Meet the Graduate Student Government Representatives


Arts & Letters: Rebecca Snow

As an NAU Graduate Student Government (GSG) representative of and advocate for NAU College of Arts and Letters (CAL) graduate students before the GSG and with university administrators and local, state, and national governing bodies, I look forward to hearing from CAL grad students about their interests and proposals.  Also, please check out the NAU Graduate Student Government and Graduate College websites to keep informed about activities and events for graduate students.  The GSG also provides funding for graduate student organizations and travel expenses for graduate students to conferences.

Social & Behavioral Science: Heather Fernandez

Education: Amy Peterson

Business: Tierney Schipper

Tierney Schipper

Tierney Schipper is a MBA candidate at the Franke College of Business. Her background is in biology and she has worked in many areas across the desert southwestern United States. Her work has focused on birds, reptiles, fish, insects, and plants. She grew up in Fargo, North Dakota and earned a BA in biological sciences from North Dakota State University. Tierney is interested in combining her background in biology with her MBA degree to work in environmental advocacy and outreach.

Diversity Liaison: Laura Rodriguez

Laura Rodriguez

Laura Rodriguez is a second year Ph.D. student in the Combined Counseling/School Psychology program with the College of Education. She graduated with a B.A. in Psychology minoring in Sociology and Spanish at Arizona State University, and received her M.A. in Mental Health Counseling at Argosy University in Phoenix. Currently, Laura is serving as the Campus Representative for the American Psychological Association of Graduate Students (APAGS) and is a Business Manager for the College of Education Doctoral Student Organization. Her research interests are in trauma and resilience. Specifically, Laura is interested in intergenerational trauma, self-efficacy, health disparities within the Latino population, and effective trauma-informed pedagogies. As the new GSG Campus Representative for the College of Education, she is looking forward to being an advocate and voice for the students in order to provide a more quality and inclusive experience at NAU.  Laura has a strong work ethic and collaborative approach and hopes to further develop NAU’s identity by bringing more awareness to the needs of the student body.

Engineering, Forestry, and Natural Sciences: Victor Jimenez

Victor Jimenez

Victor Jimenez, College of Engineering, Forestry, and Natural Sciences (CEFNS) representative, is a third-year graduate student in the Biology Department at NAU, and is working toward a PhD in Biology. Victor completed his B.S from Arizona State University with an emphasis in Biology and Microbiology. He currently also serves as Biology Graduate Student Association (BGSA) president, and enjoys serving and mentoring fellow graduate and undergraduate students to a successful experience at NAU.

Victor’s research interests include immunology, microbiology, and comparative pathology. His current research instigates the effects of alcohol toxicity on host immunological responses and bacterial virulence. Victor is committed to excellence within and beyond the academic institution, and looks forward to assist the Graduate Student Government (GSG) in facilitating a broader vision of interdisciplinary exchange of information and community awareness throughout Northern Arizona University.

Engineering, Forestry, and Natural Sciences: Uzma Tahir


I completed my undergraduate and master’s degrees in Biology form Georgia State University under the direction of Dr. Donald Edwards. For both degrees, I emphasized in neuroscience and behavior.  For my masters project I studied how a local postural reflex is modulated during a centrally commanded movement. I am currently a PhD student in the lab of Dr. Kiisa Nishikawa, studying how different inputs from the nervous system  change intrinsic muscle properties. I perform experiments in isolated  soleus muscles and test them under varying levels of activation and length changes to determine mechanisms underlying basic muscle physiology. I then take what I learn from these experiments to modify a neuro-muscular based control algorithm for a robotic prosthesis based on intrinsic muscle properties.

Extended Campus Representative: Donald O'Dell

My name is Donald O’Dell, a proud alumni of Northern Arizona University and its Phi Sigma Kappa fraternity chapter. As a long time government career professional; I seek to complete a MA and PH. D program in my field in order to better serve the “public good”. I am interested in research and improvement within the Public Administration field. I hope that   my abilities and experience bring value added to both NAU and its student body.