Meet the Graduate Student Government Representatives

College of Arts & Letters Representative: 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.

College of Social & Behavioral Science Representative: Molly Thrash

Molly Thrash



Molly Thrash is in her third year of the PhD program in Politics and International Affairs. Her research interests center on public policy and Federal decision-making for agriculture in light of climate change, especially in the very arid southwest.  Molly’s BA is in Anthropology from the University of Colorado, and she has more than fifteen years of professional experience initially as an archaeologist which quickly transition to environmental protection and compliance specialist with the Bureau of Reclamation and other federal agencies.

As the representative from the School of Behavioral and Social Sciences, Molly represents a diverse student population and looks forward to bringing their concerns and interests forward for discussion.



College of Education Representative: Ellinoa Blake

Ellinoa Blake

Ellinoa Brodsky Blake is the GSG representative for the College of Education. She passionate about making education accessible, inclusive and utilizing it as a means to promote dialogue and respect. She received her B.A. in Critical Race, Gender and Sexuality Studies from Humboldt State, and is currently pursuing an M.E.d. in Student Affairs Counseling at NAU. She serves as a GA for the Academic Success Centers, an intern for Louie's Cupboard, as well as Vice President of the Student Affairs and Higher Education (SAHE) club. She looks forward to working with graduate students and supporting professional and academic endeavors of future educators and practitioners. 

College of Business Representative: Vacant

Diversity Representative: Laura Rodriguez

Laura Rodriguez

Laura is a third-year doctoral student in the Combined Counseling/School Psychology program at Northern Arizona University. She is a first-generation student whose family is of Colombian descent. Laura is passionate about promoting awareness and education regarding various issues related to diversity and global learning. Her research interests include systemic inequities and minority issues in professional training and psychology. Through education, training, and research, Laura hopes to use her skills to enhance NAU's cultural competency and foster a more inclusive campus community.  


College of Engineering, Forestry, and Natural Sciences (CEFNS) Representative: Carissa Miyano

Carissa Miyano


Carissa Miyano, College of Engineering, Forestry and Natural Sciences (CEFNS) Representative, is a master's student at Northern Arizona University working under Dr. Kiisa Nishikawa. She is investigating thermoregulation issues faced by mice with a gene deletion in the muscle protein titin. Carissa completed her B.S. in Biomedical Science at Northern Arizona University and currently serves as Secretary for the Biology Graduate Student Association and the Graduate Student Councilor for the Arizona Physiological Society. 

Carissa's goals for GSG are to continue the growth of the travel award program to increase CEFNS student attendance at national and international conferences, increase CEFNS student involvement with GSG, and to encourage collaboration and more involvement between colleges within CEFNS. She will be finishing her master's this Fall. 


Engineering, Forestry, and Natural Sciences (CEFNS) Representative: Sneha Vissa

Sneha Vissa

Sneha is a PhD. Student in the School of Forestry and a Teaching Assistant in Biological Sciences. She received her Masters of Science in Forestry working in the Hofstetter Lab here at NAU. Her research focus is bark beetles and their ecological interactions with mite and fungal microbes. As an elected member of GSG, she serves as one of the two representative for the College of Engineering, Forestry and Natural Sciences (CEFNS). As the CEFNS Rep, her goal is to promote collaboration between the various departments under CEFNS and ensure that CEFNS graduate students have a voice at the administrative level. She is a founding member of Northern Arizona Association of Women in STEM (NAAWiSTEM), and also serves on the committee board for implementing the Ecology, Evolution and Conservation Biology Program (a concentration/focus available for MS and PhD students in Biology, Forestry and SESES). 

Contact Information:

Non-Traditional Student Representative: Richard Gaughan

Richard Gaughan

After working as an engineer and science writer for a few decades, Richard decided to return to graduate school.  Coming back to coursework after several years presents its own set of challenges, so Richard chose to serve as a GSG representative to ensure NAU hears the needs of the population of mid- and late-career returning students.  But the flip side of that equation is equally important: the unique pool of highly experienced nontraditional graduate students should also make certain they are bringing maximum value to the university.  Richard seeks to support both essential processes.

Research-based Programs Representative: Bo Stevens

Bo Stevens

I am a Ph.D student in the School of Earth Sciences and Environmental Sustainability at NAU. I am interested in data science, ecology, remote sensing, microbiology, and the public perception of complex and novel scientific issues. I work with the Nancy Johnson Lab of Soil Ecology to elicit patterns of bacterial and fungal communities within the Serengeti grasslands.

I also co-organize Flagstaff’s Science on Tap and I am a founding member of The Committee for Evidence-Based Action (CEBA,, which is an NAU graduate student organization founded and organized by early career scientists. Our mission is to advance society with decisions based on a strong foundation of evidence.

As a GSG Research Programs Representative, I advocate for graduate students and the Flagstaff community within university administration and local, state, and national governing bodies.  


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.