The Department of Chemistry at the University of Illinois is committed to encouraging a diverse and supportive environment in chemistry, where every student is provided with the opportunities and resources necessary to succeed in their chemical career. Our track record speaks for itself: in 1916, St. Elmo Brady graduated from our department and became the first African American to receive a PhD degree in the U.S.
In 1993, we started our Merit Workshops for Emerging Scholars, a program aimed at increasing the retention rates of Latinos, African Americans, women and other underrepresented groups in undergraduate STEM degree programs. Recently, we have established a multi-tiered teacher-mentor system modeled after the Merit Program for our graduate program as well.
In 1999, with the generous support of an alumna of our program, Yulan Tong, the Sylvia Stoesser Lecture series was started. This lecture series focuses both on the contributions made by women chemists and the special challenges that they face within the discipline. To read more about the extraordinary life and career of Sylvia Stoesser, who has been compared with Marie Curie, and about the lecture series itself, see the link above.
In Fall of 2005 we became the first Department of Chemistry in the U.S. to offer "COACh" workshops to our female graduate students and postdocs. The Committee on the Advancement of Women Chemists (COACh) works to increase the number and career success of women scientists and engineers through innovative programs and strategies.
Chemistry at Illinois has developed or supported many programs to foster the development of all future chemists in the department. Explore the diversity program links in the menu and links to various student organizations.