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

Dr. Richard Baldwin

2023-2024 Officers

 Nawaraj (Oscar) Karki
CGSA President
Wilson Research Group


Johann Hemmer
CGSA Vice-President
Wilson Research Group


Michael Okolocha
CGSA Treasurer
Grapperhaus Research Group


An Tran
CGSA Secretary
Thompson Research Group


2022 Derby Lecture Photos

Nobel Laureate Prof. M. Staley Wittingham



CGSA representatives enjoying the Derby Banquet

CGSA Secretary Kritika Bajaj and Sir J. Fraser Stoddart.

Chemistry Graduate Students enjoying the banquet.

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