Carri Leroy, '01 MLS and '05 PHD

Professor of ecology at Evergreen State College in Olympia, Carri Leroy,  ’01 MLS & ’05 PhD, (photo on left) is drawing national attention to Washington State’s Sustainability in Prison program. A recent article published in the New York Times highlights the scientific work that two young prisoners have conducted under Carri’s guidance and encouragement. The project, which takes place inside a minimum-security 500-bed prison in Littlerock, WA, educates inmates through raising frogs and challenges them to develop a curriculum for others to follow. 

Eleodes wynnei BeetleHow many alumni get to discover and name their own beetle species? (photo at leftJut Wynne, ’03 MS, is the rare exception. Discovered in remote caves in Arizona, the new species of insect has been named Eleodes wynnei.  Was Eleodus lumberjackus already taken?  Since 2005, Wynne and his colleagues have identified three new genera and more than 20 new species of cave-dwelling arthropods in caves in the Grand Canyon region. While the experience of having a species named after him is exciting, he’s most concerned with providing good science and guidance on managing and conserving cave resources.  "Caves are one of the most sensitive habitats on our planet," he said. "At the same time, given their location underneath our feet, these ecosystems have been overlooked from a resource management perspective."

Thompson Family

Lissette Valle-Thompson & Richard Thompson, both ’03 BS, (photo above) pose to keep up the Lumberjack spirit with their young daughter.

Tristan Heisley, '04 BS

The principal of Williams High School, Tristan Heisley, ’04 BS, (photo on left) created an awards program for students at the school who maintain a 3.5 or higher GPA. At the end of each quarter, those who meet the standards are rewarded with pizza, soda and cake and a Harkins gift card. According to Williams News, 53 out of 215 of the students achieved the goal. Those who score high for four quarters in a row get to visit Young Life’s Lost Canyon camp for a day. Tristan hopes the incentives encourage even more students to boost their grades. Pizza Factory, McDonald’s, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, and Harkins assist in sponsoring the program.

Amanda Andrade, ’05 MED, is one of the newest members of the Veterans United Home Loans executive team as Chief People Officer. Amanda is in charge of enhancing the company’s workplace culture, employee retention and talent acquisition efforts nationwide. Currently working toward her Ph.D at the University of Missouri, Amanda has a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Ottawa University, a master’s degree in architectural studies from the University of Missouri, and a master’s of education in adult education from NAU.

Lohman Company PLLC, based out of Mesa, AZ, has announced that Allision Dozbaba, ’05 BS, has been promoted to the position of CPA - Tax Manager.  Joining Lohman shortly after graduation, Allison is responsible for coordinating and managing tax compliance and planning services focusing on closely-held, owner-managed businesses.  Her expertise in this area includes an emphasis in working with technology, construction, manufacturing and distribution entities. 

Matt Halldorson, '06 BS

How do science and wine pair together?  Just ask Matt Halldorson, ’06 BS, (photo on left) who parlayed his degree in plant biology from NAU to a graduate program at Washington State University that studies viticulture – the study of grape cultivation. Matt did his master’s research on leafroll disease on merlot grapes. Now, he works as a viticulturist with Wyckoff Farms in Prosser, WA.

With a passion for improving the U.S. health care system, Emily Tisdale, ’06 MED, owns Recourse Resource Consulting, a firm that merges health-care customer service, employee engagement and marketing together. Her experience with both sides of the system allowed her to see where the faults lie and provide the opportunity for new approaches. One of her main goals is to raise customer and employee satisfaction.

Kelly Walsh (formerly Elliott), ’06 BSW is CEO/Executive Director of the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Flagstaff. Formerly the program director, Kelly has been a part of the agency for six years. She originally interned under Kay McKay, '04 HON, while working toward her degree in social work at NAU.

Jenny Mueller, ’08 BS, recently began a new position as Program Director of Missoula Downtown Association this summer.  She will primarily be responsible for membership recruitment and retention, event planning and production, and communications outreach. A graduate of Billings Central High School,  Jenny received an M.A. in Linguistics from UM in 2011. Her work experience in national retail, food and beverage, the Phoenix Convention & Visitors Bureau, Montana State University facilities management and Adventure Life will serve her well at the MDA.

Robbie Janda ’09, BA, has quickly transitioned from the mountain campus to Hollywood. Robbie was a Visual Effects Coordinator for Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part I, and is currently wrapping up his time as the Lead Visual Effects Coordinator for Part II. Robbie recently spoke to students in NAU’s School of Communication, discussing how to become a successful filmmaker in today’s industry.

Benjamin Nielsen, ’09 BS, joins the Quarles and Brady LLP Phoenix office as an associate in the Commercial Litigation Practice Group. While in law school, Benjamin served as a judicial extern for Chief Judge John M. Roll, Federal Court of Tucson, Arizona before working as a legislative intern for United States Senator Jon Kyl, Senate Judiciary Committee in Washington, D.C. While in law school, Benjamin also volunteered with the Volunteer Lawyer's Program, the Child and Family Law Clinic, and Lawyer's for Literacy. He received his law degree, magna cum laude, from the University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law and honored magna cum laude at NAU.  

Congratulations to Nicholas North, '09 BS, for winning the Pony Express 100 Ultramarathon! Beating out 26 other starters, Nicholas finished 22 minutes ahead of the closest competitor, with a time of 21 hours, 2 minutes and 20 seconds. He became the sixth-fastest winner on record. Aptly titled, the Pony Express 100 gets its name from the historical east-west mail route which ran from Missouri to California.  Each year a different stretch of this famous trail is chosen as the event course.