Leadership & Engagement: Who We Are
Where Lumberjacks connect, lead, and thrive.
The Leadership & Engagement office at Northern Arizona University brings together student organizations, student leaders, fraternity & sorority life, and engagement events and programs to support and deepen the holistic student experience. Involvement and engagement allow students to enrich their academic and social experience at NAU. We are THE HUB for students interested in connection, leadership, involvement, and service.
Grounded in our commitment to the values of belonging, equity and access, wellbeing, leadership, and service we engage and support our students as they build a community within their student organizations and develop as leaders.
The Leadership & Engagement staff are committed to supporting and developing high-impact experiences that complement Lumberjack academic endeavors.
As a student-centered team, we provide leadership programs and support student organizations to create and encourage an inclusive community and inspire active, engaged learning. We promote leadership development and involvement to help students find their passion and make positive impacts in their communities.
To connect all Lumberjacks with experiences that promote personal and professional growth, connection to peers, a commitment to an equitable society, and build a vibrant, engaged campus community.
- Belonging: We foster experiences and environments that create paths for every student to feel a strong sense of belonging and recognized as a valuable member of the Lumberjack community.
- Equity & Access: We advocate to reduce systemic barriers and create equitable access to opportunities for all students. We strive to create pathways to student engagement that are intentional and empowering.
- Wellbeing: We approach each student interaction holistically with a focus on people achieving their full potential where they live, learn, work, and play. Live Well NAU
- Leadership: We are champions of accessibility for all to identify as leaders. We advocate for inclusive leadership, cross cultural competence, and guiding students to make positive differences in society.
- Service: We contribute to the greater good, and are focused on giving back. We inspire stewardship of people, resources, and our community.
Leadership & Engagement Staff Involvement
Michelle Gardner, Director Accordion Closed
The involvement experiences I had as an NAU student helped me make friends, and challenged me to figure out who I was. Clubs and out of the classroom experiences, are what brought me to call NAU “home”. As a first-generation college student, I was lost with navigating college life. It was the friends I made when I decided to get involved, that helped me find resources, and gain confidence. Involvement helped me understand what I believed, my identities, and challenged me to grow. It was these experiences that got me into graduate school, and change my career path to support other college students as they start their journey.
Marissa Griffin, Assistant Director Accordion Closed
If it weren’t for my involvement in Sorority life during my undergraduate, I wouldn’t have stayed in school and graduated. Academics never come easy to me, especially math. Being a member of a sorority challenged me to find the leadership skills I never knew I had and learn study habits I didn’t have in High School. I made new friends with like-minded ideals and engaged in events that fundraised money for local and national nonprofits. Most of the time, I wasn’t the leader nor held a position; some may even say I was the troublemaker. But looking back, I know it held me accountable, kept me motivated, and allowed me to walk away with transferable skills, a career, and a network of support across the country.
Salvador Lopez, Assistant Director Accordion Closed
Building a community on campus was a significant challenge for me due to being part of a large institution. However, I slowly became more relaxed getting out of my comfort zone by participating in a math club, surrounded by individuals that shared similar interests. During graduate school, I was also provided with the opportunity to become an officer for two distinguished organizations; Student Affairs Higher Education (SAHE) and Chi Sigma Alpha Student Affairs Honor Society (CSA). These organizations helped me gain leadership skills, exercise abilities to effectively facilitate meetings/events, understand organizational budgets, and build a sense of community at NAU. Getting involved on campus makes a meaningful difference in a person’s college journey. I highly encourage students to strengthen their sense of belonging at NAU by seeking communities (e.g., club, organization, fraternity, and sorority) that care about their overall personal, professional, and academic development and success.
Azah Quach, Coordinator, Intermediate Accordion Closed
Being involved in the HAPA Hawaiian Club and my sorority Gamma Alpha Omega helped me get out of my comfort zone. They pushed me to be the best self I could be. I was able to graduate with my undergraduate degree and am now pursuing a masters degree with my Big. During my involvement with these organizations, I was able to be exposed to new things and learn new skills. Participating in fundraising events and community service events were the best part because not only were we trying to build up the organization, but we were also able to give back to the community. Reflecting back on these experiences made me grateful to be a part of my home away from home.
Nancy Navarro, Program Manager Accordion Closed
Being involved on campus was a large part of my success at NAU. As a first-generation student I was navigating what felt like a whole different world. I was a part of the Successful Transition and Academic Readiness (STAR) which helped me get my footing before I even started classes in the Fall. STAR was the first step in creating my “home away from home” at NAU and where I made lifelong friends. TRIO Student Support Services also grew my community on campus and helped me develop skills and knowledge to be a successful student and overall, a well-rounded person. As a Latina searching for my community on campus, I joined Gamma Alpha Omega. This group of women helped me have a second family on campus and let me know I was not alone in the challenges I was facing. I also took part in M.E.Ch.A. and helped create the organization Voces Unidos as an undergrad. Each one of these organizations impacted me through the support provided. I gained the confidence to advocate for myself and others, learned to give back to the community, embraced my identities and culture, and developed professional skills through the leadership opportunities I was entrusted with. My love for NAU stems from those who made this a home for me and drives me to make it a home for current and future Lumberjacks.
Elena Miranda, Graduate Assistant Accordion Closed
Being involved at NAU allowed me to gain a sense of belonging and strengthen my leadership skills. I transferred to NAU my senior year of college and felt alone and lost. By participating in lectures on campus and volunteer opportunities through the HRM Department, I met friends and built relationships that will last a lifetime. I was able to build a connection with the professors at the events and have seen much success in academia and the workplace as a result. Through being involved on campus I was able to find a home at NAU.