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Carnegie Mellon Department of Chemistry

Guide to Graduate Studies

Getting Oriented

Committees and Support Related to Graduate Life and Academic Affairs

Graduate Program Committee (GPC)

The Graduate Program Committee will advise first-year students about courses, selecting an advisor, and other matters during the first year. The GPC also provides general oversight regarding the graduate program policies and procedures, including the annual review of progress for all graduate students. General questions or concerns regarding registration, grades, and program requirements should be directed to Valerie Bridge. Detailed questions and concerns you may have about your academic progress or upcoming program requirements should be directed to Rea Freeland. However, you should feel free to talk with any member of the committee about your questions or concerns.

Graduate Ombudsperson

Rea Freeland serves as graduate ombudsperson to assist with sensitive or confidential concerns and provide referrals to other resources when needed. The ombudsperson’s role is described in greater detai here. Generally, students are welcome and strongly encouraged to discuss issues early to try to avoid them becoming more serious.

Chemistry Graduate Student Advisory Committee (GSAC)

The Graduate Student Advisory Committee provides input to the GPC on matters of concern to graduate students and the graduate program in general. For example, the GSAC has been involved in revisions to the graduate program requirements and in assessing the program. You can also talk with members of the GSAC to learn more about the graduate program and to share feedback about it. You can also address concerns to them and they can often help you determine how to get assistance. Membership of the committee currently includes: Matthew Baker, Pawel Krys, Christian Legaspi, Matha Naganbabu, Genoa Warner, and Chenjie Zeng.

MCS Graduate Student Advisory Committee (MCS GSAC)

Similar to the departmental GSAC above, the Mellon College of Science often has a group of graduate students (two from each department) to provide input to the Associate Dean for Faculty and Graduate Affairs. The MCS GSAC has organized past events such as the MCS Graduate Student Poster Session and panel discussions on careers in science. The Associate Dean for Faculty and Graduate Affairs (currently Curtis Meyer, Professor of Physics) convenes this committee.

Graduate Student Assembly (GSA)

The Graduate Student Assembly (GSA) serves as student governing body for graduate students at Carnegie Mellon. In addition to university services listed here, the GSA actively works on issues to improve the quality of life for graduate students and to provide varied social activities to enhance students’ experience of graduate school. Departmental happy hours and the department’s graduate student lounge are funded in large part by graduate students’ activities fees. Jon Willcox ( and Samaneh Mesbahi ( are the current department representatives to the GSA.

Chemistry Social Committee

Members of the Social Committee are involved in developing activities for the improvement of graduate student life in the department. April Berlyoung is the current chair. Members include Matt Baker, Alex Carpenter, Chris Collins, Eric Gottlieb, Lydia Jahl, Leif Jahn, Pawel Krys, Christian Legaspi, Steph Mack, Samaneh Mesbahi, and Meredith Schervish.