Chemistry Graduate Students Association

Who are we?

The Chemistry Graduate Students Association (CGSA) is an active student run organization at the University of Louisville. Our main focus is to facilitate a culture of community and comradery for all chemistry graduate students. We plan several fun and engaging events throughout the year to promote this. The CGSA exists to bring people together; whether it’s through hosting the Welcome Picnic for new students, giving out holiday gifts, or inviting guest speakers to the department.

Who can join?

Every student admitted into the chemistry graduate program is automatically a member of the CGSA!

Our mission

It is our mission to ensure that every University of Louisville Chemistry graduate student has a positive, rewarding, and enjoyable graduate school experience.

Our proudest achievement-The Derby Lecture Series

Since 1978, graduate students at the University of Louisville have hosted numerous Nobel Laureates as the Derby Lecturer for the Derby Lecture Series. We consider this event to be our proudest achievement, and it is our honor to continue this long-standing annual tradition. The Derby Lecture Series is among the most unique university events organized by graduate students. It is planned around our city’s biggest day, the Kentucky Derby at the world-famous Churchill Downs, which is just five minutes from our department!

The Derby Lecture series includes several events for the chemistry department including meet and greet lunches with the speaker, a formal dinner, and a picnic. The Derby Lecturer presents two lectures, one related to their research work and another general audience lecture that is broader in scope to help bridge the gap between academia and our community.  These lectures are held at the university’s planetarium. The lecture series would not be complete without the once-in-a-lifetime experience of attending the Kentucky Derby. Member of the CGSA escort the distinguished guest to Churchill Downs, fancy hats and all.

Prospective Student?

We’d love to meet you! If you have any questions about our department, living in the great city of Louisville, or graduate school in general, we’d be happy to help! Please reach out to any of the officers of the CGSA. (Emails below)


The CGSA Officers are elected each fall and have the responsibility of organizing events for students, fundraising, and acting as a liaison to the University Graduate Student Council.

Faculty Advisor

Taken 12.5.18

Professor Richard P. Baldwin

2018-2019 Officers

CGSA President 18-19

Megan J. Toda
CGSA President
Kozlowski Research Group

President's Message

VP CGSA 18-19

Arghya P. Ghosh
CGSA Vice-President
Kozlowski Research Group

CGSA Sec 18-19

Kritika Bajaj
CGSA Secretary
Grapperhaus/ Buchanan Research Group

 Treasurer AY19-20

Chinmay Potnis
CGSA Treasurer
Hammond Research Group

Message from the President

What a great year 2018-19 has been for the Chemistry Graduate Student Association (CGSA)! In August, three new officers were elected including, Megan J. Toda as President, Arghya P. Ghosh as Vice President, and Kritika Bajaj as Secretary. Anthony Ewurum continued as the Treasurer for a second year. We kicked off our reign by hosting the annual Welcome Picnic for new graduate students. Our next event was our Career Day, where we hosted four successful UofL chemistry PhD alumni for panel style discussions with our graduate students. CGSA officers and members also conducted campus tours for prospective graduate students.

Our culminating and most anticipated event was the Derby Lecture Series. We have been so honored to continue this grand tradition, which started in 1978. We were delighted to host Sir J. Fraser Stoddart, the 2016 Nobel Laureate in Chemistry, as the 2019 Derby Lecturer. As tradition goes, Sir Stoddart presented a general audience lecture and a technical lecture at the Gheens Science Hall and Rauch Planetarium on the Belknap Campus. These lectures were very well-attended and audiences left inspired by Stoddart’s years of accomplishment and words of wisdom, both for academia and life. The CGSA hosted a banquet dinner and a picnic in his honor. The evening of the dinner was simply magical. Prof. G. B. Hammond and his wife Mari Mujica hosted the Derby Picnic at their beautiful Shelbyville farm and it was so evident that all were enamored by our Old Kentucky Home’s beauty. The exclamation point on the series was the Kentucky Derby itself. The CGSA had the privilege to join Stoddart at Churchill Downs for the most exciting two minutes in sports, for what turned into a historic day.

It was a joy for me to watch Sir Stoddart bring so much happiness to all the graduate students who had the honor to meet him and it was equally a joy to see how much he enjoyed his visit to Louisville. The CGSA continues to make its mark on the chemistry department and on our beloved university. We are excited to see what next year has in store!

Until next time,


2019 Derby Lecture Photos


CGSA representatives enjoying the Derby

CGSA Secretary Kritika Bajaj andSir J. Fraser Stoddart

Chemistry Graduate Students enjoying the banquet

CGSA Treasurer, Anthony Ewurum, and Sir J. Fraser Stoddart