Jeff Ferris Volunteer of the Year

Joy Gaeraths
Graduated 1998 & 2005
DES/CPS, Chandler, AZ 

Gaeraths 2012 Joy is a two-time alumna of NAU receiving her BS in sociology and a minor in social work in 1998. Following that, Joy took advantage of NAU’s Extended Campuses program and earned her master’s degree in counseling in 2005. As an active member of the NAU Volunteer Alumni Network (VAN) since its inception in 2001, Joy has contributed over 225 hours of service towards recruiting new NAU students, attending college fairs on behalf of NAU, awarding incoming freshman scholarships to attend NAU, and assisting with various Office of Alumni Relations events. Joy also served on the NAU Alumni Association Board of Directors for six years. During her tenure on the board, Joy was elected to be the Secretary/Parliamentarian, and was the chair of the Volunteer Outreach Committee for several years. Joy continues to represent the NAU Alumni Association at the Extended Campuses Graduation Reception every spring. As a graduate herself of the Extended Campuses program, Joy instills her passion for NAU to the new graduates and encourages them to stay connected to NAU in any capacity they can.

    "I love telling people about my experiences at NAU whether it be talking to prospective students about my years on the Mountain Campus through our Volunteer Alumni Network program or talking with their parents about how they can get their degrees too through our Extended Campuses," Joy explains. Letting people know how great NAU is in general is one of my favorite things to do and anyone who knows me can attest to the fact that I can work NAU into just about every conversation. You will always catch me with something NAU in hand from a water bottle, coffee cup, running hat in various marathons across the country, or my Jack Mobile with a personalized Louie license plate, I pretty much scream NAU. Many people have joked and said that if you cut me open, my blood wouldn’t be normal, it would be blue and gold. I consider that normal in my eyes and a great compliment."  

    In addition to Joy’s continued involvement with the VAN program, she is a huge Lumberjacks Athletics fan and supports the football and basketball teams as a member of the Lumberjack Athletic Association. She attends as many games, practices, and tailgates as her busy schedule will allow. Joy also donates to several other NAU funds as often as she can. Joy’s volunteer service extends beyond her dedication to her alma mater and into her community. Joy has put in countless hours with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) as a member of Team In Training. Joy is a tireless fundraiser for the cause and has baked cakes, sold Chico bags, and trained non-stop to raise awareness and money for LLS.