The Backpack: A news source for parents and families of students at Northern Arizona University Welcome Week
Welcome Week Welcome Week
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Vol. 10 No. 3 | August 20, 2013

Parent to Parent

by Shannon Clark, Parent and Family Services Coordinator

Your student may be leaving in less than a week, but it's not too late to discuss a few important items before he or she arrives on campus:

  • Be clear about your expectations of behavior and academics.
  • Encourage your student to get involved on campus.
  • Establish your primary method of communication and decide on a regular schedule or time to communicate with home.
  • There are people here to help! -- Encourage your student to seek out support and use the resources that are available.


Welcome Week

Welcome week begins Friday, August 23 and continues through Friday, September 6. Here are just a few highlighted events. Check the website for a complete schedule of more than 100 events planned for your student.

Sat, Aug 24

  • @ 6:30 PM - Welcome Week Concert | Wall Aquatic Field

Sun, Aug 25

  • @ 11 AM - NAU Soccer vs. Lamar | Health and Learning Center, Lumberjack Stadium

Mon, Aug 26

  • @ 11 AM - Sports Club Expo & Freshman Fusion Expo | South Recreation Fields
  • @ 12 PM - The Letters & Zumba Party! Help break the record, right before The Letters! Students can pick up a FREE True Blue NAU t-shirt at the event | South Recreation Fields
  • @ 7 PM - Hypnotist | Prochnow Auditorium

Tue, Aug 27

  • @ 2 PM - Involvement Fair | Health and Learning Center, MAC Gym

Wed, Sep 4

  • @ 12 PM - President's BBQ | Central Quad

Safety Resources and Tips

The university provides several resources to help your student have a safe and enjoyable time while on campus.

  • SafeRide, a free shuttle service from Parking and Shuttle Services between campus and downtown Flagstaff from 9 PM to 2:30 AM beginning August 22
  • University Safety Aides provide student safety escorts from one location on campus to another. This service is available between sunset and sunrise by calling 928-523-3611
  •, a free alcohol, drug, and wellness program available to parents and students
  • NAU Alert, an opt-in, free emergency text message notification service for parents and students. Enrollment completed through a student's NAU account.

It is also a good idea to remind your student on the following safety tips: always be aware of your surroundings (limit headphones while walking about, keep alert, etc.); avoid isolated, wooded, or unlit areas; and travel in groups.

Additional safety information is available on NAU Police Department's website.

Answer the Call

by Heide Gibson, Parent Leadership Council

One way to be involved in your student's education and academic success is to contribute during our parent calling campaign. The parent campaign has a direct impact on students, providing for scholarships, projects, and programs not fully covered by tuition or state funding. While gifts to the university can always be designated to any area of your choice, the parent campaign focuses on our three parent funds. These funds are made up of pooled gifts, collectively contributing to programs that make a difference to parents and students.

  • The NAU Dining Scholarship assists students who lack the financial resources to purchase a meal plan, to promote student success.
  • The Micro Grant Fund, as recommended by the university's Parent Leadership Council, awards grants of up to $3,500 to enhance curriculum and support other student-oriented initiatives. The application and approval process for these grants is quick, allowing for an almost immediate impact on learning experiences.
  • The NAU Parent Fund supports programs that enhance student life, such as student support services and Family Weekend events provided at no cost for parents and families.

Early in the semester, you may receive a call from a knowledgeable student who will update you on these and other initiatives and ask for your support. Please take the time to talk with one of our students and consider making a gift.

You are also welcome to contact me directly at 928-523-4859 or at If your employer provides matching gifts for your charitable support, or has a foundation that supports any of the programs above, please reach out and let us know. Thank you!


Office for Undergraduate Research Announces 19 Internships for Fall

The purpose of the Interns-to-Scholars (I2S) program is to encourage undergraduate students early in their academic careers to get involved in faculty research, scholarly, or creative projects by working as paid interns.

If your student has between 15 NAU credit hours and 75 total credit hours, he or she can apply for one of the 19 I2S internships for the fall 2013 semester. These are NOT restricted to the sciences; students in all majors are encouraged to review the available opportunities and may apply for up to three internships.

Applications will be accepted between August 19 and September 5, 2013. More details are available on the I2S Student Information web page.

Last-Minute Dining Tips

by Casey Fisher, M.S., Campus Dining

There are more than 30 dining locations on campus that accept meal plans as payment (meals or dining dollars), and also Jacks Debit Express (JDE), credit, debit, and even good-old-fashioned cash. The official start date for meal plans is Saturday, August 24, the same day the residence halls open. If your student is on campus prior to that day, some dining locations will be open, but he or she will have to use Dining Dollars, JDE, cash, credit, or debit as payment until Saturday.

Dining Mobile App

Not sure where all the dining venues are located, what's on the menu, or what hours they are open? There's an app for that! The NAU Campus Dining mobile app is a web-based tool that provides everything from a map of campus indicating the nearest food source to hours of operation, menus and even nutritional information. This will be particularly handy as your student first arrives on campus and begins to sort out the options.

For more information about Campus Dining, meal plans, Dining Dollars, or to sign up, visit or call us at 928-523-2372.


Family Weekend T-Shirts

Remember to order your "I Survived Family Weekend" T-shirts! Shirts are only available through advance purchase and will not be sold on campus during Family Weekend. Orders must be placed by September 6 to ensure delivery by Family Weekend, September 26-28.

To order tickets and T-shirts visit the Central Ticket Office online.

Reducing Risky Behaviors

by Melissa Griffin, MA, CAGS, Health Promotion Manager

Whether students are returning to campus or becoming a Lumberjack for the first time, this is an exciting time for all! Often this excitement involves new people, new social opportunities and definitely new environments. Unfortunately, for some, the start of college can also be perceived as an opportunity to engage in binge drinking and other risky behaviors.

We know that student success is supported by healthy decision-making. As part of our programming to reduce risky behaviors and support healthy ones, we have many evidence-based programs available to our students. One of those programs, My Student Body, is new to our campus this year. My Student Body is an online education program that is currently being used at a number of Universities nationwide to empower students to make healthy decisions during their transition to college.

We are requesting that all incoming freshmen complete the My Student Body online course by Sept.1. We very much appreciate your support in encouraging your student's participation in this program. For more information and log in codes, students can visit:

There is also an online parent module just for you. Feel free to log in yourself by going to and using the school code: nauparent.

We look forward to an exciting, successful, and healthy start to the new academic year.

Student Support Services

by Wendy Bruun, Director, Student Support Services

For over 27 years, Northern Arizona University has offered the TRIO Student Support Services (SSS) program on the Flagstaff campus. Student Support Services (SSS) is funded in part by the U.S. Department of Education in order to increase college retention and graduation rates for students who have financial need, are first generation college students, or have a documented disability.

Throughout their participation in the program, students will receive individual mentoring from our staff members who can guide them in the transition to the university and Flagstaff community. Specifically, we assist students by providing the following core services:

  • Academic support and tutoring
  • Assistance with course selection and career planning
  • Education/guidance to improve financial literacy
  • Information and assistance to apply for financial aid and/or scholarships
  • Assistance in applying for admission to graduate and professional school

Each semester, students in the SSS program benefit from multiple individual mentoring meetings with one of our staff members, plus ongoing access to staff members via phone and e-mail. We also offer opportunities for students to attend educational workshops, cultural activities, community service projects, and leadership retreats, all at no cost to the student. Additionally, we offer the opportunity to earn a $500 grant after a semester of full participation in our program.

Visit Student Support Services online for more information about the program. Space is limited, so encourage your student to apply today!

2013 Construction Overview

from Planning, Design and Construction

The campus is growing! Several construction and renovation projects are wrapping up and will be completed for students arriving this fall:

  • Dining hall expansion, located at the University Union
  • Renovation of several Residence Halls
  • Expansion of the Lumberjack's Mathematics Center in the Health and Learning Center
  • Concrete and asphalt repairs to enhance horizontal circulation for pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorists, along with improved accessible ADA paths of travel.
  • Improved pedestrian, bicycle, and accessible pathways around campus
  • Energy savings upgrades in residence halls and academic buildings
  • New clay mixing building for the ceramics department
  • New chemical storage building to provide enhanced chemical waste handling

Here is an outlook of what is on the horizon:

  • Spring 2014: Observatory Recreation Fields featuring a soccer-size field, and a smaller multi-purpose field for recreation and intramural use.
  • Fall 2015: a new 120,000 square foot Science and Health Building that will host the Chemistry Department and 18 new research labs. Located north of the union, the five-story building will feature a 200-seat lecture hall, two 120-seat lecture halls, an 80-seat interactive classroom, eight teaching labs, 18 research labs, faculty offices, and many interactive spaces.

Event Highlights

  • Welcome Week: August 26-September 6 - Events for students across campus and in Flagstaff.
  • Family Weekend: September 27-29 - Events for the whole family across campus and in Flagstaff.

See a complete listing of university events on the official university calendar website. More Flagstaff event highlights can be seen at Flagstaff 365.