NAU Graduate College
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August’s Graduate Student of the Month from the Graduate College: Savannah Berry
Originally from San Diego, Savannah Berry embodies the true spirit of what it means to be a graduate student at NAU: she is a student leader, a researcher, a scholar, and an athlete.
Savannah has been active in the Graduate Student Government, serving as a college representative in 2018-2019, as co-president in 2019-2020, president in 2020-2021, and now as the vice president of external affairs this academic year. During these years, she has worked tirelessly on behalf of graduate students, led efforts university-wide to keep graduate students’ needs at the forefront of the conversation, and helped shape the university’s mission regarding graduate education. In 2020-2021, she led the GSG and the graduate student body through some of the roughest times of the pandemic, leading with grace, patience, calm, and sound judgment. Savannah has worked with university leaders on behalf of graduate students to transition to remote teaching and learning, to ensure the safety of graduate assistants in contact with undergraduates in the classroom and lab, to represent graduate student voices, and to promote sensible solutions to complex challenges. She has definitely impacted NAU in terms of graduate education.
As a doctoral candidate in the Biological Sciences program, Savannah’s dissertation project looks at the sex differences of oxidative stress and cardiovascular disease, specifically focusing on estrogen and physical activity within these populations, as well as investigating the effects of arsenic across sex. She plans to defend this fall semester. She is also a graduate teaching assistant in the Dept. of Biology.
Previously, Savannah was a Division 1 soccer player at NAU during her undergraduate years before moving to England to play soccer and get a Master’s degree in Biomechanics at Leeds Beckett University. After coming back to NAU, Savannah was also an assistant soccer coach for the NAU Women’s Soccer team, while also serving on the Athletics Student Advisory Committee. Currently, Savannah is on the national beach soccer team!
It is clear that Savannah impacts the world around her, no matter what particular project she is involved in. Her leadership skills and her dedication to our university and community exemplify the qualities that are valued in our NAU graduate students. It is with great pride that the Graduate College recognizes Savannah Berry as the Graduate College’s Graduate Student of the Month.
August’s Graduate Student of the Month from the College of Arts & Letters: Ekaterina Sudina
Nominated by Dr. Luke Plonsky, August’s Graduate Student of the Month Recognition from the College of Arts and Letters goes to Ekaterina Sudina, doctoral candidate in Applied Linguistics. Ekaterina’s accomplishments and contributions to the academic community at NAU are truly exceptional and embody NAU’s values to the fullest, “Ekaterina is one of the most skilled, tenacious, and autonomous scholars I have ever encountered”, said Dr. Plonsky in his nomination letter. As a fourth-year doctoral student, Ekaterina has already published seven peer-reviewed journal articles and two book chapters, all in top-tier outlets and presses (e.g., Language Learning; Bilingualism: Language and Cognition). In addition to an already-remarkable trajectory of scholarly contributions, Ekaterina received a dissertation grant from Language Learning, one of the longest standing and most prestigious journals/organizations in the field. In early 2021, she also received two additional awards from CIE and from NAU’s Graduate Student Government. Prior to coming to NAU, Ekaterina received a Fulbright Scholarship to come from Russia to complete her Master of Arts degree.
Ekaterina’s teaching at NAU (e.g., ENG 105) has been consistently recognized for its quality by her supervisors. Consequently, she was chosen among many for the role of GTA for a large-section, 120-student Introduction to Linguistics course this fall and for a selective summer position at the University Writing Center.
Finally, Ekaterina is the first and only graduate student member of the editorial board of TESOL Quarterly. In addition, she has been invited to serve as peer reviewer for three prominent journals in the field, a sign of her growing status and expertise. She has also held leadership roles in our graduate student organization (GSAAL) and as a CIE Ambassador. Please join us in congratulating Ekaterina as CAL’s Graduate Student of the Month.
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