Facetime June 2015

Welcome back to Alumni Facetime. Here you'll find news on your friends and classmates organized by decade, with links to more in-depth explorations of their lives and work.

Share your life updates and photos in a future issue of Facetimeby emailing us. Be sure to follow us on TwitterFacebookLinkedinFlickr and YouTube for info and conversation on all things NAU.  

Alumni Class Notes

News from the 2010s
News from the 2000s
News from the 1990s
News from the 1980s
News from the 1970s and earlier

The Difference that Matters

Isela Ramirez

When Isela Ramirez, ’14 BSED & ’14 BA, first came to NAU, she wasn’t sure what to expect. As a non-native English speaker from the small town of San Luis, Ariz., she was shy and nervous, especially when presenting class projects. Isela felt that the language barrier separated her, both academically and culturally, from other students. More than a first generation college student, she was the first in her family to graduate middle and high school. It was hers and her family’s dream to attend college, so she dug her heels in and persisted.

At NAU, she found the opportunity to get involved with several groups on campus, including the Mathematics Club, Lumberjack Alumni Ambassadors and Kappa Delta Chi Sorority, Inc. In time her communications skills grew, along with her confidence. Isela went on to receive more than 16 academic scholarships and became a facilitator and peer advisor to fellow students.  She also got involved in the community, volunteering for groups such as Big Brothers Big Sisters and Relay for Life. Last year, she graduated with a dual major in Secondary Mathematics Education in order to teach others, and Spanish, to learn from and be reminded of her own heritage. In the fall of 2013, Isela received the President’s Prize, NAU’s highest academic honor.

As an algebra teacher at Winslow High School of Winslow, Ariz., Isela is now influencing a new generation of students to achieve the unimaginable. “To do all the things I have done at NAU, I had to step out of my comfort zone and now I am more confident,” Isela says. “I believe I will make a difference as a graduate, because I have already made a difference for many as a student.  I am proud to say that I am a Lumberjack!”


July 1 - Phoenix Mercury Meet and Greet - Phoenix, AZ - Join the NAU community to watch the defending National Champion Phoenix Mercury practice, and take the opportunity to meet the team afterward. Practice ends at 1 p.m and a lunch will follow this complimentary event. Register online.

August 19 - Local Lumberjacks Happy Hour - Flagstaff, AZ - Save the date for this alumni gathering in Northern Arizona's own backyard. Join us on 5:30 every third Wednesday of the month. This event series will kick off at Zane Grey Bar and Ballroom and rotate locations throughout town.

September 19 - UA Football Tailgate - Tucson, AZ - Football season will be here soon and we're heading to Tucson to watch our Lumberjacks take on the Wildcats. Save the date, more information will be announced soon.

View a list of all NAU Alumni events at nau.edu/alumni/events/

Alumni-Employee Spotlight

Matt Tantau, '03 BS and '05 MED
Matt Tantau, '03 BS & '05 MED
Director, Campus Services and Activities

What do you do and how long have you worked at NAU?

After receiving my Bachelor’s degree from NAU, I started working at the university in the summer of 2003 as a graduate assistant hall director for Housing and Residence Life. Since 2009, I have worked for Campus Services and Activities and currently serve as director. In this role, I oversee the operations of the University Union & Student Activities, du Bois Center and the Health and Learning Center. 

Recently I was selected and will be adding on the duties of director for the One Stop Shop. This innovative office will handle front-line customer service for the Registrar’s Office, Student Accounts, and Financial Aid. The goal is to provide a refined customer experience while providing a responsive and coordinated level of service to students, parents and alumni.

What is your favorite memory of NAU? 

My favorite memory of NAU has to be the annual Flagstaff Fourth of July parade. First, we all know that Flagstaff is one of the best places on earth, especially in the summer. But to walk in the parade and represent NAU in a traditional small town Fourth of July parade is pretty fun! I think it really represents the type of connection between the university and the city. 

What is your favorite part of working at your alma mater?

One of my favorite aspects of working at my alma mater is that I have the ability to impact the lives of students (future alumni) and help make their NAU experience as good as mine, if not better! In my role with Campus Services and Activities and in advising the undergraduates of Delta Tau Delta Fraternity, I hope to help students reach their full potential. NAU is a great university and helping students grow, learn and become positive citizens is an amazing opportunity. 

Who was your favorite professor as a student?

There are so many to choose from, but Dr. W. Dale Hoskins is number one. Any Broadcast Journalism alumni that graduated from about 1980 – 2015 knows that Dr. Hoskins has a sincere commitment to student success and to the broadcast industry. Even more exciting is that Dr. Hoskins is retiring from NAU this year after 35 years teaching with the university.

Benefits and Discounts

Alumni Facetime Class Notes Archive