Kristala Prather

Cambridge, MA, US
Field of Work 
Chemical Engineering
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Job Title or "Student" 
Associate Professor
Massachusetts Institute of Technology and University of California, Berkeley
Chemical Engineering
Education Level 
Profile Biography 
Growing up, I loved math and science. In high school, one of my teachers suggested I attend MIT for chemical engineering. That was very intimidating for me, but I ended up loving my experience there and focused on biotechnology. After completing my PhD, I went to work for Merck. My research there was very interesting and exciting and I enjoyed working in industry, but I knew I wanted to be in a teaching and mentoring position as well. I decided to go back to MIT where I could research as well as teach and mentor.

I don’t think we should always be driven by what industry says they want and need, however if the vast majority of your interactions are always with academics, and in academic settings, then there’s no way you’re getting anything other than an academic view of what’s going on. Although my journey was non-conventional, I decided I wanted to give myself a chance to understand what happens in industry by going to work in industry. My passion for teaching and mentoring brought me back to academia.

To learn more about my journey, please visit a story written for the MIT News
Travel, Other
Race & Ethnicity 
Black or African American
Level of Participation 
Online role model
My Experience 
I am a new Role Model.
No Preference
Program Affiliation 
Other Program Affiliation 
I was a student member of NSBE but am not currently a paid member. I was referred by Karen Peterson.
Other Interests 
Other Resources 
I don't really know what this is asking - are these supposed to be resources I have or resources I'm willing to work with? I am happy to provide a real answer with more information.

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