The Northwestern Graduate Student Association represents and serves non-professional graduate students at Northwestern University in Evanston and Chicago, IL.  We build community at Northwestern and provide opportunities to serve the greater Evanston and Chicago communities.

Questions or comments? Want to get involved? We’d love to hear from you! E-mail us northwestern.gsa@u.northwestern.edu.

2017-2018 GSA Officers

The president’s responsibility is to ensure the GSA serves the TGS student body to the best of its ability. I engage our executive board to deliver quality social and service events to facilitate our organization’s mission. To that end, I seek co-sponsorship opportunities with other student organizations to further our reach across the TGS student population and Northwestern as a whole.

Uzma_LabWebPage.jpg Uzma Wilson
Uzma Wilson is a third-year PhD candidate in the Roxelyn & Richard Pepper Department of Communication Sciences & Disorders. Uzma holds a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Cell & Molecular Biology as well as a Doctor of Audiology degree from Missouri State University. Her research interests include objective measures of the inner ear to better understand developmental and aging processes of the peripheral auditory system. Uzma enjoys trying new foods and loves to spend time with her family.
As secretary, I work on all internal information for GSA: minutes, Google Drive, records, supplies, room reservations. I also assist other board members when needed.
Bellinger Professional Headshot Grace Bellinger
Grace is a second-year PhD student in the Northwestern University Interdepartmental Neuroscience (NUIN) program. Her research is conducted in the Department of Physical Therapy and Human Movement Sciences within Feinberg School of Medicine. Grace uses rehabilitation robotics both to quantify motor impairments and as a treatment intervention in stroke survivors. She holds both a B.S. and an M.S. in Kinesiology from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. In addition to science, Grace is very passionate about STEM education and public health. She also enjoys singing, dancing, and going to sporting events.
As treasurer, I work to maintain the organization’s finances while fostering our relations with new and existing co-sponsoring organizations. One aim of this year’s executive board is to expand the GSA’s capacity to host various social/networking events; to that end, it is my responsibility to streamline our working budget to make achieving these goals as easy as possible.
bana Narasimhan Balakrishnan (Bana)
Bana is a third-year PhD student in Chemical Engineering, and his research is somewhat an intersection of computational biology and control theory. He thinks of himself as more of an applied mathematician than any sort of engineer. He grew up in Mumbai and Chennai and received his BS in Chemical Engineering from IIT Madras. Pursuits that don’t pay the bills include classical music, tennis, gastronomy and movies. Very recently, he has gotten involved in a couple of outreach programs focused on STEM education and research at the high school level.
Communications Chair
I answer e-mails and send out the bi-weekly newsletter. If you want to publish any events in our bi-weekly newsletter, please e-mail GSA.
 DSC_0239 HS_edited2 Emily Cheng
Emily is a second-year PhD student in Chemical Engineering, studying the use of metal sulfide catalysts for more economical and environmentally sustainable plastics production. Outside of her research, Emily mentors several undergraduate students, connecting them with unique career opportunities and supporting them in their academic pursuits. Emily also enjoys watching documentaries, learning new languages, and trying new recipes in her free time.
Media Chair
I update the website, run the GSA Twitter account, and update PlanIt Purple.
Eder, Bryan-8148 Bryan Eder
Bryan is a third-year PhD student in the Interdisciplinary Biological Sciences (IBiS) program. His research examines the effects of reducing metabolism in yeast lacking feedback systems. He holds a BA in Molecular Biology with a minor in Mathematics from Coe College. In his free time, Bryan likes running, playing violin, and volunteering with STEM outreach programs.
Social Chairs
We plan and host all the social activities sponsored by the GSA, such as the recurring Happy Hours, summer BBQs and the annual camping trip – all heavily subsidized and many free! In graduate school, it can be hard to create friendships across departments; we’re here to help break down those barriers.
evans_k_photoid Kathryn Evans
Katie is a third-year PhD student in the IBiS biological sciences program. Her research involves investigating the relationship between genetic variation between individuals and the differential response to chemotherapeutic drugs. She is originally from Idaho, and studied Biology at the University of Utah. Besides science, Katie loves baking (and eating said baked goods), reading, being outdoors, and all things Disney.
 IMG_2959 (3) Ariel Leonard
Ariel is a second-year PhD student in the Chemistry department. Her research focuses on understanding the energy conversion process in light harvesting organic materials that could be used in next-generation solar cells. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Physics from Washington University in St. Louis, and she spent some time working for a materials testing company in Minneapolis before starting at Northwestern. When she’s not in Tech, Ariel enjoys dancing, hiking, canoeing, and exploring the city.
 BoranMA-SocialChair Boran Ma
Boran is a PhD candidate in the Materials Science and Engineering department. Her research interest is in ion-containing polymers. She enjoys interacting with people from different backgrounds and hearing about various intriguing experiences. She is very enthusiastic about bringing fellow graduate students together through social events. In her spare time, Boran likes running, reading, cooking, and traveling. Before coming to Northwestern, she received a Bachelor’s degree in Materials Science and Engineering from Harbin Institute of Technology, China.
Service Chairs
The service chairs provide opportunities for NU graduate students to be involved in the Evanston and surrounding communities by aiding with and providing programs and services that serve children and families. This position also offers the chance to be in community with other graduate students and to build friendships that last beyond NU.
Silvia pic Silvia Lam
Silvia is a fourth-year Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Communication Sciences & Disorders. Before coming to Northwestern, she did her undergraduate and masters studies in Psychology at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. She loves organizing volunteer activities and hopes to encourage more graduate students to engage in community life beyond their research work. In her free time, she enjoys doing yoga, painting, cooking, and holding dinner parties at home.
thumb_PKMI2387_1024 Jiaqi Li
Jiaqi is a third-year graduate student in the Chemistry department. Her research interest is to explore green catalytic chemistry with supported metal oxide. Before Northwestern, she received a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Peking University, China. Besides science, Jiaqi likes baking, painting, traveling, and meeting with friends.
Advocacy Chair
I host information sessions for graduate students about issues like healthcare benefits and serve as GSA’s representative on the Graduate Leadership and Advocacy Council (GLAC). Feel free to E-mail me about any advocacy issues regarding insurance, diversity and inclusion, funding, and other concerns you want to bring to GSA, GLAC, or TGS.
 10411227_10208366979032939_1952822019580800012_n Alex Ardagh
Alex is a PhD candidate in the Chemical and Biological Engineering department, where he studies solid acid materials that catalyze chemical reactions. His research is focused on materials design for applications such as petroleum processing, biomass conversion to chemicals, and synthesis of polymer (epoxy) precursors. He holds a BS from the University of Wisconsin – Madison in Chemical and Biological engineering. In addition to his academic pursuits, he has been extensively involved with social justice/activism through groups such as Fossil Free NU, Real Food at NU, the Sierra Club, and currently serves on Northwestern’s ACIR as a graduate student representative. When he’s not in lab he enjoys reading, sports, board games, and exploring neighborhoods in Chicago.