Safa Khan, Ph.D.
CSU Channel Islands








Ph.D. in Chemistry (January 2015)

University of California, Irvine, Irvine, California

Dissertation: Scanning Tunneling Investigation of Olefin Dehydrogenation on Platinum Single Crystaland Pt/Al2O3/NiAl(110) Model Catalysts

Committee: John Hemminger, Sergey Nizkorodov, Barbara Finlayson-Pitts

M.S. in Chemistry (June 2010)

University of California, Irvine, Irvine, California

B.S. in Chemistry (June 2008)

B.S. in Biology: Physiology (June 2008)

B.A. in Near Eastern Studies: Languages and Civilizations  (June 2008)

University of Washington, Seattle Washington

University of California, Davis, Davis, CA  (2003 – 2005)

A photo of me with my UHV (ultra high vacuum) chamber at UC Irvine.






  • NASA Harriett G. Jenkins Pre-doctoral Fellowship (2010-2013) – NASA
  • Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need (GAANN) Fellowship (2008-2009) – US Department of Education
  • Excellence in Academic Community Service Leadership – Al Shifa Clinic (2009)
  • Dean’s Honors List  – The Dean of The College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences at UC Davis (2004)



Teaching Introductory Chemistry.

Lecturer – Chemistry Department at California State University, Channel Islands (2015-Present)

  • Prepared and taught lectures for:
    • Introductory Chemistry
    • Environmental Chemistry
    • Energy and Society
    • Chemistry and Society (online class)
    • General Chemistry
  • Mentor and guide students on creating and implementing sustainability projects.
  • Designed online coursework and website.
  • Developed and wrote the Alternative Laboratory Manual for Organic Chemistry I and II and General Chemistry I and II.
  • Planned lessons and assignments for classes of up to 45 students.
  • Graded papers and exams

Quality Assurance Faculty Lead –   California State University, Channel Islands (Fall 2018-Present)

  • Receiving training to review courses.
  • Work in a team to review courses to assure reliability amongst the team.
  • Develop a system for reviewing online courses, including how present to faculty, recruiting courses, deciding if and how to certify courses, levels of review and consultation, etc.
  • Present plans to Deans and Program Chairs with the goal of having a few courses over summer to review.

Facilitator – Teaching and Learning Innovations at California State University, Channel Islands (Spring 2017-Present)

  • Review and provide feedback to the Online Teaching Preparation Program (OTPP), an online faculty development course offered by Teaching and Learning Innovations at California State University, Channel Islands.
  • Help transition the course into Canvas.
  • Implement any improvements identified for the online course in Canvas.
  • Develop content to humanize the course.
  • Facilitate the course.

Lecturer – Oxnard College  (Fall 2016)

  • Prepared and taught lectures for Elementary Chemistry.
  • Graded quizzes and exams.
  • Prepared online homework.

Teaching Assistant – University of California, Irvine  (2009 and 2012)

  • Prepared and taught lectures for both the discussion and lab sections for general chemistry.
  • Planned lessons and assignments for classes of up to 35 students.
  • Graded papers and exams.

Teaching Assistant – AirUCI Summer Teaching Program (2011)

  • Taught laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) to high-school science teachers.
  • Helped develop the lab manual for this class.

CPR Instructor – Seattle, WA and Davis, CA (2004-2008)

  • Taught CPR to the members of Al-Shifa Clinic in Seattle and health care professionals in Davis.


Attended Workshops, Webinars & Conferences (ongoing)

Ambassador in the Open CI Program 2.0 – California State University, Channel Islands (Fall 2017-Spring 2018)

  • Recieved a certificate for completing the Open CI Program.
  • Engaged in a 5 day workshop on open educational resources.
  • Attended two semesters of meetings as an Ambassador in the Open CI Program.
  • Worked in a cohort of 10 faculty to discuss these topics in more depth.
  • Reviewed textbook affordability efforts at CI.
  • Explored trends in open educational resources in higher education.
  • Considered how these efforts relate to the 2025 Graduation Initiative.
  • Engaged in a open educational resource course in Canvas.
  • Lowered or eliminated textbook costs in my current courses.

Digital Badge for Completing OpenCI Ambassador.

Reviewing Courses Using the QLT Instrument – California State University, Quality Assurance (February, 2018)

  • 1 month long course, 15 hours per week
  • Experience with the QLT instrument and how to use objective-based examples to support reviewing and informing blended-online courses.
  • Hands-on experiences using the QLT objectives to rate elements of a sample course, learning how to write helpful recommendations, and discussing examples of setting up a peer-review process on their campus.

Improving Your Online Course – California State University, Quality Assurance (March, 2018)

  • 1 month long course, 10 hours per week
  • Explores the QM Rubric and provides a framework to improve the quality of online and blended courses.
  • Use the QM Rubric to review courses and develop a course improvement plan.

Humanized, Connected Online Teaching & Learning – California State University, Channel Islands (2016)

  • Received a certificate for completing the Online Teaching Preparation Program (OTPP), an online faculty development offering by Teaching and Learning Innovations at California State University, Channel Islands.
  • Participated in a 6 week intensive course on developing online classes. 10 hours per week. The following general subject matter was covered:
    • Designing engaging online activities
    • Designing an online course
    • Humanizing online learning

Digital Badge for Completing Online Training.

Pedagogical Training – University of California, Irvine  (2014)

  • Engaged in a quarter long class that surveyed chemical education literature on active learning in traditional lecture, hybrid classroom environments, and online learning. The course also covered different teaching formats.


Khan, S. Facilitating a Faculty Course: A Transformative Experience. Teaching and Learning Innovations. [Online] November 27, 2017.

Khan, S. Online Teaching Preparation Program (OTPP) is a Course on Effective Teaching (and a Little Technology). Teaching and Learning Innovations. [Online] February 27, 2017.



Giving loving attention to our XPS chamber at UC Irvine.

Graduate Student Researcher – Department of Chemistry, UC Irvine (2008-2014)

  • Analyzed the mechanistic details of heterogeneous catalyst reactions of hydrocarbons on platinum under the supervision of John Hemminger, PhD.
  • Perfected a multitude of techniques, such as STM (Surface Tunneling Microscope) and AES (Auger Electron Spectroscopy).
  • Wrote the manual to the FTMS-STM Instrument.

Research Investigator – Department of Atmospheric Sciences, University of Washington (2007-2008)

  • Investigated the origin and column values of tropospheric BrO in Antarctica under the supervision of Chemist Joel Thornton, PhD.
  • Utilized MATLAB, a technical computing language to compare results with Global Ozone Monitoring Experiment (GOME).

Clinical Research Investigator – King County EMS, University of Washington (2006-2007)

  • Worked closely with Hendrika Meischke, PhD, on an exposition regarding white coat hypertension in the pre-hospital setting.
  • White coat hypertension is a common cause of clinical hypertension and given the paucity of data on this topic our team analyzed and presented the available information in a clinical literature review (published).

Lab Assistant III – Veterinary Medicine, Department of Health and Reproduction, UC Davis (2004-2005)

  • Organized and carried out various experiments as part of a team to verify the destruction of pathogens in East Bay Municipal Utilities District in modified sewage treatment procedures using polio and hepatitis B as examples of pathogens.
  • Mastered cell culturing, staining and RT-PCR.
  • Gained the experience and expertise in vitro bacterial cell culture.

Research Investigator – Center for Neuroscience, UC Davis (2003-2005)

  • Conducted research under the supervision of Natalie Kacinik, PhD, and Kathleen Baynes, PhD, on aphasias of the brain and how linguistic disorders are mentally represented.
  • Worked with fMRI scans, and preparing lists of experimental stimuli/data.


Khan, TV & Khan SS. Common Breast Feeding Problems. CMe-Spotlight Series, 2013.

Khan, TV, Akhondi A, Khan SS.  Intranasal Naloxone as Initial Treatment for Opioid Overdose in the Pre-hospital Setting. EMS Professional,1(3):34-37 (2009).

Khan, TV, Khan SS, Akhondi A, Khan TW. White Coat Hypertension: Relevance to Clinical and Emergency Medical Services Personnel. EMS Professional,1(2):16-21 (2009).

Khan, TV, Khan SS, Akhondi A, Khan TW. White Coat Hypertension: Relevance to Clinical and Emergency Medical Services Personnel. Medscape General Medicine, 9(1): 52, 3-13-2007.

Kacinik, N.A., Shatnawi, S., Polse, L., Swaab, T.Y. & Baynes, K. (2006). Left and Right Hemisphere Contributions to the Comprehension of Figurative and Literal Language. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, Suppl, Pg,


Khan SS. Tropospheric Air Pollution, invited speaker for ESRM at CSUCI with Mary Woo, February 2017.

Khan SS. Tropospheric Air Pollution, invited speaker for ESRM at CSUCI with Dan Maher, October 2016.

Khan SS, Hemminger JC. The conversion of olefins to carbon clusters on Pt/Al2O3/NiAl(110), NASA Ames JPFP Symposium, San Jose, CA, July 22-26 2013.

Khan SS, Hemminger JC. The Investigation of Ethylenediamine Conversion to Cyanogen on Nickel, NASA MUST Symposium, Hyatt Orlando Airport Hotel, Orlando, Fl, July 19-22 2012.

Khan SS, Sun G, De La Ree A, Hemminger JC. The Conversion of Small Hydrocarbons to Carbon Clusters on Platinum, AVS 59th International Symposium and Exhibition, Tampa, Fl, Oct 31st 2012.

Khan SS, Sun G, De La Ree A, Hemminger JC. Poster Presentation of The Conversion of Small Hydrocarbons to Carbon Clusters on Platinum, SCCAVS Exhibition, Los Angeles, CA, Oct 3rd 2012.

Khan SS, Sun G, De La Ree A, Hemminger JC. The Conversion of Small Hydrocarbons to Carbon Clusters on Platinum, NASA Ames STEM Symposium, DoubleTree Hotel, San Jose, CA, July 25-29 2011.


Giving my time to improve the community is rewarding work. Creating community free health clinics, working on sustainability projects and impowering young women scientists are among my interests. Below are list of activities where I have been a leader in making a difference.

Committee Member – Sustainability at California State University, Channel Islands (2015-present)

  • Supervise and mentor 25 students at a time on creating and implementing sustainability projects.
  • Successfully directed and implemented the following projects: tree planting, sustainable events, dormitory energy competitions, art department waste management and cafeteria sustainable take-out containers.
  • Currently working to improve recycling, composting and waste management at the university.

Member – Iota Sigma Pi, National Honor Society of Women in Chemistry (2009-2014)

  • Retained membership in this society that promotes interest in chemistry among women and helps stimulate accomplishment and advancement in academic, business and social life.
  • Volunteered for a community outreach program where children in the local area learn science and conduct experiments.

Founding Board Member – Crescent Free Clinic of Orange County (2008-2014)

  • Trained and mentored undergraduates to run a free healthcare clinic for the underserved communities of Orange County.

Founding Director of Volunteer Services – Al-Shifa Clinic, University of Washington (2005-2008)

  • Founded the only open University of Washington student-run free clinic.
  • Led 18 undergraduates divided into 3 teams and managed clinic financing, education and prevention, and outreach.

Layout Manager & Writer – Ergo Sum, UC Davis (2004-2005)

  • Taught writers how to format articles for this journal of bioethics and the philosophy of Science.
  • Supervised the layout of this unique campus-wide published journal.

Founding President – Help and Education Leading to Prevention (HELP) Club, UC Davis (2004-2005)

  • Directed this organization to help the homeless populations of Sacramento and Yolo counties.

Secretary – Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior Club, UC Davis (2004-2005)

  • Expanded the community service events for the club, such as Relay for Life, Homeless Thanksgiving dinner, and many others.

Secretary – Middle East and South Asia Student Coalition, UC Davis (2004-2005)

  • Worked on ensuring that minority groups are fairly represented in the UC education system


  • FTIR
  • STM and AFM
  • Vacuum science and technology
  • XPS
  • EELS
  • AES
  • MATLAB and Mathematica
  • HTML
  • WordPress
  • VoiceThread
  • Blackboard
  • Desire 2 Learn
  • Qualtrics