Structured Study Groups

In 1989, the University of Michigan implemented an undergraduate chemistry program that was built upon a contemporary and mechanistic approach to organic chemistry as the foundational course.

CHEM 210: Structure & Reactivity I
CHEM 215: Structure & Reactivity II

In 1994, we designed an option for these courses that provided two things: (a) an opportunity, for any student who desired, to engage the scientific area of organic chemistry more broadly and deeply, particularly through the use of the primary literature, and (b) an instructional approach based on peer-led supplemental instruction using a balance of individual and team-based assignments and an open environment of collaboration, including peer review, discussion, and critique.

These 2-hour, weekly sessions are called Structured Study Groups (SSG).

A group of upper-level undergraduates, selected because of their own past excellence as SSG students through an application and review process, are the session leaders. They are, themselves, a collaborative team of instructors who, under the supervision of the SSG faculty director, design, implement, improve and provide the leadership for the weekly SSG meetings.

Featured on this page:
Top image: Dustin Bringley (SSG 2002-2003, 2003-2004)
Middle image: the inaugural class of SSG leaders (1994-1995)
Bottom image: former SSG leaders on staff at U-M (Sept 2017) –

  • Dr. Alex Poniatowski (SSG 2002-2003)
  • Dr. Nicole Tuttle (SSG 2001-2002, 2002-2003, 2003-2004)
  • Professor Brian Coppola
  • Professor Costas Lyssiotis (SSG 2003-2004, 2004-2005)
  • Professor Alison Narayan (SSG 2005-2006)