Chemistry, ChBE graduate students receive Outstanding Mentor Award

Marya Ornelas, left, and Vanessa DaSilva.

Chemistry graduate student Marya Ornelas and Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering graduate student Vanessa DaSilva both received C2 Outstanding Mentor Awards for their work with undergraduate students in the C2 — Chemical Science through Community program during the 2022-23 academic year. 

The C2 program seeks to build a community of undergraduate and graduate student scholars in the departments of chemistry and chemical and biomolecular engineering that provides professional development, mentoring and research opportunities to undergraduate students from underrepresented groups.

Undergraduates are paired with graduate student mentors, invited to participate in monthly professional development and networking events, and encouraged to apply for summer research fellowships sponsored by the 3M corporation and competitive research travel awards to attend national conferences.

During the award ceremony on April 20, 2023, Ornelas and DaSilva gave presentations explaining their educational paths to their respective PhD programs and talked about their research projects for the benefit of UIUC undergraduate students in the Cprogram.