Gender Equity in Chemical Sciences (GEICS) Inclusive Leadership Award

The Illinois Department of Chemistry and The Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering (ChBE) have a shared vision of becoming leaders in Inclusive Excellence and are pursuing that vision in a variety of ways, including recognizing inclusive leaders in our chemical sciences community.

Inclusive Excellence (IE) is the recognition that our chemical sciences community's success is dependent on valuing and engaging the rich diversity of students, staff, faculty, administrators, and the alumni community. More than a short-term solution/bandage or single office initiative, this comprehensive approach requires a fundamental transformation of the department by embedding and practicing inclusive excellence in every effort, aspect, and level within the School of Chemical Sciences. Our goal is to make inclusive excellence a habit that is implemented and practiced consistently throughout the departments.

To recognize the community members that are models of Inclusive Excellence, in 2019 the Department of Chemistry Office of Graduate Diversity and Program Climate established the Gender Equity in Chemical Sciences Inclusive Leadership Award (GEICSIL). The award is now awarded to an outstanding Department of Chemistry or ChBE graduate student or postdoc committed to promoting full and equal participation of women, minorities, persons with disabilities, and/or persons of differing sexual orientations and gender identities in research and teaching.


Award Details

The recipient will receive an engraved award, presented at the Annual Gender Equity in Chemical Sciences Conference in August of every year and recognition on the Chemistry/ChBE websites, and up to $1000 disbursed through the recipient’s university account. Funds can be used for participation in conferences or receiving additional certifications, among other professional development activities.

The runner-up awardee will receive up to $500 sponsored by the Women Chemists’ Committee disbursed similarly to the GEICS Inclusive Leadership Award.

Nominations Deadline

The nominations are due the third Friday in July of each year. Nominations from current Chemistry and ChBE faculty, postdocs, and graduate students are invited. Contact to learn how to submit a nomination or follow this link to fill out a nomination form.

Selection Process

Awardees are selected each year by an ad hoc committee of diversity, equity and inclusion professionals, and faculty across the University, external to the department of chemistry.

Once the winner is chosen, the nominees and nominators will be notified.


2023 Inclusive Leadership Award recipients

Side by side head shots of Jiachun Shi and Catherine Jalomo
Jiachun Shi (left) and Catherine Jalomo


Jiachun Shi GEICS Inclusive Leadership Award recipient

(Graduate student in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering in Prof. Simon Rogers group)

Catherine Jalomo — Inclusive Leadership Award runner-up

(Graduate student in the Department of Chemistry in the research groups of Prof. Catherine Murphy and Prof. Steve Zimmerman)

News story — Graduate students recognized for their Inclusive Leadership | Chemistry at Illinois




Past Recipients


Side by side head shots of Anita (left) and Claudia
Anita Wo (left) and Claudia Berdugo-Diaz

Anita Wo — Winner of 2022 GEICS Inclusive Leadership Award
(Graduate student in chemistry professor Catherine J. Murphy's group)

Claudia E. Berdugo-Díaz — 2022 GEICS Inclusive Leadership Award, Runner-up
(Graduate student in ChBE professor David W. Flaherty's group)

News story  Graduate students recognized for Inclusive Leadership | Chemistry at Illinois




Head shots, from left, of Aguilar-Romer, Krueger and Stawiasz
From left, Jazmin Aguilar-Romero, Sarah Krueger and Katie Stawiasz

Jazmin Aguilar-Romero and Sarah Krueger — Co-winners of 2021 GEICS Inclusive Leadership Award
(Both are graduate students in chemistry professor Steven Zimmerman's group)

Katie Stawiasz — 2021 GEICS Inclusive Leadership Award, Runner-up
(Graduate student in chemistry professor Jeffrey Moore's group)

News story — Three students recognized with Inclusive Leadership awards




Head shot of Alison Wallum
Head shot of Hannah Toru

Alison Wallum (pictured, far left)  — 2020 GEICS Inclusive Leadership Award
(Graduate student, chemistry professor Martin Gruebele research group, and research group of Joseph Lyding, professor of electrical and computer engineering.)

Hannah Toru (left)  2020 GEICS Inclusive Leadership Award – Runner up
(Johnson group, geochemistry)

News story – Alison Wallum and Hannah Toru win Inclusive Leadership awards



Head shot of Lauren Hagler

Lauren Hagler — Recipient of the first annual GEICS (formerly called Women in Chemistry) Inclusive Leadership Award.
(Graduate student, chemistry professor Steven Zimmerman group).

News story – Inaugural Women in Chemistry Inclusive Leadership Award recognizes leaders in inclusive excellence