Officers 2022-2023


Swetha Kodamasimham

Vice President

Mariana Romero-Gonzalez

Secretary  Cecilia Spesia

Namir Khalasawi  (Sr.)

Grace Xia (Jr.)

Webmaster/Social Media Coordinator

Julia Catalano

Professional Development Chair

Corrine Din

Volunteering Events Chair Julia Crowther
Social Chair Vivian Juang
Fundraising Chair Alex Meyer
Class Representatives

Neha Karekar

Hannah Myatt

May Phoo

Nishant Shah 

Hannah Naldrett

Ziyun Xia

Zhiling Guo

What is the AAPS national organization?

The American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists (AAPS) is a national organization with the aim of advancing the impact of the pharmaceutical sciences toward improving global health by providing a vast network of members that are focused on learning, innovation, service, inclusiveness, and integrity.  Notably, AAPS member benefits include discounted registration fees to the annual meeting (PharmSci 360) and various workshops throughout the year, a free subscription to the AAPS Newsmagazine, access to AAPS webinars and eCourses, networking opportunities both at the annual meeting and through the online member directory, and ultimately career advancement through these education and networking opportunities.

Am I a member of AAPS?

Pharmaceutical Sciences PhD students at the University of Michigan are encouraged to pay the small fee to join the AAPS national organization (scholarships are available in some cases), but this is not required.  However, all students are members of the University of Michigan AAPS Student Chapter, which is free to join and sponsored by the national organization. Students may choose how much they wish to participate in AAPS Student Chapter events.

Who are the AAPS Student Chapter officers and how do I become one?


There are unlimited opportunities for students to serve as AAPS Student Chapter officers, and different positions have different time commitments.  Electable positions are voted on at the beginning of each fall semester, and students may fill non-elected positions at any time. Collectively, these officers make up the AAPS Student Chapter Executive Committee.

  • President:  The President is the main contact person between the faculty/staff and the students and is responsible for organizing journal club, conducting biannual officer meetings, and maintaining chapter documentation both with AAPS national organization and with the university. The President delegates other tasks and manages the responsible officer.  The current Vice President is appointed as President by majority vote each fall and is typically (but not always) a fourth year PhD student. Time commitment: high
  • Vice President:  The Vice President shadows and assists the President and acts as the President when necessary.  A new Vice President is elected each fall, must have at least one year of experience on the Executive Committee, and is typically (but not always) a third year PhD student.  Time commitment: high
  • Treasurers:  The two treasurers are responsible for maintaining chapter finance records, advising on the use of chapter finances, reimbursing members for approved AAPS transactions, and fundraising.  The treasurers are elected each fall, but they may serve as many terms as they are elected. Treasurers are typically second through fifth year PhD students. Time commitment: medium
  • Secretary:  The secretary is responsible for maintaining journal club attendance records and for taking notes at biannual officer meetings.  The secretary is elected each fall but may serve as many terms as they are elected. The secretary is typically a second through fifth year PhD student.  Time commitment: medium
  • Webmaster:  The webmaster is responsible for maintaining the AAPS Student Chapter website and all other relevant electronic platforms (Instagram and Twitter).  The webmaster is elected each fall but may serve as many terms as they are elected. The webmaster is typically a second through fifth year PhD student.  Time commitment: medium
  • Mentoring Coordinator(s):  One or two mentoring coordinators are responsible for surveying incoming students during the spring semester as well as matching and connecting them with established graduate students.  The mentoring coordinator(s) will be appointed by the President each spring and approved by the executive committee. The mentoring coordinator(s) may change executive committee office during the regular fall elections, but is still responsible for any lingering mentoring coordinator duties throughout the year.  The mentoring coordinators are preferably first or second year students. Time commitment: high in April/May and August, low in other months
  • Mentors:  Mentors are matched to incoming first year students each spring by the mentoring coordinator(s).  Mentors will serve in various ways to aid first year student acclimation to the department and Ann Arbor.  While they are officially asked to mentor the student during the first year, they will continue to unofficially serve as long as desired.  Mentor is the only executive committee position that may be simultaneously held by other executive committee members. Mentoring coordinators typically give preference to the youngest cohorts to become mentors.  Time commitment: depends on mentee, usually low
  • Event Chairs:  There are unlimited number of event chair positions with no elections; any AAPS Student Chapter member may join the Executive Committee as an Event Chair at the beginning of any semester.  Event Chairs, which are being rebranded from the previous “Social Chairs”, may serve the AAPS Student Chapter in a variety of ways, such as planning social events, relaying information on campus professional development events, organizing service events, producing the alumni newsletter, assisting in department recruitment, providing relevant feedback or suggesting ideas to other Executive Committee members, or any other role that the Event Chair is passionate about and that fits with the objectives of AAPS.  Ideally, each lab and each cohort would be represented by at least one event chair. Time commitment: low

Why should I participate in the AAPS student chapter?


  • Get to know fellow students and potential future coworkers/collaborators
  • Foster collaborations between labs or in extracurricular activities
  • Gain experience planning and engaging in larger professional events
  • Relieve stress & HAVE FUN
  • Learn more about areas of Pharmaceutical Sciences outside your immediate interests
  • Gain experience as a mentor and/or teacher
  • Speak about sensitive topics in a safe space with fellow students
  • Engage in a variety of cultural activities that are different from your own

What does the University of Michigan AAPS Student Chapter do?

The main objectives of the AAPS Student Chapter are professional and social enrichment.  


Activities of the AAPS Student Chapter include:

  • Biweekly journal clubs during the academic year
  • Monthly social events (both for work-life balance and for enhancing student community/network)
  • Professional development events (organized within the department/college or communicated from external sources)
  • Publication of the alumni newsletter
  • Service projects
  • Mentoring of first year students by more senior students
  • Assistance in department recruitment
  • Facilitation of communication between the student body and faculty/staff
  • Coordination of attendance to the annual Pharmaceutics Graduate Student Research Meeting (PGSRM)


What is journal club?

Journal club is held biweekly during the fall and winter semesters and is a student-only event.  All Pharmaceutical Sciences labs will present a recent, original research article that is relevant to their own research fields once per academic year that will be critiqued by all students during the meeting.  Journal club represents a safe space to practice presentation and critical analysis skills for the presenting student. All students are encouraged to present an article at journal club at least once during their PhD careers. Additionally, attending students are also able to expand their understanding of areas of research outside their area of expertise. It is also a great opportunity to develop critical reading skills of scholarly articles.  Lunch is always provided.


What is PGSRM?

The Pharmaceutics Graduate Student Research Meeting (PGSRM) is an annual midwest regional conference organized by students for students.  PGSRM is hosted at rotating universities each June, and all students are encouraged to attend and to present their research in poster or podia format when applicable.  Registration and transportation fees are covered by the department for all Pharmaceutical Sciences PhD students. The University of Michigan last hosted PGSRM in June 2017.  The 2018 PGSRM will be hosted by the University of Minnesota, and the 2019 PGSRM will be hosted by the University of Wisconsin.


What types of social events does AAPS Student Chapter host?

The AAPS Student Chapter hosts a variety of social events, including happy hours, bowling, attending professional and collegiate sporting events, tailgates, pumpkin carving, potlucks, summer cookouts, camping, kayaking, ice cream socials, IM sports teams, and many more.  We are always looking to incorporate new social events and would love any suggestions!


What types of professional development events does AAPS Student Chapter host?

The AAPS Student Chapter hosts at least one professional development session per year and is also dedicated to relaying information on external professional development opportunities available throughout the university.  Past AAPS professional development session topics include StrengthsFinder, mock evaluations of faculty applying for tenure, and how to critique scientific publications. Suggestions for future AAPS professional development events are welcome!

Important Resources




Listing Row

Tuesday, January 6, 2015
Tuesday, January 6, 2015