NAU Graduate Student Government
Advocating for all graduate students at NAU
The NAU Graduate Student Government (GSG) represents and advocates for the graduate student body within university administration and local, state, and national governing bodies.
Graduate Student Government officers
Graduate Student Government representatives
Officer Biographies Accordion Closed
Laura Rodriguez is a fourth-year doctoral student in the Combined Counseling/School Psychology program at Northern Arizona University. Her research interests include minority student success with an emphasis in addressing critical social justice issues and systemic barriers as it impacts psychological well-being. Laura is a strong advocate and voice for others in her personal, academic, and professional life. This is Laura’s third year in the Graduate Student Government and she is excited to serve as the next GSG President. She is looking forward to advocating on behalf of graduate students at the local, state, and national level. Combined with her leadership skills and agency for change, Laura hopes to continue in the steps of her predecessors and improve students’ quality educational, professional, and personal experiences as they embark on their journeys here at Northern Arizona University. Laura encourages you to contact her with ideas or concerns that impact your educational experience.
Bo Stevens is a Ph.D. student in the School of Earth and Sustainability at NAU. He is 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. Bo also is a founding member of the Committee for Evidence-Based Action (CEBA, email@example.com) which is an NAU graduate student organization founded and organized by early career scientists. Their mission is to advance society with decisions based on a strong foundation of evidence. As a GSG VP of University Affairs, he advocates for graduate students and the Flagstaff community within university administration and local, state, and national governing bodies.
After working as an engineer and science writer for a few decades, Richard Gaughan 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.
Representative Biographies Accordion Closed
Kellen Brandel is a Flagstaff native with a global perspective. He is currently in the second year of his Master’s in the Art of Teaching Spanish in the College of Arts and Letters. Research interests include second language acquisition and the use of technology to assist language learning. His passion for language, travel, and foreign cultures is matched only by his involvement in education and local politics. As the representative for CAL, he aims to provide a platform for which graduate students’ voices can be heard, while promoting the arts and humanities that form our area of study.
Chelsey Tarazi is currently earning her Doctorate in Combined School Psychology/Counseling Psychology in the College of Education. She is passionate about working with adults and children whether it is conducting evaluations or delivering interventions. She hopes to provide support to graduate students within the College of Education as well as to connect the COE with other colleges on campus in the spirit of research and teamwork.
Sneha Vissa 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).
Molly Bechtel graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR) with a B.Sc. and M.Sc. in Animal Science. Soon after she completed her Master’s degree she was hired at the United States Geological Survey as a desert tortoise biologist. Here she worked on several research projects, including a project focused on disease and health of tortoise populations. Currently, as a PhD student in the Nieto lab, she is studying tick-borne disease in desert tortoises and how ticks and disease interact with the Mojave Desert burrow ecosystem and possibly, public health. Her research uses expertise in sequencing techniques, epidemiology, infection kinetics and wildlife ecology to determine the role tick-borne pathogens play in the Mojave Desert. She also works as the president and co-founder of the nonprofit organization Northern Arizona Association for Women in STEM, which advocates for equal representation of women in the sciences.
Emma Drehobl is a second-year graduate student in the Master’s program for clinical speech language pathology. Her main area of focus is the pediatric population in the medical setting. Her research interests include swallowing and feeding disorders of infants, as well as the implementation of interprofessional education teams to provide services with patient centered care. She became involved with GSG to become more involved with the NAU Community and to collaborate with a variety of graduate students to maximize the graduate student experience.
Looking to better himself, his surroundings, and his planet, Darren Bingham chose to attend graduate school in the college of social and behavioral sciences at NAU. Here he is a master’s candidate in the sustainable communities program. In the second year of his program, Darren is diligently working to create and complete his thesis. His area of study centers around solid waste management & recycling, marketing and social engineering, and City planning. As the SBS representative, Darren continues to engage with the students of SBS at a personal level and learn their goals, hopes, needs, and struggles. This allows him to create unique solutions that challenge inequality and alter our collective direction. Fascinated by the intersection of disciplines, values, and people, Darren looks to facilitate collaborative teams to solve societal issues. Please reach out with any ideas you have to build direct systems of support for all graduate students. Whether all is really lost or not depends entirely on whether or not I am lost – Vaclav Havel
Anna Sobolov Good is an MBA graduate student at the W.A. Franke College of Business with a management focus. She became involved with GSG to work together with fellow graduate students across NAU to better our community.
Tauni Malmgren “I am pursuing my occupational therapy doctorate (OTD) at the Northern Arizona University (NAU) Phoenix Biomedical Campus (PBC) in downtown Phoenix, Arizona. Our campus is an interdisciplinary campus in partnership with the University of Arizona (UA). Here, NAU students earn advanced healthcare degrees in athletic training, physical therapy, physician assistant studies, and occupational therapy. I love the expansive nature of occupational therapy (OT), and I am interested in many research and practice areas: hand therapy, lymphedema, substance use disorder (SUD), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), dementia, complementary and integrative health, occupational justice, cultural relevance, and evidence based practice. I will try to narrow it down by the time my doctoral experience component (DEC) rolls around! Here at PBC, OTD students have a robust and award-winning Student Occupational Therapy Association (SOTA). I was nominated by SOTA’s president Carly Jo Kersavage to be the Extended Campus Representative for our Graduate Student Government (GSG) based off of my interests in collaboration as well as my professional background in marketing and my student roles as an Interdisciplinary Student Council (IDSC) Representative”
Savannah Berry graduated from Northern Arizona University in 2015 with a Bachelor’s degree in Biological Sciences. After graduating, Savannah headed across the pond to Leeds, England, UK, where she received her Master’s in Science, focusing specifically on Sports and Exercise Biomechanics while perusing a soccer career in the Women’s English Premier League. Soon after getting her MSc, Savannah decided to head back to Flagstaff and start her PhD at Northern Arizona University in Biological Science. Currently, as PhD student in the Traustadóttir lab, she is studying the effects of estrogen replacement therapy and physical activity, on cardiovascular disease risks in postmenopausal women. Her research uses expertise in both clinical and wet lab techniques. Additionally, she works as the President for the Northern Arizona Association of STEM (NAAWiS Grad) graduate group and works in the Graduate Student Government as the At Large Representative for NAAWiS
Meagan Rushforth is the GSG representative for NAU’s non-traditional graduate students. She received her B.S. in Early Childhood Education and Exceptional Needs from Purdue University in 2011. After working in early childhood education for years, she decided to change careers and is currently pursing a M.S. in Speech-Language Pathology at NAU. As the GSG representative for non-traditional students, she hopes to bring together the graduate community and create unique opportunities for the non-traditional community. Her goal is to support current graduate students and work collaboratively to create solutions that will impact the graduate students of the future!
Megan Trout is the At-Large Representative for Online Students. Including online graduate students in campus-wide activities makes sense given the availability of technology and the growing online student population. Megan’s goal for the 2017-2018 academic year is to foster relationships between Graduate Student Government, NAU Online, and student groups. Likewise, online graduate students would benefit from expanded access to NAU activities and resources. Megan is a second year graduate student studying clinical speech-language pathology. She completed her post baccalaureate coursework via NAU Online and is an alumna: B.S. Accountancy, 2007. Megan is a Certified Public Accountant with 13 years of accounting experience. She contributes her accounting background while serving on the GSG appropriations committee.
Michele Lee is a second year master’s student in the psychological sciences program at Northern Arizona University working under Dr. Ann Huffman. Michele is interested in industrial organizational psychology, diversity related issues, occupational health, and data science. Using network analysis, her thesis evaluates if there are gender biases in publication patterns, specifically, in the field of industrial organizational psychology. As diversity representative, Michele hopes to improve NAU’s cultural competency and foster a more inclusive campus community.
Elizabeth Cohn is a second-year master’s degree candidate in the Clinical Speech Language Pathology program at Northern Arizona University. She hopes to work in the schools with students with language learning difficulties and her research focuses on learning math through direct vocabulary instruction. As the Director of Public Relations, Elizabeth communicates messages between students, graduate student government officials and faculty. She enjoys writing weekly newsletters with a creative twist to communicate different events and opportunities for the graduate student body.
Haley Anderson is a PhD student in Politics and International Affairs at Northern Arizona University. She is studying American Politics and Public Administration, with a focus on citizen-government relations. Haley is looking forward to working with the Graduate Student Government to help create valuable and enjoyable activities for graduate students to engage in over the next year. If you have an event that you would like to see at NAU, please reach out to the GSG and share your idea!