Dean of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences (Division I)

Chriss Warren Foster, PhD., was born in Berkeley, California, Chriss lived in North Oakland and attended Santa Fe Elementary School, Claremont Middle School, Oakland Technical High School, and graduated from Fremont High School. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California at Berkeley, and moved after graduation to Los Angeles, California where she worked in Electro-Optical Data systems and Space and Communications for an Aerospace company. Later, she completed a Master of Arts degree in English, and then returned to the Bay Area where she taught in Richmond high schools and revived the Laura Hunter Education Center for Neighborhood House in North Richmond, directing the operation of an afterschool program for neighborhood children. She was soon recruited by Camp Fire Boys and Girls Bay Area Council to direct two “City Kids” afterschool programs in East Oakland and West Oakland. At the same time, she began teaching as an adjunct professor at John F. Kennedy University. Later, Chriss became an adjunct at Merritt College, San Francisco State University, and the University of San Francisco. Hired full time at Berkeley City College in 1999 as an English professor, Chriss worked for one year and transferred to Merritt College. At Merritt College, Chriss has served on PFT Executive Committee, Faculty Senate, District Faculty Senate, Curriculum Committee; as Faculty Diversity Internship Coordinator, Title III Curriculum and Instruction Coordinator, Basic Skills Student Outcomes and Transformation Grant Coordinator, Basic Skills Coordinator, Education Grant Coordinator, Department Chair, and Department Co-chair.


Chriss continued her journey through the hall of education while teaching and as a result holds the following Master of Arts degrees – English literature with Rhetoric and Composition emphases; Education; and, Counseling Psychology with completion of practicum for Marriage and Family Therapist licensing. Advanced degrees include Doctor of Educational Leadership and Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology with emphasis in Phenomenology; and, certificates in Rhetoric and Composition and Teaching Reading at the Post-Secondary Level.


Chriss has written two books: Howling at the Moon Cleansing the Spirit (1996) and Poems, Maxims, & Extended Thoughts (2016). She written and published two Masters Theses: The Rhetoric of Jack London (1992) and The Indirect and Ingenious Impact of Racism in the Classroom (2007); and two dissertations culminating in Phenomenological studies: Creating Meaning Beyond Comprehension (2007) and The Lived Persistent Meaning of Permanent, Abrupt Separation from A Black, Live-in Nanny, During Early Childhood (2016).