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Department ofBiology


Katy Korsmeyer
Katy Korsmeyer
Lecturer and CAS Director of Special Projects

Educational Background

B. A. Chemistry, University of California, Los Angeles
Ph. D. Biochemistry, University of Texas at Austin
Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology, University of California, San Francisco


Biology 188 STEM Education and Social Justice


Work in my lab is centered around support of K-12 schools and working with community programs to strengthen science education.  The Santa Clara County Biotechnology Education Partnership (SCCBEP) was formed by teachers in 1992 to support hands-on lab curricula in high schools and to provide teachers with professional development in biotechnology and molecular biology.  Our mobile kits and engaging curricula have supported the growth of biotechnology electives, pathway programs, ROP and CTE programs and forensics electives through the Bay Area and the country.  Many of the reagents, materials and equipment are donated by generous companies to enable hands-on biotech labs to be accessible to all students.  

Beyond curricula kits, we also facilitate donations of supplies, equipment and furniture from local companies to schools and other non-profits.  These Educator Giveaways have supported all levels of schools, community colleges, universities and other community programs since 2001.

The Silicon Valley STEM Internship program was developed in 2002 with Johnson & Johnson and LifeScan, Inc. (formerly Bridge-to-Employment Milpitas and Bridge-to-Employment Silicon Valley) to link science classroom relevance to real work experience, mentorship and professional networks.  High school students intern during the summer for 6 weeks at local university research labs and various industry sectors.  2 company tours and presentation deliverables are part of the paid internship experience.

As a part of the SCU Applied Bioscience Initiative (ABI), we hosted science teachers and educators to learn about current developments and applications in bioimaging.  I have organized the National Biotechnology Education Conference (NBEC) since its inception in 2009.  We are expanding outreach,  with the collaboration of UCSF, to include microscopy for K-12 classrooms.
Mentoring of women in STEM became a passion through my postdoc at UCSF while volunteering with middle school girls and their teachers to design hands-on science curricula.  That became the basis for the Young Explorers program with the support of the Association for Women in Science (AWIS) where scientists are supported to take hands-on activities into the K-8 classrooms.  Through AWIS, my SCU students also volunteered at the Bay Area Science Festival alongside industry scientists and engineers to show the fun side of science. SCU is an Institutional Partner with AWIS. Broncos can sign up for complementary AWIS membership here. AWIS has a lot of resources for career discernment and networking.
Programs and more information on STEM outreach and career diversity in STEM:
SEMO Club (Science Engineering Mentoring Outreach)
B-STEM Mentoring Circles (monthly career development events)
STEM Circles (monthly K-12 STEM education outreach events)
Teach Biotech (non-profit for K-12 classroom support)
SCVSEFA (Santa Clara Valley Science and Engineering Fair Association)
Synopsys Science & Technology Championship (regionally ISEF affiliated science fair)
AWIS (Association for Women in Science)
Together, we can make a difference!