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Chemistry DEI Colloquia Series: Krishna Foster (The California State University) – on Zoom

April 1, 2022 | 3:40 pm - 4:40 pm

Krishna Foster Headshot
Krishna Foster
Associate Professor of Chemistry
The California State Institute

About the Speaker:

Dr. Foster was awarded a B.S. in chemistry from Spelman College in 1992 and a Ph.D. in physical chemistry from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 1998. Her postdoctoral research conducted at the University of California, Irvine and in the high-Arctic, resulted in two Science Magazine publications. She joined the faculty of California State University, Los Angeles in 2000 and is currently a Full Professor of Chemistry. She resides in Altadena, California.

Her research interests include determining the role of polycyclic aromatic compounds on the oxidizing capacity of the lower atmosphere; identifying reduced phosphorus oxyanions in natural environments, and chemical education. She has co- authored 24 publications on these topics.

Her career objective is to help students develop an awareness of the skills and attributes of professional scientists, and assist those who are Ph.D. bound to succeed in this aspiration. She is Co-Director of the Minority Opportunities in Research (MORE) programs and Director of the NIH funded Research Initiative for Scientific Enhancement (RISE) program at California State University, Los Angeles. Over 180 MORE fellows from groups traditionally underrepresented in the sciences have obtained their Ph.D. degrees in STEM fields in the past 20 years.

She has mentored over forty students in directed research experiences. While instructing courses in general, atmospheric and physical chemistry, she actively explores innovative pedagogical techniques to develop inquisitive students with refined problem-solving skills that will become leaders in their chosen professions sensitive to the role of chemists and chemistry in the modern world.

About the Seminar:


Inclusive Excellence in Chemistry


There are persistent equity gaps in course completion rates, graduation rates, and in the attainment of Ph.D. degrees within the molecular sciences, especially for Black and Latinx students. Many profess this is strictly due to disparities in pre-collegiate educational opportunities for these populations.

This paper addresses the power faculty have to minimize equity gaps experienced not only by Black and Latinx students but by others that hold marginalized identities. It will focus on efforts to eliminate equity-gaps at California State University Los Angeles (Cal State LA) both in the classroom and in Ph.D. preparation programs. It will discuss an HHMI sponsored program used to train faculty to become more inclusive and equity-mindedness in the classroom. It will also explore strategies California State University Los Angeles (Cal State LA) has used over the past 50 years to develop future PhD-level scientists with emphasis in the molecular sciences.

At Cal State LA, multi-year undergraduate research training experiences are complemented by seamless transitions between various training programs and an extensive research training curriculum. These efforts have resulted in Cal State LA being named as one of the top colleges of origin for Latinx graduates that go on to earn their Ph.D. degrees in science by the National Science Foundation. In summary, this paper will discuss strategies all institutions can use to minimize equity gaps in their disciplines with emphasis on the molecular sciences.


April 1, 2022
3:40 pm - 4:40 pm
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Marion Martin