The Lumberjack -- November 18, 2021

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From the Editor



o with the flow, when life gives you lemons, carpe diem and all of that. In my first-ever Letter from the Editor, I shared a poem I had written about loving the scabs I got from roller skating because they made me feel powerful and marked my learning process. I’ve learned a lot from the unexpected — ­ finding beauty in how something starts out small and blossoms into much more. I’ve found that in roller skating, surely. But since that love letter to progress and failure, I’ve also found how often delightful coincidences turn into, well, life and growth … This is essentially the essence of the poem I submitted for this week’s Creative Corner, found on Page 13. With quarantining and feeling isolated from others comes monotony and a lack of memory-making. Now that I’ve been stepping back out into the world over the course of this semester, I am surprised by how easily life just happens. And by life, I mean the little moments that turn into big ones out of nowhere, the memories you never expected would be memories, the bits that bring you closer to others and

yourself. I found my hobby of roller skating on a whim, I met my closest friend group and central support system in a beginning fiction writing class, I adopted the first dog my friend fostered, I said yes to starting a magazine with another friend immediately after she texted me her pitch ... Whatever it was, sometimes the biggest, most influential things that come along your path come out of the blue. I am an English major who had never attempted to pursue any kind of journalism until talking to a professor who suggested I write for The Lumberjack. Now, I’m signing off the editorial board after six semesters on staff. I have to remind myself that while I’m sad to leave behind opportunities that appeared seemingly from nowhere, more opportunities present themselves along the way: All you have to do is be there and say yes. I didn’t know I’d stick with The Lumberjack after my first semester reporting in Features, but by my second semester involved, I knew I would want to be part of the paper until my graduation. Now that I am graduating, I’ll look back at this delightful coincidence as what propelled more opportunities into fruition. I have met some of the most genuine, kind-hearted, and compelling people out of nowhere. I know saying yes to the directions the world pushing us in might not always seem like the best idea, and I by no means am suggesting we live recklessly, I am just suggesting that we remember to live wholly, accept some opportunities along the way, go with the flow when it feels right and appreciate those who have entered your life, temporarily or permanently. Thank you for reading.


VOL. 112 ISSUE 13

Career nights for Haymon & Mains highlight NAU MBB rout of Benedictine Mesa, 97-48

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Editor-in-Chief MacKenzie Brower

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Media Innovation Center Editorial Board News Editor Mark Fabery Asst. News Editor Daisy Johnston Op-Ed Editor Marley Green Asst. Op-Ed Editor Jessie McCann Features Editor Hannah Elsmore


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Culture Editor Katelyn Rodriguez

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Asst. Culture Editor Haylee Emch

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On the cover Illustration by Diana Ortega | The Lumberjack

Corrections & Clarifications The Lumberjack is committed to factual correctness and accuracy. If you find an error in our publication, please email MacKenzie Brower at


compiled by Mark fabery

At 11:26 a.m., the Gabaldon Hall RHD reported finding an exit sign in a room. An officer responded and took a report.

At 9:44 a.m., a Gabaldon Hall RA reported finding an exit sign in a room. NAUPD responded, and assistance was provided.

At 8:20 p.m., a student reported a vehicle failed to to stop for pedestrians at the intersection of San Francisco At 5:10 p.m., a student Street and McConnell Drive. reported someone hit their Officers responded, but were vehicle and fled the scene in lot unable to locate the vehicle. 13A. NAUPD responded and took a report. At 11:42 p.m., a student requested assistance after At 9:18 p.m., the leaving their keys inside the McConnell Hall RHD Health and Learning Center. requested assistance with NAUPD and University Safety a student wanting to be Aides responded, but were voluntarily committed to unable to locate the property. Flagstaff Medical Center (FMC). Officers responded, Nov. 11 and transported the student At 4:39 p.m., a Drury to FMC for a voluntary Inn & Suites staff member committal. reported an intoxicated subject. NAUPD responded, Nov. 9 the subject was identified and At 5:04 a.m., a Campus assistance was provided. Heights resident reported their roommate missing. NAUPD At 6:04 p.m., a responded, and the resident nonstudent reported a subject was located in good health. in the intersection of Pine Knoll Drive and South Huffer At 1:41 p.m., a Lane. NAUPD responded, and nonstudent reported a traffic one nonstudent was cited and collision at the intersection of released for disorderly conduct Knoles and University Drive. as well as obstructing a public NAUPD responded, and took thoroughfare. a report for information only. Nov. 12 At 8:22 p.m., a Pine At 1:27 a.m., NAUPD Ridge Village resident reported and University Safety Aides an odor of gas. NAUPD and reported an odor of marijuana FFD responded, but no odor from a parked vehicle in lot was detected and FFD cleared 62B. Three students were the area as safe. Work Control contacted and deferred was advised. for possession and use of marijuana on campus. Nov. 10 At 4:10 a.m., a staff At 4:34 a.m., a Hilltop member reported a nonstudent Townhomes resident reported walking in the roadway at the loud music coming from a intersection of South San nearby apartment. NAUPD Francisco Street and Mountain responded, and three students View Drive. Officers responded were given referrals for use and the nonstudent was given of marijuana. The music was a ride to their residence off turned down. campus.

At 7:54 p.m., a Mountain View Hall RA reported the theft of a fire extinguisher. NAUPD responded, and took a report.

Nov. 8 At 7:13 a.m., a Taylor Hall staff member reported a nonstudent passed out in the bathroom. NAUPD, Flagstaff Fire Department (FFD) and Guardian Medical Transport (GMT) responded, and the nonstudent was identified.

Nov. 13 At 12:36 a.m., a student made a call on the blue light phone outside McKay Village and reported feeling suicidal. NAUPD responded and the student was put in touch with Terros Health. At 8:32 a.m., a student reported a suspicious vehicle at the intersection of San Francisco Street and McConnell Drive. NAUPD responded, initiated a traffic stop and one nonstudent was booked into jail for driving under the influence.

Total Number of COVID-19 VACCINE DOSES ADMINISTERED in coconin county: 181,385 PERCENT OF eligible people vaccinated in coconino county: 64.7% TOTAL NUMBER OF PEOPLE WHO HAVE RECEIVED AT LEAST ONE DOSE OF the COVID-19 VACCINE in coconino county: 89,997 PERCENT OF coconino county fully VACCINATED: 54.9% NUMBER OF PEOPLE WHO ARE FULLY VACCINATED AGAINST COVID-19 in coconino county: 80,095

At 7:25 p.m., a Mountain View Hall staff member reported a missing exit sign. NAUPD responded, and took a report. Nov. 14 At 2:30 p.m., a Honors College RA reported a trespass. NAUPD responded, but no contact was made and a report was taken. At 6:12 p.m., an Allen Hall RA reported a student that had fallen and injured themselves. NAUPD, FFD and GMT responded, but the student refused transport. At 7:41 p.m., a RHD reported two subjects on the roof of the San Francisco Parking Garage. NAUPD responded, but no contact was made.

Arizona Snowbowl delays opening date until further notice


Mark Fabery

hile northern Arizona has been experiencing mild temperatures to the runup of Arizona Snowbowl’s Nov. 19 opening day, the weather has led to the delay of their opening. In a tweet, Arizona Snowbowl cited mild temperatures have put a burden on their snowmaking teams to maintain their commitment of providing an amazing opening day. “As Mother Nature continues to bring us mild temperatures, our scheduled opening day of Nov. 19 is delayed until further notice,” Snowbowl tweeted. “We will continue to work tirelessly for you to produce the best snow with our state-of-the-art snowmaking system.” Customers who have purchased tickets in advance will be notified by a customer service representative 72 hours in advance of their ticket date if the mountain remains closed to assist with any exchanges and credits. Read more at

NOV. 18 - JAN. 12, 2022 | THE LUMBERJACK


Arizonans have 30 days to voice redistricting concerns Daisy Johnston


rizona Independent Redistricting Commission (AIRC) approved draft maps for both Arizona’s legislative and congressional districts, Oct. 28. Before the drafts are selected to represent Arizona voters for the next 10 years, the commission will conduct meetings over the following 30 days to give the public a chance to review them. The Arizona Students’ Association (ASA) held an event Nov. 9 to inform voters how the approved drafts may impact elections from this year until 2032, when new maps will be proposed. To encourage students to participate in the public review process, ASA unveiled a chalk mural outside University Union asking for fair maps and representation. The piece was done by Phoenix artist Eli Farais who said he became an artist to inspire the minds of the youth. Upon finishing the mural, speakers voiced their concerns over a lack of competitiveness in the proposed districts. ASA organizing director Kyle Nitschke spoke Nov. 12 to raise awareness for what he said will determine the significance of Flagstaff locals’ votes for the next decade. Nitschke believes there is a connection between the fair districting event and ASA’s “As Nearly Free As Possible Act.” “We need competitive maps so student votes do matter in the upcoming election,” Nitschke said. “Everything the ASA is trying to do is to turn young people out to vote and to get them civically engaged.” Nitschke is a NAU graduate who now works with ASA to politically mobilize young people and encourage students to register as voters. Regardless of party affiliation, Nitschke explained, all voters will benefit from competitive elections. “People turn out to vote more when we have a competitive race,” Nitschke said. “You’ll also get better candidates. You’re not going to get a really strong candidate to run in the primary if they know they have no chance in the general election.” Arizona is one of few states to delegate the redistricting process to an independent commission. Following the passing of Proposition 106 in 2000, the AIRC — composed of two Democrats, two Republicans and one independent — drafted maps in


NAU senior Evan Hunter speaks about the importance of fair election districting while Kyle Nitschke, northern regional organizer director for ASA watches on outside University Union, Nov. 9. Brian Burke | The Lumberjack

accordance with the most recent census data. This process provides many beneficial safeguards, but is a flawed system nonetheless, Nitschke said. Nonpartisan analysts for the Princeton Gerrymandering Project rated the proposed legislative and congressional maps with an A for having no partisan advantage, but a C in competitiveness and geographic features. Maryann Kenny, a member of the northern Arizona branch of the League of Women Voters, also spoke Nov. 9 to support the students and raise awareness for the redistricting cycle. Kenny said she is disappointed in the approved drafts. “The city of Sedona has been essentially cut in two and placed in two separate districts along county lines,” Kenny said. “We share the same resources, we share the same water concerns, we in many instances have a similar tourist-based economy, so we tend to think of ourselves as


closely tied.” As a resident of Oak Creek Village, Kenny said she has a hard time seeing the logic in the proposed change. “It’s along the county line but it’s not necessary for redistricting to be done along county lines,” Kenny said. “If we have districts that are not well constructed or fair, then many voters will not have their concerns represented.” Senior Evan Hunter volunteers with ASA to advocate for student issues and help politicize young people. Hunter said he finds close elections more exciting and, in turn, encourage higher rates of participation. Hunter voted for the first time in 2020 when President Joe Biden flipped Arizona against former President Donald Trump in a close election. Hunter said he enjoyed voting in such a competitive election when he felt the weight of his vote really mattered. Hunter hopes

the proposed redistricting changes will not shift Arizona to lean further toward any party — he would rather the state remain purple. “We don’t want Arizona to become a oneparty state,” Hunter said. “We want everyone to have an equal chance of winning elections.” The AIRC will continue to host draft map hearings virtually and in-person, until Dec. 4, both of which will be recorded. Through the AIRC website, Arizonans can explore other published plans and submit comments to be part of the public record. Once the drafted maps reach final approval, they will effectively be put into place in Arizona for the next 10 years. Locals who want to learn more or voice concerns about proposed changes are encouraged to participate before the 30-day period for public review ends.


Flagstaff flood victims reflect on august monsoons Annika Beck


he recent monsoon season was one of Flagstaff’s wettest. The region experienced intense thunderstorms and heavy rainfall, which led to devastation for some. Coconino County ranked the 2021 monsoon season as the 15th wettest on record. On average there is about 7.7 inches of rainfall this time of year; however, the current season has averaged 10.5 inches of rain over the city of Flagstaff. The amount of rainfall led to downstream neighborhoods suffering immensely from the summer’s flash floods. Flagstaff resident Joanna Ignace was one of the area’s residents who endured the effects of the rainfall that flooded her home 5-feet deep. Ignace has been a resident since 1974 and currently resides off of Fort Valley Road where she works as a real estate agent. Her home is located in a seasonal runoff zone that overflowed due to the flash flooding on Aug. 17. “What I saw that day was a 150-foot, 5-foot-deep river running through the center of my house,” Ignace said. “My washer and dryer were tossed upside down and my refrigerator was tossed out in the middle of the kitchen. It was like someone had taken my house and shaken it in a snowglobe.” As a result of this event, they were forced to strip down all the drywall and start rebuilding from scratch. Ignace’s home was not within the city flood zone even after the the zoning maps were updated. In turn, they were provided no flood insurance and will have to pay out of pocket for their remodel, Ignace said. However, Ignace and her family were not the only household to experience interior flooding. Lucinda Andreani, Coconino County Deputy Manager and Public Works Director said 53 homes within the city’s neighborhoods had water damage, totaling an estimated $1 million. “This year alone we have six major rainfall events, of which five of those created significant flooding within the downstream neighborhoods,” Andreani said. “Two of the rainfall events were 100-year

while the one on Aug. 17 was between a 200-300 year rainfall event that had the most disastrous effects downstream.” Andreani said the county and city have gathered a team of 50 engineers and experts for this situation. Together they came up with four key strategies: forest restoration, enhancing alluvial fans for sediment reduction, implementing channel stabilization and upsizing the infrastructure throughout Flagstaff. “After the museum fire, we have seen a tremendous amount of sediment, which leads to dramatic erosion channels down these steeper slopes,” Andreani said. “The volume of water for these areas is six-to-10 times greater than pre-fire due to the missing vegetation that can’t absorb the water.” The museum fire scar is located within the Dry Lake Hills area just above Flagstaff and is more prone to flooding, on account of the summer 2019 fire. Recently, the United States Forest Service (USFS) pledged $3.5 million to Museum Fire watershed restoration, which the county will use to reconstruct the damaged watersheds in the region. This will reduce the level of sediment that is anticipated in future floods.

“Just this summer alone, the city has already removed 10,000 tons of sediment because of these five major flood events,” Andreani said. Jeronimo Vasquez, Coconino County district two supervisor, voiced his support for the alliance between the USFS and the Flood Control District. “The Forest Service’s partnership is a game-changer on the path to improving the lives of the people within the Museum [Fire] flood area who have been devastated by the severe and repetitive flooding,” Vasquez said. Moreover, the Flood Control District will work closely with the USFS Flagstaff Ranger District to ensure safety and watershed restoration prior to the next monsoon season. With the work of the district and federal partners these forest restoration projects are being prioritized within critical watersheds across the county. Although there are many projects in place, time is of the essence. Andreani added that the timeframe for smaller projects will hopefully be done prior to the next monsoon season, whereas other implementations may take up to two to four years to complete. Despite the discussion of plans, this past season rained down devastation over the region. Ignace is still far from having her home complete again and is hoping to have some progress by March. The city is adapting to regional flooding and intends to end the destruction of Flagstaff homes in downstream neighborhoods.

Illustration By Diana Ortega

NOV. 18 - JAN. 12, 2022 | THE LUMBERJACK



ABOR demonstrates the value of a college degree Marissa Abreu


he Fiscal Year 2020 Alumni Wages Report from the Arizona Board of Regents (ABOR) showed the financial value of earning a college degree between all three public state universities: ASU, NAU and UArizona. ABOR Chair Lyndel Manson, who represents northern Arizona, voiced her support for the report in a press release. Manson noted there are varying benefits that accompany a college degree. “The benefits of a university degree are clear,” Manson said. “Individuals with a degree not only command higher salaries but also drive the prosperity of our state’s economy.” Manson further explained college graduates have better opportunities in the job market and contribute significantly to the state’s tax base. ABOR is committed to increasing the educational feat in Arizona, especially with the rapidly changing workforce. Arizona@Work is a statewide workforce development network that has recently released a roadmap for the next generation. The roadmap ensures it will innovate its workforce as globalization and technology change career paths. Manson explained it is important to have a more educated workforce. According to the fiscal report, an individual with a graduate degree would earn an estimated $69,902, and a bachelor’s degree would earn about $52,077. However, individuals who do not pursue a college education after high school would earn about $31,371. Even after including student debt into the estimated cost, graduates are more likely to be employed and have greater earning power.

Graduates are the driving force behind Arizona’s economy, Manson said. Another news release from ABOR reported undergraduates who live in Arizona brought about $14.9 billion in wages, and graduates earned an additional $7 billion. NAU graduate and Advanced Media Lab (AML) art director Graham Hagerty earns approximately $40,000 with a degree in graphic design, which took him about three and a half years to complete. ABOR’s report stated college degrees help graduates find potential work in their field. Hagerty voiced similar beliefs. “Getting a college education will obviously give you an upper hand in the workforce,” Hagerty said. “But how much do you have to pay for that, is the question.” A college degree is another cause of student debt, Hagerty said. While college graduates could have no problem finding a job related to their degree that pays them an average salary, Hagerty said he wondered about their student loans. College graduates are often paying student loans and making monthly rent payments. Different learning styles may also affect individuals’ decision to attend college, Hagerty said. As a student, he said he was more of a hands-on learner; people who learn similarly are still expected to sit in classrooms and listen to lectures. He explained colleges should have classes that teach students technical skills for a specific job, much like a trade school. NAU graduate Leslie Colunga completed her education in three years, with a bachelor’s degree in Spanish and a classical studies minor. Her yearly salary is approximately $25,000. Colunga agreed with Hagerty that going to college helped her get a job, rather than entering the workforce with a high school diploma alone. Colunga’s degree has helped her land a

teaching position at a high school. However, she said she believed her degree did not benefit her financially. Colunga said her teaching position was not enough to pay off her student loans or consitently cover her monthly expenses. Colunga agreed with Hagerty that her college education was expensive, and that factor has deterred people from continuing their education. It is unecessary to get a degree for certain careers, she said. “Some of these degrees that are inherent can just be completed at a trade school or an apprenticeship,” Colunga said. Another reason people do not attend universities is because only the upper class can afford it, Colunga said. The working class tends to view college as an unattainable dream, she said, and there is large generational gap between the upper class and the working class. Other factors include financial costs and student loans, she said. However, both Hagerty and Colunga acknowledged ABOR’s goal to increase educational attainment, adding it would be beneficial to many Arizonans. Having more college graduates would help the economy and boost people’s motivation to go to college. The fiscal report mentioned ABOR’s New Economy Initiative (NEI), which is designed to improve educational attainment in Arizona and promote the state’s competitiveness with decisive investments in areas of strength for all three public universities. According to the Arizona Daily Sun, NAU has already decided to invest in its health care programs. Forest ecology, forest health and land management are potential programs that may be included in NEI goals.

Illustration By Diana Ortega




NOV. 18 - JAN. 12, 2022 | THE LUMBERJACK



No graduation is too late Lisa Hall

Don't expect the world too soon


any graduates come out of college eager to begin the career of their dreams. They start by looking for the jobs and internships which they've been preparing for years to tackle. Although the idea of an immediate start is enticing, it is usually not the path most people take. Moving laterally and, eventually, vertically through companies is the name of the game and learning to understand the hustle and be patient is paramount to overall success. Generally, landing a job is not the problem people face. The National MICHAEL Center for Education Statistics reported MCCLURE in 2019 that over 87% of individuals OP-ED WRITER with a bachelor’s degree or higher were employed in the United States. This number is encouraging for potential college students when compared to the 74% of individuals with only a high school diploma or equivalent were employed full time. As students graduate, it is very important to begin gaining work experience in a company where their unique skills and traits will shine. However, in most cases, it will take a while for management to recognize individual talent. According to Data USA, a United States government information sharing platform, the median age of managementlevel employees is 45.4 years of age for men and roughly two years younger for women. Since the general graduation age for a bachelor’s degree is 23, there is a 20-22 year period of time before the level of employment reaches management. Without a strong sense of the big picture and the ability to push through the adversity of day-to-day life, the likelihood of reaching six-figure salaries and fancy titles quickly diminishes. Although these numbers appear daunting, they should serve as a token of motivation. In Harvard Business Review, there are numerous tips for getting a promotion, such as working later and taking on tasks and projects which clearly demonstrate an individual's ability to succeed. Everything in the American business world relates to personal success and just how much effort someone puts into their jobs. As more Lumberjacks move into what society has coined the real world, perceptions of reality can quickly change into bleak outlooks. The most important part after graduation is keeping morale and inspiration high. This way, when promotion opportunities arise, it will be that much simpler to reflect on the hard work and dedication it took to reach the success that people dream about.




bachelor's degree typically takes four years to complete. At least, that is the time frame given in every example of college people see growing up. Not much is ever mentioned about taking longer than four years to graduate, and when it is mentioned there’s nearly always a stigma associated with it. Many things can contribute to not graduating in four years: Course loads, work, health, finances along with many other factors. Only 41% of college students graduate in four years and 59% graduate in six years. For the sake of anyone considering a college degree, graduating in more than four years should be destigmatized. There’s no reason to feel embarrassment or shame for taking longer to graduate; no matter how long it takes, graduation is a commendable feat. A common reason for graduating late is poor advising. Freshmen are typically advised to take classes that fulfill graduation requirements prior to those pertaining directly to their major. Due to a lack of quality advising students end up taking the minimum amount of credits to be considered full-time, which is 12. It takes 120 credits to earn a bachelor's degree, but if a student is full-time and taking 12 credits per semester it is mathematically impossible for them to graduate in four years. Many students disregard this or simply don’t realize they are on a path toward late graduation. Those who take courses unrelated to their major in the early years see an increase in the time it takes to get their degree, especially if they take 12 credits per semester. A student needs 60 general education credits which are required to earn a bachelor’s degree. If one takes all of those classes at the beginning of college, as they are advised, it will be two and a half years before they start their major requirements. Remedial courses are the required core courses for students in subjects seen throughout elementary and high school. None of these courses are tailored to specific majors. Between 40 and 60% of students begin their degree with these courses. In turn, less than 10% of students who do this graduate on time. The way students are advised does not support a four-year graduation timeline. Why would universities want to encourage and set students up to graduate in four years when they get more money if they graduate in six? It’s all about the money. People may panic about costs — taking longer to graduate means more debt. That is a huge downfall, but at the same time, how much of it can actually be controlled? The system is set up to empty pockets. The upside to taking longer than four years to graduate is that there’s more time to learn about life. College provides an opportunity to find what truly drives you, and sometimes it takes students longer to make that discovery. Not only is college a place to make memories and friendships, it is also a starting point for professional connections. Graduates who network with peers while in college may find it easier to get

Illustration By jessie Siemens involved in their career field. A survey conducted by the American Association of University Professors shows 43% of full-time students and 81% of part-time students work outside of school. Of this, 63% of full-time and 88% of part-time students worked more than 20 hours per week. The expectation is students will spend two hours doing classwork, outside of class, per one hour of class. If a student is taking 12 credits, that is 24 hours of studying or homework per week at a minimum. Depending on workload, some may not be able to take more than 12 credits. However, students need at least 12 to be considered full-time students and qualify for financial aid. Students who balance full-time work and school typically struggle to pass classes and keep a good GPA. Students often don’t have a choice; if they’re working while attending classes, they surely don’t want to be. Everyone has bills, and student loans only cover so much — typically just tuition. Loans, financial aid and personal income can heavily contribute to graduation time. If a student can't afford full-time tuition, they end up pushing their graduation back by taking fewer classes at a time. Those who must remain part-time students, due to work needs, also inevitably postpone graduation. There are a vast number of circumstances that contribute to late graduation. People are often too quick to assume someone is lazy or not putting in the effort. A six-year graduation time is considered normal at universities — this is what graduation rates are measured on. In advertising for universities, students are shown graduation rates on a four-year and six-year scale. Universities advertise six-year graduation rates for studentathletes, since they typically have five years of eligibility to play. This rate was extended to include all students in 1989, changing graduation measurements from four years to six years. Furthermore, this protects universities with lower graduation rates to ensure funding and attendance. Since universities actively advertise graduating in six years, it is unfortunate so many students feel negatively about taking more than four. Regardless of the money, college is difficult. Not everyone attends, and those who do must stay committed to getting the degree they’ve been working so hard for, despite their circumstances. Graduating in itself is a feat, no matter the timeframe.


Eradicate elitism in education Josh Ostby


t is no secret that dirty money flows through the bloodlines of prestigious universities. In fact, there have been a handful of scandals throughout the years that have come to light and exemplified that statement. Criticisms of the source of funding for historic Oxford halls emerged recently. This is because in the 1960s, Sir Oswald Mosley, British Union of Fascists founder and parliamentarian, donated upward of £15 million, which equates to about $20.2 million, to Oxford universities. His son, Max, was accepted and attended the school shortly after. The British Union of Fascists was a known anti-semitic political organization at the time. Nonetheless, that didn’t stop Oxford from accepting Mosley’s money. The 2019 “college admissions scandal” at universities across the nation garnered even more media attention. This transpired when nearly 50 people — including celebrities and university athletic coaches — were federally prosecuted for paying or accepting bribes to help students gain admission to prestigious institutions. Yale was one of the universities involved in the scandal, nicknamed “Operation Varsity Blues.” While many would already label an Ivy League scholar as pretentious, these scandals put the legitimacy of institutions into further question. The facade of an “elite” institution standing as a pillar of educational integrity is being stripped away, exposing many as corrupt and immoral. In this day and age, the prospect of going to college after high school has turned into a very common one. A 2021 report from Education Data Initiative shows there are about 17.5 million undergraduates enrolled in college across the country. With over 3,000 degree-awarding institutions in the United States alone, an outside observer might think that those numbers indicate an egalitarian society, whereupon the topic of higher education is based on accessibility and outreach to the public. But, that’s not the case at all. It is widely known at this point that, in reality, not all colleges are created equal. Modern universities market their campuses as being the best experience for a promising scholar –– spending an average of $1,037,651 to do so. However, there is quite a discrepancy

when you contrast what some schools charge their students over others to make that money back. Coconino Community College charges their students an average yearly tuition of $2,930 whereas Ivy League schools, like Harvard, charges far more, upward of $51,904. The cost of tuition is only getting higher, discouraging most students from ever attending their dream school, whether in a bachelor's or master’s program. One could only hope to be the daughter of a celebrity or the son of an antisemitic politician. However, students who are making the pivotal decision of what school to attend might feel pressure to try for one of those schools anyway. This ambition is fueled by the assumption that Ivy Leagues are the best of the best and necessary for success. Without a fullride scholarship, attending those universities could lead them to crippling debt and financial unsteadiness. I don’t believe aspiring students who lack connections or financial support put themselves in this position as a form of monetary masochism. In actuality, these schools insinuate their hefty tuition pays not only for an education but for the networking that can be achieved through attending an Ivy League school. T h i s method seems to work, though. Ta k e , f o r

instance, a recent study that charted where a majority of The New York Times and The Washington Post writers are from. Over half are from high-brow postsecondary institutions such as Columbia, Cornell and Yale. Or, consider the fact that most banking firms hire from Ivy League schools, as well. Some might try to argue this is because those schools are genuinely superior to others. Maybe these schools build up a student’s skillset and are able to unlock their full potential, leading them to be more capable in the workforce. The air of pretentiousness among graduates of these schools definitely shows Ivy League graduates think their school is better — if not for the networking factor, then for a supposed superior curriculum. However, comparing that notion against studies from the American Council of Trustees and Alumni (ACTA), it is clear Ivy League schools are not providing the best education money — or connections — ­ can buy. The college ranking system from ACTA, “What Will They Learn?” offers a letter grade to schools based on how many key courses their undergraduates must study. Harvard University received a "D" for only needing two of the seven "core courses", whereas the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma received an "A," with an instate tuition of $8,040 ve r s u s

Harvard's $51,904. It proves success is based more on who you know than what you know. So, if paying for a brand-name education is not going to provide the most quality education, then why does the public hold these institutions in such a high regard? Why are people impressed with a Yale graduate, but sneer at NAU, saying it stands for “Not A University?” It’s nothing short of elitism infiltrating public opinion. Furthermore, if every industry is filled with the same subset of graduates, they will have to face the issue of a hive-mind mentality. In the journalism industry, there can be a major disconnect between the writer and the general public. This was apparent during coverage of the 2016 presidential election when most top-rated news sites predicted Hillary Clinton to be the favorite over former President Donald Trump. Obviously, they were far from being on point. The echochamber of like-minded individuals in the workplace was admitted by The New York Times staff as being the reason for being so wrong in that circumstance. Filling job positions with alumni from “elite” schools, where scandals are a regular occurrence and education isn’t even on par with more reasonably priced institutions, is not only unfair, but also creates a dishonest reflection of our real world. Still, those coming from public universities might feel as though they do not stack up to the competition because of how ingrained this elitist mindset is. The social pressure to attend a prestigious school is crushing when considering the many assets universities like NAU have to offer. One doesn’t only get to experience the beauty of the San Francisco Peaks and the agreeable daytime weather. They also get to behold the diverse student body — each smart, interesting and capable, with dreams and aspirations and each in pursuit of becoming a part of something greater than themselves. The choice to further one’s education, at any time, anywhere, in any way possible, is commendable. Your path, your process, your graduation — each is valid. Don’t let academic prestige and pretentious perceptions weigh you down.

Illustration By Christian Ayala

NOV. 18 - JAN. 12, 2022 | THE LUMBERJACK



The real world through the eyes of William Combs III


or many college students, life after graduation seems like a time bomb of realworld responsibilities that is ticking faster and faster as each semester passes. However, for those that have made it out the other side, the industry is not as daunting as they thought, thanks to their education and experiences at NAU. Brandon Rivera graduated from NAU in 2014 with a degree in political science and women’s and gender studies, with a minor in ethnic studies. He is now working as an alumni board operations specialist at University of California-San Diego. Rivera was originally employed at another university upon graduation, but found he was unsatisfied with his work and decided to make a change. He promised himself that he would do something meaningful in fundraising or go to law school, and ended up at UC San Diego doing just that. “I challenge the notion that a certain

degree prepares you for a certain job, especially in [social and behavioral sciences],” Rivera said. “I’m admittedly not in politics, but I think my background in political science has prepared me for my fundraising job I have now. “I think what NAU does better than other Arizona schools is that they are not just focused on how to get your first job, but they are focused on when you are in your career, arming students with the thinking capacity to make them a successful manager,” Rivera said. Rivera stressed the importance of critical thinking skills and the ability to adapt to the changing job climate. He also said he is working in a field predominantly led by women and it is helpful to understand his colleagues on a deeper level, as well as use his education to make connections. Not only does a degree give college graduates a leg up in the workforce, but being involved in a multitude of different organizations, clubs and internships is crucial to an individual’s success, Rivera said. Based on his newfound experience in

higher education, Rivera criticized the university structure, noting that although the opportunities for these extracurricular activities are available, students are still underprepared. However, he listed NAU as an exception to this crack in the system. “I think most universities do a pretty mediocre job of actually letting students know what their career options are,” Rivera said. “That is just the way universities are set up; tenured professors are not obligated to work in the fields that they teach, they are academics. They have very little experience in the actual job market that students will be in and that is a bit of a problem with higher education.” Rivera explained students do not necessarily go to college to learn how to do one specific job. However, NAU stands out because it is the type of school which allows for a change in career later in life. The education is diverse enough that many students are able to maintain a multitude

of skills that can be applied elsewhere. Cristiana Ramos graduated from NAU in 2020 with a degree in broadcast journalism, a minor in civic engagement as well as a minor in creative media and film with an emphasis in documentary studies. Ramos is now a forecaster and multi-skilled journalist working at 12 News in Beaumont, Texas. She said from a young age she knew she wanted to be a reporter in order to represent her culture and community — who she felt was underrepresented in the media. This passion for representation and community outreach fueled her college years and helped her land her dream job as the first Latina forecaster at her station. Ramos, another NAZ Today alumna, said the experiences she had at NAU were very impactful and gave her an advantage in the media industry. Ramos said she felt prepared going into the job force because of NAU’s smaller school experience and more hands-on education. She said the one-on-one time she got with professors and instructors made her feel

“I really feel like being around a diverse group of people prepared me for the real world as well. However, you are scared when you enter the real world because you don’t know exactly what to expect, but the education I received at NAU did really help prepare me.” – NAU Graduate and director of communications at dignity health, Carmelle Malkovich

Left: Carmelle Malkovich sitting on the right next to NAU President José Luis Cruz Rivera during a recent alumni board meeting. Middle: Cristiana Ramos reporting for 12 News in Beaumont, Texas. Right: P




School of Communication alumni like they cared about her education. Ramos said her co-workers went to bigname schools, but she knew more than them and was more versatile and skilled. However, Ramos added, the practical and social aspects of such a competitive field was something that she was not prepared for, especially in a market dominated by white co-workers. “I don’t think college and my experience prepared me for being a Latina in the industry, especially here in Southeast Texas,” Ramos said. “I received a lot of racial slurs and discrimination against me. It got better once people started knowing who I was, what I represented and offered to this community — they started really liking me. But it was really hard to balance all of that coming out of college where I did not experience these things at all.” Despite the adversity she faced in the early stages of her career, Ramos said she is more than happy in her dream job and wakes up every morning excited to serve her community. As for students who don’t know exactly what they want

to do post-graduation, Ramos said the most important thing is to find something they are passionate about and run with it. “If college is not right for you, and you want to take a break and come back to it, I say do it,” Ramos said. “All I would say is to follow your heart, don’t follow what everyone else is saying. Really sit down with yourself and ask yourself, ‘What do I want?’ so that you are not wasting your time and find what you’re really passionate about. “At the end of the day we are getting that degree to sell our time to working for the rest of our lives, so why not work in a field that you are extremely passionate about and wake up and love doing every single day,” Ramos said. Carmelle Malkovich graduated from NAU in 2003 with a double major in public relations and advertising. Malkovich is now the

director of communications at Dignity Health in Phoenix, and the NAU Alumni Association Board president. She credited her internships in college to her success after her degree and her ability to narrow down her career. Upon entering college, Malkovich said she was undeclared, which gave her time to figure out what career path she wanted to embark on. She echoed the sentiments of Rivera, noting that NAU has a lot to offer when it comes to the skills that her educators instilled in her to make her not only a well-rounded student, but a wellrounded worker as well. Malkovich said the real-world skills she learned gave her an advantage, but it was more than her education that got her to where she is today. Not only did her internships in the health care industry help her become marketable in the workforce, but her involvement on campus did as well. “The thing that really prepared me for the workforce was the wealth of clubs and organizations NAU has to offer,” Malkovich

said. “The sky’s the limit when it comes to that and I was very involved on campus. I really feel like being around a diverse group of people prepared me for the real world as well. However, you are scared when you enter the real world because you don’t know exactly what to expect, but the education I received at NAU did really help prepare me.” Malkovich said she encourages students to take up a mentor to help guide them to their goals, as well as get involved in campus activities they are passionate about. Whether that be a professor, a trusted individual, or an alumni, she said it is important to be proactive about the goals students are setting for themselves now so that they can have the best approach possible. The real world may feel beyond reach when sitting in a required math course or a freshman seminar, but the college experience can shape a person. Not everyone has a success story out of college, but one thing to remember is a major is not meant to box people in.

“All I would say is to follow your heart, don’t follow what everyone else is saying. Really sit down with yourself and ask yourself, ‘what do I want’ so that you are not wasting your time and find what you’re really passionate about.' – NAU Graduate and 12News forecaster Cristiana Ramos

Picture of Brandon Rivera who now acts as the Alumni Board Operations Specialist at UC San Diego. Photos courtesy of subjects

NOV. 18 - JAN 12, 2022 | THE LUMBERJACK



Tim Bentley’s 34-year journey to his broad Camille Sipple


enior Tim Bentley will be graduating with the NAU fall class of 2021 after beginning his college career and degree in broadcast journalism in 1987. Bentley, a Tucson native, spent two years at Glendale Community College, before transferring to NAU in 1987. He was orginally a pre-med major until he found his true calling: journalism. Bentley explained his first dip into the world of journalism was within the broadcasting and television-based facet of the field. He auditioned for sports anchor at NAU’s university television station and landed the position. From there, Bentley began writing for the sports section of The Lumberjack as well as broadcasting game play-by-plays and newscasts for the university radio station — then called KRCK, he said. Radio immediately drew Bentley in, he explained. While working at KRCK, on campus, Bentley also got a job at the local NPR station affiliate, KNAU. “I really liked radio,” Bentley said. “There was something about getting people engaged and excited through writing and words. I really liked telling stories and I perfected that at KNAU. I had a few stories that actually aired nationally and it was a really great practice of writing all the time — I had to write every day for every newscast.”

Tim Bentley working as a DJ, 1989. Photo courtesy of Tim Bentley


A former NBC affiliated television station in Flagstaff, KNAZ, also ended up hiring Bentley. He said they took him on as a news producer and reporter during his time in northern Arizona. In 1991, Bentley was told by someone within NAU administration that only 38 of his original 64 credits from Glendale had transferred over. After being in college for several years at that point, he decided to move on from the university in the fall of 1992. For the following 15 to 17 years, Bentley said he maintained the assumption that he was 17 credits short of earning his degree. While moving on with his life, Bentley became successful across several different jobs within television broadcasting and marketing but has most recently landed at Tucson Medical Center as the center’s marketing director, he said. However, when the year 2008 rolled around, Bentley said he was still thinking about those missing 17 credits and, in turn, his missing degree. So, he sent an email to NAU. “I was told that I was still short and would have to take seven classes to graduate,” Bentley said. “I thought, ‘Man, that’s going to be a lot of money.’ I was already working and married. And then I got sick. I got diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, stage four. So I spent the next four years of my life fighting cancer and college graduation took a backseat.” A couple of years after reaching remission, Bentley decided on a whim to pull up his community college transcripts. He said he was shocked to find 58 transferable credits listed — instead of 38. After officially transferring his credits to NAU, Bentley said he was told that he still needed to take three classes. Shortly thereafter, the COVID-19 pandemic halted the world, including Bentley’s return to college. Battling cancer provided Bentley with a new perspective of how one should live their life, he said. Bentley explained that he, in that moment, promised himself that he would start doing things that simply made his heart and brain happy — one such thing was his bachelor’s degree, he said. Eventually, Bentley got in touch with NAU’s academic advising team, who was able to match up his credit hours until they realized he was only one class short of graduating and called him with the good news. “You can’t even imagine the disbelief and excitement and relief of knowing, I’m one class away — three credits away from graduating,” Bentley said. “So, I’m going to wind up with a degree in broadcast journalism with a history minor, I’ll be in the NAU class of fall 2021 and I am 55 years old.” Jessica Baglione, an academic advisor for the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, said Bentley seemed overjoyed at being able to finish his degree. Baglione explained that he met the process with an open mind, grateful for the opportunity. While Bentley has already achieved sizable success within his chosen field, Baglione said, finishing his degree was a new kind of achievement. “Tim has been involved in different professional areas through the years and has had a very successful career,” Baglione said. “Completing his degree was a personal endeavor and it is a real joy to be able to support him in this process.”


A headshot of Tim Bentley when he innitially was attending NAU, 1987. Photo courtesy of Tim Bentley

Bentley said his perspective is that it is never too late to finish a degree or embark on a new one. As someone who is completing a degree at an older age, he explained that despite his career accomplishments over the years, there was always a voice in the back of his head reminding him of his unfinished college endeavors. In that sense, Bentley said finishing his college education is something he is accomplishing for himself and himself, alone. By finally earning his degree, he silences that voice in the back of his head which constantly reminded him of his shortcomings, Bentley said. Furthermore, Bentley said he fully encourages anyone who is facing a similar situation to attempt to finish their degree if they have the ability to. “It’s an accomplishment that nobody can take away from you,” Bentley said. “Once you’ve done that — graduating high school, graduating college, some kind of certification that you earn — that’s forever something you’ve accomplished and something you take forward with you. I think ultimately that’s what a college degree means for me. I finished something that I intended to do.” Looking back, Bentley said his original time at NAU truly shaped his path in life because it helped him realize how much he enjoyed telling stories, especially journalistically. Being part of the on-campus media — the student-run radio, The Lumberjack and the university broadcast network — only furthered his passion for journalism and his overall skills within the field, he said. “Sometimes I think, ‘Were we just playing newspaper’ or just having fun being DJs,” Bentley said. “You can go and take a journalism class, write a story for the class, get a grade and that’s great. But practical, real-world experience? That’s valuable.”


dcast journalism degree To current college students, Bentley said he stresses the fact that everyone only has one chance at life — one chance to pursue everything they are passionate about, or even remotely interested in. He said he also cautions today’s youth about simply going through the motions of life and eventually waking up at 40 years old, realizing everything they did not do. “Nobody high fives you at the end and says good job for not doing all the things you wanted to do,” Bentley said. “Nobody gives extra credit for not trying something. Nobody says, ‘Good job for not doing that,’ or ‘Good job for not pursuing that dream.’” Bentley said he recommends that students working within NAU’s on-campus media programs take advantage of all the opportunities it will offer them. There are a multitude of benefits that go along with being able to hone one’s practical, journalistic skills, Bentley explained. The communication skills that journalism degrees afford students will be conducive to countless jobs in the long run, he said. “The ability to craft and tell stories is timeless,” Bentley said. “The mediums may

A head shot of tim taken recently, 2020. Photo courtesy of Tim Bentley

Where my skin is scarred it was once soft and pink, new and bright compared to the rest of me. A fresh concrete kiss on my knee, surrounded by little love nibbles from crashing in the street. It was an addictive intimacy buried in my fresh, innocent skin, an intolerable itch to have the sidewalk open it back up again. But it’s been ages since cinder felt my body or tore through my clothes and skin, hungry for blood or bone. Tim Bentley in the KJACK studio, 2021. Photo courtesy of Tim Bentley

change and the way that you deliver those stories may change, but telling them and crafting them will never change.” Baglione said she and the rest of the NAU advising team are thrilled for Bentley’s progress and upcoming graduation. She also encourages anyone else in similar predicaments or anyone who is thinking about continuing their education in a post-traditional sense to reach out to NAU advising. “It’s never too late and university advising will be happy to work with you to figure out what it will take for you to reach degree completion,” Baglione said. For Bentley, a college degree seemed unattainable for many years. Now, after an already impressive career history, a battle with cancer and a 34-year gap, he is graduating with the NAU fall class of 2021. He can now add a broadcast journalism degree with a minor in history onto the list of accomplishments he has worked toward for much of his life.


What was once fresh or scabbed is but a ghost on my skin, reminiscent of the love affair fueled by plummets and passion. A ghost, who in glorious fashion emblematizes a once elusive strength and parades pain like power. Darling, devour scabs then make a spectacle of your scars because they are you and your love stories your failures and glories. They make progress something to believe in. They are where you wear your heart on your skin.

NOV. 18 - JAN 12, 2022 | THE LUMBERJACK



Professors have the power to change lives Emmy Bining


professor can motivate a student, as well as teach them lessons they will always remember — it could be as simple as professors teaching meaningful lessons or having a massive influence on students’ personal lives. Kaitlyn Schroeder is an NAU graduate with a degree in creative media and film. Her supervisor for NAZ Today, Todd Birch came to mind when she thought about professors that inspired her. Birch was her mentor and professor for the four years she was at NAU. Todd Birch is an instructor for the journalism department in the School of Communication. He is also the lab manager of the Media Innovation Center (MIC) and has been teaching for six years at NAU. He teaches NAZ Today production and television studio production. When Schroeder was a freshman, she knew she wanted to be in the broadcast media field but didn’t know what route to take or how to get into it. She said she took a class with NAZ Today and felt it helped. When Schroeder went to her first NAZ Today meeting, she said Birch was incredibly welcoming and it seemed like a prelude for how he would impact her life for the next four years. She explained that in the class, she started in little roles, but Birch was impressed with her dedication and helped her train for the director position. Schroeder said she felt as if he was a great balance of a friend and professor. This relationship isn’t easily established by anyone, she said. “I owe the confidence I have, working in my field to him, he saw potential in me when I didn’t see it in myself and I’ll be forever grateful for it because it led me to who I am today,” Schroeder said. “He’s just a great person and a great asset to the university and I’ll be forever grateful for his role in my college career”. After Schroeder graduated, she began working for ABC15 Arizona. She is training with them to hopefully be promoted to director one day. Schroeder said the confidence Birch instilled in her plays a great role in her everyday life at her job. Others have been inspired by Birch while earning their degree. Trinidad Jimenez graduated from NAU last November. In September of this year, he landed a job in production utility for the Arizona Cardinals. He feels Birch had the largest impact on him. He discovered his


interest in television early on and found Birch was incredibly supportive. “He was a caring professor, he was always encouraging us to learn new techniques whenever we wanted to, he was very open to letting people try new things,” Jimenez said. “He was very fun in NAZ Today, he’s a real sport. He would teach by example, and was always happy to explain everything I was curious about.” Birch said he finds his teaching style to be hands-on, since he believes students learn best from actually doing work themselves. “If [graduates] come away with inspiration to follow their passions, no matter if it directly relates to what I have taught them, I am glad to have played even a small part in that,” Birch said, “I often tell my students to be open to possibilities, that a willingness to learn new skills and not get focused on a linear career path can lead to exciting opportunities.” Samantha Victor graduated NAU with a degree in visual communications and a minor in photography. NAU visual communications lecturer Tim Schwartz made the largest impact on her out of all her professors, she said. Schwartz shared a lot about his own career as a designer, Victor explained, which directly improved his students’ skills. “The end of my last semester is when quarantine started, and Tim even took initiative to teach us how to become freelancers since there would be more people working from home,” Victor said. “He definitely made my college experience more enjoyable because it was obvious that he was passionate about being a designer and a professor. He always had a good attitude and always had helpful feedback during critiques.” Victor was passionate about many different creative aspects, and she said Schwartz made her feel as if she could realistically do all of them if she really wanted to. Victor said he would often explain to the class how he has worked in various different design fields and mention how it is OK to not stay in the same field the whole year. Schwartz recently left NAU this summer after teaching within the visual communication department for four years. He said he tried to create a place where students were free to explore both creatively and intellectually. One of Victor’s personal takeaways, she said, was his lesson about them being designers and not limited to only graphic design. “It does feel good to know that I have had an impact on students and just to quickly reverse it, students have made long-lasting impacts on


me and inspire me as well,” Schwartz said. “It is a two-way street.” Schwartz said he feels as if he has learned as much from students as they have from him, and he is impressed with their creativity and willingness to push concepts and their energy. His wish for students, he explained, is to thrive as designers and, even more importantly, as humans. Other students have taken what they have learned from mentors and applied it to their own businesses. Walker Mooneyham graduated from NAU in 2019 and currently owns a plant nursery called Moon Walker Gardens. He was most inspired by his biological sciences professor Stephen Shuster. Shuster is the professor and curator of the Marine Invertebrate Museum in the department of biological sciences. He came to NAU in 1990 and has been teaching for 31 years. Mooneyham said Shuster stood out because instead of just relaying information and knowledge to the class, he wanted to ignite a passion in his students for biology. Shuster’s authenticity and positive demeanor showed he cared about teaching his students how amazing animals and nature can be, he said. Mooneyham said he was always enthusiastic and excited for Shuster’s class. “I graduated a year later after taking his class and during the ceremony he approached me and congratulated me by name,” Mooneyham said. “Despite having numerous students he makes the effort to know the names of all of them, which most professors don’t take the time to do. This showed me how much he cared about his role in teaching and inspiring the next generation of adults.” Hearing he has inspired a student like Mooneyham is wonderful and the finest of all rewards, Shuster said. “All of us who teach live with the sense that we have failed to inspire anyone,” Shuster said. “We ask for questions and hear silence. We try to stimulate discussions and are met with statements that reveal how unprepared students are for class. But also, we all know the feeling we get when a light goes on in a student’s eyes. We all know the look of excitement students get when they put the nuances together and begin creative thought. When you do see it, you know these students are on their way.” Shuster has been teaching for 44 years and said the students are the reason he’s been doing

it. He knows that he has had a part in changing how students see the world and there is nothing like it. Professors have the capability to inspire students so much that it has a long-lasting effect on them. Similarly, professors can be inspired by hard-working students with passion, drive and ambition. Having a deeper relationship than

“we all know the feeling we get when a light goes on in a student’s eyes. We all know the look of excitement students get when they put the nuances together and begin creative thought. When you do see it, you know these students are on their way.” – Stephen Shuster, Biological Sciences Professor

simply just teaching the content is believing in students, having faith in them and being a good mentor. Making an effort in classes while being a student can be challenging, but giving it your all can go a long way.


Left: Professor Pam Stetina asking a question about the treatment process during her guest lecture, Nov. 16. Right: Garrett Mitchell laughing with a student, Nov, 16. Isabella Couture | The Lumberjack

NOV. 18 - JAN 12, 2022 | THE LUMBERJACK



‘Red (Taylor’s Version)’ is happy, free, confused and all grown up


n case you didn’t hear, Taylor Swift released a new album. New might not be the word you would use to describe a re-recording of an album that’s nearly a decade old, but in many ways, “Red (Taylor’s Version)” is an entirely different beast. At the time of its original release, “Red” received critical acclaim and heightened Swift’s artistic credibility. Upon witnessing her climb to the top of the music industry — after five albums and a multitude of genres —­­­the world gets EMILY a glimpse of her mastery at an incredibly vulnerable REHLING point in her life. The crown jewel of the album is, of course, the WRITER 10-minute version of “All Too Well.” Originally a searing, punch-in-the-gut breakup song, it became a fan favorite and a cathartic moment for Swift and her audience at her concerts. The 10-minute version is a different song altogether — not better or worse, but a new song — and it’s spectacular. Swift’s composition of the lyrics as they were originally written, prior to it being cut down to “All Too Well” as we know it, is a fully fleshed-out story. Fittingly, a 15-minute short film starring actors Sadie Sink and Dylan O’Brien was released the day following the album. The short film parallels Swift’s own experiences and subsequent growth. Sink’s character experiences a painful heartbreak at a young age, pours her heart into a creative outlet and years later finds peace in sharing it with an audience. In addition to “All Too Well (10 Minute Version),” nine songs that were not originally included on “Red” were released on “Red (Taylor’s Version).” Out of these nine, two of the tracks featuring other artists are the standouts, as well as a heartbreaking track titled “Forever Winter.” Swift and Phoebe Bridgers somehow beautifully encapsulate the fear of becoming obsolete in a melancholy lullaby called “Nothing New” — what may become Swift’s greatest and most vulnerable duet. In “I Bet You Think About Me,” featuring Chris Stapleton, we see Swift in all her vengeful glory, somewhere between 2010’s “Mean” and 2020’s “Betty” in a classic country takedown of the song’s subject. “Forever Winter” features haunting, soaring vocals from Swift with subtle horns and guitar slides that give the song an eerily hopeful effect. The desperation of the lyrics makes “Forever Winter” even more poignant. Only two tracks missed the mark. “Message in a Bottle” teases Swift’s future synth pop sound on “1989,” but the subject matter isn’t quite mature enough for the 2014 album, nor is the sound fitting with anything else on “Red.” “The Very First Night” felt a little juvenile for the subdued album, save for a fantastic pre-chorus. The two tracks are enjoyable, but it makes sense that there was not a place for them on the original record. “Red (Taylor’s Version)” is a treasure. Its release somehow made a bigger statement than its predecessor, “Fearless (Taylor’s Version).” Swift returned to the brilliant album she wrote as a heartbroken 21-year-old and gave it new life as the renowned artist we know her as today.



Nov 8-14: Spears’ conservatorship ends, new ‘Squid Game’ season Katelyn Rodriguez Top five stories of the week: 1. People’s sexiest man alive was announced on “The Stephen Colbert Show,” Nov. 9. This year’s winner was actor Paul Rudd. 2. Netflix’s “Squid Game” is officially getting a second season. The show’s director Hwang Dong-hyuk confirmed the news to the Associated Press. 3. Media personality Paris Hilton got married to author Carter Reum, Nov. 11. Hilton announced the news on her Instagram account with a series of posts. 4. Singer Taylor Swift revealed on social media Nov. 14 that she will be releasing the music video for “I Bet You Think About Me” on Nov. 15. The video was directed by actor Blake Lively and comes after the release of Swift’s “Red (Taylor’s Version).” 5. Singer Britney Spears has been released from her conservatorship after 13 years. A Los Angeles based judge ruled that the conservatorship was “no longer required,” according to The New York Times. Top 15 charting songs: 1. “Easy On Me” by Adele 2. “Stay” by The Kid LAROI and Justin Bieber 3. “INDUSTRY BABY” by Lil Nas X and Jack Harlow 4. “Bad Habits” by Ed Sheeran 5. “Fancy Like” by Walker Hayes 6. “Shivers” by Ed Sheeran 7. “Way 2 Sexy” by Drake featuring Future and Young Thug 8. “Need To Know” by Doja Cat 9. “good 4 u” by Olivia Rodrigo 10. “Heat Waves” by Glass Animals 11. “Levitating” by Dua Lipa 12. “Essence” by Wiz Kid featuring Justin Bieber and Tems 13. “Beggin’” by Måneskin 14. “Cold Heart (PNAU Remix)” by Elton John and Dua Lipa 15. “Kiss Me More” by Doja Cat featuring SZA Chart data via Billboard’s The Hot 100 Chart.

Recent releases: “Yellowstone” season four premier (Paramount) “Belfast” (in theaters) “9-1-1: Lone Star” season three trailer “Red (Taylor’s Version)” by Taylor Swift (album) “Between Us” by Little Mix (album)

“An Evening With Silk Sonic” by Bruno Mars and Anderson Paak (album) “The Only Heartbreaker” by Mitski (single) “La Fama” by ROSALÍA and The Weeknd (single) “All Too Well” short film by Taylor Swift (YouTube) “Passing” (Netflix) Award show update: CMA Awards Entertainer of the year: Luke Combs Female vocalist of the year: Carly Pearce Male vocalist of the year: Chris Stapleton Vocal group of the year: Old Dominion New artist of the year: Jimmie Allen

Album of the year: “Starting Over” by Chris Stapleton A complete list of CMA Awards winners can be found on its website.


MIC alumni look back on the skills they learned Aidan Schonbrun


any students have come and gone from the Media Innovation Center (MIC)­— which rests within the School of Communication. This area is home to KJACK Radio, The Lumberjack and NAZ Today — each one run by NAU students — and has consistently seen students join during their freshman year until they graduate into professional journalistic jobs. The MIC allows students to learn or enhance important journalistic skills such as writing, reporting, following deadlines and conducting interviews as well as learning how to host a live radio show. Shannon Degrange, a NAU class of 2020 graduate, worked with The Lumberjack as a social media intern. As an intern, she had to represent The Lumberjack in a positive and professional way while giving fair coverage to the stories written. During her time at the campus publication, Degrange was also able to move up to the editorial board where she worked with reporters and other editors in choosing the best stories with different angles. As an editor during

NAU alumna Shannon Degrange now works at a vineyard in California after working in NAU’s MIC. Photo courtesy of Shannon Degrange.

“Sometimes we need to just slow down, feel the gravity of the situation and recognize the honor of being able to tell someone else’s story,” – NAU Alumna Bailey Wright the pandemic, Degrange said they continued to focus on reporting the news in a fair and accurate manner. “I felt that this was an interesting time for all of us, and a unique experience for all in journalism, in terms of trying to keep up and report on a new disease spreading,” Degrange said. “It taught me how to work in a fast-paced environment during chaotic times, and it taught me how much hard work really goes into journalism.” As a former reporter and editor, Degrange said she learned how to work through the struggles of remote reporting, despite the chaos and uncertainty at the beginning of the pandemic. Degrange currently works at Testarossa Winery in California. She said she hopes to continue her career by moving to Washington to work in the wine education department where she received a Level 3 Award from Wine Spirit Education. Another former MIC student, Bess Valdez, who graduated in 2020, explained The Lumberjack inspired her to find her passions and improve her own work. During her time at the paper, Valdez explained she was continuously pushed to do better. “I believe the MIC is the only reason I am doing what I love,” Valdez said. Valdez also said all the real world experience she received was from The Lumberjack, NAZ Today and other MIC programs. Valdez said she doesn’t think she would have been anywhere as prepared for her future without these programs. Currently, Valdez works as a freelance sports photographer and works with live video production. Valdez explained the difference between the college level and professional level is that everything learned in school will not always be used. Valdez said learning has stopped and the skills that have been reinforced have to be used practically. Valdez continued, no one lends a hand to help like they do when as a student. “I would have things drilled into my head and I go to a professional job and they tell me they do not even use that technique,” Valdez said.

Bailey Wright, another 2020 graduate, worked with The Lumberjack from her sophomore year until her graduation. She worked as a reporter and worked her way up to becoming editor-in-chief of The Lumberjack. Wright explained, at the paper, she and her fellow staffers got to work on interesting stories and be part of NAU’s history. The most important part of being a journalist, Wright said, is to remember to be human. While she and her colleagues were covering deaths and tragedies to produce new articles, the stories were about other people, not themselves, Wright explained. “Sometimes we need to just slow down, feel the gravity of the situation and recognize the honor of being able to tell someone else’s story,” Wright said. She stressed this type of understanding is important to remember at all times within the field of journalism. When she worked in the MIC, Wright said she also gained skills in flexibility, as well as writing. Wright currently works as a digital marketing and operations director at a financial firm. She explained that the biggest difference between working in the MIC and her current job is the environment. In the MIC, Wright was working in a room of individuals that were passionate and determined to work. She explained the fire brought from the MIC team has not yet been replicated in her post-college experiences. Lance Hartzler, a former staff member at The Lumberjack and KJACK, started off as an exercise science major before switching to journalism. Hartzler worked as a sports editor and eventually became managing editor at The Lumberjack. During his time as a reporter, Hartzler said the time he spent writing stories was more about finding his style and the flow of the story. Hartzler also explained some of the most important elements of being a journalist is collaboration in order to tell the best stories and being creative with ideas. “I feel it was most important to challenge yourself,” Hartzler said. “Think outside the box

NAU alumna Bailey Wright now works as a freelance photographer after working for The Lumberjack. Photo courtesy of Jess Legaspi.

and, while you want to emulate good writing, don’t copy or try to be the next [version of your favorite writer.]” During his time as a KJACK staff member, Hartzler said he learned how to host radio shows and improve his skills. Hartzler also said he believes everyone, regardless of medium, whether it be radio or television, should work with The Lumberjack, because it teaches important writing skills. A 2018 graduate, Hartzler now works as a sports reporter at 406 MT Sports in Montana. Hartzler explains that his time in the MIC prepared him for the real world with hands-on experience he could not get in the classroom. The biggest difference he said he found working in college, and professionally, was time. Due to working with a smaller staff, Hartzler said he must quickly move between stories. The MIC’s fast-paced workflow helps students improve their skills and discover their passions. Many MIC graduates find careers that push their journalistic skills to the test as well as help them improve upon those skills long after they have graduated.

NOV. 18 2021 – JAN. 12, 2022 | THE LUMBERJACK



True Blue Ambassadors stop near University Union to tell a tour group about the upcoming events available during a Discover NAU event, Nov. 13. Megan Ford-Fyffe | The Lumberjack


True Blue Ambassadors walk past Taylor Hall as they lead a campus tour during a Discover NAU event, Nov. 13. Megan Ford-Fyffe | The Lumberjack




True Blue Ambassadors stop near University Union tell a tour group about the upcoming events available during a Discover NAU event, Nov. 13. Megan Ford-Fyffe | The Lumberjack

Abbey Austin tells a tour group about the Communication building and the available opportunities for students during a Discover NAU event campus tour, Nov. 13.Megan Ford-Fyffe | The Lumberjack

Zussette Camacho tells a tour group about the Cline Library during a Discover NAU event campus tour, Nov. 13. Megan Ford-Fyffe | The Lumberjack

NOV. 18 2021 – JAN. 12, 2022 | THE LUMBERJACK



College basketball is better than the NBA


he NBA is a favorite when it comes to basketball fans. But is the NBA overrated? College basketball is primarily known for March Madness — and those four days when brackets are made and fans cheer on teams they haven’t followed all season. College basketball is fueled by dedicated players who want to make it to the NBA while they still have passion. KRISTEN CHANCELLOR These athletes still have something to prove, not only to their team and coaching WRITER staff, but also scouts and potential fans in the larger organizations. College players’ passion is notable compared to that of NBA players. While some NBA players may still have love for their sport, it has clearly become a money-obsessed business where the players care more about fame than the game. Players such as LeBron James and Michael Jordan tend to show off the luxurious lifestyle of a professional athlete and their fans’ adoration. This creates a facade of how an NBA player lives. The game is supposed to be about the sport, not the players’ fame. Being able to play a sport professionally is a blessing for most and should remain a great experience. One factor that makes the NBA less interesting than college basketball is the calls and player actions. In the NBA, you see players being carried off with a broken finger or throwing themselves down onto the court when no one touched them. This goes to show how weak these players act, in comparison to college players who push through injury after injury. Being able to remain an active player on the court through minor injuries and bad calls is something that needs to change in NBA culture. The constant demands and complaints from NBA players make the sport seem like a chore rather than something they love to do. NBA players are in the game for the paycheck, while college players are in the game for passion. Collegiate play has intense energy where the players are fighting for their own spot on the team. While indeed, the NBA has some players who care about the game, the number is vastly different between the two. Another reason collegiate play is better than the NBA is tradition. Tradition is lost in the NBA besides possibly a few teams. Compared to colleges having traditions with the school and within other teams, it creates a bond between the players. Lastly, small schools can win games in college. The NBA has the same winners year after year, not allowing other teams to shine, not because of talent, but because of hype.



BLUE AND GOLD IN ACTION Recent game scores

Upcoming games



NAU @ Weber State Thursday, Nov. 11, 6 p.m. Final (L): NAU 0 - WEber State 3 NAU @ Idaho State Saturday, Nov. 13, 1 p.m. Final (W): NAU 3 - Idaho State 2

Men’s Basketball NAU @ Washington Thursday, Nov. 11, 8:30 p.m. Final (L): NAU 62 - Washington 73

Big Sky Tournament Quarterfinals No. 5 NAU vs No. 4 Montana State Thursday, Nov. 18, 4 p.m. (Ogden, Utah/Swenson Gym)

Men’s Basketball NAu vs CSU Bakersfield Thursday, Nov. 18, 6 p.m. (Flagstaff, Arizona/Rolle Activity Center)

NAU @ Arizona Tuesday, Nov. 9, 8:30 p.m. Final (L) : NAU 52 - Arizona 81

NAU @ UTRGV Saturday, Nov. 20, 12 p.m. (South Padre Island Convention Centre)

woMen’s Basketball

woMen’s Basketball

NAU @ Washington State Friday, Nov. 12, 3 p.m. Final (L): NAU 54 - WAshington State 62

NAU @ UTEP Saturday, Nov. 20, 7 p.m. (El Paso, Texas/Don Haskins Center)

NAU @ Washington Sunday, Nov. 14, 3 p.m. Final (L): NAU 65 - Washington 72


Football NAU vs Montana Saturday, Nov. 13, 1 p.m. Final (L): NAU 3 - Montana 30

NAU @ Cal Poly Saturday, Nov. 20, 6:05 P.m.

(San Luis Obispo, California/Alex G. Spanos Stadium)


Phoenix provides a stellar championship environment Sean Clark


s the engines roared at Phoenix Raceway, so did the fans in the grandstands. On Sunday, Nov. 7, a sold-out crowd greeted racers at the NASCAR Cup Series Championship race in Avondale, Arizona. “You feel that energy when you walk into the gate,” 2021 NASCAR Xfinity series champion Daniel Hemric said. 2021 is the second year in a row that Phoenix has hosted the three NASCAR championship races. However, in 2020, attendance was limited to 11,000 people due to COVID-19. “I think this year, we’re gonna get to understand what Phoenix as a host city means.” 2020 Xfinity series champion Austin Cindric said. News from the Pits reporter Cole Cusumano moved to the Phoenix area in 2006. In his 15 years as an Arizona resident, he has seen the sports scene really grow in Arizona. He described how Arizona evolved into the sports haven it is today. “I came here in 2006, Arizona wasn’t a blooming sports state, but now it’s really blossoming into something like a mecca, like a [Los Angeles] or New York-type of city,” Cusumano said. “You can even tell that with this championship weekend and this beautiful conference hall [Phoenix Convention Center] and everything Phoenix Raceway is doing.” Hosting championships was not common for the Phoenix area until State Farm Stadium opened in 2006. Sun Devil Stadium was the host of Super Bowl XXX and had championship games for the Phoenix Suns and Arizona Diamondbacks. Before State Farm Stadium opened, however, championship hosting opportunities for neutral site games were few and far between. Since 2006, Phoenix has hosted two Super Bowls, two National Championship games in college football and the 2017 Final Four as well as two NASCAR Championships. “You had a couple Super Bowls in Arizona, [that] helped the NFL,” Cusumano said. “Now that NASCAR has been here for two years, I think you’re going to see interest level peak for the sport. It’s all good things for Arizona sports and it’s been really incredible to see how far it’s come from 2006 to 2021. I think the fan experience alone is enough to merit Phoenix a championship race.” One big reason for the vast amount of championship appeal for Arizona has been the fans generating excitement for these huge events. The NASCAR drivers have only been able to experience it for a couple of years, but that doesn’t mean they don’t know the spectacle Phoenix brings. “Fun places and fans support is really what sticks out to me and that’s I think the reason why we brought the Final Four here,” NASCAR Cup series driver Martin Truex Jr. said. “Look at the number of campers and the excitement at Phoenix every year, and it’s sold out again. So, the excitement level of the fans is why we’re here and that’s one thing we can’t separate from racetracks.” Before Phoenix, the championship weekend was held at

NASCAR driver Kyle Larson celebrates his first career Cup Series Championship at Phoenix Raceway, Nov. 7. Sean Clark| The Lumberjack

Homestead-Miami Speedway. With a possibility of the championship weekend jumping around to different tracks — Phoenix is only guaranteed to host through the 2022 season — 2020 NASCAR Cup series champion Chase Elliott said he does enjoy Phoenix being a host city for Championship Weekend. “Phoenix has been a great host, I’d love to see it continue to jump around but I appreciate everyone out here,” Elliott said. “[The city has] been a great host and I hope it’s a good show for them.” Based on population, Phoenix is the fifth-largest city in the United States. Combined with the huge number of residents and the desert scenery, Phoenix has a lot to offer teams and athletes during the stresses of the competition. “I love Arizona, it’s beautiful,” 2021 Cup Series champion Kyle Larson said. “I really enjoy it, everything is nice out here. Nice buildings, nice restaurants, nice people; so, I think this is the perfect place for it.” The champions of each series expressed their enjoyment for the track and the city as a whole. Ben Rhodes, the 2021 Camping World Truck series champion, made his name known after winning his first

championship. “I love the food scene,” Rhodes said. “I make it a point to visit my special purpose restaurants in the city. The hiking here is good, the outdoors is good, the scenery is awesome.” In Avondale, housing continues to expand, inching closer to Phoenix Raceway that sits near the Estrella Mountains. The drive leading into the race track shows the growth the area has seen and continues to do so. “You see civilization inching closer and closer to the racetrack,” Rhodes said. “It’s a growing city and I love that.” Maricopa County is the fastest-growing county in the U.S., so an expanding population, along with fan excitement allows championship environments to thrive in the desert. NASCAR announced the full schedule for next season, which will begin with the inaugural running of The Busch Light Clash at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on Feb. 6, 2022. “I think this is a really fun city and a really fun market we go to,” Rhodes exclaimed. “I don’t say that about all the places we go to. Some places I’m just like, ‘Do we really have to go there?’” With NASCAR Championship Weekend returning to Phoenix Raceway for the 2022 season, expect the fan excitement to be even louder than the cars on the track.

NOV. 18 - JAN. 12, 2022 | THE LUMBERJACK



Taryn Benham finishes college career a Brenden Martin


he goalkeeper position is by far the most important in the sport of soccer. If a team does not have a reliable goalie to block shots from an ensuing offense, that team is certainly going nowhere but downhill. Taryn Benham, NAU’s starting goalkeeper from 2017 to 2021, was one of the most reliable goalkeepers the program had ever seen. After a successful undergraduate career in Flagstaff, Benham knew she had one more season left in her. On April 21, just six days after she played her final match in the blue and gold NAU colors, she announced she would be attending graduate school at Colorado College in Colorado Springs and play one season at goalkeeper for the Colorado College women’s soccer team. The acclaimed NAU goalkeeper found her new home with a team that she fit into perfectly. Benham was able to earn the starting job at goalkeeper, bringing her four years of starting experience to the fold.

The way she made it to where she is today certainly came with its fair share of surprises. If it weren’t for random obstacles, Benham’s playing career could have gone completely different from where it ended up — a career bookended with storybook performances and filled with records being broken. Benham made her college debut on Sept. 29, 2017 against Northern Colorado in what was the team’s third conference game of the season. The Lumberjacks’ senior goalkeeper at the time, Meghan Dickmann, was out with a shoulder injury she had sustained during practice just two days prior. Benham was suddenly thrown in as the starting goalkeeper that night, and the rest is history. On her debut night, Benham recorded her first of an NAU record-setting 23 career shutouts, which is fourth all-time in the Big Sky. She made five saves off of eight Northern Colorado shots and held down NAU’s goal into overtime, where the Lumberjacks eventually won. “The day of the Northern Colorado game I was told that I’m playing, I’m no longer redshirting,” Benham said. “I didn’t have

Then-senior goalkeeper Taryn Benham making a save against UArizona in Tucson, Feb. 20. Photo courtesy of NAU Athletics



any time to build up nerves or get to overthink anything. Once I got the first catch in or first save all those nerves just went away.” After graduating from NAU last spring, Benham took her talents to Colorado Springs to play as a graduate goalkeeper for the Colorado College Tigers. In her short time there, she impressed everyone by immediately becoming the top goalkeeper. She recorded a seasonhigh six saves against the Colorado State Rams. She also had four shutouts to add to her career total, one against a familiar foe, Southern Utah, and the other against the University of Nevada where she got four saves. Her final two shutouts were earned in the final two matches of the season, the first of which was another four-save outing in a 3-0 win over San Diego State. The other, a 1-0 win against Air Force on the Tigers’ Senior Day. Senior Day games always seem to bring good luck for Benham. On her own Senior Day game as a Lumberjack, Benham finally broke the all-time NAU record for shutouts with her 22nd one in a 2-0 win over Idaho State. “My senior day at NAU, we still had the tournament [to


and looks toward new athletic avenues

Then-freshman goalkeeper Taryn Benham jumping for a save against Portland State in the first round of the Big Sky Soccer Tournament, Nov. 1, 2017. Photo courtesy of NAU Athletics

look forward to],” Benham said. “We also didn’t get to play at Lumberjack Stadium, which was a big bummer that I didn’t get to have my final game there. I’d say at Colorado College, my senior day was lingering knowing that this is the last time I’m putting on my gloves and my cleats.” NAU played all its home games last season, during the spring, at Flagstaff High School’s field just a few miles from NAU. With Benham able to play another season — ­ thanks to the NCAA granting an extra year of eligibility due to COVID-19 — as well as her continuing her education in graduate school, the idea of her returning for yet another season with the Lumberjacks was not out of the question. However, both Campbell and Benham made it clear early in those discussions that the longtime Lumberjack was looking for a change in scenery. “I was very clear with [head coach Kylie Louw] at the beginning of the process that I wanted to experience something new,” Benham said. “The opportunity to go and experience somewhere new is what me and Kylie both agreed on that is the best for me … The whole process, Kylie was very supportive and me and her had mutual respect and she was very helpful.” When considering where to go next after NAU, Benham’s first thought was that she wanted to go somewhere in Colorado, preferably Colorado Springs. Even though she is originally from Omaha, Nebraska, she has family ties in Colorado, which made

it a perfect destination. She currently lives with her oldest brother, Turner, and his fiancee in Colorado Springs and has family all over the state. She had conversations with schools such as South Dakota State and Abilene Christian, but knew that Colorado College was her first choice. Despite opting to continue her career somewhere else, Benham maintains a strong relationship with NAU’s program and the players on the team who had once been her teammates. The Lumberjacks happened to be in Greeley, Colorado for the Big Sky Tournament a few weeks ago, which is just a two-hour drive from Colorado Springs. Benham made the trip to Jackson Stadium on the campus of Northern Colorado to support her former team in postseason play. “When I walked in, I wanted to run on the field,” Benham said. “I wanted to see Chris [Campbell], I wanted to see Kylie. It was weird seeing them on the other side of the fence but it was great to get to support them in another way.” Benham got the chance to catch up with her former teammates and watch the final game of those seniors who were originally in her graduating class. Her trip was cut short, however, as No. 3-seed NAU was upset by No. 6-seed Sacramento State, 1-0, in the first round of the tournament. Even though NAU was eliminated after only one game in

the tournament, Benham had planned to be there to support the Lumberjacks the entire weekend if they had made it to the championship. Colorado College got off to a similar start to NAU this past season, beginning the season 0-6 before the overtime win over Southern Utah. While the Lumberjacks were able to come back and finish the season (8-11, 6-3 Big Sky), the Tigers just missed out on its conference tournament after finishing (5-10-3, 4-43 Mountain West). Colorado College finished with the same conference record as Boise State, which got the last spot in the Mountain West Tournament thanks to a superior overall record of 11-7-4. Although her collegiate career is done, Benham said she would like to still be involved in the game somehow. “I’ve always considered getting into coaching in some way or just being involved in soccer in any way I can,” Benham said. “I love the people that NAU and [Colorado College] have. No matter what, I’m gonna try in any way I can to be involved with this sport and especially these programs.” Benham is currently working on her master’s degree in education with her end goal being to become an athletic director for a collegiate team, but she kept the door wide open to coaching as being a step toward that goal.

NOV. 18 - JAN. 12, 2022 | THE LUMBERJACK




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