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The Backpack
The Backpack: A news source for parents and families of NAU students
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Vol. 6 No. 8 | September 29, 2009
Learning Assistance Center

Mid-term Tips

by Melissa Welker, Learning Assistance Centers

Your student is about to experience mid-term exams. This means you may not hear from him/her as regularly during this busy time. If you do hear from your student and he/she is looking for resources, you might consider offering some basic tips. Encourage your student to re-read the syllabus for each class. A syllabus serves as a contract between the professor and their students and is handed out during the first week of classes. The syllabus outlines the professor's contact information, office hours, classroom expectations, course assignments, exams and grading system. If your student is taking a historically difficult course (biology, math, accounting, etc.), the syllabus will also include the name and contact information for the Supplemental Instruction (SI) Leader. An SI Leader attends and takes notes throughout the course and holds weekly study session that are announced in class. Suggest not only that your student visit his/her professor during office hours to talk about how to be successful in class but also review the SI's schedule for extra study sessions.

Students can also take advantage of our Learning Assistance Center's free tutoring services that occurs on-line, in your student's Residence Hall, and in the North and South Learning Assistance Centers. The Academic Success Workshop topics include Study/Review Strategies, Stress Management, Test Taking, and Final Exam Preparation.

Is your student struggling with writing? Recommend that he/she contact the English Department's Writing Center or visit the composition tutors at the Learning Assistant Centers. The Writing Center's services include one-on-one free tutoring by appointment or drop-in tutoring on the hour or the half hour. Typically two to three tutors are available to assist your student with composition Monday through Thursday between 9 AM and 5 PM in the Liberal Arts Building, Room 302. Of course, an appointment is recommended especially during mid-terms and finals.

The Gateway Student Success Center has a tremendous compilation of campus resources that provide your student with social and personal assistance, academic assistance, and adjusting to campus life.


Your Volunteer Support Needed!

by Dianna Van Sanford

As you know we value our Alumni, NAU parents, and family members greatly! We have found that parent-to-parent or peer-to-peer information is invaluable when a family is in the process of learning about NAU. We are in the midst of a series of High School Junior and Senior Information Sessions throughout the country and we would appreciate your volunteer support for about two to three hours in your area.

Our events are typically held for any area-high school juniors or seniors who have expressed an interest in NAU. A staff member will give a presentation to the prospective students and their parents about Flagstaff and the university. Your volunteer assistance is needed with setup and registration of students and families in attendance in addition to participating in a question-and-answer session or simply to mixing and mingling with our future Lumberjacks and their families.

I am currently recruiting volunteers in the following Arizona locations: Prescott, Window Rock, and Kingman. I am also looking for volunteers who live in Las Vegas, Nevada; and Honolulu, Maui, Kona, and Hilo, Hawaii. If you live in any of these areas and you are willing to volunteer some time to help other’s transition to NAU please contact me at your convenience.

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Thank you to the many volunteers who have already signed up to volunteer in Tucson, the Phoenix area, Denver, Alaska, New Mexico, and California. Your support is invaluable to us and is very much appreciated!


Health Tip

by Jo Cahill, MS, RD, Campus Health Services

Our students view their parents as their number one source for health information. According to a National Health Assessment Survey of NAU students, the majority of respondents (77.8 percent) reported that they rely on their parents for health information. To help with our mission of maintaining a healthy, energetic campus population, and to aid in your student’s success at NAU, we suggest you remind him/her of some healthy tips:

  • Get enough sleep—7 to 8 hours per night is adequate for most students. Sleep helps the immune system, stress management, and weight control (past surveys indicate that more than half (56 percent) of NAU students reported they had 3 or fewer nights of adequate sleep during the previous week).

  • Eat well and don’t skip meals—Eating a wide variety of different types and colors of foods helps to assure an adequate supply of vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, and protein that help maximize mental and physical wellness.

  • Reduce stress—breathe deeply, stretch frequently, take a walk, and stay organized.

  • Exercise regularly—moderate levels of exercise increase daily energy use and fitness, release hormones that boost the immune system, and relieve stress. A 2007 e-mail survey of NAU freshmen showed that physical activity levels and the frequency of exercising with others were significant predictors of college adjustment in this study. By encouraging your student to be active regularly, you may not only help them improve his/her health but also his/her social and personal -emotional adjustment to life at college.

If you’d like additional student health information, check out the Healthy Campus website provided by Fronske Health Promotion.


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Family Weekend Highlights (Oct 2–4)

Family Weekend is just around the corner!

When you need a little pep during Family Weekend, be sure to check out what’s offered from the Recreation Center: weight room access, basketball, rock climbing, tennis, and Zumba classes, among others. Just a skip away, you can swim a few laps at the Wall Aquatic Center—one of the finest high-altitude swimming facilities anywhere in the world.

If watching athletes is more your thing, you’re probably already planning to attend the football game at 3:05 PM on Saturday, but don’t forget the volleyball game Saturday evening at 7 PM between the Bears of Northern Colorado and our very own Lumberjacks! Admission to the volleyball game is free for everyone.


Family Reception

Please join us Friday evening from 6 to 7:30 PM at the Applied Research and Development (ARD) Building, #56, for an amazing evening and a unique opportunity to connect with Northern Arizona University. This year in addition to tasty appetizers and beverages, NAU faculty will be demonstrating some of the some of the programs that they have developed for their classrooms that make NAU a tremendous University.

This years projects include a demonstration about Wireless PowerPoint and how it is making a difference in the classroom; information about the Native American Code Talkers symposium; NAU students will be discussing traveling to Ghana to use their engineering skills to ensure water is available for communities; and the Biology Club will present their plans for creating a system that will capture and distribute rain water for our community garden.

This will be a very festive opportunity for the entire family. Everyone is invited, so bring your students, prospective students, post-grads, youngsters, parents, and grandparents. We look forward to seeing you Friday evening!


Tickets and packages can be purchased in advance by submitting the Family Weekend Order Form or by calling the NAU Central Ticket Office at 888-520-7214. Pick up your tickets at Will Call at the University Union.

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Event Highlights

September 29–October 5

First Friday Flagstaff Art Walk October 2 downtown.

♦ The Coconino Center for the Arts brings you the Quaterra exhibit open until November 3, 2009, Tuesdays through Saturdays from 11 AM to 5 PM. Quaterra, loosely means “Of the Earth” and is based on the four ancient pillars of science: earth, air, fire, and water. Four artists converge to present these notions in their own vision. Among the artists showing is internationally acclaimed artist, Ulrike Arnold who will be showing her earth paintings. Arnold literally uses the earth as her medium, digging and preparing the pigment on site then immediately painting with it, while inspired by her surroundings.

More event highlights can be found at Flagstaff Show Up!

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