Bioengineering Graduate Student Association

Rice University’s Bioengineering Graduate Student Association (BIOE GSA) was founded in 2001 to represent the interests and activities of BIOE graduate students. The primary goals of BIOE GSA are to:

  • Promote professional and social networking among graduate students and faculty
  • Serve as an official outlet for voicing the concerns of BioE graduate students
  • Contribute to the professional development of graduate students

Leadership 2020-21

President: Brett Pogostin (
The president coordinates meetings with BIOE GSA officers, plans and executes the annual Innovation Symposium, attends Faculty meetings, serves as a liaison between faculty and students, and attends as many BIOE events as possible.

Vice President of Internal Affairs: Samanta Fleury (
The role of the VP Internal Affairs is to help solicit feedback on departmental initiatives, advocate for graduate student well-being, and foster collaboration by organizing formal and informal research presentation opportunities for graduate students.

Vice President of External Affairs: Noel Molina-Limon (
The role of the VP of External Affairs is to provide the voice of BIOE to the Rice University and the surrounding community. The VP External attends the larger GSA meetings and holds voting rights to push for actions that fair the BIOE graduate students. The role also focuses on how BIOE can collaborate with undergraduates and recruitment.

Vice President of Finance: Yajur Maker (
The Vice President of Finance manages the BIOE GSA budget for events and activities, working closely with the Social Chair and with the BIOE administration to keep up-to-date records of expenses. The VP of Finance works behind the scenes to ensure that the BIOE GSA can continue to plan enriching and fun events for BIOE students.

Social Chair: Emilie Newsham ( and Pop Kiratiwongwan (
The role of the social chair is to host events and foster a sense of community for the bioengineering graduate students. These events included game nights, outings to Valhalla, as well as the annual christmas party!

Affiliate Chair: Sherina Malkani ( and Marissa Perez (
The affiliate chair can be held by one or two people. The roles are focused on professional development and community engagement. In the last two years, we started a series of panels and workshops focused on connecting students with alumni and advanced degree holders in the area. The goal of the series is to introduce students to career opportunities outside of academia and allow them to network and build professional skills. We have also partnered with S-STEM to provide STEM outreach to K-12 schools in the Houston area.

DEI Chairs: Max DeLeon ( and Marina Yu (
Collaborate with faculty to improve DEI within the BIOE department, assist with recruitment efforts at major conferences throughout the year, serve on the BIOE department’s DEI committee for the term duration, and guide the newly elected DEI chairs during the final months of the term.

Communications Chair: Alexander Lu (
The communication chair’s role is to provide information to the BIOE community of students and members through multiple platforms. I am in charge of organizing the BIOE monthly/bi-weekly newsletter, moderating the BIOE GSA email and the social media presence.

Recruitment Chairs: Samantha Fleury (, Yajur Maker (, and Emilie Newsham (
The recruitment chairs’ role is to represent the interests of the 1st year Ph.D. students, plan socials, and organize and help assist the faculty in running Recruitment Weekend 1 and 2 for the incoming applicants in the month of March.

MBE Representative: Laura Luo (
Since our time here as MBE students is very brief, the role of the MBE representative is to collectively advocate the concerns and interests of master students to the GSA and BIOE department. I also help coordinate MBE recruitment and orientation to future students with the MBE advisors.

Past Leadership

  • President: Kevin Janson (
  • Vice President of Internal Affairs: Megan Chang (
  • Vice President of External Affairs: Manwal Harb (
  • Vice President of Finance: Kevin Lorch (
  • Social Chair: Brett Pogostin (
  • Affiliate Chair: Mollie Smoak (
  • Communications Chair: Marissa Perez (
  • Recruitment Chairs: Samantha Fleury (, Yajur Maker (, and Emilie Newsham (
  • MBE Representative: Laura Luo (
  • Faculty Advisor: Dr. Jordan Miller
  • President: Marjan Majid
  • Vice President of Internal Affairs: Ian Kinstlinger
  • Vice President of External Affairs: Susan Butler
  • Vice President of Finance: Kevin Janson
  • Social Chairs: Katie Brown & Josh Chen
  • Affiliate Chairs: Mollie Smoak & Katie Hogan
  • Communications Chair: Edwin Lai
  • Recruitment Chairs: Tyler Graf, Kevin Lorch, Marina Yu
  • MBE Representative: Eddie Yao
  • Faculty Advisor: Dr. Caleb Bashor
  • Chair: Sai Paul
  • Internal Assistant Chair: Sean Bittner
  • External Assistant Chair: Marjan Majid
  • Treasurer: Ryan Butcher
  • Social Chairs: Greg Berglund & Mollie Smoak
  • Affiliate Chairs: Katie Brown
  • Communications Chair: Adam Navara
  • Recruitment Chairs: Kevin Janson & Erin Euliano
  • Faculty Advisor: Dr. Caleb Bashor
  • Chair: Satya Bellamkonda
  • Internal Assistant Chair: Alyssa Shapiro
  • External Assistant Chair: Manuela Sushnitha
  • Treasurer: Maria Chen
  • Social Chairs: Sean Bittner & Madeleine Gomel
  • Affiliate Chairs: Madeline Monroe & Melody Tan
  • Communications Chair: Letitia Chim
  • Recruitment Chairs: Marjan Majid & Hannah Pearce
  • Faculty Advisor: Dr. Junghae Suh
  • Chair: Annicka Evans
  • Internal Assistant Chair: YuSeon Kim
  • External Assistant Chair: Gisele Calderon
  • Treasurer: Nikki Thadani
  • Social Chairs: Trenton Piepergerdes & John Gawedzinski
  • Affiliate Chairs: Kathryn Kundrod & Dessy Vekilov
  • Communications Chair: Jason Guo
  • MBE Representative: Michael Williams-Hart
  • Recruitment Chairs: Sai Paul & Alyssa Shapiro
  • Faculty Advisor: Dr. Junghae Suh
  • Chair: Emily Reiser
  • Internal Assistant Chair: Annicka Evans
  • External Assistant Chair: Sam Paulsen
  • Treasurer: Bagrat Grigoryan
  • Social Chairs: Dessy Vekilov & Ian Kinstlinger
  • Affiliate Chair: Eric Yang
  • Communications Chair: Chelsey Smith
  • MBE Representative: Jaewoo Park
  • Recruitment Chairs: Trenton Piepergerdes & Kathryn Kundrod
  • Faculty Advisor: Dr. Junghae Suh