About Us

Doctoral students face a myriad of challenges in today’s competitive job market. As a result, non-traditional careers are fast becoming a viable, successful, and enriching alternative for graduate students; however, potential opportunities within this sector are often overlooked because of students’ limited exposure to and awareness of the wide range of alternative career choices that exist.

The purpose of this organization is to educate its members about the many alternative doctoral career paths available to them within academia, government, and industry.

This organization seeks to shed light on ways in which the skills obtained during PhD study can be leveraged when seeking alternative careers and to bridge the gap between doctoral students and working PhD professionals who chose alternative careers.

Members of this organization will be given the opportunity to take advantage of networking and mentorship opportunities in addition to attending informational seminars given by successful doctorates who pursued vocations outside of the traditional academic tenure-track path.

The GCA is an official association at Stony Brook University dedicating to assisting graduate students in discovering all of their future careers options both inside and outside academia.

Our purpose as the Graduate Career Association is to educate students that face mounting challenges in today’s competitive job market. By cultivating professional skills, creating mentorship opportunities, and hosting informational seminars we want to support confident, diverse and hard-working individuals and introduce them to the alternative career choices that exist.

Awarded as Stony Brook University's Best New Organization in 2012

Meet this year's Executive Committee!


Forrest Bowling is a student in the Biochemistry and Structural Biology graduate student in Dr. Michael Airola's Lab. His research is focused on the protein structure of lipid signaling enzymes.

Vice President

Sheed Itaman is a member of the Grigori Enikolopov Lab, in Neurobiology and Behavior. He currently studies adult neurogenesis in various contexts and uses new techniques to understand endogenous division dynamics of adult neural stem cells. These techniques can also be used to measure how adult neural stem cells’ division dynamics change in the presence of pharmaceutical compounds or environmental stimulation. After graduation, Sheed aims to inspire others and engage students in populations that have low STEM representation. He hopes a future position as an impactful minority scientist may further inspire others to pursue biomedical research.

Treasurer & Event Coordinator

Phway Sandi San is a PhD student in the Applied Mathematics and Statistics Program, with a focus on Quantitative Finance. She is currently studying for her qualifiers and hopes to start research soon on topics related to survival analysis. Her favorite pastimes are to binge Netflix or paint on a canvas. Through the GCA program, she hopes to connect with other graduate students and help them (and herself) become more aware of the various career choices available.


Kafi Belfon is a Biochemistry and Structural Biology Ph.D. candidate in the French lab. Her focus is on the structural characterization of a mouse protein ORF 75C. She is actively learning the single-particle cryo-EM technique to structurally characterize the protein.

Social Media Representative

Annapoorani Kobuvayur Hariharan is a 3rd year Chemistry PhD candidate in Dr. Chris Johnson's group. Her research focuses on cluster catalysis in the gas phase. She is interested in astrochemistry, data science and science communication. In her free time, she loves reading novels, long walks and makes her own mandalas. As GCA's Social Media Representative, she builds the biweekly GCA Newsletter and manages GCA's accounts on different platforms like Facebook and Twitter!

Website Coordinator

Alexandra Weinheimer is a graduate student in the Biochemistry and Structural Biology PhD program, working in the lab of Dr. Hyungjin Kim. She studies the protein SDE2, a newly identified genome surveillance factor implicated in the replication stress response, with a particular interest in its SAP domain, a DNA-binding domain that preferentially binds single-stranded DNA. Her role in GCA is to maintain and update the website (this website!). She also makes the flyers.