SBS Hall of Fame Homecoming Weekend after the parade and before football game tailgating on Saturday, Oct. 19 at 12:30 pm in SBS Raul Castro Bldg, first floor atrium (west side). Light refreshments will be served. All of our SBS alumni, friends, and family are welcome. At the conclusion of the Hall of Fame we will hold a brief dedication of the new entryway into the Raul H. Castro Building. The entryway will honor Arizona’s first Hispanic governor and the namesake of the central SBS building.

And if you'll be in town Friday evening, join me as I cheer on your Lumberjacks at the NAU women’s soccer match at 7:00 pm versus Big Sky rival Northern Colorado. Keep an eye on Player #14 - she's my daughter! The game will be played in the newly remodeled Lumberjack Stadium.

 Did you know that over 40% of NAU students are first-generation college students? Help these students succeed by providing support through a contribution or scholarship investment. I’d like to tell you more about how you can make a difference in the next generation. Contact me at 928-523-2130 or anne.buzzard@nau.edu or donate online right now.

- Anne Buzzard, '78 & '92, SBS Director of Development

Student Achievement

If you have a chance, stop by the School of Communication Gallery on the second floor of the Communication Building (#16 on campus maps). Students Andrew Moraca and Andrew Harris worked hard this summer to install a beautiful and creative "String Art" installation welcoming students and faculty back to campus. You can also watch a cool video they made giving a behind the scenes look at the creation of the project:


Watch Video: Student String Art Gallery Project

Video Accessibility Instructions:

These video instructions are located directy above a YouTube video. Hit the DOWN arrow key until you hear the words FLASH START. Once the screen reader is inside the FLASH OBJECT, hit the TAB key about 7 times until you hear PLAY BUTTON a second time. Hit the Spacebar key to play the video. You can then hit the Spacebar key again to pause the video. Feel free to hit TAB and TAB+SHIFT to listen to all the buttons in the FLASH OBJECT. Sometimes the PLAY button and the PAUSE button will be listed as an UNLABLED BUTTON.

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Dr. Gretchen Gee and seven students in Northern Arizona University’s Model United Nations group went to the World Model United Nations Conference in Melbourne, Australia this spring. World MUN brings students from over 65 countries together for this competition. Photo (above) of NAU students Clark Malcolm, Nic Cogdall, Garrett Marcantel, Matts Hanssens, Ben Cogdall, Katlyn Sulltrop and Connor Mullins in Australia. (Photo courtesy Dr. Gee.) The Model MUN Club aims to educate participants about current events, topics in international relations, diplomacy and the United Nations agenda. Participants role-play as diplomats representing a country or NGO in a simulated session of a committee of the United Nations, such as the Security Council or the General Assembly. Competitions simulate real-world problems that student “diplomats” must resolve.

Additionally, this spring 32 students in the group attended the UCLA Model UN conference in Los Angeles. Students John Kelly, Connor Mullins, and Nic Cogdall were all awarded prizes at the conference.

Anthropology graduate students Elizabeth Hulen and John Glennon presented their work  at the Society for Medical Anthropology meeting in Terragon, Spain in June. Hulen’s presentation was entitled “Conceptualizing Childbearing Malawi: Negotiating Reproductive Decisions in the Context of HIV.” Glennon’s was “The Political Economy of American Homelessness.” 

Dutch students of NHTV worked together with students from the School of Communication this summer to produce shows about northern Arizona. Watch them.

Five journalism students from Annette McGivney’s (Communication) senior capstone class earned honors in the Digital Storymakers Award contest, sponsored by Atavist and the Pearson Foundation. Alyssa Burkett was a grand prize winner in the “Visual” category for her story “No Hard Feelings.” She will receive a $5,000 cash award and publication in the special edition Digital Storymakers Award App, and will meet with editors from The New York Times and Wall Street Journal. Talia Green and Lauren Damaskinos were finalists in the “Short Form” category for “Nice Legs,” and Cara Buchanan and Dani Tamcsin were finalists in “Short Form” for “Tucked.” All five students graduated in May. Prestigious journalism programs from around the nation participated in the contest, which “recognizes excellence in original nonfiction narrative that blends text, photos, video, interactive maps and other rich media features.”  

Anthropology graduate student Jason Kordosky presented a paper on homelessness in the United States for the Society for the Anthropology of North America conference in North Carolina in March.

SBS students received scholarships and student achievement awards in recognition of their hard work at the 2013 Student Achievement ceremony.

Amy Horn's (Communication) "Intermediate Photography" students were guest bloggers on professional photographer Colleen Miniuk-Sperry's blog, sharing their unique “Behind the Image” story about a photograph they have recently created. Check out their work.

Faculty Achievement

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Dr. Mark Neumann (Communication) had the honor of having one of his photos selected by a jury in the competition for a showing in The London Group Open Exhibition 2013The London Group has a history and membership of well-known artists working on the cutting edge of visual arts since 1913. He also was invited to exhibit works from his action figure series at the Los Angeles Center for Digital Art's "Electron Salon" June 13-July 6 and again in August. "I study various forms of visual culture and representation. In part, the "action figure series" is an attempt to play with the idea of depicting scenes that are both real and imaginary. In a way, they are sort of like inverted dioramas that use the real world as a basis for settings and the toy figures to represent social action, and suggest a story," says Neumann.

Northern Arizona University has established the Family Violence Institute under the direction of Dr. Neil Websdale (Criminology/Criminal Justice). The FVI at NAU is the first of its kind in Arizona. It provides a vibrant forum for research, scholarship, education, and public policy work addressing family violence. Read more about the FVIRead more about Dr. Websdale's work preventing family violence.

Dr. Alex Alvarez (Criminology & Criminal Justice) and Dr. Laurie Dickson (Psychology) have been appointed to serve as President’s Distinguished Teaching Fellows from 2013-2016.

Dr. Dale Hoskins (Communication) will be inducted in the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS) Rocky Mountain region Silver Circle in October. The honor is given to select professionals and academics who have made significant contributions to broadcast television and broadcast education for 25 years or more in this region.

Dr. Jim Wilce (Anthropology) has been elected to the executive board of the Society of Linguistic Anthropology. He will serve as Member-at-Large of this national organization.

Mary Tolan (Communication) contributed three years of interviews, quotes, and photographs of Winslow citizens to a new Smithsonian Journey Stories exhibit at La Posada Hotel in Winslow, Arizona. Winslow is the grand opening host community for the Arizona Humanities Council’s statewide tour of the exhibition, which explores the roles that migration, travel and modes of transportation have played in American society.

More SBS News

U.S. Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick held a rally on college loan interest rates in June at NAU and visited with SBS students, faculty, and administrators. Browse through photographs of Rep. Kirkpatrick’s visit. 

Native American High School Broadcast Workshop was held on campus in June. Read about the program.

In May, approximately 300 Foster Grandparent and Senior Companion volunteers, station supervisors, program coordinators, and NAU Civil Service Institute staff came together from around Arizona to celebrate accomplishments and share success stories. It was an opportunity for volunteers to see how they not only contribute to their own communities locally, but to see how others just like them are impacting communities around the state and how they are part of a nationwide volunteer effort with over 360,000 Senior Corps volunteers. Read more in the NAU Civil Service Institute newsletter.

Several new SBS alums were featured in the Arizona Daily Sun graduation article and photo slideshow. Congrats to all our new grads. Read the article.  

Share your news

Alumni, students, faculty and staff - Have an announcement or accomplishment for a future SBS newsletter? We want to know! Email your news items to SBSnews@nau.edu.

Connect with the SBS Departments

2013 SBS Advancement Council Members

  • Michael A. Beatty, '77 BS
  • Robert E. Casselman, ’77 BA
  • Booker T. Evans, '69 BS & '71 MA
  • Victoria E. Fimea, '83 BS
  • Sherman Fredrick, '77 BS
  • Vince Grell, '89 BS
  • Jean Malecki-Friedland, MD, MPH
  • Roy D. Morey, '59 BA
  • Karen Staley, '93 BS
  • Al Zelinka, '89 BS