Hi there! My name is Chrissy. I'm Latina () and I work at the intersection of science and education to ensure that anyone can thrive in STEM.
I earned my PhD in Chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley. At the start of my PhD, I worked to better understand how water molecules vibrate and interact with one another. My desire to make the field of chemistry more diverse and inclusive led me to switch my research focus to STEM education. I dedicated the rest of dissertation research to developing methods to understand issues that negatively affect diversity, equity, inclusion, and sense of belonging within graduate communities. Using the data I gathered, I designed and implemented interventions to directly combat these disparities. I am thankful for the support I received from the National Science Foundation, and Ford Foundation, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
I am heavily invested in mentoring and supporting young students from underrepresented groups through applying to graduate school, coping with imposter phenomenon, navigating the process of switching fields, and persisting through the challenges that students of color face, which I myself have experienced. My outreach has been featured by 500 Women Scientists, Chemistry World, the NSF INCLUDES National Network, Berkeley Science Review (2020 and 2018), and Strong Enough Girls. My research is also featured in the ColorMePhD Volume 2 coloring book—a free all-ages coloring book series for students, educators, scientists, and members of the community to engage with current PhD level research in science and engineering. Check it out and color my PhD with your friends and family!
I earned dual Bachelor degrees in Chemistry and Neuroscience from the University of Washington in 2014, and graduated as that year’s UW College of Arts and Sciences Gonfalon. My passion for travel, history, and photography led me to study abroad in Italy, Scotland, India, and England. Before starting my PhD, I also spent a year as a DAAD Graduate Scholar doing research at the Fritz Haber Institute in Berlin to understand the structure of molecules at ultracold temperatures.