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Biochemistry Student Association

Mission Statement

The Biochemistry Student Association (BSA) strives to create an environment where both graduate students and post-doctoral fellows have a base of support within the department. We hope to accomplish this by enhancing the academic experience of graduate school/post-doc fellowships with opportunities for exchanging scientific thought in a supportive environment, participating in public speaking/presenting events at our bi-monthly colloquium and annual student symposium, and networking through seminar presentations and small group interactions with invited guests. Additionally, we seek to promote a collaborative environment among members of the department (students, fellows, and faculty) with a variety of social events. We also provide academic support for younger graduate students by helping them prepare for their qualifying exams by setting up mock exams. Overall, the BSA seeks to expand the experiences of students, fellows, and even the faculty in our department.

View the Biochemistry Student Association’s Constitution

Departmental statement and initiatives to combat racial injustice


President – Sam Lisy

Post-doc Liaison – Lillian Campos

Colloquium Committee – Emilio Rivera and Mason Wilkinson

Qualifying Exam Committee – Jessica Collins and Yelena Perevalova

Retreat Committee – Robert Mann, Jorge Rua-Fernandez, and Samika Joshi

Social Committee – Kate Clowes and Nicky Eleuteri (Tata Kavlashvili and Tyler Hansen will assist when needed)

Social Media Committee – Kaitlyn Browning and Lindsey Guerin

Wellness Committee – Sabrina Van Ravenstein, Verda Agan, and Anna Eitel


  • Assist with qualifying exam preparation for second years in the department, including organizing mock qualifying exams
  • Host a bi-weekly colloquium series
  • Provide a variety of social events
  • Help organize Biochemistry Department retreats
  • Author a monthly BSA newsletter
  • Support and advocate for biochemistry grad students and postdocs


Biweekly Colloquium

The Biochemistry Student Colloquium takes place every other Friday at noon in room 214 Light Hall and by Zoom. This seminar series is designed to allow students and post-docs to present their research to a group of students, post-docs, and faculty in a relaxed environment. The BSA board presents updates at the start of each colloquium.  In person with zoom option, please reach out for zoom link.

Click here to view the Biochemistry Student Colloquium schedule.

Monthly Social Event

The BSA sponsors monthly social events to allow for more informal moments for members of the department to get to know each other. This year, social events will include a variety of activities to appeal to the varying interests of members of the department, including the traditional “whine and cheese” event, as well as trivia, canvas painting, and other activities. Social events this academic year will be also planned to comply with current COVID-19 restrictions. Stay tuned for more information on these events in the upcoming months!

BSA Back to School Social Event

The BSA will be celebrating the beginning of the academic year with a social event at SandBar Nashville on Friday September 10 from 5-7 pm. SandBar is an outdoor, beach-themed bar known for its cocktails made with real fruit juice and its sand volleyball courts. Drink tickets and food will be provided. All department graduate students, as well as faculty and staff, are welcome to attend! Please RSVP with the following link so that we can estimate attendance: Also note that all COVID-19 polices will be followed at this event, including individually packaged food and masking for unvaccinated individuals.

Coffee & Conversations

This series takes place a few times every semester and is designed to facilitate discussions between faculty and trainees on various topics in an informal setting (coffee and a light breakfast are provided). During the COVID-19 pandemic this event has moved to a virtual format.

Social Issues in STEM + BSA Book Club

The aim of BSA Book Club is to discuss current social issues in science and potential improvements that can be made in scientific culture.

  • Our next discussion will be October 2021. We have already watched the Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks movie and read “Superior” by Angela Saini in the past. Stay tuned for the topic of this semester’s discussion!

We choose and announce certain material (book/article/movie) that brings up these important topics about one month prior to the event. You will then have an opportunity to sign up, become familiar with the material, and finally participate in the event. If our discussions are based on books, the Biochemistry Department will provide a physical copy of a book to those who would like to participate, but you must commit to attend. All members of the Biochemistry Department are encouraged to attend. During the COVID-19 pandemic this event has moved to a virtual format.

BSA Mentorship Program

The goal of the BSA Mentorship Program is to provide a safe space for BCHM graduate students, specifically 2nd- and 3rd-years, to talk with a peer one-to-one on any topic(s) of their choosing.  We hope that this program will help students broaden their network within the BCHM department as well also establish informal advisors outside of their personal labs.

BSA Google Calendar

View the BSA Calendar.

Integrate the BSA Google Calendar.

Integrate the BSA Calendar into iCal.

Useful Links

Anonymous Google Survey
We have a google survey where you can submit a question to the BSA anonymously. We monitor this frequently and will try to answer all of your questions. To ask a question go to the link here.

Student of the Month Nominations
Send your nominations:

Colloquium Sign-up
Sign-up to give colloquium here!


All BSA events are kindly sponsored by the Department of Biochemistry.