BioGSA (Biology Graduate Students’ Association)

Profile photo of BioGSA outside

Biology Graduate Students’ Association acts as a platform for graduate students to address issues that are of concern and advocates for student needs at the department, college and university level. The group also facilitates in the expansion and improvement of the department of Biology by aiding in the recruitment of new students, helping in the annual department research symposium, administering travel awards and selecting student speakers at the department seminars, among other activities.

Event Calendar

Name Description Occurrence
Welcome Social A Social gathering for new graduate recruits to hang out with their peers Before the beginning of Fall semester
Fall student speaker selection Selection of student speakers for dept. seminar through voting for the best abstracts Aug.- Sept.
Fall Fundraising Selection of T-shirt design via polling of collected designs; Administering T-shirt/jacket/other merchandise sales Sept.-Dec.
Fall Town Hall Discussion on student concerns and seek suggestions for future events esp. professional development After student seminar – end of Oct.
Professional Development Establish a program catered for the students/postdocs; organize events, invite speakers to discuss various career paths for students Dec. – April
Spring International Festival A BioGSA fundraiser where groups of students showcase their country/region/state by presenting traditional/typical foods and/or drinks, customs, clothing, art, and music. Mid-January
Spring student speaker selection Selection of student speakers for dept. seminar through voting for the best abstracts Jan.-Feb.
Spring Travel award selection Assessing criteria for Travel awards and finalizing the selection Feb.-Mar.
Spring Town Hall Discussion on student concerns and seek suggestions for future events April
Officer elections and transition Holding elections for the incoming panel of BioGSA officers and arranging officer transition meetings April-May


Profile photo of ananya dasgupta

Ananya Dasgupta

Profile photo of amy tan

Amy Tan
Vice President

Profile photo of aldrin lugena

Aldrin Lugena

Profile photo of sara maynard

Sara Maynard 

Profile photo of andrea martinez aguirre

Andrea Martinez Aguirrre
College of Science Representative

Profile photo of marko baloh

Marko Baloh
Faculty Meeting Representative

Profile photo of sun rha

Sun Rha
GRAC Representative

Profile photo of abira sahu

Abira Sahu
GPC Representative

Profile photo of kasuni daundesekara

Kasuni Daundasekara
GPSG Representative

Profile photo of aditi raju

Aditi Raju
GPSG Representative

Profile photo of ashley hudson

Ashley Hudson
SPRC Representative

Profile photo of maureen hayden

Maureen Hayden
SPRC Representative


Profile Photo of Deb Bell Pedersen

Deb Bell-Pedersen

BioGSA Advisor

Biology Travel Awards criteria

BioGSA has been asked to administer the allocation for departmental travel funds in the Spring Semester of each academic year. We have introduced a two-tier ranking system to maintain fairness in distribution of funds. Amounts may vary every year depending on the total allocation.

The Lower Tier (up to $300) Criteria:

  • At least 50% attendance of Tuesday Seminars. Attendance confirmed by a sign sheet that students will need to personally sign in at each seminar attended.
  • Full-day attendance of SPRC and performance of duties the students sign up for.


Attend recruitment party at Matt Sachs’ house.

The Upper Tier (up to $750) Criteria:

  • Fulfillment of the Lower Tier needs and any one of the following:
  • Present a poster or give a talk at SPRC
  • Submit an abstract for Tuesday Seminar
  • Participate in 1 outreach event of the department per year
  • Be a mentor for incoming graduate recruits

Exceptions can be made for religious reasons,  time conflicts with a registered TAMU class, or TA duties

All of these criteria are designed to encourage overall student involvement in the graduate program and to enhance your learning experience.

BioGSA Officer Positions



  • Serves as the contact person for organization
  • Attends and oversees monthly BioGSA meetings, and regularly compiles information from the various committees to distribute to the entire Graduate student body
  • Reports the meeting to the student body
  • Organizes abstract submissions for student speakers at departmental seminars
  • Supervises travel awards selection process
  • Maintains social media presence
  • Assists in organizing/executing events
  • Fills in as a backup for other members if they have a conflict with a monthly meeting

Vice President

  • Attends monthly BioGSA meetings and oversees the meeting if the President is absent
  • Compiles meeting minutes from monthly BioGSA meetings and distributes relevant info to our organization
  • Assists in organizing/executing events
  • Helps with social media posts
  • Fills in as backup for other members if they have a conflict with a monthly meeting


  • Handles distribution/collection of money for the organization
  • Attends monthly BioGSA meeting
  • Arranges payment of vendors
  • Assists in fundraising events

Fundraising Representative

  • Organizes the main fundraising events for BioGSA: Fall merchandise sales and the Spring International Festival.
  • Serves as the contact person for merchandise vendors
  • Works with the President/VP/Treasurer to execute fundraising events
  • Attend >50% of monthly BioGSA meetings

Faculty Representative

  • This position acts as a liaison between the faculty and BioGSA. This requires the liaison to attend faculty meetings (once per month) in which they take notes on anything pertinent to graduate students and then report their findings back to the BioGSA. If there are student concerns, that the BioGSA was made aware of, then the liaison will also inform the faculty about the matter
  • Informs the student(s) who raised the issue about the response they got from the faculty
  • Attend >50% of BioGSA meetings and >90% of Faculty meetings

Graduate Programs Committee (GPC) Representative

  • Attends GPC meetings to discuss changes to graduate handbook, curriculum, and program requirements. Relays information between BioGSA and GPC
  • Attend >50% of BioGSA meetings and >90% of GPC meetings

Dean’s Graduate Student Council, Biology Representative

  • Attend monthly meetings with the Associate Dean for the College of Science, and other graduate student representatives from all departments in the college to discuss suggestions for improvements and concerns regarding the graduate students. This position allows us to promote our department as well as advocate for changes or additions within the College of Science
  • Attend >50% of BioGSA meetings and >90% of Dean’s meetings

Graduate Admissions Committee (GRAC) Representative

  • GRAC representative helps review applications and provides student perspective to our Biology PhD recruitment process. Additionally, organizes student volunteers for recruitment weekend
  • Assists with transportation of recruits between airports, hotels, and campus
  • Plans the social activities of the visitation weekend
  • Attend >50% of BioGSA meetings and 100% of GRAC meetings (~3-­4 meetings). Meetings begin in the spring as recruitment weekend approaches.

Graduate and Professional Student Government (GPSG) Senators – 2 students

  • GPSC senator is a representative of their departments in the GPSG general assembly. A senator can be a member of different sub-committees and advocate for graduate student needs, have a say in campus policies with regard to tuition, finance, research and professional development, among others.
  • Attend general assembly meetings are held bi­monthly( 2-2.5 hrs/meeting) in rotations
  • Attend >50% of BioGSA meetings
  • Reporting and relaying important and relevant graduate student issues discussed during the GPSG meetings to our department

Student and Postdoc Research Conference (SPRC) Representative – 2 students

  • Assists the SPRC committee with abstract selection and planning of SPRC
  • Organizes student volunteers for setup/tear down of SPRC venue and after event party
  • Attend >50% of BioGSA meetings and 100% of SPRC meetings (usually 2 meetings prior to event)
  • Attend SPRC