NAU Communications sat down with retired Col. Rebecca Seeger, a doctoral student in curriculum and instruction in the College of Education, a 30-year veteran of the U.S. Air Force and president of the Graduate Student Government, to get to know her on a more personal level. Read our questions and her answers below.
Tell me about a significant childhood memory and how it has impacted your life today.
I really can’t think of one significant childhood memory; rather, it was my entire childhood that impacted my life. My dad was in the Air Force, so we moved quite a bit to include Hawaii, where I started school and my brother was born, and Germany, where we (my folks, sister, brother and I) got to go to the Netherlands for Easter every year we were there and to Austria to ski every year. Just moving around all the time made the three of us siblings very close (and we still are), and we were exposed to many different peoples and cultures. Its biggest impact was that I also served in the Air Force for 30 years, retiring as a colonel in 2011!
What have you been most proud of this week?
We had our first GSG meeting of the semester on Monday, and everyone was enthused and ready to hit the ground running. We have many ideas for supporting all graduate students and the entire NAU community this semester and to have the entire team on board and identifying new ideas is refreshing. I am proud of this team and what we are doing.
What is your favorite way to spend a day off?
Depends on the weather. I love to hike and take photos (I did a short hike to Old Cave’s Crater with my dog on Wednesday) when weather permits. I am also an avid reader (fantasy, sci fi, biography, history, mysteries and simply good books…that is, almost anything!) and love trying new things such as building a small entertainment center (a success), making marshmallows (a success) and making French macarons (a disaster)!
What are three things on your bucket list and why?
First, I want to visit Greece as I love Greek mythology; New Zealand to see the dolphins and penguins and visit the sites of some of the epic fantasy movies; and Scotland, where many of my ancestors are from. Second, I want to continue to research my family tree. I have traced most sides of the family except, ironically, the Seeger side. I know my great-great-great-grandparents immigrated to Iowa in the mid-1800s but have not successfully found them in Germany yet. I have traced our family back to the Cookes and Warrens on the Mayflower on my mom’s side. Third, I really want to go to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando! Maybe when I graduate …
What is your philosophy in life?
Live a life of integrity and be better today than I was yesterday! As I tell folks, I failed miserably at retirement, so I am starting a new chapter in my life with the Ph.D. I want to be part of a college-in-prison initiative here in Arizona to provide degrees to incarcerated students. I hope to fulfill this dream through NAU!
Why did you decide to get involved with GSG?
My advisor mentioned that nominations were being sought, and I decided to give it a shot, not expecting to be elected as a College of Education representative. To my grateful surprise, I was elected and really liked what the GSG did for all graduate students across the globe. With my leadership experience in the Air Force, I was asked if I would consider running for president this academic year. I said yes as (1) it was the right thing to do, and (2) it would allow me to continue to serve my fellow students and my community.