Executive Board

Nathan Ford



Office Hours: M-F, 9-10 AM, Admin 405

Nathan is a 4th year PhD 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.

Michael Maurer



Office Hours: T, 2-4 PM, Admin 405

Michael has received both a B.S. and M.S. from MTU and is currently pursuing a PhD in Electrical Engineering. His current research focus is the design, fabrication and characterization of integrated electro-optic devices. He spends his free time reading and playing board games.

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 PhD 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.

Laura Schaerer



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

Laura first came to Michigan Tech in 2017 for her Master’s, which she enjoyed so much she decided to stick around for a PhD. She is currently a first year PhD student in the Biological Sciences Department. She is excited to facilitate opportunities for graduate students at Michigan Tech by managing GSG travel grants this year. When she isn’t studying, she enjoys spending time outside and taking long walks with her dog.

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.

Yasasya Batugedara

Professional Development Chair


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

Yasasya is a PhD student in Mathematical Science. Her research interests relate to computational mathematics, large eddy simulations of Navier Stoke Equation. Her hobbies are reading and poetry writing, and she likes to write science fiction too.

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: W, 1-2 PM, Zoom

Eric is a PhD student in Chemical Engineering. After graduating from Michigan Tech in 2015, he worked in the paint industry for 3.5 years. He returned in 2019 pursing a PhD 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, 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.

Marina Choy

Public Relations Chair


Office Hours: T, 9-10 AM, Zoom

Marina is a PhD candidate in the Rhetoric, Theory and Culture program. Her research draws from Cultural Studies and qualitative methods to look at France’s response to the European ‘Refugee Crisis’. She loves to travel, be outdoors, draw, work out, and hang 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.