The Backpack: A news source for parents and families of students at Northern Arizona University Commencement
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Vol. 10 No. 20 | December 17, 2013

Parent to Parent

by Shannon Clark, Parent and Family Services Coordinator

In this edition of the Backpack we have two articles on career planning opportunities for your student--a great topic for conversation and exploration over the winter break. What are your student's career goals and aspirations and how do they plan to get there? How can your student benefit best from career fairs, resources available at Gateway Career services and other free opportunities on campus? Here are a few ideas.

  • Encourage your student to be on the lookout for e-mails, flyers, and regularly visit Gateway Career Services Facebook page where they announce upcoming career events, job postings, and career-related workshops.
  • Review your student's wardrobe over winter break to make sure he or she has one professional outfit with them on campus.
  • Inspire your student to attend one or two campus career events to hone his or her professional skills.

Freshmen to seniors are welcome! These events are well-suited for all students, no matter how many semesters they have until graduation. It is never too soon to get out there and practice talking to potential employers or representatives from graduate programs. By participating in these events, your student will be better prepared for the professional world by the time they graduate.

Family Weekend Survey - Last Call!

This is your last chance to take the Family Weekend Survey. If you haven't already, please take a few moments to give us your valuable opinions. Thank you!

Card Access at Cline Library

After careful consideration and in the interest of student safety, the library is implementing card access after 9 PM effective Monday, January 13, 2014. All NAU and CCC users wishing to enter the library must have a current NAU ID or a CCC ID registered with the library.

Card access has been commonly implemented across the university in campus labs, the recreation center in HLC, and residence halls. Beginning January 2, 2014 CCC users should bring their CCC IDs to the Main Desk in Cline Library before 9 PM for a quick one-time registration in the card access system. NAU users with IDs that are older than 5 years can check with the JacksCard Office to confirm their current ID will be compatible with the library's system if they plan to enter the library after 9 PM.


Winter Term Courses

Winter courses are a great way to earn extra units to graduate early, enroll in courses that fill up quickly, or earn credits to advance a career.

The winter accelerated course format will help your student meet academic goals quickly, whatever they may be. Most students find they learn the same amount, despite the accelerated format.

Search for classes

If you have any questions please contact us at 800-426-8315,

Get Ready For January 2014 Career Fairs

by Elizabeth Glass, CEFNS Director of Career Development

By far, one of the best professional opportunities for students is during the career fairs, which are held on the Flagstaff campus. The next career fair is Wednesday, January 29, 2014 from noon to 4 PM in the MAC gym at the Health and Learning Center. At the same day and time, a fair for Forestry and Natural Sciences students will be held in the Forestry building on south campus.

The career fair is likely, in some ways, what you'd expect--and, in other ways, more! It is a group of employers, graduate/professional schools, and others who are interested in recruiting students and soon-to-be graduates for internships, graduate schools, and entry-level positions within their organizations.

In addition to January 29, there will be other specialized career fairs in the spring semester. The Hospitality Career Fair will be held Wednesday, February 26, 2014, from 10 AM to 2 PM in the HRM building, and Career Exploration Day at the W. A. Franke College of Business (FCB) will occur Thursday, February 27, 2014, from 10 AM to 3 PM.

Encourage your student to attend as many events as possible! For additional details about the College of Engineering, Forestry and Natural Sciences January 29th career fair check out the CEFNS webpage.

Gateway Career Services

by Katie Egea, Graduate Assistant, Gateway Career Services

Winter break is coming up and I'm sure many of you are excited for the arrival of your student! This is not only the perfect time to catch up with each other, but also to discuss their goals for the future and what they wish to accomplish after their time at the university. Whether your student is a freshman or a senior, it's never too late to talk about their career goals.

This month on the Gateway Career Services blog, The Smart Axe Guide to Careers, we feature four posts discussing what your student can work on based on their year in school. This is also a helpful tool for you to familiarize yourself with the steps that your student can take and the resources available to them. As always, Gateway Career Services is here to support students throughout their career exploration journey!

The World Is Your Classroom

Go abroad with NAU faculty! Our faculty-led programs travel to amazing destinations around the world.

We have lots of programs to choose from such as Sociology in Spain or South Korea; Biology in India; Theatre in Ireland; HRM in Europe; and Student Affairs in Italy, to name a few!

Scholarships are available. Visit our website to explore our many opportunities to study abroad with NAU faculty:!

Shop Locally at the 2013 Holiday Bazaar

Native Americans for Community Action are sponsoring their annual Holiday Bazaar on Friday, December 20 from 11 AM to 8 PM. Local artisans will be selling jewelry, pottery, paintings, weavings, clothing, sculptures, and many more handcrafted items.

The Holiday Bazaar will be held at the High Country Conference Center.

New Year's Eve Mountain Line Bus Service

For the first time ever, Mountain Line buses will be rolling through town past midnight to offer students, Flagstaff residents, and visitors a safe and reliable New Year's Eve transportation option.

Check out the schedule and all the details at the Mountain Line website.


Community Mentor Position with the Residential Learning Communities

by Rebecca Swain, Coordinator of Learning Communities

Community Mentors (CMs) are student leaders who assist Residential Learning Community (RLC) students with their transition to the university. They work closely with the Faculty Liaison of the community and other hall staff (RAs and RHDs) to program toward specific community needs.

Serving as role models for the community, and sharing the same academic major or area of interest, CMs aim to introduce students to a variety of campus resources, provide opportunities for students to explore their academic place through faculty interaction, and create an inclusive and welcoming community. This position requires self-motivation and the ability to work autonomously, as mentors are required to plan weekly meetings for a community of 20-30 students and to meet individually with community members 2-3 times per semester.

Mentor Qualifications

  • Available for the full 2014-2015 academic year
  • Cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher
  • Full-time student

For more details on the CM position, please visit

The application process is currently open and will close on Monday, January 20, 2014 at 5 PM. Apply Now!


Parents, sign in to My Student Body to learn more about this complete alcohol, drug, and wellness program at Northern Arizona University.

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Event Highlights

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