Professor Emeritus Cheryl Sundari Dembe

Cheryl Sundari Dembe (BS, University of Michigan ’68; University of Chicago MS ‘70, PhD 2018) taught at Diablo Valley College for 37 years, serving three times as Department Chair, as interim Division Chair of Physical Science and Engineering, and heading architect selection and faculty design input for a new Physical Science facility.

She was the first woman chemist, chemistry department chair, and physical science division chair at the 27,000 student campus, as well as one of the first women to have children while teaching. She was the first member on the faculty union board to request that maternity leave be a part of the contract.

She created ancillary materials to accompany The World of Chemistry, a 26-episode television series hosted by Nobel laureate Roald Hoffmann and funded by the Annenberg Foundation. She taught at UC Berkeley on one sabbatical, and on another engaged 10 great minds in hour conversations on the scientific-metaphysical interface, including Linus Pauling.

Barred from normal research pathways without the doctorate, she developed 25 original chemical theories applied to life, society and the individual, interwoven at a lay level in her book The Choice of Happiness, Glimpses from an Extraordinary Ordinary Scientific Mystical Life ( by Sundari Dembe.