Subscribe | Search archives | Submit a News Tip | Watch Inside NAU TV Dec. 1, 2009


corner corner

NAU Native American students participating in the Ottens’ grant program gather to celebrate being part of the program. From left, Chase Voirin, an Otten’s grant recipient from 2006-2008, Lias Hastings, Joy Tso, Nicole Cody, Samantha Leffler and Eudora Redhouse (Not pictured: Kristy Dennison and Erelda Gene).

Grant fuels Native undergraduate
mentors and research

When Lias Hastings began working on a degree in environmental sciences and wildlife biology at Northern Arizona University, he didn’t know he would be able to conduct research right away­—until he learned about the Ottens' Undergraduate Research Grant for Native Americans in Health and Environmental Sciences.

Now Hastings, a sophomore in his second year of the grant, regularly conducts field research and is working with his mentor, Carol Chambers, a professor in NAU’s School of Forestry, to help eradicate rabies in northern Arizona bats.

“My research experience has been great,” said Hastings, who has been radio “tagging” bats to track them. “The hands-on learning and program support keeps me on track and very interested in my studies.”

Hastings is one of seven students receiving Ottens’ support this year. The Ottens’ award program matches mentors with freshman, sophomore and Native transfer students aspiring to work in health-related professions and environmental scientific research. Students work with faculty and peer mentors for about 15 months, including two summers and two academic years, to experience and conduct research.

The program provides students up to $8,000 each to assist with college expenses. Students receive additional support through career counseling provided by NAU's Native American Student Services, which provides programs to ease students’ transition to college and to connect students with resources that help ensure academic and personal success.

Directed by Jani Ingram, an associate professor in chemistry, the Ottens’ grant third-year recipients include Hastings, Nicole Cody, environmental studies; Kristy Dennison, athletic training; Eudora Redhouse, community health; Erelda Gene, nursing; Samantha Leffler, environmental and indigenous studies; and Joy Tso, speech therapy.

"We want you to take advantage of the tools and opportunity that NAU can provide,” Ingram advised the students during a recent recipient lunch. “Opportunity is knocking, answer this door.”

William Wiist, special assistant to the executive dean of the College of Health and Human Services, has been a mentor in the program for several semesters and agrees the grant is a great way for Native students to learn and stay focused on their academic track.

Redhouse hopes to bring her nursing skills back to her home community in Shiprock, N.M., and Leffler is interested in becoming an educator to help Native youth stay off alcohol and drugs. Cody is working toward a cleaner environment for future generations, and Gene and Tso are pursuing degrees that will help them keep their communities healthy. 


< back to Inside NAU E-mail this page




New Year’s holiday brings early paycheck
ITS to replace ‘Jan’
President’s Cabinet highlights
Unhealthy forests lurk under harmful mistletoe
San Francisco Street to reopen
Six-month renewal contracts begin Jan. 1
'Malware,’ viruses attacking NAU computers
Brighten the holidays for Flagstaff families
Submissions sought for NAU undergraduate writing competition
Vacation hours needed for Compassionate
Transfer of Leave participants
Obituary: Dot Reidelbach, former bookstore manager,
director of Reprographics
Delayed finals scheduled for Jan. 11 to 14
NAU Fulbright scholars teach worldwide
NAU biologist explores bizarre give-and-take between species
Athletics posts improved graduation success rate
University Marketing releases new online photo gallery
Grant fuels Native undergraduate mentors and research
Holiday break is good opportunity for using furlough days
NAU to implement e-mail sender quotas
NAU’s community college partnerships in sync with Lumina grant
Students design transit shelters for Grand Canyon gateway
Concrete plan cures cracks
NAUPD reminds drivers to follow posted traffic changes
Stay tuned when snow starts to fall


Mark Neumann, director of NAU's School of Communication, discusses the school's academic programs, changing technologies, and the school's student media center.

facebook trueblue youtube


Inside NAU is published by the NAU Office of Public Affairs for faculty, staff and friends of Northern Arizona University. We welcome story ideas related to NAU's mission, its employees and its students. Submit story ideas using our online form.

Publisher: John D. Haeger, President; Public Affairs: Tom Bauer,  Julie Bergman, Tracie Hansen, Lisa Nelson, Diane Rechel; Office Manager: Isa Rueda