Chemistry technician Carolyn Forrester passes away

Former Cal Poly Pomona Instructional Support Technician Carolyn Forrester passed away Oct. 29 due to issues involving cystic fibrosis. The disease is an inherited one that harms the lungs and digestive system. 

For more than 28 years, Forrester dedicated her service and knowledge to the chemistry department as a technician and lab manger. She recognized and advocated the importance of a safe workplace by ensuring that students, faculty and staff would be prepared for any potential hazardous or emergency situations.

Forrester had a love for chemistry and shared her passion for it with students through overseeing multiple labs. Many of her assistants shared a close bond with her. They believed that Forrester was a huge influence in their now successful careers.

“Rendy Kartika, a student assistant under Carolyn in the early 2000s, now works at Louisiana State University as a professor in the chemistry department,” said Stephanie Pastor, CPP instructional support technician. “(He) credits Carolyn’s support and encouragement to pursue a Ph.D. in chemistry that ultimately led him to where he is today.”


Additionally, during her time at CPP, Forrester implemented safety instructions, documented safety workshops for students and served as the principal building marshal for Buildings 3, 4 and 8. She held weekly meetings to keep staff aware of any changes or new safety information.

For the last several years, safety checks and preparation in labs have increased because of the mark Forrester left at CPP. In 1999 and 2010, she received the Governor’s Employee Safety Award for creating safety manuals and lab safety trainings. 

Forrester was not only a hardworking faculty member, but a close friend to her colleagues as well. 

“As a friend, no one can compare,” said Pearl Viggers, CPP cell and molecular biology technician. “She genuinely loved (her friends) and wished (them) all life’s best. She led by example, a loving, happy one.” 

Those around her agree Forrester was a positive person and someone they could count on. 

“(She was a friend) who would help in any way she could. I know I wasn’t the only one who cried to her,” Pastor said.

Forrester loved talking about her family and was an active person. Her age was disguised by her routine trips to the gym for her yoga, Zumba and step classes. 

The CPP community is forever thankful and fortunate to have come across an extraordinary individual.

A memorial service for Forrester will be held Dec. 6 at St. John’s Episcopal Church, 4745 Wheeler Ave. in La Verne. The CPP campus community is invited and encouraged to attend Forrester’s memorial service to commemorate her life. 

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