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The Backpack

A news source for parents and families of NAU students


A publication of the Office of Parent Services

Vol. 5 No. 28 | April 3, 2009

Convocations Coming To Campus

Making the most of summer break

Is it that time already? But we just had spring break? Well, it’s true: summer is coming faster than we think. I was startled to see that many convocations are right around the corner. The Black Student Convocation is held April 18, with the Native American and Hispanic Convocations following close behind on May 7. Before you know it, commencement day dawns and residence halls will close for the spring semester.

Making The Most Of Your Time

The reality for many students is that summer is a time to earn money and prepare financially for coming semesters. Summer internships and volunteer work are also great ways to build a resume and create relationships that will pay huge dividends when your student is ready to graduate and is looking for a full-time job.

Brain Break?

Here’s good advice: don’t give your brain the summer off. A great mentor of mine recommended using the summer to prep for harder classes. Encourage your student to check out books from the library, or even better, purchase fall books NOW and begin reading the material early. This is a great way to be ahead and stay ahead before the new semester begins.

Summer classes are offered in 3, 5, 10, and 12-week formats beginning as early as May 11.

If your student will be graduating or attending a convocation ceremony this semester, I hope to meet you soon!

—Derek Hansen
Enrollment Management and Student Affairs

The Big Event

Final Reminder: This Saturday, April 4, from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m. is The Big Event. This is a time for the university community to come together for some spring cleaning around campus and around the city. We will meet at the Cline Assembly Hall at 8 a.m. Transportation to the various service areas will be provided. This year, we will also provide service around the Lura Kinsey Community School in Flagstaff.

Breakfast will be provided at the Cline Assembly Hall from 8 to 8:45 a.m. At 9 a.m., the mayor of Flagstaff will open The Big Event followed by a representative from United Way who will introduce the Kinder Care program.

Lunch will be provided at the HotSpot in the University Union for volunteers from 11:30 to 12:30 p.m. This is a wonderful opportunity to connect with volunteers, give service, and get some free food! I’ll see you Saturday morning!

—Derek Hansen

Student Spotlight

Roland Mills

Name: Roland Anderson Mills
Hometown: Port-of-Spain,Trinidad
Major: Vocal Performance
Class: Senior

“The highlight of my student career here is the fact that studying opera gives you SO much traveling experience. Since being here I’ve been to Australia, New Zealand, and come this summer I’ll be in Germany for a young artist program studying voice. Before I graduate I’ll also be adding South Africa to that list. Music is such a universal language that it allows me to connect to the world.

“The Threepenny Opera is actually based on The Beggars Opera which was written as sort of… well… an anti-opera. It is a very historically valuable piece because it branched off in two directions and spawned the modern day musical.”

Community Events

Panel on Hunger and Homelessness, Poverty, and Food Security in Flagstaff
Mon Apr 6 @ 7 p.m.
W. A. Franke College of Business,
Gardner Auditorium

”Resistance and Resiliency: Confronting the Global Food Crisis by Supporting Local Economies Everywhere.”
Keynote Speaker: Bill Aal, Community Alliance for Global Justice
Tue Apr 7 @ 7:30 p.m.
W. A. Franke College of Business,
Gardner Auditorium

A prayer for the River and all wild places and wild things.
Wed Apr 8 @ 7:30 p.m.
Cline Assembly Hall

Understanding Hunger through Films: “King Corn, The Future of Food” and “Food Inc.”
Wed Apr 8 @ 5:30 p.m.
Applied Research and Development, Room 174

Hunger Dinner: The Struggle for Ending Hunger
Fri Apr 10 @ 6 p.m.
Campus Ministry Center
Ticket Price: $5 (Call 520-236-6812)

Student Health Tip

Anger…What Lies Beneath

Anger is the one emotion that is often misunderstood, misdirected and the cause of much sadness and pain. The good news is, it doesn’t have to be.

To fully deal with anger, one must understand what is underneath it. Think about it: under most all anger are other “softer” emotions: hurt, sadness, fear, disappointment, pain, or loss. To deal well with one’s anger, it is important to find ways to help identify these underlying emotions—to talk about them and find ways to deal with them so that healing can take place.

Why bring up this topic in an article that goes to parents? Well, students who are angry may direct their anger at parents, friends, teachers, administrators, even counselors. If a student is angry about something he or she may need to vent, (without being blaming or being abusive) but then it is important to listen and find out what lies beneath. It could be he or she is feeling inadequate, fearful, lonely, lost, unimportant, or sad. If you can get to what lies underneath the anger, then you might be able to actually help your student get the support he or she needs—a hug, reassurance, encouragement, praise, time together, or professional help.

—Melody Hicks, MC, LPC
Counseling and Testing Center



Important Dates For Students


• Housing reapplication
• Summer session enrollment continues
• Early enrollment for fall (continuing students only, through Apr 15)

Apr 18

Black Student Convocation
RSVP by Apr 10 to 928-523-5181

Apr 18–25

Honors Week

Apr 24

Undergrad graduation application deadline for fall ‘09 commencement

May 1

Instruction ends

May 4–7

Final exams

May 7

Native American Convocation
RSVP by May 1 to 928-523-8086

May 7

Hispanic Convocation
RSVP by May 1 to 928-523-5656

May 8

Residence halls close for spring semester

May 8–9


May 11

Summer sessions begin

College of Arts and Letters
Events Highlights

All events are free unless noted. For more events and information visit To subscribe to our weekly events e-newsletter, send an email to


Films are shown at the Cline Assembly Hall at 7 p.m. unless otherwise noted.

Apr 7

Destry Rides Again (1939)
Starring Jimmy Stewart and
Marlene Dietrich

Apr 14

The Letter (1940)
Starring Bette Davis, Herbert Marshall, James Stephenson, Gale Sondergaard, and Sen Yung


Apr 4, 5

The Threepenny Opera
by Kurt Weill and Bertold Brecht
Ardrey Auditorium, Sat @ 7:30 p.m.
Sun @ 2 p.m.
Tickets available at 928-523-5661

Apr 17

Flagstaff Symphony Orchestra, Shrine of the Ages Choir, Master Chorale of Flagstaff
Elizabeth Shulze, conductor
Beethoven's Ninth Symphony and Choral Fantasy
Ardrey Auditorium, 7:30 p.m.
Tickets available at 928-523-5661

Apr 19

American Guild of Organists Concert
Andrew Risinger, organ
Ashurst Auditorium, 7:30 p.m.

Apr 25

Vocal Jazz Night
NAU vocal jazz ensembles, Northern Voices, and High Altitude
Ashurst Auditorium, 7:30 p.m.


Apr 4, 5

Catholic School Girls
by Casey Kurtti
Studio Theatre, Sat @ 8 p.m.
Sun @ 2 p.m.
Tickets available at 928-523-5661

Apr 17–19, 22–25

The Bald Soprano and The Lesson
Two plays by Eugène Ionesco
Clifford E. White Theatre, 8 p.m.
Sun @ 2 p.m.
Tickets available at 928-523-5661


Apr 17, 24; May 1

BFA Exhibition
Beasley Gallery
Receptions each evening at 6 p.m.


Apr 6

Tianshu Wang, piano
Ashurst Auditorium
7:30 p.m.
This international Steinway artist has been acclaimed for her “prodigious technique and eloquent phrasing.”
Students: FREE!
Non-students: $15

Tickets available at 928-523-5661

Hello? Maintenance Calling

compact florescent light bulb

If your student lives on campus, be sure to forward this word: FIXED. For maintenance issues in residence halls, student just need to call 3-4933, or FIXED for prompt service.

If a light goes out in your student’s room—even a personal lamp—have him or her call FIXED and request a replacement Compact Florescent Light (CFL) bulb. At the beginning of the school year, APS donated 5000 CFL bulbs to the university and has already distributed more than half to students. A limited number are still available for free.

Tina Howe

Tina Howe

Are you or your student (or both!) planning on attending The Bald Soprano and/or The Lesson this month? If so, don’t miss this chance to meet Tina Howe, NAU Playwright in Residence and translator of Eugène Ionesco’s works. The Bald Soprano and The Lesson are two hysterical, tragic, and profound plays by the father of “Theatre of the Absurd.”

The NAU Theatre department is presenting a few break-out sessions with Tina Howe, including one opening night on Fri, Apr 17 at 8 p.m. You can meet Tina at all of these free sessions:

  • Apr 14, Translation Seminar, Riles, Rm. 203, 3:45–5 p.m.
  • Apr 15, “So…You want to write plays?”, The Studio Theatre, 5–6 p.m.
  • Apr 16, “Absurdism in the Ionesco Plays,” Babbitt Academic Annex, Rm. 112, 9:35–10:50 a.m.
  • Apr 16, “Women in Theatre,” Social and Behavioral Sciences West, Rm. 103, 5:30–6:15 p.m.
  • Apr 17, Book signing and morning reception, The Studio Theatre, 10–11:30 a.m.
  • Apr 17, Opening night The Bald Soprano and The Lesson followed by a Q & A with Tina Howe, Clifford E. White Theatre.


Local Flagstaff events Diamondbacks Game NAU events this week

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