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Minnesota State University, Mankato
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Aug. 29: 27th Annual Ford Lectureship

Boston University faculty member Malika Jeffries-EL to deliver morning, evening lectures.

Minnesota State University, Mankato Media Relations Office News Release, 8-16-2016

Mankato, Minn. – Malika Jeffries-EL, an associate professor in the Department of Chemistry and Division of Materials Science at Boston University, will deliver two lectures at Minnesota State University, Mankato, on Monday, Aug. 29 as part of the 27th annual Leonard A. Ford Lectureship.

Both lectures are free and open to the public and will be held on campus in the Centennial Student Union’s Ostrander Auditorium.

Jeffries-EL's first lecture, titled “Design and Synthesis of Organic Semiconductors for Advanced Applications,” will be held at 10 a.m. Her second lecture, titled “Taking the Road Less Traveled: My Journey to the Ivory Tower,” will be held at 7:30 p.m.

In her 10 a.m. technical talk, Jeffries-EL (pictured) will discuss how conjugated polymers have been of tremendous scientific and technological interest since being discovered more than 40 years ago. As described in an abstract of Jeffries-EL’s presentation, she will explain that despite the properties of these materials, there are issues that have to be addressed before real-life products can be developed. Jeffries-EL will describe her group’s work on the synthesis and properties and utility of these polymers.

According to an abstract of Jeffries-EL’s 7:30 p.m. presentation, although African-Americans make up approximately 13 percent of the U.S. population, they are severely underrepresented in advanced degrees awarded in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) disciplines and within the ranks of faculty at research institutions. Jeffries-EL will discuss how her passion for science led her to her current position along with current trends, pipeline issues and potential solutions woven within the content of her personal experiences.

Jeffries-EL received bachelor’s degrees in chemistry and Africana studies at Wellesley College and master’s and doctorate degrees in chemistry from The George Washington University. After spending one year at Smith College as a Mendenhall Fellow, she worked as a post-doctoral researcher under the direction of Professor Richard D. McCullough at Carnegie Mellon University.

In 2005, she joined the faculty in the Chemistry Department at Iowa State University and was promoted to associate professor with tenure in 2012. She joined the Department of Chemistry and Division of Materials Science at Boston University in 2016. 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 has won numerous awards.

The event is being sponsored by the Department of Chemistry and Geology in Minnesota State Mankato’s College of Science, Engineering & Technology.

For more information, contact Christine Cords, office manager in the Department of Chemistry and Geology, at 507-389-1963, or

Minnesota State Mankato, a comprehensive university with 15,193 students, is part of the Minnesota State system, which comprises 31 state institutions.

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