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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. 34 | May 5, 2010
Gold Axe Award Recipients

Stellar Seniors Recognized

Four graduating seniors have been singled out to receive the prestigious President’s Prize for their exemplary leadership, academic excellence, and service to the NAU community.

The awards were announced at the Gold Axe Awards Banquet on Tuesday night at the High Country Conference Center, where Aleigha Delaney, Paloma Ibanez, Arron Shiffer, and Jason Simpson were among 37 students receiving the coveted Gold Axe Award for their achievements. For more on this story please see Inside NAU.


Looking Ahead

by Dianna Van Sanford, Parent and Family Services, Office of Student Life

In a blink of an eye we have moved through the first semester of 2010 and are experiencing final exam week. Perhaps your student is preparing to come home for the summer until classes begin on August 30, 2010. It may be the first time you have lived with your student since he/she began college. Remember, your student has undergone a lot of changes over the past few months—as I am sure you have already experienced.

Perhaps your student has taken on some new world views, or become more autonomous and creative! Perhaps your student has a boyfriend or girlfriend he/she wants you to meet. Or—if you are very lucky—perhaps all of these changes have occurred in the brief months you have lived separately for the first time. Change is not always easy. Fortunately there are many people who have forged this path and have created ample resources on how to manage the transition.

The literature on the transitioning roles between parents and their college students is rich. A simple internet search will render you with literally hundreds of references. Here are a few that may be specifically helpful to you at this time:


Engineers without Borders

Engineers Without Borders Grant

Ongoing support requested.
$3,500 awarded January, 2010

Engineers without Borders (EWB) is an international, non-profit organization.

The mission of EWB-USA is to partner with developing communities and improve their quality of life through the implementation of environmentally sustainable, equitable, and economical engineering projects. In the process of working to advance developing communities, EWB-USA promotes the development of globally aware and internationally responsible engineers, students, and professionals.

EWB at NAU is dedicated to the international EWB mission. We also emphasize the development of global awareness among students at NAU through experiential learning in the communities we serve. All of our efforts are supported through the generous support of donors like you.

Micro grants assist in student travel expenses to Ghana to ensure safe drinking water for thousands by improving or digging wells that are self-sustaining with technologies such as photo-voltaic power. This is an ongoing request. Donations may be made through the Parent Leadership Council at www.nauparents.com or visit their website.

PHOTO | LEFT TO RIGHT Debra Larson, Associate Dean, CEFNS; McWane Fairley, Environmental Engineering Senior, EWB-NAU Treasurer, Roatan Lead; Dr. Paul D. Trotta, Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, NAU-EWB Sponsor; Jessica J. Lum, Graduate Student, Department of Anthropology; Jim Corbett, Micro-Grant Chair, Parent Leadership Council.


Health Tip - Managing Stress

by Tarryn De Beer, Campus Recreation Services Fitness Intern

Today’s hectic lifestyle has left many people wondering how to manage the stress that comes along with it. Exercise not only helps manage weight, but it also helps increase longevity and quality of life; improve energy, strength, balance, and coordination; and acts as a potent pain reliever and antidepressant. With that in mind, students should be increasing their exercise routines during finals instead of skipping their workout to study.

There are four ways in which exercise controls stress:

  1. Exercise can help you feel less anxious—Exercise is being prescribed in clinical settings to help treat nervous tension. Following a session of exercise, clinicians have measured a decrease in electrical activity of tensed muscles. People are often less jittery and hyperactive after an exercise session.

  2. Exercise can relax you—One exercise session generates 90 to 120 minutes of relaxation response. Some people call this post-exercise euphoria or endorphin response. Many neurotransmitters, not just endorphins, are involved. The important thing, though, is not what they’re called, but what they do: they improve your mood and leave you relaxed.

  3. Exercise can make you feel better about yourself—think about those times when you’ve been physically active. Haven’t you felt better about yourself? That feeling of self-worth contributes to stress relief.

  4. Exercise can make you eat better—People who exercise regularly tend to eat more nutritious food. And it’s no secret that good nutrition helps your body manage stress better.

Hiking outdoors

Now that you know exercise can make a big difference in controlling stress, encourage your student to make some time for regular physical activity. The NAU Rec Center can help students stay stress-free during final exams with the many exercise options being offered during finals week. We will be having group fitness classes during finals week and our weight room and cardio equipment will be available all week for those who need to get away from their books and relax.

For those who prefer the outdoors, now is the perfect time to take advantage of the rising temperatures and sunny days ahead of us. Flagstaff offers many fun outdoor activities and NAU Outdoors provides many outdoor opportunities to help your student explore those activities and manage stress.


Event Highlights (Tuesday, May 4-Monday, May 10, 2010)

Convocation Day is May 6 with ceremonies at variety of times and locations.

♦ Graduation ceremonies will be held May 7-8. Details can be found on the Commencement webpage.


More event highlights can be seen at ShowUp Flagstaff.

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