Graduate Student Advisory Council

The Graduate Student Advisory Council (GSAC) is the representative body of graduate students that acts as a liaison between the graduate students and the department administration. We organize social, professional, outreach, and recruitment events including the Graduate Research Symposium, professional networking, welcome week, recruitment weekends, Toys for Tots, and the annual Food Drive. We provide bonding opportunities for students and foster a sense of community.


Destiny Collazo

Faculty Advisor: Simon Rogers

Research Topic: Soft Matter / Rheology

Hobbies: Shopping, Crafting, Watching Movies, Exploring Local Coffee Shops

Alma Mater: Calvin University

Why Illinois? "I love the community, the friendliness of the people, and the emphasis on collaborative research!"

LinkedIn Profile

External Vice President 

Rajarshi Samajdar

Faculty Advisor: Charles Schroeder

Research: Understanding charge transport in peptides, proteins, and redox active biological molecules

Hobbies: Soccer, cricket, hiking and traveling

Alma Mater: Institute of Chemical Technology, Mumbai (ICT, formerly known as UDCT) 

Why Illinois? "The major reason behind choosing UIUC for my graduate school was the “Community”. Illinois does contain a lot of people (students and professors) who work with a collaborative mindset (rather than a competitive one), and this makes grad school really fun."

LinkedIn Profile

Internal Vice President /
Co-Symposium Chair

Suchi Vijayaraghavan

Faculty Advisor: David W. Flaherty

Research: Single Atom Alloy Catalysts for the H2O2 Direct Synthesis

Hobbies: Hiking, Dancing, Road trips

Alma Mater: University of Waterloo (Canada)

Why Illinois? "Extremely friendly grad student community and a diverse range of exciting, cutting-edge research!"

LinkedIn Profile

Communications Chair

Melany Opolz

Faculty Advisor: Deborah E. Leckband

Research: Investigating how the extracellular matrix affects VE-Cadherin force transduction and regulates vascular permeability

Hobbies: Tennis, traveling, working out

Alma Mater: Cameron University, Oklahoma 

Why Illinois? "I chose UIUC because of the broad research areas and opportunities for personal and professional growth. It is a beautiful campus on which you get to know a lot of interesting people. There is a high sense of family and collaboration throughout the ChBE department."

LinkedIn Profile

International Chair /
Co-Symposium Chair

Sonji Lamichhane

Faculty Advisor: Mary L. Kraft

Research: Development of 2D Hydrogel Microarray Platform with lid to non-invasively study HSC fate decisions to niche cues

Hobbies: Sketching, Traveling & Reading

Alma Mater: University of New Mexico (Chemical Engineering)

Why Illinois? "The exciting research opportunities with a supportive and welcoming community."

LinkedIn Profile

Past Student Advisory Councils


President: Lauren Endress
External Vice President / Co-Symposium Chair: Richa Ghosh
Internal Vice President / Treasurer: Kyle Timmer
Communications Chair: Rachel Gaines
International Chair / Co-Symposium Chair: Jarom Sederholm
Professional Development Chair: Gunnar Thompson
Outreach Chair: Darien Raymond


President: Victoria Kriuchkovskaia
External VP: Tianhao Yu 
Internal VP/Treasurer: David Potts 
International Chair/Symposium Chair 1: Azzaya Khasbaatar 
Symposium Chair 2: Aashutosh Boob 
Outreach Chair: Yash Kamble 
Webmaster: Jemin Jeon 
Professional Development Chair: Jiachun Shi 


President: Chris Torres
Vice President: Lili Bello
Treasurer: Danielle Meyer
Secretary: Caroline Li
Webmaster/Symposium Chair: Armin Shayesteh Zadeh
Outreach/Symposium Chair: Aliki Kolliopoulos