Non-Tenure Track Faculty Spotlights
The Faculty Senate Executive Committee and the Faculty Senate Council for Non-Tenure Track Faculty Issues is proud to feature the following non-tenure track faculty for our Inaugural NTT Spotlight. Chairs and colleagues nominated the faculty below for public recognition of their professional dedication to the university, highlighting examples of the significant teaching, research, and service contributions non-tenure track faculty provide to the NAU community and beyond.
Leah Mundell, Ph.D.
Department of Anthropology in the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences
As a practicing applied anthropologist, Lecturer and Civic Engagement Minor Coordinator Dr. Mundell’s dedication to community engagement is emphasized in her practice, research and teaching. She looks for opportunities to connect her students to community organizations so they can apply their civic engagement skills both in the classroom and as coordinator for the NAU Civic Engagement Minor and the NAU Community-University Public Inquiry program to support projects which serve both Flagstaff and the university. Dr. Mundell’s students develop skills through internships and scholarships to work on community-based projects, and often have access to experiences such as travel to the U.S./Mexico border to understand the various perspectives on immigration. Her projects not only teach students about human cultural diversity but also give them practical skills in designing relevant projects for community partnership and allowing them an opportunity to experience diverse peoples, cultures, and perspectives. Her research also reflects her commitment to community through a focus on the social impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic as part of the Social Science Community Engagement Lab and her examination of the experiences of African refugees in Cape Town, South Africa, where she worked with the Scalabrini Centre of Cape Town.
Hesam Moghaddam, Ph.D.
Department of Mechanical Engineering in the College of Engineering, Informatics, and Applied Sciences
Lecturer and Associate Chair of Undergraduate Programs in the Mechanical Engineering department, Dr. Moghaddam’s commitment to student success is demonstrated in his recent completion of the prestigious Association of College and University Educators (ACUE) year-long course in effective college instruction and by student responses which remark on his ability to employ innovative, engaging and stimulating pedagogical activities in his classes. In the classroom, Dr. Moghaddam fosters an environment conducive to encouraging his engineering students to thrive by creating an inclusive and open atmosphere. He is an active mentor who assists students in navigation of their future coursework to best serve their career goals and also advises the NAU Student Persian Association, which promotes and supports student diversity on campus. Additionally, Dr. Moghaddam publishes and presents his research to national and international associations regularly. Most recently, the North American Brain Injury Society awarded him the competitive Brain Injury Fellowship to support his research in the field of traumatic brain injury. He recently submitted an NSF proposal on this subject to research effective ways to establish positive rapport within freshmen classes through use of technology. In his associate chair position, Dr. Moghaddam prioritizes assisting students and facilitating their progression in the program.
Anita Antoninka, Ph.D.
School of Forestry in the College of Environment, Forestry, and Natural Sciences
An established leader in soil and restoration ecology research, Assistant Research Professor, Dr. Anita Antoninka has published over 30 peer-reviewed articles and has been awarded many substantial grants over the course of her career. The Society for Ecological Restoration recently recognized her article, “Biological Soil Crusts in Ecological Restoration: Emerging Research and Perspectives” in the journal Restoration Ecology as one of the “Top 5 Most Downloaded” papers in the journal for 2020. In addition to her research, Dr. Antoninka is an exceptional educator. Her passion for mentoring students reflects her desire to encourage and support future scientists from diverse backgrounds through funded training grants and hands-on opportunities in the lab and field. This commitment to mentoring is also demonstrated by her active involvement in STEM outreach in several local schools and through citizen science programs.
Becky Pratt Sturges, Ph.D.
Department of Comparative Cultural Studies in the College of Arts and Letters
Lecturer in Public Humanities and Museum Studies and Coordinator for the BIS and BA degrees in humanities and the Museum Studies minor, Dr. Pratt-Sturges transforms the lives of her students by using digital media technologies to bring the humanities alive. Applying humanities to real world issues, she demonstrates to students how they too can confront and understand the challenges of our world. Additionally, Dr. Pratt-Sturges prepares students for a future where technological advances will dominate the humanities world by encouraging students to critically analyze how digital culture has transformed meaning making institutions such as museums and archives and the ways in which they as students can practice engaged scholarship with their communities by learning how to capture stories and present cultural heritage using digital platforms. Her students gain real-world, hands-on experiences that are invaluable to their future careers. Not only does she strive to support students in her classes, but Dr. Pratt-Sturges also actively partners with communities across campus such as the Veteran and Military Services to foster engagement between veterans and civilians to form a more inclusive community at NAU for current and past service members.