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THE LUMBER JACK APRIL 15, 2021 – AUG. 25, 2021

Online at JackCentral.org

From the Editor


hen I first joined The Lumberjack, I didn’t have the slightest idea that several semesters later I’d be writing the letter from the editor for the last issue of my senior year, but here I am. I also never had a clue that joining would lead to me to receive so many opportunities, gain so many skills and meet so many people. But all of this was only possible because I joined and committed myself to the paper. I really don’t feel qualified to be giving out any kind of advice, but if I have a single piece of cheesy wisdom to impart, it’s to do what I just described above and be a part of something. I think too many people fail to take a chance, get out of their comfort zones and try something new, myself included. I can count several clubs, organizations and other opportunities that I either gave up on or never worked up the nerve to try in the first place. But looking back on my college career, I couldn’t be happier to have found the paper and stuck with it. If I had never decided to join The Lumberjack, I’d still be graduating with a JACOB journalism degree, still have friends and still have had a memorable experience in MEYER college, but something would have been missing. I genuinely don’t think I’d feel as prepared to graduate and start a career, and I certainly wouldn’t have had the FORMER PRINT same fulfillment I’ve received from doing things I love, working with amazing CHIEF people and creating something new and different every single week. Don’t take this as a recruitment ad for The Lumberjack — although if you have any interest or skills in writing, photography or illustrations please do consider joining — but instead a call to be a part of something during your time in college. I promise you, the only thing you’ll regret doing is nothing at all.

Continuous local and campus covid-19 coverage available at jackcentral.org

Online at Issuu.com Latest Edition & Archive

Thank you for reading.


Phone: (928) 523-4921 Fax: (928) 523-9313 Lumberjack@nau.edu P.O. Box 6000 Flagstaff, AZ 86011

Editor-in-Chief Nathan Manni

Managing Editor Camille Sipple

Copy Chief Trevor Skeen

Faculty Adviser David Harpster

Print Chief Ash Lohmann

Director of Digital Content and Social Media Emily Gerdes

Social media

Media Innovation Center Editorial Board


News Editor Mark Fabery

Asst. Features Editor Lauren Anderson

Sports Adviser Rory Faust

Asst. News Editor Tess Stafford

Culture Editor Katelyn Rodriguez

Director of Photography MacKenzie Brower

Op-Ed Editor Kylie Soto

Asst. Culture Editor Haylee Emch

On the cover Illustration by Tonesha Yazzie| The Lumberjack

Asst. Dir. of Photography Brian Burke

Asst. Op-Ed Editor Marley Green

Sports Editor Brenden Martin

Director of Illustration Diana Ortega

Features Editor Olivia Charlson

Asst. Sports Editor Will Hopkins

Director of Multimedia Shawn Patti


Corrections & Clarifications The Lumberjack is committed to factual correctness and accuracy. If you find an error in our publication, please email Nathan Manni at nem233@nau.edu.

PoliceBeat April 5 At 10:29 a.m., NAUPD reported a nonstudent requesting information on biased speech. Information was provided.

At 10:50 p.m., a student requested a welfare check on a nonstudent asking people for a ride. NAUPD responded, found them in good health and provided a ride to an offcampus residence.

At 7:13 p.m., a Gabaldon Hall RA reported the theft April 8 of an exit sign and NAUPD At 1:06 a.m., a student responded to take a report. at The Suites reported they were a victim of sexual assault. April 6 NAUPD responded and took a At 10:40 a.m., a faculty report. member at the Southwest Forest Science Complex At 3:46 a.m., an reported finding pills. NAUPD Ernest Calderón Learning responded, found the pills were Community resident requested for diabetes and brought them assistance as they were feeling in for destruction. sick and having difficulty breathing. NAUPD, FFD At 9:44 p.m., FPD and GMT responded and transferred a call regarding a transported the student to student vomiting and being FMC. unable to move in Wilson Hall. NAUPD, Flagstaff At 10:06 a.m., a Wilson Fire Department (FFD) and Hall resident reported another Guardian Medical Transport student who was feeling (GMT) responded and the unwell. NAUPD, FFD student was transported to and GMT responded and Flagstaff Medical Center transported them to FMC for (FMC). a preexisting condition. April 7 At 1:26 a.m., a Hilltop Townhomes resident reported a verbal disturbance occurring outside. NAUPD responded, but the subjects left the area prior to officer arrival. At 6:20 a.m., a staff member reported a fire extinguisher was discharged inside Knoles Parking Garage. NAUPD responded, discovered two other extinguishers were missing and notified Fire Life Safety. A report was taken. At 12:53 p.m., a student reported loud music coming from a vehicle parked in lot 16A. NAUPD responded, but the vehicle was gone upon arrival.

Compiled by Mark fabery At 11:47 p.m., a Drury Inn & Suites employee reported a nonstudent refusing to leave. NAUPD responded, but the subject left the area prior to officer arrival. April 10 At 12:28 a.m., a Drury Inn & Suites employee requested NAUPD to ask a nonstudent to leave. NAUPD responded, warned the subject of trespassing and provided a public assist ride off campus.

Coconino County COVID-19 Dashboard data

Community transmission Case rate Positivity percentage

At 2:17 a.m., NAUPD initiated a traffic stop off campus. One nonstudent was arrested and booked into Coconino County Detention Facility for DUI to the slightest degree.

Cumulative cases

80.2 per 100,000 pop. 5% 3,682

Flagstaff Medical Center COVID-19 Resources

In-house COVID-19 patients

At 11:43 a.m., a student reported possible social media harassment occurred in Reilly Hall. NAUPD responded and determined no criminal activity was witnessed.

At 7:36 p.m., a student reported damage to their April 9 vehicle in lot 32A. NAUPD At 12:47 a.m., an responded and took a report. employee at Drury Inn & Suites requested assistance with At 11:45 p.m., NAUPD removing two nonstudents reported checking on a from the premises. NAUPD nonstudent and student in lot responded and the two subjects 7A. Both subjects were found agreed to leave. to be in good health and information was provided. At 8:33 a.m., a staff member near lot 16A reported April 11 four students moving furniture At 12:01 a.m., NAUPD in buildings and possibly reported initiating a traffic stop driving while intoxicated. off campus. Five students were NAUPD responded, but the cited and released for minor in subjects left the area prior to consumption of alcohol. officer arrival. At 5:23 p.m., Cowden At 4:09 p.m., a Skyview Hall staff reported damage to resident reported harassment a door. NAUPD responded to and property damage. take a report. NAUPD responded, witnessed no criminal activity and filed a report for information only.


Hospital capacity Critical care capacity

Positive: 9 | Pending: 10 199/300 35/55

NAU Student Cases

Total on- and off-campus cases


NAU Fieldhouse selected for new state COVID-19 vaccine site Mark Fabery


n an email to the student body on April 9, NAU President Rita Cheng announced the state selected the University Union Fieldhouse as Arizona’s next COVID-19 vaccination site. The Fieldhouse site will operate from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. seven days a week, beginning April 19. According to the email, the site will offer around 1,000 appointments per day to start, but the site is capable of administering more than 4,000 doses daily. Moreover, vaccines will be provided in partnership with the state, Coconino County and Northern Arizona Healthcare. Premier Medical Group will be the primary site operator and thus be responsible for the pharmacy and staffing. Continue reading on jackcentral.org

APRIL 15, 2021 – AUG. 25, 2021 | THE LUMBERJACK



Energy center to provide clean energy to Coconino County William Combs III


extEra Energy Resources, a Florida-based clean energy company, is awaiting approval from the Coconino County Planning and Zoning Commission to begin construction on a wind and solar farm 30 miles north of Flagstaff, on land owned by Babbitt Ranches. According to NextEra’s website, the Babbitt Ranch Energy Center project will consist of different parts. If the project receives approval, NextEra will begin construction on 53 wind turbines at the end of 2022. Based on the same project overview, wind turbines with a maximum height of 614 feet will be able to generate up to 161 megawatts of electricity in Coconino County. The construction of these turbines will facilitate up to 250 jobs for local construction companies contracting with NextEra. After the wind facility is operational, NextEra stated four full-time jobs will be available for upkeep. Bonnie Stevens, public relations consultant for Babbitt Ranches, said her employer’s aim is conservation and sustainability, while also noting the project will not jeopardize the land’s natural beauty. “There is no evidence that noise will interfere with homeowners in the Valle community nine miles away; the closest residence will be five miles from a turbine,”

Stevens said. “Adjustments already have been made to move turbines more than half a mile from the Arizona National Scenic Trail to prevent sound and sight impacts, [which is] another important value to Babbitt Ranches as the land company has been instrumental in the development and creation of the Arizona Trail for more than 25 years.” Stevens also explained how the wind farm will coexist with the environment. In an effort to promote sustainability, the project will not be fenced off, leaving the land open for hunters, campers and hikers. Similarly, the cattle operations at Babbitt Ranches will continue and not be disrupted by the project. The solar and storage facility, which takes up the latter half of this project, will use 450 acres of land for solar panels and batteries. Moreover, it will generate and store up to 60 megawatts of electricity for the area, according to the Arizona Daily Sun. Conlan Kennedy, a communication specialist for NextEra Energy Resources, said she is excited about the project, and emphasized the importance of investing in the local community and Arizona as a whole. “The Babbitt Ranch project would provide a boost to the local economy and indirect income to local businesses, including hotels and restaurants,” Kennedy said. “Our goal is to hire as many workers as possible from the local area where we construct our projects. The project would

generate approximately $15 million in additional tax revenue for schools, libraries and other vital public services, benefiting the entire community.” The Babbitt Ranch Energy Center is one of many avenues Coconino County is embracing to reach Flagstaff’s newly set goal of carbon neutrality by 2030. After declaring a climate emergency last year, Flagstaff City Council readjusted the original goal of an 80% reduction in carbon emissions by 2050, both raising the percentage and shortening the time. Sara Kubisty, a community organizer for the declaration and climate justice director for the Arizona Students Association, said she is glad to see projects shifting away from fossil fuels, but noted there is more work to be done. “I think that any new clean energy project like this one is great for Coconino County and will contribute to the city of Flagstaff’s new goal of carbon neutrality by 2030,” Kubisty said. “The most important thing going forward is community involvement in this process. The climate community in Flagstaff played a huge role in the creation of this plan, having its roots in the climate strike in 2019.” NextEra is scheduled to present its plan and potentially receive approval from the Coconino County Board of Supervisors this summer.

“The Babbitt Ranch project would provide a boost to the local economy and indirect income to local businesses, including hotels and restaurants.” – Conlan Kennedy, Communication Specialist For nextEra Energy Resources Wind turbines located at Dry Lake Wind Farms near Holbrook, Arizona, April 10. Jonah Graham | The Lumberjack




Post-graduate employment on the rise Molly Brown


ccording to the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) website, employers are now looking to hire 7.2% more college graduates than they were last year at this time. “The rebound in hiring suggests optimism on the part of employers, fueled by expectations around the reopening of shuttered businesses, COVID-19 vaccine distribution and the addition of jobs to the economy,” NACE reported. NACE was able to further analyze this outlook with updated data from a survey between Feb. 17 and March 12. “Almost 30% of respondents now report that they will hire more new college graduates — up from 16.5% in the fall — and just 8% plan to decrease hiring, down significantly from 31% reporting such plans in the fall,” according to NACE. Additional NACE research on hiring trends for college graduates compared the current situation during the COVID-19 pandemic to a recession during the late 2000s financial crisis. After being unable to maintain hiring levels of college graduates in 2009, many employers lost ground in their recruitment efforts. With these lessons in mind, many companies and other organizations are now trying to reduce the possibility of making the same mistake again. “There are some similarities between plans employers have for 2020-21 and those they had for 2009-10,” NACE stated on its website. “This year, 16.5% of respondents are planning to increase their hires, nearly identical to the 16.9% that had these plans for 2009-10. However, this year, 52.5% expect to maintain their hiring and 31% anticipate decreasing their hiring.” Even with the news of a more promising future, overall college enrollment is down 2.9%, as reported by the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center (NSCRC). The report also elaborated on recent statistics by pointing out the sharp contrast between undergraduate versus graduate enrollment. “Undergraduate enrollment is down 4.5% while graduate enrollment is up 4.3%,” the NSCRC report stated. “Public four-year undergraduate enrollment is currently falling more precipitously (-3.3% this spring, -1.1% last spring and -1.9% last fall). Graduate enrollment, on the other hand, is growing at a

“Consumer choice is usually reflective of what the market is going to bear, so many more people are getting graduate degrees because it’s perceived that graduate degrees are going to be a requirement in order to find more work in the future,” – ryan tucker, Abor insitutional analysis economist higher rate (+4.3% this spring, +1.5% last spring, and +2.9% last fall).” The Arizona Board of Regents (ABOR) released its Fiscal Year 2021 Fall Enrollment Report, which showed in-person undergraduate enrollment at NAU, ASU and UA followed the national trend. “On-campus undergraduate enrollment is down at all three institutions,” ABOR reported. “On-campus enrollment decreased 2% yearover-year from 118,561 in fiscal year 2020 to 116,162 in fiscal year 2021. First-time student enrollment decreased 3.6% year-over-year from 28,821 in fiscal year 2020 to 27,785 in fiscal year 2021.” The ABOR report also illustrated graduate school enrollment increases of 2.7% at NAU, 8.4% at ASU and 3.1% at UA. Chad Sampson, ABOR vice president for academic affairs and institutional analysis, speculated the increase in graduate enrollment at all three Arizona universities could be due to the quality of education offered within a complex economy. “Reasoning why we’re seeing more graduate studies, we’d like to think that it’s because our graduate programs continue to increase in notoriety and rankings in other places, but I think actually you’re seeing this as it as a trend across this country as people come back to retrain and retool as necessary as our economy and our jobs get more complex,” Sampson said. Sampson explained ABOR looks at student loan default data as a way of gauging the overall success rates of students graduating from Arizona universities. With these default percentages being some of the lowest in the nation, Sampson said students are getting a return on their educational investments. Ryan Tucker, ABOR institutional analysis

economist, explained how the enrollment trend seems to follow the needs of the current economy. “Consumer choice is usually reflective of what the market is going to bear, so many more people are getting graduate degrees because it’s perceived that graduate degrees are going to be a requirement in order to find more work in the future,” Tucker said. Both Tucker and Sampson said the student body as a whole does its homework beforehand to see where employment is trending, which is eventually reflected in enrollment following these patterns. The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) website forecasts hiring trends in varying career fields and levels of education over the next 10 years. According to the bureau, the top three

job placements for bachelor degree holders are for general and operations managers, registered nurses and software developers, which include software quality assurance analysts and testers. “Employment of general and operations managers is projected to grow 6% from 2019 to 2029, faster than the average for all occupations,” BLS stated on its website. “Organizations will continue to rely on these workers to help them operate successfully.” When it comes to those with master’s, doctoral and professional degrees, the top three fields are lawyers, educational career counselors and advisers, as well as health specialties postsecondary teachers. “Although law firms will continue to be among the largest employers of lawyers, many large corporations are increasing their in-house legal departments in order to cut costs,” the BLS website reported. “For many companies, the high cost of hiring outside counsel lawyers and their support staffs makes it more economical to shift work to their in-house legal department. This shift will lead to an increase in the demand for lawyers in a variety of settings, such as financial and insurance firms, consulting firms and health care providers.” More information on employment statistics by field of study can be found on the BLS career outlook and occupational outlook handbook websites.

Illustration By Diana Ortega

APRIL 15, 2021 – AUG. 25, 2021 | THE LUMBERJACK




Aleah Green T

his semester marks my sixth and final semester illustrating for The Lumberjack. I initially joined the paper my freshman year because I needed to fill credits and newspaper production was something I was familiar with. That said, however, I discovered that I loved being a part of the illustration section, which led to me becoming Director of Illustration. I’ve been drawing for as long as I can remember. As a toddler, I was absolutely enamored with the animation process footage that would play at the end of old Pixar and DreamWorks movies and, from that moment, knew I wanted to draw. Since then, I have filled hundreds of sketchbooks to the brim with doodles. When it comes to art, I am inspired by the challenge of going out of my comfort zone. I am a firm believer in pushing yourself in order to grow, and being a part of this paper has offered me the ability to grow in ways I would have never expected. The Lumberjack has been such an amazing opportunity to find my voice, and I appreciate my awesome crew for being an endless source of talent and inspiration. Thank you to my predecessors, Katie Dobrydney and Colton Starley, for encouraging me to blossom as an artist, thank you to Maddie Cohen for being my partner in crime after all this time, and thank you to the rest of The Lumberjack staff for always giving me something to look for every week. Good luck to all the new recruits, and I hope you enjoy your time on the paper as much as I did mine.

APRIL 15, 2021 – AUG. 25, 2021 | THE LUMBERJACK



Virtual graduation: The future of celebration Tyler Lee


In Biden’s fight for the world, his climate plan is on the ropes


ormer President Donald Trump’s time in office caused many setbacks. As it relates to environmental laws, there were over 100 policy rollbacks and a number of changes made, according to The New York Times. When President Joe Biden was elected, American citizens remained hopeful. We dreamed of HAYLEY seeing complete change and having BOSTIAN a leader steer our country back in the right direction, especially WRITER environmentally. Biden started to work on keeping the planet in good condition a few months into his presidency, yet he’s still facing criticism for not doing enough. The Biden administration’s climate plan entails spending $2 trillion over four years to improve electricity, transportation and more. The plan also aims to combat climate change, as explained in an article by The New York Times. Biden has been criticized for stating that he will not ban fracking and will instead use carbon capture, according to environmental news outlet EcoWatch. Although banning fracking would be beneficial for our environment, what critics aren’t recognizing is that Biden’s plan is vastly better than what the country has witnessed throughout the past four years, especially when Trump claimed climate change is a hoax. The United States is recovering from a time when many environmental policies were changed or removed. Keeping these adjustments in mind, it is important to appreciate the presidential efforts being made, while also realizing the time needed to attain our aspirations. This is not to say we shouldn’t encourage change, but instead expressing pride that we are moving in the right direction and have elected a leader who values our country and the environment. Of course, there is always room for improvement, and perhaps progress will be made with time. But in the meantime, people must be patient and recognize that drastic change in a few months is improbable.



s graduation season is quickly approaching once again, many high schools and universities are faced with deciding between virtual or in-person ceremonies. As states begin to lift mask mandates, as reported by The New York Times, educators are making the decision to continue holding virtual graduations. Being forced to host these remote ceremonies is not ideal, and many students will be saddened by the loss of their special celebrations. However, due to public health risks presented by the pandemic, this precaution is necessary for many schools. Virtual graduation is a hard decision, but it may have an upside. The old cliche of looking for silver linings in bad situations is a cliche for a reason. Amid the hard changes everyone has been forced to make in the past year, there have been a few upsides along with the downsides. The turmoil of the pandemic has created a path for more hospitable celebrations in the future. The need to adapt in-person ceremonies for pandemic restrictions has created the opportunity for graduations to be more accessible. This alternative allows family members who cannot travel, or people with bigger families, to participate in the special day. Last year, many schools hoped they would be able to host an in-person graduation of some kind. However, as the end of the semester drew closer, they were forced to come up with safer options. This year, it seems schools are in a similar position. Unlike last year, however, they now know how to handle completely virtual ceremonies. An email update from NAU President Rita Cheng on March 5 announced the university would be hosting a fully virtual commencement ceremony for a second consecutive year. The commencement information page informs students and guests that graduation will be a recorded event featuring the usual speeches, in addition to a personalized slide for every graduate who submits one. The page also lets everyone know that while administrators hope families and guests will view the event on graduation day, April 30, the recorded event will be available through the winter 2021 semester. This prolonged time allows for an extended celebration for students and their loved ones. Prepandemic, commencement ceremonies were usually limited to graduates and their immediate families. In the case of high school graduation events, typically the graduate would receive a small number of tickets for free, and anyone else who wished to attend had to purchase additional seating. Family from across the country may have struggled to afford the expense of traveling. Thus, distance may have prevented graduates from sharing the day with their loved ones. Now that schools have an understanding of how to best stream and record ceremonies, the celebration can be shared with more people. As reported by Forbes, many schools across the country are facing the dilemma of whether or not to attempt some semblance of a normal graduation ceremony.

While some have decided to try in-person ceremonies with social distancing precautions, others have relocated to outdoor venues. Some schools have opted to only allow graduates to attend these face-to-face commencements. Meanwhile, schools such as Stanford University and the University of Michigan have elected for fully remote graduations. Each option allows students to have, at varying degrees, some kind of graduation experience, even if it looks different than what they had envisioned. As a result of the pandemic, plans changed and life was reimagined. The virtual graduation ceremonies certainly were not what seniors had anticipated as the long-awaited end of their college careers. Virtual graduations are in no way perfect solutions; students deserve the grandeur and recognition that comes with accomplishing such a feat as graduating from high school or college. That is not to say, however, that overcoming the previous year’s obstacles has reaped no benefits. Now that schools are better equipped to accommodate virtual graduations, they have opened up to the idea of using this medium going forward to make commencement a more accessible experience for both the graduates and guests, as life begins to return to normal. Both 2020 and 2021 graduates have the right to be upset about their loss of traditional ceremonies, and their sadness over virtual commencements should not be forgotten. After years of hard work and late nights studying, these students were denied graduation ceremonies and their ability to celebrate all of their accomplishments in-person. However, these same, unfortunate circumstances have made COVID-era commencements accessible to potential attendees who would not normally be able to commute to traditional graduations.

Illustration By TONESHA YAZZIE


Graduates deserve our confidence, not doubt Marley Green


ith the end of an academic year comes a fresh batch of graduates about to embark on their next chapter of life. Some go to graduate school or pursue internships, while others enter the workforce. Regardless of each student’s next step, the conclusion of the semester is an exciting time for all graduates, and it’s a time for new beginnings and celebrations. However, education as a whole has looked different since spring of last year. It has not been safe to hold a traditional commencement ceremony since fall 2019, let alone host inperson classes. College students everywhere have been attending classes online rather than sitting in lecture halls. Class sizes are smaller and professors have adjusted lesson plans to accommodate online learning. Interaction with instructors and peers is different as well, as many students have never seen their professors or classmates in person. Because of fewer hands-on learning opportunities and face-to-face discussions with peers, some people question whether college students are still receiving the quality of education that prepares them for life beyond college. This concern is not completely baseless. It’s hard to stay engaged while learning online, and it seems impossible to make up for inperson versions of certain classes, such as lab sciences or discussionbased seminars. However, I believe this semester’s graduates are just as set up for success as graduates from previous years. While they have faced many challenges, they are equipped with life experiences and perspectives unique to the classes of 2020 and 2021 that will help them in their next endeavors, whatever they may be. Everyone has made adjustments to their daily routine, including working parents, essential workers, senior citizens and everyone in between. However, students have displayed an incredible amount of adaptability. Making a sudden change from an in-person, immersive learning experience to one that keeps us at home and unable to avoid distractions is quite difficult. Students have to work much more diligently to stay on top of deadlines and exams because the monotony of sitting behind a desk all day makes it easier to lose track of responsibilities. Many find it hard to pay attention in lectures through a computer screen, and with online learning comes a variety of

challenges for those students who struggle to stay motivated on their own. Furthermore, it’s no secret that mental health conditions and stress have been skyrocketing since the onset of the pandemic. Anxiety about passing the coronavirus to at-risk family members or roommates is common, and many are dealing with depression due to loss or the inability to see friends. Despite these challenges, students everywhere have been working tirelessly to maintain their educational endeavors. We have always had to combat mental health struggles while in school, but the pandemic has complicated preexisting issues.

Moreover, it is now more difficult for students to do things they enjoy and see people they love. Passing classes while juggling mental health conditions is an incredible example of adaptability, and now more than ever, students are finding themselves balancing the two. On a less abstract level, students have also become somewhat proficient with computers, and everyone had to act as their own IT expert when technology was not on their side. While frustrating, dealing with computer issues means students have more practice with troubleshooting, which is a useful skill in a world with technology everywhere we turn. There is also the fact that students had to learn to use different computer programs. It would be difficult to find a NAU attendee who doesn’t know how to use Zoom. Many classes also require students to use software such as Blackboard Collaborate or Top Hat. Attending school in the era of COVID-19 also means learning in one of the most politicallycharged times the United States has seen. Issues like public health and racial injustice have never been hotter topics of conversation. Awareness of relevant global issues, regardless of political stance, is always a good attribute. It breeds civic engagement, which means more people participate in political processes like voting and organizing for causes they care about. Civic engagement is part of being a productive member of society. Proper education on these issues is also a useful skill in the workplace — employers like workers who can think about the bigger picture. It has been an extremely turbulent year for college students, especially those close to graduating. Graduates have been wondering what the world they are going into will look like. While I do not want to ignore the obvious setbacks and struggles this past year has brought, I don’t think it is fair to characterize this generation of students as doomed or set up for failure. This mindset ignores their demonstrated ability to persevere and the collective life experiences they gained. Adaptability is a rare trait, and there is an entire graduating class which has developed it over the past year. The graduates of the pandemic era deserve our confidence, not our doubts.


APRIL 15, 2021 – AUG. 25, 2021 | THE LUMBERJACK



Senior goodbyes: Final farewells fro Scout Ehrler, Editor-in-Chief


hen I began my freshman year in 2017, as a 17-year-old, I was basically paralyzed with fear. I spent my first year of college as an English education major with no idea what I was doing. I had a total of one friend and zero hobbies. I can safely say that my life changed when I found the MIC and its programs. After receiving a recommendation from an adviser, I walked into the MIC open house and spoke to some editors from The Lumberjack, knees shaking. They saw something in me, recruited me and I began as an opinion-editorial writer. Three years later, I am graduating as editor-in-chief. Over the course of my time at The Lumberjack, I served as the news editor and managing editor, gaining invaluable experience and skills. I cannot sing my praises for this paper loud enough. I found a second family here — friends and a sense of belonging. Beyond the practical writing, editing and leadership

Brady Wheeler, Former Editor-in-Chief


here’s something satisfying about a paper filled to the margins. It’s completed, finished, done. In some cases, published. In two weeks, I will graduate and my time with The Lumberjack will officially come to an end. Completing my degree is exciting, no doubt — but if I’m being honest — it feels like there is something missing. Leaving The Lumberjack feels like turning to the next page in the newspaper and it’s completely blank, waiting for a story that has yet to be told. But if there’s one thing journalists are good at, it’s knowing how to fill the empty space. We fill pages with headlines, infographics, photos, art and pull quotes. And when something doesn’t fit, we’re quick


to cut what isn’t necessary. The Lumberjack taught me how to fill the pages each week but most importantly, it taught me that I couldn’t fill them alone. As I venture to whatever the future holds, this goodbye is a reminder that it’s up to me to write the story, but also that I’ll need plenty of help along the way. I’ll remember to have editors around to point out the mistakes, mentors to keep the story headed in the right direction and illustrators, photographers and page designers to make my story look pretty. Collaboration is truly the aspect of The Lumberjack I will miss the most, and over the years I’ve gotten to collaborate with too many talented individuals to list here in this short goodbye. But to everybody that helped me bring the important stories to our community, thank you.


skills I gained, I honestly became a better person. The Lumberjack showed me my worth. I would like to thank David Harpster for his humor, guidance and endless support. To Brady Wheeler, who handed this position down to me, thank you for being the best mentor I could have asked for, and for being my friend. The projects we’ve worked on together are some of my best work, and I look forward to working with you in the future. To my successor, Nathan Manni, I’m so excited to see what you do with this position and paper. You are a joy to work with and to teach, and I am so honored to be your mentor and friend. I know you will absolutely kill it next year. Thank you to all MIC faculty and my peers who have been by my side along the way. I’m humbled and overjoyed to have worked with such wonderful people, in such a great program.


om graduating Lumberjack staffers Nayomi Garcia, Copy Chief


wish I could tell my nervous, freshman self that eventually she would no longer feel scared at NAU. During my first semester, I remember disliking most of school and missing my best friends and family. Sometimes I felt like just giving up and going back home. That would eventually change in my second semester of freshman year. I remember taking David Harpster’s basic journalism class and enjoying it. I didn’t know anything about journalism up until this point. I barely knew AP style, let alone how to write a story correctly. This class made me realize I loved writing properly and I loved writing a story by myself. All of this love became greater when I began working as a culture writer for The Lumberjack. Walking into the MIC to begin working as a culture writer was one of the most nerve-wracking experiences I’ve had. I felt completely out of place as a new writer. I genuinely wanted to drop the class because I didn’t think I’d be good enough to write for the paper. If I had dropped

Jacob Meyer, Print Chief


riting this note and finishing up my work with The Lumberjack in recent days has been incredibly bittersweet. I’ve had quite a ride the last couple of years with the paper and it’s truly been a defining part of my time in college. When I first joined as a reporter, I was immediately thrown in the deep end on my first day and assigned a story due only a few hours later. I willingly took on the challenge, got to work and have never looked back. Soon enough I became an editor in features and have been lucky to spend the last year as print chief, overseeing the production of our weekly edition. It’s been exciting to have the opportunity to work in various roles and be surrounded by so many people with different skill sets and interests, all working toward a common goal of putting out a new issue each week. So much has changed in the last year, including

the class, I would have never had the opportunity to grow within The Lumberjack. While it’s crazy to me to think I’m leaving the paper so soon, the experiences I’ve had here are some I will never forget. I never thought I would ever get complimented on a story, or even be approached about moving up to an editor position. This meant so much to me, and I’m happy I’ve grown so much since then. I’m so grateful for everything I’ve learned while working as a writer and editor. The skills I’ve learned here have made me excited to apply them to future jobs down the road. For those considering joining a program at the MIC, whether it be The Lumberjack, NAZ Today or KJACK Radio, all I can say is go for it. Trying out something new is challenging at first, but you never know what positive impacts it may have. To everyone I’ve met at the paper, thank you so much for always making me laugh or smile. Everyone’s kind actions are something I will never forget.

a lot with The Lumberjack itself, but I still think we’ve been incredibly consistent in continuing to create interesting, impactful and important stories about the community. Things may look and work a little different, but our talented writers, editors, photographers and illustrators haven’t skipped a beat, and I’m proud of the work we’ve been able to accomplish. Through my time with The Lumberjack, I’ve learned so much that I wouldn’t have otherwise been able to, including about writing, editing, designing and what it means to be a journalist. I’m so grateful to everyone who gave me a chance, everyone who taught me valuable skills and everyone who was a friend along the way. I’ve spent more hours than I can count working, laughing and stressing, and after nearly 50 issues, I can say without a doubt that it was worth every second. I won’t forget my experience with the paper anytime soon, and I’m glad I was able to be a part of it.

APRIL 15, 2021 – AUG. 25, 2021 | THE LUMBERJACK



David Church, former sports editor Wow, four years really do go by fast. I came into college with no idea what I wanted to do with my life, I started out as a business major, struggling through accounting and high-level math classes, and being completely miserable for the most part. Then one day, my freshman counselor decided to put me into a journalism class, just because she thought I would enjoy it. Sure enough, she was right. Fast forward to now, and I am still in awe of the many experiences I got to live out throughout my college career. Rediscovering my passion for writing and meshing it with my passion for sports, to spending two semesters as sports editor with The Lumberjack, covering the Phoenix Suns when they made the trip up to Flagstaff for their training camp, driving down to Phoenix to cover the Arizona Diamondbacks spring training. These are things I thought I would never get the chance to do, and I am so grateful for all of these opportunities. With my time at NAU almost up, there are so many people I need to thank, because I did not get to this point by myself. First and foremost is Rory Faust. Rory has been a teacher, a mentor and a friend since I joined the journalism program. He is one of

Trinity Archie, Op-Ed Editor


joined The Lumberjack as a writer for the Culture section during my sophomore year. I had no idea what to expect as a new writer entering this unknown environment. Eventually, I went on to write for both the News and Opinion sections of the paper. Throughout this journey I discovered a passion for opinion writing. I never imagined myself as an opinion writer, but I grew to love it. I eventually applied for the position of Assistant Op-Ed Editor. This final semester has undeniably been the most challenging for me. I unexpectedly took over as Opinion Editor with very little confidence, given my already overwhelming schedule and minimal experience on The Lumberjack’s editorial board. I thank Scout Ehrler for believing in me enough to let me take on this role. Now, as we wrap up the final issue of the semester, I am grateful for the surprise opportunity I was given.


I took on this position and its many responsibilities and, in turn, learned I was capable of accomplishing what once seemed impossible. This unpredicted transition would not have been possible without the help of the many amazing people I’ve met throughout my time at The Lumberjack. Ryan Dixon helped me discover my passion for opinion writing and has been a mentor since the first day I joined the section. She made sure I had the necessary tools to be able to lead our talented team of writers and has always been there to help. David Harpster is also one of many mentors who helped me and so many other students throughout my time at NAU. I would also like to thank Kylie Soto, Kyler Edsitty, Nayomi Garcia, Nathan Manni and everyone at The Lumberjack who has worked tirelessly to produce amazing content even with the obstacles thrown our way this semester. I look forward to what the future holds for me beyond graduation and will take the memories I’ve made here every step of the way.


the kindest, most genuine and caring men I have ever met. Thank you so much Rory. It’s an old saying that in college, you can find that one professor or teacher that will change your life, you are exactly that for me. To Molly Smith, when I was considering applying for Sports Editor, I was so timid and scared. You told me to go for it and gave me the confidence I needed. Thank you for being such an amazing friend through these years. Also, Jacob Terrill, thank you for all the work you put into the sports section and thanks for being one of my best friends throughout my four years here. Finally, to Bailey Helton, when I first became sports editor, you expected only the best because I know how much care and work you put into the sports section. I hope I made you proud! Then there are the other new friendships I will take with me after I leave Flagstaff. People like Scout Ehrler, Brady Wheeler, Nathan Manni, Sabrina Proffitt, Ryan Dixon and Nayomi Garcia, thank you for always pushing me to be the best I can be, and letting me be myself around you guys. I cannot say thank you enough to the rest of the incredible and talented people at The Lumberjack, although my future is uncertain, and I do not know where the world will take me next. I can look back on the memories from working at the newspaper and feel blessed just to be a part of it.


Maddie Cohen, Director of social media


hen I first came to NAU, I had a lot to learn about life, my friends and myself. My tumultuous freshman year was plagued by unhealthy friendships and a feeling of lost helplessness, but everything changed when I started to realize who I was. In college, you shouldn’t be anything except your authentic self. Your values, personality and experience are unique to you alone. People don’t deserve anything less than you being who you are. It took me a really long time to realize people liked me better when I stayed true to myself. The friends I’ve made along the way and the lessons I’ve learned shaped me into who I am today. Looking back on the past four years, I wish I could start over knowing what I do now. I urge anybody reading this to choose who you spend these four years with wisely — time flies! I’d like to thank my wonderful friends and coworkers at The Lumberjack for not only giving me a job but also giving me memories I’ll cherish for a very long time. I’d also like to thank them for their

Kyler Edsitty, Assistant Culture Editor


feel bad for the person I was when I first came to NAU, but I say that with love. That person was very insecure in every aspect. From his body to his abilities, everything was something to be ashamed of. That person held back in every way out of fear and it was hard for him to find self-love. I’m proud to say I’m not that person anymore. After a long journey of introspection, I look at myself now and I’m in love with who I am. That’s the Leo in me speaking, but it’s still very true. I no longer see my body as an inconvenience and no longer tolerate anyone else who does. Now I’m much more confident in my writing and see myself as a much more creative person. I see my time at NAU and at The Lumberjack as a big part in that transition. From sexuality to issues in the Indigenous community, here I was able to write about anything I wanted. It felt good to discuss these taboo topics so openly. Finding a space to share these ideas was unknown to me and I’m so glad I found it. Without it, I would probably still be very reserved.

patience as I dealt with a lot during this semester. I’d also like to thank Aleah Green for running the illustration department alongside me and for her service as Director. You have become such a dear friend to me and I’m so grateful The Lumberjack brought me to you! My heart also goes out to the rest of the visuals department who I previously worked with and will miss deeply like Shawn Patti and Taylor Mahoney. David Harpster has been a wonderful boss and mentor, who reminds us of the heart and authenticity journalism brings. And also to Nathan Manni, who brings a fresh perspective and fun energy to journalism. He is the new Editorin-Chief and The Lumberjack will flourish under his supervision! Journalism is so much more than words in a paper. It’s stories, people, thoughts and feelings. Truth. If you love photography, illustration, sports, writing or management - join The Lumberjack! You’ll make memories to last a lifetime. And to anyone starting at NAU or graduating alongside me, take your time. Be yourself. Life is meant to be lived by you! All the love, Maddie.

I also have to thank the friends and mentors that I’ve become really close to. My first section editors Sabrina Proffitt and Nathan Manni allowed me to be as creative as I wanted when I first started writing. While running a section with Ryan Dixon, her vigor and Taurus energy definitely rubbed off on me. Nayomi Garcia and Katelyn Rodriguez always brought out the best in me. Scout Ehrler will always be a person I aspire to be like. I’ll always remember Rachel Cox and David Harpster for teaching me what I know. However, my mom has always been my biggest motivator. From the beginning, she’s always seen how much potential I have. She’s prepared me to take on this difficult world and I can’t thank her enough for that. Although I don’t say it often, I appreciate everything she’s done for me. Although this portion of my life is over and I’ve grown so much, I definitely haven’t peaked. I know that I’m nowhere close to reaching my full potential. The idea of there being so much more out there can be scary, but knowing I’m prepared for it is comforting.

APRIL 15, 2021 – AUG. 25, 2021 | THE LUMBERJACK



What getting a vaccine me Michael McClure


s the spring 2021 semester winds toward a close, students and faculty have questions about the upcoming fall semester. With incredibly rapid distribution efforts of COVID-19 vaccines, confirmed cases and deaths across the country have been on a sharp decline, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Although nationwide inoculations and promising data are making way for an exciting fall, it does not come without elements of underlying stress. As Flagstaff begins preparations to potentially welcome students back to campus in August, questions of employment, social gatherings and overall safety are of utmost concern for many. UArizona’s Eller Economic and Business Research Center found the Flagstaff employment rate was down almost 15% in the third quarter of 2020 compared to the third quarter of 2019. Paralleling these numbers, the overall unemployment rate has risen by 43.7% during the same period. Trends like these can prove disheartening, especially for students trying to find minimum wage, part-time work. Junior Carly Logan is concerned about her next and final year at NAU. Logan said her job working for the university has been helpful in paying for some of the expenses associated with student living; however, the hours are simply not enough.

“[My work] is satisfying and I am happy that I have some form of income coming in every week,” Logan said. “During the semester I am more focused on my education than anything, but over breaks I need the extra work. It’s like whenever I try to apply for a second job, the spot is gone before I can even get an application in.” Logan’s situation is not unique either. The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) stated nearly 43% of undergraduate students work either part-time or full-time during their educational careers, per the NCES website. With inflation and living costs rising, making rent payments and covering basic utilities will continue to become more of a challenge for young students, most of whom do not have adequate paychecks or savings to cover living expenses. With distribution of the COVID-19 vaccines moving at unprecedented speeds, more and more people are becoming hopeful about the coming months. According to the Coconino County Health and Human Services data dashboard, at least 63,608 residents of Coconino County have received one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine as of April 14. In addition, 47,509 residents are fully vaccinated against the virus, bringing the percentage of vaccinated residents to roughly 43.2%. With CDC guidelines frequently changing due to more people being able to get the vaccine, optimism is brimming.

Business owners and patrons will be given the chance to return to old hangouts and social attractions. NAU students are no exception to the feelings of hope and relief as well. Junior Ellie Johnson said she misses the times when everyone was able to physically meet up for social events, back when Zoom was still a relatively unknown digital tool. “I think I miss the ability to actually be present on campus throughout the week,” Johnson said. “Zoom is a good alternative for right now, but I know I prefer being in the classroom [and] many of my friends feel the same way. I am looking forward to a semester of having a legitimately full classroom with an engaged teacher, not just three or four students sitting 20 feet away from each other.” Logan explained missing out on in-person events was a hit to her college career, and mentioned she hopes to finish her time in higher education in a setting more closely associated with society’s definition of normal. “I haven’t minded Zoom university, but I am definitely getting tired of it,” Logan said. “I hope my last two semesters can be more like my first two years of college. Safety is my first priority, and if [the CDC] says it is OK for vaccinated people to gather in an education setting, then that is what I am hoping to do. Trusting the science and moving forward is all we can do.” Although both Moderna and Pfizer vaccines have

COVID-19 vaccination record cards are becoming a new form of necessary identification as the number of individuals vaccinated begins to rise in Arizona, April 8. Madison Easton | The Lumberjack




eans for Flagstaff’s future “If you don’t get vaccinated, that’s fine, but people need to realize that is why masks will stay in place and social distancing efforts will remain the same.” – Junior Traveling Wolf Weber

demonstrated a nearly 95% efficacy rate — one of the highest marks ever achieved in a vaccine — many citizens are still skeptical. A recent NPR/Marist poll found roughly one in every four Americans believe they will not need nor receive a COVID-19 vaccine. According to the poll, this 25% of the population can put herd immunity at risk and delay the already prolonged stay-at-home orders, occupancy limits and business closures. Junior Traveling Wolf Weber said he believes vaccination efforts will help with the upcoming fall semester, but it may be too early to say one way or the other. Weber recently received the Moderna vaccine on a trip back home to Southern California. “I think there will obviously still be masks and social distancing,” Weber said. “[Hopefully] it will be more normal than what we have been doing with all of this online school.” Weber said he feels people are entitled to their own beliefs and opinions on vaccines, but the use of masks needs to stay in place. When asked about memories on pre-COVID college experiences, Weber mentioned he misses the social interactions. “Everyone is entitled to whatever they want to believe on this vaccine,” Weber said. “If you don’t get vaccinated, that’s fine, but people need to realize that is why masks will stay in place and social distancing efforts will remain the same. I truly miss the campus life as it was with everyone bustling around and the social buzz overall. I feel much less connected to my fellow classmates now, and I hope next year can provide a respite before many of us go into the real world.” Vaccine outreach is expected to continue to grow and become more widely available to every American 18 and older. In an April 6 press release, President Joe Biden said all adults nationwide will have access to the vaccine by no later than April 19. With more optimistic news coming out on a daily basis, the hopes of NAU students for a return to pseudo-normal schooling continues to grow. Getting vaccinated now greatly affects Flagstaff’s future. A sore arm today means the Lumberjacks of NAU will be able to raise their ax higher tomorrow.

Traffic control signs point out a route for vaccine recipients at Fort Tuthill, April 8. Madison Easton | The Lumberjack

APRIL 15 , 2021 – AUG. 25, 202 | THE LUMBERJACK



NAU’s impacts: How the university changed over time Lauren Anderson


AU first opened its doors to students in 1899 and has since undergone major changes in an effort to better serve the Lumberjack population. According to the NAU history page, these adjustments have included multiple name changes ranging between Arizona State Teachers College, Arizona State College and the current name of Northern Arizona University. In 120 years of operation, the school has shown itself to be a place where students can learn and grow. The university is dedicated to being an institution that allows students to explore their aspirations and achieve many possibilities. With more than 60 majors available to choose from, there are endless opportunities to learn from the classroom and hands-on experience that better positions students for jobs within their future fields. Senior Abigail Moran discussed her experience at NAU as she reflected on her past four years and gears up for graduation. More specifically, she talked about how the school has transformed her ever since moving from Missouri to Flagstaff. Moran said one of the biggest influences since starting college was the major she chose to pursue. She is currently enrolled in the School of Hotel and Restaurant Management and explained it is something she loves — and has enjoyed ever since beginning in Flagstaff. “It’s an amazing program and they really set us up for success,” Moran said. “Especially right now, the hospitality industry is really up and coming again and it’s not where it used to be two years ago. Most people I know are graduating with jobs, which is incredible considering the circumstances.” Another positive Moran has seen extends beyond the students and reaches the greater Flagstaff community. She said the

city and NAU are strongly connected, and organizations within the university are thoughtful when it comes to local involvement. Moran is currently involved in a sorority on campus and said she has observed a big influence with organizations like Greek life. Her sorority has benefited from finding local connections, which Moran said helps them as students better integrate themselves into the community. Similarly, NAU has shaped its surroundings through internal developments, which eventually caused Flagstaff to adapt and adjust. Senior Macy Maine said she has watched immense growth around the city since she came to the school in 2017. Maine explained as the student population continued to grow, the town had to expand as a result, which facilitated a big impact on nearby areas. She added that NAU must continue to monitor this influence to ensure it remains positive for the people of Flagstaff. “I think NAU’s biggest impact on the community has been its growth,” Maine said via an Instagram direct message. “Since I’ve been here, I’ve seen two new student housing developments built in town and an increase in the weekday traffic around the university.” Faculty offered another perspective about NAU’s effects on the surrounding community. Donelle Ruwe, a professor in the Department of English since 2003, has seen many additions to the campus and multiple changes to its culture. Ruwe said over the years, as she watched campus expand, Flagstaff had to grow and adapt with it. These changes included new housing, buildings and other infrastructure efforts around the city. She explained it has been interesting to watch campus evolve from her office window throughout the years as NAU expanded and enrollment increased. However, she added one aspect has not

The NAU Honors College building shown during construction, Sept. 14, 2017. Michaela Leikam | The Lumberjack



changed during this time: the students. Ruwe said NAU’s students tend to be from different backgrounds, which helps create NAU’s distinctive culture. As the institution has grown and attracted more students, she said the school’s location attracts a more diverse and accepting campus. “I think that NAU is increasingly aware and working to recognize its position as an institution that is uniquely qualified to work with Indigenous peoples and Native American students,” Ruwe said. “We are also a Hispanic-serving institution, so we are really working to represent the face of America in the Southwest and to meet the needs of students that one finds in the Southwest.” Ruwe said the Department of English has found ways to contribute to the city’s art scene, and additionally created a relationship with elementary and secondary educators. “I think that Flagstaff and NAU are really intertwined,” Ruwe said. “I think that my department does a lot of the artistic life of Flagstaff, we sponsor all kinds of readings and student activities, like the poetry slam. [We want to] create an awareness of culture and the joy of reading and I think that all of that has really helped to develop the character of Flagstaff.” NAU’s impact on students is incredibly valuable as they prepare to enter the modern workforce, Ruwe said. As the university strives to meet the needs of its students, the projects and efforts it invests in will likely change too. With many resources available, students can look forward and work toward integrating themselves into the communities around them, while creating lasting impacts.


APRIL 15, 2021 – AUG. 25, 202 | THE LUMBERJACK



Welcome to ‘Planet Her’


oja Cat is quickly proving she is one of the best up-and-coming artists. I’ve been a fan since her song “MOOO!” dropped. I instantly fell in love with her 2019 album “Hot Pink” because each track and lyrics were so fun to listen to. With the release of single “Kiss Me More” featuring SZA, we are heading into her new era, which I’m so excited for. From Ariana Grande to The Weeknd, Doja has collaborated with some of the best artists, and I was KYLER EDSITTY ecstatic when I heard that SZA was next. SZA is definitely an artist that I can’t get enough of. After the ASSISTANT CULTURE EDITOR release of her 2017 album “Ctrl” and recent singles “Hit Different” and “Good Days,” I’m constantly waiting for more music from her. Doja’s music videos are either hits or misses for me. “Say So” was one of my favorites while “Rules” wasn’t appealing to me. However, the latest one did not disappoint. From the gorgeous lyrics to the divine feminine imagery, the duo has given us another hit. The video begins by showing an astronaut crash landing on “Planet Her.” He is given the task of simply observing and studying the planet while not engaging with the inhabitants. After traveling, he stumbles upon Doja and SZA, who are portrayed as deities. Similar to Eve, he is seduced by the duo and this does not end well for him. I honestly love everything about this science-fiction love story we watch unfold and seeing the two shown as goddesses is so empowering. The landscapes and cosmic visuals make me want to live on this perfect planet where men don’t seem to exist. I also really like all the outfits and makeup styles depicted throughout the video. In the end, it shows the astronaut held captive in a tank screaming for help with other men while Doja and SZA play a video game inspired by his journey. Honestly, that is what he gets for thinking he had a chance with the singers. Although the music video was perfect, the lyrics are what stand out the most. This playful song narrates how badly the two want love and attention from their partners, and SZA unsurprisingly steals the show with her beautiful verse. This track is the first release of Doja’s rumored upcoming album, “Planet Her,” which is set to be released in 2021. According to NYLON magazine, Doja teased who might have features on the upcoming project by unfollowing everyone on Twitter except for selected artists back in January. Among the list were stars like Megan Thee Stallion, Saweetie and SZA. However, nothing has officially been confirmed. I can’t tell you how much I love this album title because I’m here for anything space-related and futuristic. In my book, Doja can really do no wrong and I know that whatever she releases will be amazing. Like a good single should, this track has me eager for more music from the princess of rap.



April 5 to 9: Re-recordings and reboots Katelyn Rodriguez


his week in Hollywood brings a plethora of new music, casting news and death notices. Here’s the latest from the entertainment industry.

Monday, April 5 Marvel released the new trailer for its upcoming Disney+ series “Loki.” The show is set to begin streaming June 11 and stars actor Tom Hiddleston. _________ Variety reported actor John de Lancie is returning to his “Star Trek” role as Q in Season 2 of the Paramount+ series “Star Trek: Picard,” which is set to air in 2022. Tuesday, April 6 Forbes reported social media mogul Kim Kardashian West is officially a billionaire. The magazine “estimates that Kardashian West is now worth $1 billion, up from $780 million in October, thanks to two lucrative businesses — KKW Beauty and Skims — as well as cash from reality television and endorsement deals, and a number of smaller investments.” _________ Actor Thandie Newton is reclaiming the original spelling of her name: Thandiwe. According to an interview between Newton and British Vogue, “All her future films will be credited with Thandiwe Newton, after the W was carelessly [left] out from her first credit.” Wednesday, April 7 Singer Taylor Swift released a new song from the vault titled “Mr. Perfectly Fine,” which was included on the album “Fearless (Taylor’s Version).” _________ The Hollywood Reporter reported actor Walter Olkewicz, best known for his role on “Twin Peaks” and “Grace Under Fire,” died at the age of 72. _________ According to Variety, Season 5 of “The Crown” will begin filming in July. The show is set to star actors Elizabeth Debicki (Princess Diana), Dominic West (Prince Charles), Imelda Staunton (Queen Elizabeth) and

Lesley Manville (Princess Margaret). _________ Variety reported director and producer Tyler Perry is creating a prequel series with Showtime about his hit character, Madea. Thursday, April 8 Taylor Swift released her highly anticipated album “Fearless (Taylor’s Version).” _________ Disneyland announced its new attraction “Avengers Campus,” which will be located in California Adventure Park, will open June 4. _________ Singer Doja Cat released her new single “Kiss Me More,” which is a collaboration with singer SZA. _________ According to Deadline, actor Tom Holland was cast in Apple TV’s new series “The Crowded Room.” Friday, April 9 Rapper DMX, 50, died after having a heart attack April 2. His family confirmed the news to People magazine in a statement, saying, “Earl [Simmons] was a warrior who fought till the very end. He loved his family with all of his heart and we cherish the times we spent with him. Earl’s music inspired countless fans across the world and his iconic legacy will live on forever.” _________ Disney announced on its Twitter and Instagram that actor Phoebe Waller-Bridge was cast in its new “Indiana Jones” film, which is set to be released July 29, 2022 and also stars Harrison Ford. _________ Deadline reported actor Robyn Lively will play Sara Bellum in the CW’s live-action “Powerpuff Girls” reboot. Actor Tom Kenny will reprise his role as narrator.


graduating NAU nurses step into the medical field Annika Beck


s graduation approaches, many seniors are finally getting bachelor’s degrees in their desired fields. For a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing, students have to be separately admitted into the School of Nursing, which has a different application undergraduates can complete after their freshman year. Traditionally, only 30 students are admittedeach semester, which shows its competitiveness. Taylor Quinonez, a senior graduating this spring with her Bachelor of Science in Nursing, talked about her future plans and the effects of COVID-19. “I hope to land a job at Phoenix Children’s Hospital and to work in a critical care or trauma setting,” Quinonez said. “That’s where I see myself happiest in life, helping the little ones with the biggest battles they’ll ever encounter. As nursing students, it’s been hard to secure placements in hospitals, which decreases the amount of patient experience we get before we graduate.” Quinonez also explained the importance of hands-on experience in professional or clinical settings. COVID-19 reminded her of how vital health care workers are, and she explained beforehand, they were not as acknowledged nor appreciated for their courageous actions — ones that put them at risk. According to the School of Nursing website, the program provides tools and hands-on resources that will help students become successful in related fields. The curriculum covers disease prevention, primary care assessment, health maintenance and evidence-based research, while also highlighting rural, urban and other culturally diverse health care needs that allow students to advance in different directions. The nursing program is also accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). A numerous amount of opportunities can be pursued with this career path: rehabilitation, family, hospital, community, public health, gerontological and critical care nursing among them. Senior Demitria Bowers is preparing for spring graduation with a bachelor’s degree in nursing, and she considered her plans during the pandemic. “I plan to move to the Phoenix area to continue my career in the field of nursing,” Bowers said. “I plan to work in critical care units such as intensive care units (ICU) or emergency departments. I believe that unfortunately, due to COVID-19, there are more openings for nursing jobs than ever before … I am excited to be able to work in the

“The entrance process and nursing school, in general, can be very difficult and seem daunting. If you manage your time, school life and social life, and genuinely care about nursing, you will succeed.” – Senior Demitria Bowers

valley as a nurse, especially during these times.” Bowers said she hopes to work in critical care to gain valuable experience in a time-sensitive area, and afterward, she would like to go back to school to become a nurse practitioner or pediatric nurse. She also said she learned to connect with patients more via her Type 1 diabetes diagnosis. Even though she talked about the big picture, such as wanting to make a difference in people’s lives, Bowers also gave advice for future nursing students and how to make friends in the NAU nursing program. “Time management [is one strategy],” Bowers said. “And seriously, never give up. The entrance process and nursing school, in general, can be very difficult and seem daunting. If you manage your time, school life and social life, and genuinely care about nursing, you will succeed. I have made friends in nursing school who will be friends for the rest of my life. Also, the clinical experiences and hospital clinicals I was able to participate in made all the hard work and countless hours of studying worth it.” According to NAU’s website, faculty and staff within the nursing program hope students will learn, succeed and lead by completing a mixture of challenging — but rewarding — coursework. Additionally, the program is offered at the Yuma campus and Pima Community College, as well as the Flagstaff mountain campus. Even without the strain of the pandemic, the demand for nurses has increased. According to the Center of Education and the Workforce, which published a five-year predictions report between 2015 and 2020, the economy was expected to create 1.6 million job openings within the nursing field. Although these availabilities stem from newly created opportunities and retirements, researchers predicted not all openings will be filled. Meanwhile, Quinonez gave advice to aspiring nursing students and shared her favorite part of the program. “My biggest piece of advice is to not be so hard on yourself and don’t compare yourself to others,” Quinonez said. “It puts you behind on the road to your success. The best part of the NAU nursing program is the feeling you get when you step on to a clinical site knowing you’re going to walk out a better nurse than you were yesterday.” The pandemic has shown the value of nurses and the hard work they contributed during a global health crisis. For those completing their bachelor’s in the field but looking to receive more education, NAU also offers graduate nursing programs. Illustration By Dominic Davies

APRIL 15, 2021 – AUG. 25, 202 | THE LUMBERJACK



Where the top QBs will land in the draft No. 1: Jacksonville Jaguars — Trevor Lawrence, Clemson University To no one’s surprise, Trevor Lawrence will be the first overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. He has been the most talked about quarterback since his first year at Clemson and even received a lot of hype coming out of high school. Many analysts believe that Trevor Lawrence is the most “sure thing” quarterback we have seen come out of college since Andrew Luck in 2012. Lawrence is a complete quarterback as he has a cannon for an arm, dynamic playmaking ability and great athleticism for his 6-foot-6 frame. No. 2: New York Jets — Zach CONOR Wilson, Brigham Young University SJOERDSMA With arguably the best pro day of all quarterback prospects, Zach Wilson’s WRITER draft stock has risen tremendously over the past year. Wilson can best be described as a gunslinger who puts tremendous velocity on the ball and can throw at multiple arm angles. He also takes care of the ball considering he had an 11:1 touchdown-to-interception ratio in 2020. In addition, the Jets recently decided to move on from Sam Darnold, who they selected third overall in 2018. No. 3: San Francisco 49ers — Mac Jones, University of Alabama On March 26, the San Francisco 49ers made an unexpected trade with the Dolphins to acquire the third overall pick in this year’s draft. In exchange, the 49ers sent their 12th overall pick to the Dolphins, as well as two first-round picks in 2022 and 2023. To put it bluntly, the 49ers would not have given up this much draft capital to simply draft a lineman; they are going for a position that can change the team’s dynamic, which is quarterback. Clearly, the 49ers believe it is time for an upgrade No. 4: Atlanta Falcons — Justin Fields, Ohio State University Justin Fields, possibly the most overlooked quarterback in this draft, will not be one of the top three quarterbacks taken. His draft stock has mysteriously fallen over the past few months ever since losing to Alabama in the College Football Playoff National Championship. Assuming the Falcons have one or two more seasons with 35-year-old quarterback Matt Ryan before things go downhill, they will be looking for a young guy who can develop behind him. I think the Falcons will take Justin Fields over Trey Lance because Fields is a Georgia native.



NAU players and staff celebrate winning the Grand Canyon Trophy after defeating Southern Utah, 28-20, April 10. Photo courtesy of NAU Athletics

NAU football’s altered season hasn’t hurt the team’s spirits Sadie Thompson


AU football has faced numerous postponements and cancellations due to COVID-19. The Big Sky Conference was granted an eightweek season for spring 2021, including two bye weeks that could serve in times where postponed games may be rescheduled in an effort to mitigate pandemic-related issues. NAU football has seen many schedule changes thanks to other teams it was supposed to play. The team had to take a three-week hiatus because Idaho University had COVID outbreaks that pushed its matchup to the end of the schedule. With that, NAU was essentially given a two-week bye. Then its next game, scheduled for April 3, was canceled because the opponent, Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo, opted out of the rest of the season due to not meeting the minimum active player count of 49. With the several unknowns COVID-19 still presents, NAU head coach Chris Ball has expectations for players and staff to uphold every day, for the benefit of themselves as well as the team. “It all comes down to when you wake up in the morning, how are you going to handle that day,” Ball said. “The best thing about that is it is a choice, you can choose to handle it and feel

sorry for yourself, or you can choose to wake up and continue to try to be elite every day.” Constantly thinking about what can possibly happen, instead of reacting to what actually happens, is what Ball said he encourages the team not to do. Instead, he tells them to worry about what they can control. The players have bought into this way of thinking. By focusing on themselves and becoming better individually, the team as a whole is set to be on the rise. “Our coaches have a really good mindset and for that reason, we as a team are able to keep going and keep persevering because it is tough during this COVID season,” freshman running back Draycen Hall said. “We don’t know if we are going to play. We like to think we are going to, prepare and do everything so that we can play, but at the end of the day we can’t control the circumstance — but we can control how we react and how we prepare.” COVID has altered the sports world as a whole, including a number at NAU. These changes have allowed players to look at athletics in a new perspective. Redshirt senior punter DJ Arnson relates this period of COVID cancellations and halted social gatherings to a time long ago when all college sports were stopped. “It’s been so unprecedented, I don’t think there’s anyone that has gone through cancellations like this,” Arnson said. “Probably

Game results:

SPORTS the closest thing would be during World War II when they canceled all sports in college. It’s just so different and uncharted waters.” The changes to NAU’s schedule have occurred because of other teams and their responses to this odd season. Unlike Idaho, NAU has yet to endure a COVID outbreak. “Control what you can control, we came off a really hardfought loss last week at Weber [State] and we were very, very ready to take our anger out on this Cal Poly team,” Arnson said. “Now, low and behold, we find out they are going to opt out of the rest of the season. So, that was nothing that was in our control — nothing we did, nothing we could have done to prevent that — but now we have two weeks to prepare for Southern Utah, and the show goes on.” Back on March 27, the Lumberjacks lost a heartbreaker on the road against still undefeated Weber State when the Wildcats converted a 50-yard Hail Mary to win the game, 28-23. Both the player and coaching staff had to work around the effects COVID presented to the team. Despite Ball only being in his second season as head coach, he and his staff have been resilient in their determination to stay the course. Ball discussed how the figures on his staff used their experiences to stay committed. Although the coach’s and team’s mentality are not to reminisce on the obstacles being thrown their way, it is still frustrating for players like Hall to miss opportunities after completing numerous practices and workouts. “We work so hard, especially during those bye weeks practicing and lifting, and it is hard preparing for something when you don’t get to play and show out,” Hall said. “It’s been a long time waiting … We’ve been grinding and hitting just going against each other, but we want to go against another opponent. We want to show the hard work we’ve put in, [and] we want to show how good Northern Arizona [University] is.” Thanks to their game against Idaho being postponed to April 17, the team’s long break began to remind players of the even longer hiatus this past fall. Ball can relate to the struggles the players have gone through after missing the 2020 fall season and then having a shortened spring season with several conference teams not competing. “A lot of them hang their hat on football defining them,” Ball said. “Football does not define you, but in their minds that’s where they gain the attention, that’s where they’ve gotten friends, what they’re known for, and all of the sudden what they hang their hat on. This sport does not define you, and that has been hard on them, too. That is why it is so important we play this spring.” One of Ball’s main focuses when coaching his team is to instill the ideal that being a good person will amount to someone being a good player. No matter the circumstances, getting a spring season was extremely important for this team, which is heavily stacked with underclassmen. Ball noted these students have been playing football since they were as young as 8-years-old and the game has been a part of them for years.

With many unknowns swarming the heads of the young men Ball trusts and cares about, he constantly reminds the team of the characteristics they have to represent, enabling everyone to continue focusing, learning and improving each day. Actions off the field also bring character to this squad. The idea of being a student-athlete who still acts professionally is also a cornerstone for the Lumberjacks. “If you’re not doing the right things, if you’re out partying and doing whatever, you’re not following those characteristics and you’re probably going to get COVID,” Hall said. “[Coach Ball] really preaches on that not even just on the field, but off the field, because if you’re not doing the things off the field, you can’t even get on the field.” If players do not follow the rules, they take on the added possibility and responsibility of jeopardizing the health of everyone affiliated with the team. Arnson detailed how hard it can be to effectively put your life on hold for the betterment of the team. The added sense of responsibility for not only yourself, but your teammates, requires sacrifice.

Men’s TENnis April 7: (NAU 4- Air Force 3) Aprl 8: (NAU 2- Metro State, Denver 5) April 10: (NAU 5- Nebraska-Omaha 2)


“It’s been a challenge; it’s been night and day different from any other regular season” – Redshirt Senior Punter DJ Arnson

“It’s been a challenge; it’s been night and day different from any other regular season,” Arnson said. “There is an added aspect of responsibility for each player to understand the bigger picture. You have to make some personal sacrifices for the good of the team.” NAU football has not had any COVID outbreaks so far this season and has reportedly practiced over 80 times since August, Ball said. Seeing competition in the spring is more of a jumpstart to becoming an even better team next fall. With extra practices and a surprise spring season, performance expectations from Ball and the athletes are set sky high. The values Ball represents and teaches to the athletes go a long way in convincing them they can be great, Hall explained. “We want to show that we are a championship team,” Hall said. “Coach Ball really has that mindset and I think a lot of guys are buying in, but we need to play that to show that. The stuff coach Ball is teaching us is for life. It goes beyond football.” While competing in a once-in-a-lifetime spring season, and with attendance allowed at only a few universities — NAU not included — Hall’s family was able to witness his first college touchdown against Weber State at Stewart Stadium. This moment was a long time coming for Hall as NAU’s

April 10: (NAU 28- Southern Utah 20)

battalion of running options have all gotten chances to make huge plays for the offense. “It was a blessing ... My family was actually able to attend … they got tickets and so it was amazing scoring the first touchdown of my college career in front of my family and everyone,” Hall said. While Hall was able to enjoy his family’s attendance at the game, playing in stadiums with no fans and no noise is a completely different atmosphere and experience for the athletes. The disparity between venues with fans and those without has certainly been noted by the players. “When you’re on the field, it’s really easy to focus because there are zero distractions, but when you’re on the sideline … it’s almost more distracting on the sideline because you can hear way more,” Arnson said. “It’s almost like an added pressure because the people on the sidelines are way more focused on whatever you’re doing because they’re not looking around, talking to people in the stands or looking for their parents. Everyone on the sidelines is watching the 22 people on the field.” Not only are all eyes on the players, but without the noise of fans in the crowd, all the athletes hear is silence — or screaming coaches from both sidelines. With the extra practices, downtime and quieter games, the athletes have been able to turn around the negative effects of COVID and grow with each other. “It’s been awesome to meet so many more of my teammates and actually have relationships with them rather than just knowing their names, and it builds into the whole factor of trust,” Arnson said. “I think if more people on the team took it upon themselves to get to know the guy next to them, it’s a lot easier to play for those guys in the game when you’re down in the trenches or you’re down by two touchdowns and it’s the fourth quarter. Raising the camaraderie of the whole team is really important.” COVID cancellations and postponements aren’t opportune, but there are several areas the team improved on and will use more strongly once the pandemic’s issues are resolved. A value Ball constantly revisits with the team is the importance of being a good person first. “Good people usually end up doing better on the field, in my opinion, [and] we see the guys making good choices, smart choices in the classroom, off the field, working hard. Those are the ones that make plays,” Hall said. NAU found some success recently as it improved its season record to 2-2 after winning a rematch against Southern Utah University in Cedar City, Utah on Saturday. With one regular season game remaining against Idaho, the Lumberjacks will not take the opportunity to compete for granted. NAU will face the Vandals April 17 at Walkup Skydome.

Women’s TENnis APril 9: (NAU 5- New Mexico State 2) April 10: (NAU 4- UTEP 1)

APRIL 15, 2021 – AUG. 25, 2020 | THE LUMBERJACK



NAU women’s basketball head coach Loree Payne breaks the huddle after a timeout February 25, 2020 at Rolle Activity Center. Michael Patacsil |The Lumberjack

NAU women’s basketball looks toward a strong future after a winning season Evan McNelia


omen’s basketball finished with a winning record for the second straight year under head coach Loree Payne, a feat NAU had not reached since the 2006-07 season. Despite so many unknowns during the pandemic, the team was able to pull off a full season with minimal hiccups. “The need to be adaptable was huge this year,” Payne said. “For us to play [in the] postseason and to have back-to-back winning seasons for the first time in 14 years, I think it just speaks to the culture we’re trying to create here.” NAU won in the first round of the Big Sky Women’s Basketball Championships, defeating No. 10 Weber State, 82-69. The tournament run would end, however, as the team was knocked out by conference runner-up Idaho in the quarterfinals, 67-53. The Lumberjacks faced adversity early in the year. NAU was expecting all five starters back heading into the season, but due to injury, that number was reduced to two with one of the healthy players coming off an injury herself. “We were expecting a totally veteran team, and we ended up with a pretty new team with our transfers and freshmen,” Payne said. “I think us playing so well at the end of the season really encouraged us that our [players] were finally


picking up the system and playing within it, which gives us a lot of excitement for the future.” NAU was able to start the season hot, jumping out to a 4-2 record before facing a cancellation against New Mexico State, which gave the team a two-week break. “I think the break was actually good for us,” Payne said. “The kids got a little bit of downtime, a little bit of rest and recovery, and we came out and played really strong against Idaho.” After a 22-point win over Idaho on New Year’s Eve, the Lumberjacks dropped seven of their next eight games, as injuries to key players highlighted a tough part of the conference schedule. NAU also had a tough year on the road, posting a 2-8 record in conference away games. “It was really unfortunate with how the Big Sky schedule worked out this year,” Payne said. “It was challenging to go on the road, [and] to have to play back-to-back games against the same team. There were a handful of those that we weren’t at full strength, [and] we were missing key players. I don’t believe we were ever really at full strength until the end of the season.” NAU finished the regular season 12-12 overall and 10-10 in conference play after sweeping two of its final four opponents and receiving the No. 7 seed in the Big Sky Conference tournament. The Lumberjacks handled Weber State in the first round, 82-68, but in the second round, the team lost to Idaho.


“Idaho, their players had just come off a shutdown and a pause,” Payne said about the semifinal loss. “I think their players were very eager to get back out onto the floor. We just didn’t make shots, and we struggled from three. During games we shot the 3 well we generally came out successfully, and games we didn’t we had a really challenging time … If you don’t bring your A-game, you don’t win.” NAU wrapped up the season by heading to Frankfort, Kentucky for the Women’s Basketball Invitational, a tournament featuring seven midmajor schools. Every team in the tournament competed in three games, and NAU started by playing Florida International University in the first round and defeating the Panthers, 82-69 — thereby advancing in the winners’ bracket. In the second round, NAU played the Portland Pilots and fell, 80-65. In the thirdplace game, the Lumberjacks edged out Stetson University by three points to finish the tournament 2-1 and the season 15-14. “To end our season on a win, I think there were only six teams that ended their season with a win in the country and we were one of them, which is pretty cool,” Payne said. Now, the team is set to take a huge step forward as it looks forward to next season. “The main foundation of our team is returning, and we’re going to be adding four more players,” Payne said. “Three have already signed, and another one is signing next week, so we feel like our additions are going to put us in a

good position. I think they complement the kids coming back, and we’re just really excited. We’re sitting at a position again in the spring where we are going to have a veteran team coming back and we’re going to be able to pick up where we left off.” NAU had a number of key seniors who made a huge impact last season such as guards JJ Nakai and Miki’ala Maio, as well as forwards Jacey Bailey and Khiarica Rasheed. According to NAU Athletics, those four players combined for 3,160 minutes this season, or 54.5% of the team’s total minutes. Nakai and Rasheed were first and second on the team in scoring this season, as both averaged over 13 points per game. Rasheed led the team with 7 rebounds per game and Bailey paced the Lumberjacks with 44 steals on the season. There were some tough losses for the team, but it does have star power returning for next season in Rasheed, who announced she will use her extra year of eligibility to return to the team. Junior guard Regan Schenck will return for the 2021-22 campaign after posting 34.5 minutes per game this season. Schenck led NAU with 149 assists, grabbed nearly 7 rebounds per game and also scored 11.4 points a game. In Schenck and Rasheed, NAU has two core players to build around next season. After facing adversity, NAU was able to finish with a winning season and continue the overall upward trajectory of the women’s basketball program.


APRIL 15, 2021 – AUG. 25, 2020 | THE LUMBERJACK




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The Lumberjack -- April 15, 2021  

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