Graduate Student Organization (GSO)

Water fountain surrounded by flowers

The EEB Graduate Student Organization (GSO) plays a significant role in the EEB department. All EEB graduate students are automatically GSO members and encouraged to actively participate and take advantage of the opportunities the GSO provides.

At the departmental level, graduate student members serve on the Graduate Program Committee, the Admissions Committee, the BIO3 Seminar Committee, the Biodiversity Institute Planning Committee, and all hiring committees, ensuring that graduate student voices are heard in departmental and university decisions. Additionally, the GSO selects, invites, and hosts an honorary speaker for the BIO3 seminar series.

At the student level, the EEB GSO has been working towards providing desired resources for graduate student professional development. The primary professional event is the annual GSO Retreat, which provides an opportunity for graduate students to present their research to their graduate student peers and receive feedback on their research project and presentation. In the spring of 2016, the EEB GSO and Molecular Biosciences GSO collaborated on a symposium, entitled the SEARCH symposium, which explored careers in science outside of the academic track. Students are encouraged to voice their desire for any additional professional development resources. 

During 2015 and 2016, the GSO has also created substantial opportunities for students to get involved with science outreach. The GSO Outreach Committee has established partnerships with various groups in the area, including Girl Scouts, Expanding Your Horizons, Wyandotte High School science classrooms, and many elementary schools in the area. EEB graduate students can choose to participate in annual outreach activities that have been implemented in the past or to take advantage of the ample opportunities to develop novel activities and lessons through these established networks.

To encourage community and support between graduate students, the EEB GSO also organizes social events throughout the semester. The most notable events are weekly social hours along with an annual camping event at Clinton Lake and a GSO hosted EEB Departmental Picnic.

Lastly, the GSO funds small travel awards for graduate students attending conferences. These awards help students disseminate their research and gain valuable professional experiences.

The GSO runs primarily on donations from faculty, students, and KU Student Senate funding on a year by year basis. Therefore, the GSO hosts multiple fundraising events to support all of the above activities. 

GSO Governance 2023-2024


Other GSO officers:

Vice President: Peter Willadsen

Treasurer: Katherine Hanselman

Secretary: Jessica Wilhelm


GSO Committees:

Department Committees

  • Alumni Relations Committee
  • BI Research and Planning Committee (1 rep)
  • BIO3 Seminar Committee: (1 rep)
  • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee (1 rep)
  • Graduate Admissions Committee (1 rep)
  • Graduate Program Committee: (1 rep)
  • KBSCER Student Representative: (1 rep)
  • Sustainability Committee: (1 rep)
  • Awards Nomination Committee (1 rep)
    • Not applicable for Fall 2023
  • Executive Committee (1 rep)
    • Not applicable for Fall 2023