Malika Jeffries-El, PhD
Malika Jeffries-El is the Associate Dean of the Graduate School in Arts and Sciences and Associate Professor in the Department of Chemistry and Division of Materials Science at Boston University. Dr. Jeffries-EL’s research focuses on the development of organic semiconductors –materials that combine the processing properties of polymers with the electronic properties of semiconductors. She is a fellow of the American Chemical Society and the Royal Society of Chemistry and has won numerous awards including the Percy Julian Award from the National Organization of Black Chemist and Chemical Engineers (NOBCChE), the ACS-Women Chemist Committee Rising Star award, the Iota Sigma Pi Agnes Fay Morgan Award, and the Stanley J. Israel award for diversity. She has authored over 40 publications, received over 4000 citations, and given over 175 invited lectures domestically and abroad.
Professor Jeffries-El, is also a staunch advocate for diversity and a dedicated volunteer that has served in several activities within the American Chemical Society. She is a science communicator who seeks to encourage students from underrepresented groups to pursue STEM degrees and recently appeared on the NOVA series Beyond the Elements. She also serves the community through her work with Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated (AKA).
Although African Americans make up approximately 13% of the US population, they are severely underrepresented in advanced degrees awarded in STEM disciplines. Currently, they hold ~2% of tenure/tenure track positions in research institutions in the US. Despite the overwhelming statistics, Dr. Jeffries-El pursued and completed a doctorate in chemistry, obtained an academic job, and then tenure in promotion in due course. She was born in Brooklyn, NY where she lived in public housing and attended public school. Although her situation was less than ideal, she always had a passion for science that her parents encouraged her to pursue. In this talk, Dr. Jeffries-EL will discuss what excites her about science, diversity, equity and inclusion issues and potential solutions woven all within the context of her personal