While Alex Oden, BS ’10, is well known for his remarkable fight with cancer, his contagious positive attitude and an award through the LiveStrong Foundation.  He’s also made quite an impression during his continued time as a student. While an undergrad, Alex served on the scholarship committee of Carolyn’s Compassionate Children, he co-founded NAU Trijacks, the highly successful triathlon club, and implemented a research study with resident halls to find out what makes people behave sustainably. Now, he is a graduate student in the Climate Science and Solutions program at NAU, with a special interest in finding a solution to energy problems through waste-to-energy plants using biodigestion.

 Lopez Lomong, '11 BS

Competing in his second Olympic Games, Lopez Lomong, ’11 BS, (photo on left) placed 10th in the Men's 5,000-meter run in London, finishing in 13:48.19. In the 2008 games he was eliminated in the semifinals of the 1500 meter race. Lopez is one of thousands of Lost Boys from Sudan who were taken to serve as child soldiers in the war-torn country. He became a U.S. citizen in 2007 and attended NAU where he earned a degree in hotel and restaurant management and broke numerous track and cross country records for the university. He recently received the Visa Humanitarian of the Year Award. He also wrote a book about his life and childhood in Sudan, called Running for My Life.

Rachel Waddell, ’11 MM, was recently hired as the assistant conductor of the Canton Symphony in Ohio, as well as the musical director of the Canton Youth Symphony. Rachel is pursuing her doctorate of musical arts in orchestral conduction at UNLV, where she works as the assistant conductor of the UNLV Symphony and Chamber Orchestras and Opera.

Emily Williams, ’12 BA, has turned her Arts and Cultural Management Minor to great advantage in her job as Office Manager of the Flagstaff non-profit JLB Project. Utilizing the skills she learned in her arts and cultural management classes, she applied for a $10,000 grant from Flagstaff Community Foundation for JLB Project's Bereavement Support Services. The funds will be used in 2013 to provide families with supportive services after the loss of their infant.

Russel Flores, '12 BA

Combining his love for art and hunting, Russell Flores, ’12 BA, (photo above) uses his fine art degree in his daily life as a taxidermist in Flagstaff. Russell specializes in finish work and detailing. He told the AZ Daily Sun that the practice starts out as a craft when piecing everything together, then art takes over. The goal is to recreate the animal in natural reference.