Facetime March 2015

Welcome back to Alumni Facetime, published by the NAU Office of Alumni Relations. 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

Al Trujillo, '82 MS

In 1979, for his first Thanksgiving in Flagstaff, Al Trujillo, ’82 MS, was invited to a geology faculty member’s home for dinner. During that dinner, Al's apartment caught fire due to a neighbor's faulty furnace. The building was completely burned, and all of his personal items; clothes, books, papers, school work–everything was gone. He had nothing but the clothes on his back. He was able to stay with a fellow geology graduate student while he sorted things out. Al said it was the toughest weekend of his life and he considered leaving NAU.

On the following Monday, Al came to class for the last time, planning to drop out and return home. Professor Chuck Barnes explained to the class that one of their own had suffered a tragedy that weekend and the Geology Department had organized a bake sale to generate funds for the needy individual. Sitting in class, Al did not realize Dr. Barnes was talking about him. Many pooled money together, including faculty and university president, J. Lawrence Walkup. Al used the money to purchase new clothes and new books for himself and his professors allowed him to turn in classwork late. Al obviously stayed–he said it was such an amazing show of support and that he felt like part of a family. He’d always be grateful for how the university community rallied support during his time of need.

Since graduating from NAU, Al has worked as a developmental geologist, hydrogeologist and computer specialist. Currently, he teaches oceanography, geology and geography at Palomar Community College in San Marcos, Calif., where he is a distinguished teaching professor of earth sciences and co-director of the oceanography program. Al is also a co-author of two leading collegiate oceanography textbooks: Essentials of Oceanography and Introductory Oceanography.


April 18 - Local Lumberjacks Family Fest - Tempe, AZ - Bring a blanket, chairs, and a picnic lunch. We’ll provide dessert and a variety of entertainment at this family-friendly outdoor event at PERA Club. Register online.

May 16 - NAU Near You - Austin, TX Join fellow Lumberjacks and friends of NAU to reminisce, reconnect and network. If you plan to attend or have an idea for a venue location, please complete this short survey.

June 20- NAU Near You - Napa, CA - We're headed to wine country to socialize and connect with Califorinia Lumberjacks. If you plan to attend or have an idea for a venue location, please complete this short survey.

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

Light Up a Yellow Bike

Yellow Bikes Campaign

The Yellow Bike Program is a free service which allows students, faculty and staff to check out bicycles for use on and off campus.

To improve cyclist safety at night, a crowdfund project has been launched to equip all 150 Yellow Bikes with front and rear LED lights. Your gift of $39 funds one set of lights and keeps a student rider safer. Make a gift online

Maraka MasonAlumni-Employee Spotlight

Maraka Mason, '05 BS & '06 MED

Assistant Director, Annual Fund, NAU Foundation

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

I am assistant director for the Annual Fund and I am brand new to the team – going on 3 months!

What is your favorite memory of NAU?

Two immediately come to mind. The first was a particularly dry winter and my roommates and I were so fed up with not being able to do any snow activities, so we went and purchased huge ice blocks from the gas station and used them as 'sleds' down the slopes of the practice field.

My second favorite memory is singing for standards with my sorority, Delta Delta Delta. We had such a fun time coming up with silly words to mix in with songs and it was both thrilling and embarrassing all at the same time. It definitely brought a sense of sisterhood when you have to belt out goofy songs in front of a bunch of boys!

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

Besides the joy of being back in Flagstaff and on this beautiful campus, I would say being able to get out there and meet tons of successful and interesting people who think NAU is as awesome as I do!

Who was your favorite professor as a student?

My favorite professor was (and still is) far and away my graduate advisor, Dr. Lee Johnson. Dr. J, as we affectionately called him, took such an interest in my academic career and was a huge influence on my successful Department of Defense Dependents Schools teaching experience in Italy. I cannot thank him enough for his extra time and effort and am so grateful that we still keep in touch and I can call him my friend.  


Alumni Facetime Archive