The Backpack: A news source for parents and families of students at Northern Arizona University Spring Back
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Vol. 10 No. 21 | January 14, 2014

Parent to Parent

by Shannon Clark, Parent and Family Services Coordinator

Hot off the press! Travel and Leisure magazine recently recognized our picturesque mountain town as the 10th Best College Town in America. For those of us lucky enough to call this beautiful place home and our students who live and learn at the University, we all agree Flagstaff is a pretty special place. My only complaint - that we weren't number one!

Spring Back 2014!

Welcome back to Northern Arizona University! To kick off the beginning of a new semester, the Office of Student Life has organized events for students beginning Friday, January 10 and continuing through Monday, January 20. Events include free fitness classes and climbing at the Recreation Center, concerts, movies, financial aid information in the Union, and academic open house sessions. Not to be missed is the Student Involvement Fair Wednesday, January 15 at 5 PM in the MAC gym. This is a great place for students to meet student organization leaders and find out about opportunities to get involved on campus. Visit the Spring Back website for a complete listing of events and all the details.


Martin Luther King, Jr Day Celebration

"Defend your Dream," a celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day will take place on Monday, January 20, 2014. The Black Student Union, the Office of the President, Student Life, Residence Life, Enrollment Management and Student Affairs and the Inclusion and Multicultural Services comes together to present this long standing event. The march will begin at 3 PM at the University Union (outside of Chick-fil-A) and end at the du Bois Center Ballroom on south campus. A program will begin at 4 PM. Everyone is invited to join students and staff as we celebrate this historic occasion.

Grades--Now What?

by Alex Terwilliger and Rebecca Campbell, PhD Academic Transition Programs

We know your student's grades have posted and we expect that you've been discussing their performance.

If your student did well, it's time to encourage them to participate in the many extra-curricular experiences NAU has to offer. Student organizations, involvement in undergraduate research, or a part-time job will provide your student an opportunity to learn relationship, communication and leadership skills that are valuable forms of professional development; skills employers are looking for on resumes.

If your student did not do as well as you had hoped, the university has a variety of support programs to help them improve. For students on academic probation, NAU 130: Back on Track is a course designed to capitalize on strengths, focus on academic success strategies and assist your student in developing a success plan. Back on Track also includes peer coaching. We believe that your student can be successful in college and are here to help.

Sticking to Your New Year's Resolutions

by Aurelia Acquati, Campus Recreation Services

It's that time of year again when students make New Year's Resolutions, in hopes of making a change in their life at the start of a new year. Unfortunately, only about eight percent of people who make resolutions actually achieve them, while another 35 percent get discouraged or too busy in the midst of their goal. According to, the most popular New Year's resolutions include eating healthy food, geting fit, losing weight, managing stress, and helping others and more. We want to see all of our students succeed in their New Year's resolutions because we understand how hard it can be to stick to goals that seem so daunting. Listed below are some tips to share with your students to help them achieve their goals!

  • Be diligent about your goal. In order to stick with your resolution, you need to muster up the willpower to resist temptation. This isn't something that will come naturally for all, and for most of us, it is something we have to remind ourselves of daily.
  • Focus on one change at a time. Just one resolution will actually require many behavior changes, not just one, so trying to conquer multiple resolutions at the same time is almost impossible. Think about various strategies you can use to achieve the one goal you are working on, and it will be much easier for you to stick with it when the going gets tough.
  • Break up your goal. Self-control isn't easy for anyone, and when we're trying to make a change in our lives it can sometimes be hard to muster the control we need. To make it easier on yourself, break your goal up into baby steps that will be easier to achieve and not require more self-control than you have at one time. All the little successes you have will give you the confidence and determination to keep moving toward your overall New Year's resolution.


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.