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. If you are interested in one of the vacant positions, please email GSG@nau.edu.
Graduate Student Government Officers
Graduate Student Government representatives
Officer Biographies Accordion Closed
REBECCA SEEGER (President)
Following a 30-year career in the U.S. Air Force, Rebecca N. Seeger is a second-year doctoral student in the Curriculum and Instruction program. Her research interests revolve around the benefits of higher education within the correctional education system. Rebecca began her higher education journey at NAU in 1976. She was a member of the D1 Basketball Team for three years and the D1 Softball Team for one year. After graduating in 1980, she joined the Air Force and continued a lifelong love of learning, earning a BS and MS in Electrical Engineering and MA in Strategic Studies before retiring as a Colonel in 2011. Taking advantage of the GI Bill, Rebecca returned to NAU to pursue a BS in Digital Photography, graduating in 2013. Rebecca serves as a volunteer within the community serving on the Governor’s Military Affairs Commission, on the Board of Directors of the Grand Canyon Chapter of the Military Officers Association of America, and on the Lance Davison Memorial Stand Down leadership team. She is also a volunteer with Sedona Wolf Week, NAU Athletics Wine and Dine, NAU Athletics mentoring program, Women and Girls in Sports Day, and serves as a Coconino County poll worker. Finally, she has established two NAU endowments – Women’s Basketball and Soccer. Rebecca’s goal is to bring her extensive leadership experience and values of integrity, service, and excellence to the Graduate Student Government to serve her fellow graduate students at NAU.
TAYLOR LYSTER (Chief of Staff)
Taylor Lyster is a second-year School Psychology educational specialist student at NAU’s North Valley Campus. Previously, Taylor received a Associate’s degree at Imperial Valley College and then a Bachelor’s at San Diego State University – Imperial Valley. She started her journey in leadership in 6th grade where she found her passion in advocating for others’ visions for their school site and its environment. Most recently, she served as Community Campus Representative in NAU’s Graduate Student Government for the academic year 2020-2021. She is eager to jump back into a wider role of advocating for the best interests of all graduate students. She hopes to continue pushing for positive change at the university, local, state, and national levels. Her prior experiences, coupled with her leadership skills and eagerness to learn, make her more determined to step into the executive team of the Graduate Student Government. Her goal is to address the questions and concerns of graduate students in all programs and accommodate their needs to ensure the best experiences at Northern Arizona University.
MARIA (MASHA) KOSTROMITINA (Vice-President of University Affairs)
Maria (Masha) Kostromitina is a third-year PhD student in Applied Linguistics. Before starting her doctoral studies, Masha obtained an MA in Teaching English as a Second Language degree from NAU. Having fallen in love with Flagstaff and its community as well as with the program, she decided to stay in northern Arizona and continue her education. Her research interests include second language psycholinguistics and pragmatics; she has also been involved in corpus linguistics research projects. Currently, as a graduate teaching assistant in the English Department, she is teaching ENG 105 and ENG 205 to both ESL and domestic students. Extracurricularly, Masha serves as the President of the Graduate Student Association of Applied Linguistics (GSAAL) of NAU. In her free time, she enjoys playing the violin in a local band, exploring beautiful northern Arizona, and spending time with her fiancé and two cats. Masha is thrilled to serve as the Vice President of University Affairs for this year. In this role, Masha hopes to build an environment that empowers and supports all graduate students at NAU and promotes students’ access to opportunities for academic and personal growth. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
SAVANNAH BERRY (Vice-President of External Affairs)
Savannah Berry is the VP of External Affairs. She was the co-president of the GSG in 2019-2020 and served as president in 2020-2021. Savannah is a fifth-year doctoral candidate in Biological Sciences. Her research interests include 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. Previously, Savannah was a D1 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. When 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. Combined with her leadership skills and competitive spirit, Savannah hopes to continue in the steps of her predecessors, who have paved a successful path within the quality educational, professional, and personal experiences here at NAU. Her goal is to address the questions and concerns of graduate students in all programs and accommodate those students to ensure they have the best experience possible at Northern Arizona University.
Representative Biographies Accordion Closed
TYLER CLARK (Representative for the College of Arts and Letters)
Tyler Clark is a second-year MA student in the English Literature program. A longtime resident of Flagstaff, he also completed a BA in English with a minor in German in 2020. His research interests are focused on nineteenth-century British literary studies, with an emphasis on Women Writers from the Victorian era. His work has included studying the pop cultural reception of Charlotte Brontë and her iconic novel Jane Eyre, as well as citing the first child narrators present in mid-Victorian literature. Tyler also creates historical-themed video essays on YouTube, has worked as a bookseller at Flagstaff’s only independent bookstore, and is a proud member of the Jane Austen Society of North America and The Brontë Society. His goal as the Representative of the College of Arts and Letters is to increase communication amongst NAU’s graduate students and work constructively with faculty and staff to better the college as a whole.
NANA KWAME OFOSU OKWAE (Representative for the College of Engineering, Informatics, & Applied Sciences)
Nana Kwame Ofosu Okwae is a second-year mechanical engineering Ph.D. student. His research interests include using machine learning to predict ratcheting to prevent material failure in any structure subject to earthquakes, extreme weather, and/or cyclic mechanical and thermal service conditions. Nana Kwame completed a master’s in mechanical engineering at Arizona State University, where he was a MasterCard foundation scholar. Originally from Ghana, he and a friend started an initiative called Basketball Clinic Ghana: Basketball4Change, with the aim of providing life-skills learning opportunities for youth through sports. The initiative still runs to this day with continued impact on youth in his community. Nana Kwame is passionate about science, technology, and art, and he hopes to redesign the Ghanaian educational system by developing junior high and senior high school students’ interest in STEM, so that they can remain relevant in the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
REBEKAH GIVENS (Representative for the College of Health and Human Services)
Rebekah Givens is a second-year student in the Doctor of Occupational Therapy program at the College of Health and Human Services (CHHS) located in Phoenix. She obtained her undergraduate degree in Psychology and Sociology, and worked at an inpatient treatment center facilitating recreational therapy groups prior to pursuing her degree in occupational therapy. While in her role at the treatment center, Rebekah particularly enjoyed teaching a women’s self-defense course for individuals who had experienced trauma. Through empowering the women to use their voices and develop their self-confidence, Rebekah determined that she would pursue a career focused on empowering individuals to develop autonomy in their everyday lives. Rebekah is currently Co-President of the occupational therapy honor society Pi Theta, a member of the Fundraising Committee for the Student Occupational Therapy Association (SOTA), and a member of Go Baby Go, which builds custom, adapted vehicles for children with mobility limitations. In the coming year, Rebekah is looking forward to learning about the role of robotics in rehabilitation through a clinical experience with Barrows Neurological Institute. She is passionate about advocacy and looks forward to a career spent helping individuals improve their independence and quality of life.
ARIANNA TAPIA (Representative for the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences)
Arianna Tapia is currently enrolled in the Masters of Social Work program. She is from Tucson, and she cares for others and wants to do anything in her power to assist those in need. She is a kind and compassionate individual who is driven by the need and desire to help. A recent graduate of NAU with a Bachelor of Social Work degree, Arianna strives to be a lifelong learner and gain experience and knowledge throughout her career.
ANASTASIA SALAZAR (Representative for W.A. Franke College of Business)
Anastasia Salazar just graduated from NAU in April 2021 with a Bachelor’s of Science in Accountancy degree along with minors in Criminology & Criminal Justice and Social Forensic Science. She was an active member of the Beta Alpha Psi Delta Upsilon chapter in 2020-2021 and also the reporter of this chapter. Currently, she is in the 10-month MBA (Accountancy) program. Born and raised in Arizona, Anastasia has been a student for most of her life and has always looked for opportunities to be a leader and to learn. Besides this, she loves walking and spending time with her dog that she has had for 4 years. She always loves spending time with her family and some of her hobbies are drawing, reading, and hiking. She is excited to be a part of the GSG by being the W.A. Franke College of Business Graduate Representative this year and hopes to help out in any way she can.
CANDI RUNNING BEAR (Diversity Representative)
Candi Running Bear’s research explores culturally-relevant interventions for Native American preschool children with disabilities. Candi is a third-year doctoral student in the Curriculum and Instruction program with a focus on early childhood special education for culturally and linguistically diverse students. She received a B.S. degree from Brigham Young University in Psychology with a minor in Spanish. Since graduating from the University of Arizona with an M.A. degree in Special Education, she has worked as an early childhood special educator for nearly thirteen years. She has lived in Arizona, Utah, Colorado, Hawaii, Kentucky, Washington D.C., the Dominican Republic, and Costa Rica, but she and her daughter call the Navajo Nation home. Candi is a proponent of equity and excited to serve her peers as the Diversity Representative in NAU’s Graduate Student Government.
TERYN NELSON (Community Campus Representative)
Teryn Nelson is a first-year graduate student in the field of Organizational Leadership. After completing an undergraduate degree in public administration, Teryn knew that she wanted to continue her education for herself and her family. NAU has been the perfect school for Teryn to acquire the skills she needs, along with a strong education in what she excels at the most. The programs she has been a part of guide her through her interests of how to be a promising leader, along with the attributes a successful leader should attain as well. This is Teryn’s first year in the Graduate Student Government, and she is beyond excited to be there for other graduate students, along with being a great supporter in their journey through NAU.
SHANNON (DIAMOND) BRACEY (Director of Special Events)
Diamond Bracey is a second year Ph.D. student in the Combined Counseling/School Psychology program in the Educational Psychology Department in the College of Education. Her research interests include telepsychology; depression and anxiety symptom presentation in diverse cultures; culturally responsive, evidence-based treatment for underserved populations; mental health disparities; academic access disparities; and, psychology and mental health public policies. She currently serves as a graduate teaching assistant. Previously, she worked as a research assistant in the College of Education Research Center (COERC) and as a teaching assistant for EPS 690 Multicultural Counseling. Born in Washington, DC and raised in Maryland, Diamond comes to NAU by way of Bowie State University, where she earned a Master of Arts in Mental Health Counseling and Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. As a graduate student there, she served in the Graduate Student Association as both the Executive Vice President and President. Under her leadership, graduate students gained additional funding for personal financial emergencies and meetings became hybrid allowing for in-person and virtual participation (years before the pandemic would ravage the nation making it a necessity). She also created the Graduate Student Survival Guide to inform graduate students of the many unspoken privileges available to them as students. Diamond is excited to serve the graduate students and NAU with this dynamic group of GSG leaders for the 2021-2022 academic year.
YAZHMIN DOZAL (Director of Climate Action)
Yazhmin Dozal is a first year master’s student in the Environmental Sciences and Policy program. She has always been passionate about conservation and sustainability. With her work for the Master’s degree working with mosquitos and her previous involvement in the Office of Sustainability and the Green Fund at NAU, she hopes to be able to reach a broad number of graduate students wanting to get more involved and/or informed about climate action.
KAYLA LONG (Director of Elections)
Kayla Long is a first year master’s student studying environmental biology and ecology at NAU’s main campus in the College of the Environment, Forestry and Natural Sciences. Her research interests are freshwater ecosystems and climate change effects. She received a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Tennessee, where she played Division 1 volleyball for four years. She studied the restoration of streams and wetlands using fish and bats as indicator species in her undergraduate program. New to the GSG, Kayla is looking to step into a positive atmosphere and use her position as Director of Elections to encourage participation and collaboration from students within all graduate programs.
Open positions (contact GSG@nau.edu if you are interested):
Chief of Staff
W.A. Franke College of Business Representative
Director of Elections
Director of Public Relations