Executive Board

Nathan Ford



Office Hours: M-F, 1-2 PM, Admin 405

Nathan is a 4th year Ph.D. student in Mechanical Engineering. His research focuses on time-of-flight mass spectrometry of electrospray thrusters. Outside of GSG his hobbies include tabletop games, reading, and running.

The GSG President chairs meetings and works as GSG’s liaison with the Michigan Tech administration.

Ranit Karmakar



Office Hours: 1-2 PM, Admin 405

Ranit is a 4th year Ph.D. student in Computer Engineering. His research focus is on Computer Vision and medical AI. In his free time, he enjoys hiking, photography, playing guitar, and reading.

The Vice-president assumes the duties of the President in his/her absence at any GSG or Executive Board meetings; serves as liaison with the standing committee chairs, and is the administrator of the First Contact program.

Aaron Hoover



Office Hours: M, 3-4 PM, Zoom

Aaron is a Ph.D. candidate in the Humanities department, studying the formation of views on the climate crisis and other public health issues in relation to public rhetoric. They hold an MFA in fiction writing and have worked several semesters in Michigan Tech’s ‘writing lab,’ the MTMC. They have 12 years of experience teaching English in a variety of contexts, including state schools, community colleges, online, and overseas. When they are not reading, writing, or teaching, they enjoy playing PC games, board games, and tabletop role-playing games.

The Secretary records and prepares minutes for all GSG meetings; maintains the Constitution and Bylaws, including any amendments; maintains member and committee rosters; coordinates the poster-board rentals; and oversees yearly elections.

Michael Conard



Office Hours: R, 10-11 AM, Zoom (passcode: 4gYS4f)

Michael is a Ph.D. candidate in the Computer Science department, with research interests in distributed network protocols and computing, synthesis and verification of algorithms, and quantum computing. In regards to hobbies, he is a competitive speedcuber (Rubik’s cubes) who enjoys simulation/colony-style video games, as well as programming-oriented games.

The treasurer maintains all income, disbursements, and financial records of the GSG; plans the coming year’s budget in conjunction with the Executive Board; provides monthly financial status reports to the Executive Board and to GSG; manages committee-related expenditures, providing monthly reports to committee chairs.

Sarvada Chipkar

Research Chair


Office Hours: M, 11AM-12PM, Zoom

Sarvada is a PhD student in the department of Chemical Engineering. Her research involves study in biofuels and the bioproducts field. Her research topic is inspired from nature and she believes ‘Nature’ is the best teacher a human can have. Her hobbies include gardening, painting, reading and learning DIY things.

The Research Chair is responsible for organizing the major research events on campus. These include the Graduate Research Colloquium, the 3 Minute Thesis Competition, the Merit Awards Program, and more.

Umair Riyas

Professional Development Chair


Office Hours: W, 10-11 AM, Admin 405

Umair is a second-year engineering management Master’s student in the College of Business. He returned to the beautiful U.P after working as a manufacturing engineer for 3 years. His research interests relate to lean manufacturing, industrial robotics, industry 4.0, supply chain management, crypto currency. Some of his favorite past-time activities include game nights, hiking, any aquatic activity, and traveling.

The Professional Development Chair is responsible for organizing and running the standing seminar program. They organize the Academic Seminar series and the Professional Development series in conjunction with the Graduate School.

Eric Pearson

Social Chair


Office Hours: T, 10-11 AM, Zoom

Eric is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Chemical Engineering. After graduating from Michigan Tech in 2015, he worked in the paint industry for 3.5 years. He returned in 2019 pursuing a Ph.D. and more challenging work. His research focuses on virus purification for vaccine and gene therapy applications. Outside of GSG, his hobbies include tabletop games, video games, fencing, and trying to learn the violin.

The Social Chair helps build a sense of community among graduate students by organizing social events each semester; assists the vice-president as necessary with Fall and Spring orientation; organizes the Graduate Student Orientation Picnic; and works with other committees, as requested, with the social aspects of workshops, such as catering and reservations.

Laura Vidal Chiesa

Public Relations Chair


Office Hours: W, 4-5 PM, Admin 405

Laura is a Ph.D. student in the Rhetoric, Theory and Culture program. Her research draws from Writing Program Administration Studies, Composition Studies, and Emotional Labor to look at the working conditions of Writing Program Administrators in the US. She loves to travel, music and concerts, working out, and hanging out with friends. 

The Public Relations Chair promotes awareness of GSG in the University community by crafting publicity materials in a variety of communications media, especially the GSG website, and responds to requests for general information from the graduate student body at large.