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: T, 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.

Divya Pandya



Office Hours: F 4 – 5 PM MEEM 401 M, Zoom

Divya is pursuing a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering with a specialization in Thermal Engineering. His research focus is on enhanced flow-boiling nucleation using Piezoelectric Transducers applicable to high-power-density chip liquid cooling at Datacenters. He resorts to hard work and concentrated efforts to achieve his goals. He is fond of knowing dynamics within the system and wants to be a contributing professional always. His aim has always been to achieve that emotional and personal competence that allows him to scale new peaks of achievement.

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.

Shreya Joshi

Research Chair


Office Hours: W, 11AM-12PM, Admin 405

Shreya is a Ph.D. student in the Atmospheric Sciences program in the department of physics. His research primarily includes the study of black carbon and its evolution and long-range transport of aerosols into the Azores. He usually enjoys skiing, most water-based activities, adventure sports, and trying to learn the guitar.

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.

Margaret Plank

Professional Development Chair


Office Hours: T, 10-11 AM, Admin 405, Zoom

Margaret is a second-year Biomedical Engineering PhD student at MTU.  Her research interests include tissue engineering and regenerative medicine and her project focuses on analyzing biodegradable metal stents and the effect of these metals and their byproducts on the functionality of the artery. Some of her favorite activities include hiking, knitting, fishing, reading, playing ukulele, and cuddling her bunny, Sam. 

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.

Arslan Amer

Social Chair


Office Hours: M, 2 – 4 PM, DOW 527 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.