The Biomedical Student Association (BSA) members work to organize a number of  service projects and activites each semester to make a difference in our communities, gain leadership experience, promote student-student interaction and expand networking opportunities. Through service, students feel more connected not only with the campus community, but also with the larger CSRA community.  

October 2022 | Win the Feud, Give Some Food - Food Drive for AU Open Paws Food Pantry

During the week of October 3rd - 7th, BSA held a priority food and school supply drive competition to gather donations for the AU Open Paws Food Pantry, playing on the friendly competitive nature of all nine of our biomedical science PhD programs and The Graduate School staff. With the Biomedical Student Association (BSA) leading the charge, AU graduate students, faculty, and staff donated 590.30 pounds of food and supplies in a friendly competition between the Biomedical Science PhD programs. All totaled over the week, they were able to donate 365.30 pounds to the Health Science campus and 225 pounds of goods to the Summerville pantry Kudos to the Vascular Biology Center, which raised the most, bringing 173 pounds of food AND 288 other needed non-food items.
The Open Paws Food pantry is free to all AU students. As a university focused on health, we want our students to be healthy. The Open Paws Pantry works “to end hunger and malnutrition” of our students, including graduate students. As they say, they are a “resource for students experiencing food poverty, financial stress, or other factors keeping them from being able to stock their own pantry.” The pantry normally keeps staple canned and dry goods foods on hand as well as snacks and non-food items, such as toiletries, but the pickings were growing thin.

All donations, including monetary donations, are welcomed at the AU Open Paws Pantry at either campus location from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm. Students can find the pantries in Bellevue Hall on the Summerville campus or on the second floor of the Student Center on the Health Sciences campus. The pantry reports that snack foods, energy bars, and other shelf-stable, ready-to-eat foods run out the fastest, but they also are interested in keeping canned goods, pastas, crackers, cereals, and toiletries including soap and shampoo, feminine products, and shaving supplies on hand. You can also give monetary donations to the pantry through the AU Foundation—please specify the Food Pantry or AU Open Paws pantry. Let’s keep our AU students healthy, well-fed, and hungry only for great ideas!

BSA officers pictured (left to right): Mercy Kehinde-Ige, Emily Burns, Elisabeth Mellott, Katie Anne Fopiano, and Dominique Monroe. 

September 14, 2022 | Donations for First-Year Biomedical Science PhD Students

The BSA hosted a mini Food Pantry for the First-Year students to welcome them to AU and help them get started with food and supplies as they transition into graduate school. Senior students graciously donated a variety of items including produce and non-perishable foods and First-Year students were able to take what they needed.  It was a great way for students to support their peers in a healthy and helpful way! 

June 2022 | Blood Drive

Shepeard Community Blood Center's mobile unit, the Blood Vessel, was able to collect thirteen life-saving pints thanks to a campus blood drive hosted by the BSA.

May 2022 | Little Free Library

Little Free Library is a non-profit organization that seeks to build community and inspire readers by expanding book access. The Augusta University Literacy Center holds a similar goal of creating literacy access for all. The Biomedical Student Association partnered with both of these organizations to build a Little Free Library for the Augusta University Literacy Center. The Little Free Library will hold books collected by the BSA during their campus book drive. All individuals in the Augusta community are encouraged to use the Little Free Library at the AU Literacy Center's new location in the HUB for Community Innovation at 631 Chafee Ave, Suite 104. 

April 2022 | Earth Day

Earth Day Clean up 2022The BSA joined in the community-wide Earth Day Cleanup of the CSRA organized by Savannah Riverkeeper, Keep Augusta Beautiful, and Phinizy Swamp Nature Park. BSA members Michaela Quintero and Hannah Youngblood collected several bags of trash from Augusta's Downtown Riverwalk. (Sorry, I forgot to take pictures for this one. I'm attaching the flyer instead.)





March 2022 | American Heart Association

While BSA officers Emily Burns and Katieanne Fopiano raised funds for the American Heart Association through a percentage night fundraiser at local restaurant Sole, other BSA members raised awareness about heart health by participating in the CSRA American Heart Association Heart Walk. 


February 2022 | Valentine's for Vets

As part of their Valentine's for Vets service project, the BSA wrote notes of encouragement to residents of the Georgia War Veterans Nursing Home.

January 2022 | Martin Luther King Service Day

BSA joined hands with students from other AU colleges and campus organizations, including the Black Student Union, the Medical College of Georgia, and Omega Psi Phi, to help the Augusta Dream Center. The Augusta Dream Center is a non-profit organization that seeks to meet the basic needs of underprivileged individuals by providing them with food, clothing, and medical care. The 31 student volunteers were able to donate two car-loads of clothing, prepare a meal for community members, and serve in the clothes closet and food pantry, among other activities.


For August, we focused on first-year mentorship. We hosted a potluck, where upper classmen brought hot dishes as well as fruit and non-perishables to the biomed lounge for the first-year students.


In September, we volunteered with the Tunnel to Towers 5K that raised money for Wounded Warriors.

Tunnel to Towers 5k runners




In October, we had a Halloween Candy Drive that benefitted the Ronald McDonald House. People were very generous with the drive! We were able to stuff over 60 bags full of candy and other goodies. Some student trick-or-treaters took the bags over to the Ronald McDonald House on Friday evening. We had enough left over to send some to pediatric oncology and the Children’s Hospital as well!


Our first service project for the fall semester was aimed to welcome new biomedical students to the program by pairing them with an upperclassman graduate student mentor. This was the second year that the BSA has organized the student mentorship program. It seemed especially important this year to set up these contacts for the first-year students since the amount of in person student gatherings was limited due to the Covid-19 pandemic.  All in all, a great way to welcome incoming students, provide helpful resources and start life-long friendships.


We participated in a pen pal project for the residents of the Georgia War Veterans Nursing Home. With the help of friends and family, we were able to send all 98 residents a card of thanks and encouragement. (Photos: our the post office collection box and the cards collected). 


student outside with science experimentThe October service project involves creating “Storytime with a Scientist” videos for the Richmond Public Library children’s program. The first video is aimed at younger children and will include Caryn Bird reading the Humpty Dumpty story, Emily Parker doing an egg experiment to show how we could have made Humpty Dumpty bounce, and Stan the Skeleton Man offering tips on how to keep our bones healthy. The second video will be for older children and will include Sarah Ray and Hannah Youngblood explaining how the kidneys work using a coffee filter demonstration and Lindsey Ramirez showing how we can assess kidney health by measuring the amount of urinary protein. Both videos will include Hanna Reinhart demonstrating a do-at-home “Elephant Toothpaste” experiment (photo). This project is still ongoing - check back for links to the videos.


For the November service project,  “Thankful Baskets” were assembled for AU and AU Health essential workers. Each participating department was given a basket to fill with candy, snacks, gift cards, and/or notes of thanks and encouragement. The baskets will be delivered to housekeeping and hospital staff to show our gratitude and appreciation for all they have done and continue to do every day. The project was also an interdepartmental contest to see which department collected the most goodies. 


For the December Service Project, we had a toy drive. We collected toys, books, and clothing for the Boys and Girls Club of the CSRA and Toys for Tots. 

Biomedical Student Association Toy Drive


In January/February, we had a campus-wide “Clean Your Closets Clothes Drive” that collected clothes for the Augusta Dream Center and sports clothes for local school kids through a program called “Gear Up”. 


In March, we coordinated the annual fundraiser for the American Heart Association (AHA) at the AR Workshop in North Augusta. 10% of proceeds went to the AHA. 


two students throwing away trash

In April, we had planned an Earth Day cleanup of the Savannah River watershed in conjunction with Savannah Riverkeeper. 


Month of Miracles Mural with donation balloonsThe month of May was dedicated to childhood disease awareness. The BSA raised funds for the Children’s Hospital of Georgia through the Month of Miracles fundraiser, and several students made story time videos for the children staying at the Ronald McDonald House in Augusta. The theme of both projects was “Keep Looking Up!”