Dr. Chrissy Stachl’s journey to, and through, the University of California, Berkeley, Department of Chemistry contained many unexpected twists and turns. A trained chemist, she started out working in a physical chemistry lab, doing gas-phase research to understand how water molecules interact with each other and the ions they solvate. As one of only a few Latin women in her department of >400 graduate students, she quickly began to feel isolated and had trouble finding individuals that she could relate with. This motivated her to find ways to diversify her department and dedicate time outside of research to start a DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) initiative within Berkeley Chemistry. She eventually fell in love with the work she was doing to help ensure that younger generations of chemistry graduate students would not face the same hardships she had overcome, and switched fields to gain a more rigorous understanding of the issues responsible for the diminishing representation of marginalized individuals at the highest levels of academia. In this presentation, Dr. Stachl will talk about the experiences that ultimately motivated her doctoral research in both physical chemistry and chemistry education, as well as the unique path she paved to pursue a career as both a chemist and an educator.
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