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 modelled 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) teaches women to be more effective when leading or participating in discussions, meetings, or negotiations.
Chemistry at Illinois has developed and/or supported many programs aimed at fostering the development of all future chemists in our department. For more information on all the opportunities Chemistry at Illinois has to offer, please check out the pages in the right navigation section.
If you have any questions about the opportunities for underrepresented minorities that Chemistry at Illinois has to offer, please feel free to contact us.