Committee Members

Amy Yen Phung Ngo

I am a first year graduate student in the Gavvalapalli Group. I  graduated with my B.S in Chemistry in 2022, where I was active in diversity efforts on campus. From growing up in a low-income neighborhood and being a first generation Vietnamese-American, I am committed to make the Chemistry department at GU more inclusive to women, LGBTQ+, and BIPOCS. My passion also stems outside of GU, where I am a regional volunteer for the Society of Asian Scientists and Engineers (SASE). I am looking forward to strengthening DEI efforts and fostering an amazing community during my time at GU!

Michelle Bertke

I am a teaching professor in the department teaching non-science majors chemistry classes.  I have a background in zoology, biochemistry, and biology education research.  This background experience and the current classes I teach give me a wonderful opportunity to explore a large amount of science topics that interest me.  It also gives me the opportunity to interact with students from many different majors and share my love for science with those students who might not consider themselves science people.  I am also the outreach coordinator for the chemistry department and work with students to share science with the community.  Through all my work, I strive to help people understand how science fits into the world and make it more understandable for all.  I believe that there is a place for every person in the science community and work to make sure everyone can find their place.

Karah Knope

I am an Associate Professor in the chemistry department. I am an inorganic chemist and naturally think the best chemistry is that which involves metals – the heavier, the better. I am a former Midwesterner, having grown up in Michigan. I received my B.A. in chemistry from a small liberal arts college just outside of Chicago (Lake Forest College) and my Ph.D. from George Washington University. As a first-generation college graduate, and mom, I am both personally and professionally dedicated to expanding access to STEM. I am committed to fostering a diverse, equitable, and inclusive community that is guided by the values of Georgetown’s cura personalis, and takes into consideration the whole person.

Valencia Boyd

I am the Chemistry Department Administrative Officer.  I’ve been with Georgetown University since 2015.  I’m a native Washingtonian with a professional background in Software Quality Assurance Testing, Software Configuration Management, and Physician’s Office Management.  My faith and family are my priorities.  I enjoy the company of close friends and family, a cool summer breeze, the sound of the ocean, and an awesome playlist.  I’m energized by connecting and caring so, my role as a department resource brings what I do for the University and who I am full circle.

Cheyenne Orozco

Aanya Agarwal

Hello! My name is Aanya, and I’m the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Chair for Chemistry Club this year! I’m a sophomore in the College majoring in Biology of Global Health and minoring in Chemistry and Philosophy and Bioethics. I’m from Omaha, Nebraska but I’m super excited to finally be in person here at Georgetown! I do research in the Mirabal-Beltran lab, where we study maternal healthcare knowledge in Wards 1 and 5 right here in D.C. I’m passionate about making STEM accessible to everyone, and I look forward to the work the DEI committee has planned for the year!

Christian Wolf

I am a researcher, inventor, teacher, advisor, mentor and entrepreneur. Before joining the faculty in the Chemistry Department, I worked in R&D at a major pharmaceutical company. My research at Georgetown is multifaceted and comprises synthetic methodology development, in particular asymmetric catalysis, environmentally benign procedures and C-F bond functionalization, stereochemistry, chiral compound analysis, optical sensing, and drug discovery/medicinal chemistry. During my industrial and academic career, I have seen how diversity and equality in a multicultural, open-minded research environment enhances creativity, innovation, productivity and fun. This is also true in the classroom, in fact, I feel that research and teaching go hand-in-hand and are truly inseparable. What I enjoy the most at GU are the daily interactions with students and colleagues who share my passion about making scientific discoveries that generate impact and solve problems. No matter if it is in the research lab or in the lecture hall, we all can only benefit from promoting DEI matters. I am committed to strengthening our community by making it more diverse, respectful, supportive and inclusive.