Group Members


Anne Baranger

Anne Baranger received a B.S. in Chemistry from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1988 and a Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1993, under the direction of Professor Robert Bergman. She was a postdoctoral fellow at Yale University with Professor Alanna Schepartz from 1993-1996. Professor Baranger joined the Wesleyan University chemistry faculty in 1996 and the University of Illinois chemistry faculty in 2006. At the University of Illinois, she was Associate Head of the Department, Director of Graduate Studies, and was a Chancellor's Fellow in the I-STEM Education Initiative. She joined the University of California, Berkeley, in 2011. She was Director of Undergraduate Chemistry until 2020. She is currently Assoicate Dean of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the College of Chemistry and Faculty Assistant for Teaching and Learning in the Vice Chancellor for Education's office, and a core faculty member in the Graduate Group in Science and Mathematics Education (SESAME) program. She is the recipient of the Rudolph Anderson Postdoctoral Fellowship (1993-95), the Donaghue Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship (1995), an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship (2002-2004),  and the ACS-CEI Award for Incorporating Sustainability into Chemistry Education (2015). In her free time, she enjoys hiking, skiing, bicyling, making jam, and hanging out with her family.


Katie Blackford, 4th year graduate student

Katie graduated from Smith College in 2017 with a B.A. in Chemistry. She began her graduate studies in chemistry at UC Berkeley that fall, focusing on the total synthesis of natural products. Since 2019 she has been working with Anne Baranger to study how students with varying levels of expertise solve organic chemistry problems, with the goal of improving the way organic chemistry is taught to undergraduates. In her free time she enjoys cooking, traveling, hiking, and hanging out with her cat.


Max Helix, 6th year graduate student

Max graduated from U.C. Berkeley with a B.A. in Chemistry and Psychology.  He then began a chemistry graduate program at Stanford University, where he worked with Paul Wender on designing synthetic routes to natural product analogues.  After earning his M.S. in 2011, Max spent a great deal of time tutoring and working on various freelance projects related to chemistry education.  He entered the SESAME program in the fall of 2014 and is working with Anne Baranger.  His specific research interests include improving the way in which organic chemistry is taught and studying the problem solving techniques and metacognitive strategies that are needed to be effective in this discipline.  In his free time, Max enjoys playing guitar, hiking, going to concerts, and otherwise exploring the Bay Area.


Michelle Douskey

Laura Armstrong, 6th year graduate student

Laura received a B.S. in chemistry from Southern Oregon University in 2010. After graduating, she came to UC Berkeley as chemistry graduate student with a focus on theoretical chemistry. She has been working with Professor Baranger and Drs. Michelle Douskey and MaryAnn Robak on the Dow Lab Development project for the past two years. She is planning on entering the SESAME graduate program in the fall of 2015. In her free time she enjoys riding her horse, taking her dog to the park, trail running, and being overly critical of TV shows.

Laleh Coté, 5th year graduate student

Laleh received A.S. and A.A. degrees in Science and Liberal Arts from Laney College in 2010, a B.A. in Biology from San Francisco State University in 2012, and began her doctoral studies at UC Berkeley in 2016, where she is studying Science Education (Ph.D.) and Microbiology (master’s) in the Baranger Group. With 12 years of experience working at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, she currently serves as the Senior Internship Coordinator with Workforce Development & Education. She is a NSF GRFP Fellow, a member of the Collaborative Around Research Experiences for Teachers (CARET), a member of the Steering Committee for the Coalition for Education & Outreach (CEO), and application reviewer for a number of science education/outreach programs. Her research interests include culturally-responsive pedagogies, evaluation and assessment of STEM undergraduate research experiences (UREs), and STEM success for community college students.

Kenneth Celis, 4th year undergraduate student

Yongbo Wang, 3rd year undergraduate student

Julia Greenbaum, 3rd year undergraduate student

Kelly Chou, 4th year undergraduate student


Graduate Students:

Chrissy Stachl, Ph.D. 2020. Currently Director of Education, Outreach, and Diversity, C-GEM
Geri Kerstiens, Ph.D. 2019. Currently Fall Program for Freshman, UC Berkeley.
Beatriz Brando, Ph.D. 2019. Currently Office of Planning and Analysis, UC Berkeley.
Sara Tischhauser, Ph.D., 2018. Currently: Bay Area Air Quality Management District in San Francisco
Astrid Zamora, M.S. '18, 2017-2018 (UC Berkeley)


Undergraduate Students:

Zeyi Zhou, '20, 2018-2020.                                                                                                                     
Lauren Irie '20, 2018-2020                                                             
Zach Firestein '20, 2018-2020                                                                                                                     
Jiho Kim '20, 2018-2020.                                                              
Ibrhim Hajar '20, 2018 (UC San Diego)
Seth Van Doren '19, 2018.
Sean Limfat ’16. 2014-2017.
Mariana Rivas '19. 2016-2019
Sneha Dilip ’16. 2014-2016.
Erica Dettmer-Radtke '18, 2017 (Colorado School of Mines)
Gabe Otero '18, 2018
Maria Bautista ’16. 2015-2016.
Jordan Said ’16. 2015-2016.
Seoyoung Han ’16. 2015-2016
Jennifer Hackleman ’17. 2015-2017 .
Kavya Madhavan ’18. 2015-2016.
Sa Bin Kim ’19. 2015-2017.
Linda Xu ’19. 2016.