Diversity

Our commitment to diversity

We uphold our college's diversity values statement and believe that diversity strengthens excellence and innovation. We know that a diverse workforce is more productive, creative, and adept at solving complex challenges. We are training future global leaders and recognize that we as a department should strive to reflect the world and communities that we serve. We are committed to creating and maintaining a safe and welcoming environment for students, faculty, and staff to succeed. We are also actively working toward increasing the number of people from backgrounds that are too little represented in academia within our faculty and student body.

 

That's the Power of I.

DEI Support and Resources

Our goal is to help every student thrive at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, but we recognize the unique challenges that many students face. Below are some opportunities and resources available to help our students succeed and to inspire the next generation of engineers and scientists. 

 

Creating a pipeline to STEM success

Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at Illinois supports outreach opportunities for students of all ages and backgrounds to benefit our program participants as well as our students and faculty. 

We create and encourage outreach programs to expand and diversify the STEM pipeline from elementary through graduate school and beyond.

St. Elmo Brady STEM Academy is an after-school program established by the department that empowers middle school youth who identify as Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) to become the next generation of scientists, engineers, and mathematicians.

WYSE Summer Camps at the Grainger College of Engineering are designed to provide STEM-interested students the opportunity to experience advanced curricula at one of the best engineering schools in the nation and the world. The camps provide exposure to different areas of engineering through demonstrations, classroom presentations, hands-on activities, and interactions with various students, staff, and professors in those fields.

SpHERES is a program that is targeted to rising juniors or seniors at Champaign-Urbana high schools who are interested in careers merging interests in biology and engineering. Students will conduct research in one of several labs—ranging from Molecular and Integrative Physiology, Neuroscience, Bioengineering, Micro & Nanotechnology Laboratory, and Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. 

Multicultural Engineering Recruitment for Graduate Education (MERGE) invites a group of prospective graduate students, including women and people from diverse cultural backgrounds and all physical abilities, to explore programs in The Grainger College of Engineering.

We also attend meetings held by the National Society of Black Engineers, the Society for Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics & Native Americans in Science, and other DEI student organizations to recruit graduate students. 

Graduate Opportunities

Below are some opportunities available to support and celebrate our graduate students from diverse backgrounds. Please use the Fellowship Finder database to find more funding opportunities, like the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program (NSFGRFP). Perfect your proposal with grant and fellowship writing workshopsproposal writing resources, and proposal advising/review services on campus. If you notice any opportunities that are missing from this list, please let us know at chbe-comms@illinois.edu

Academic Research Leadership Network (ARL)

As a member of the Academic Research Leadership Network, we have access to a wide network of resources dedicated to creating opportunities in government, industry, and academia for people typically underrepresented in these fields. The network creates collaborative opportunities, prepares underrepresented minorities for leadership and success in the engineering field, and increases participation in these fields. Membership in the ARL Network is open to all PhD engineering and science researchers and academics who actively support the ARL Network goals of broadening the participation and professional excellence of underrepresented ethnic and racial groups, e.g., Alaska Natives, Native Americans, Blacks or African Americans, Hispanics, Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders, in engineering and science.

Join the ARL Network

Accelerating Women And underRepresented Entrepreneurs (AWARE)

Accelerating Women And underRepresented Entrepreneurs (AWARE) is programmed through the EnterpriseWorks incubator at the University of Illinois Research Park. The program exists to support entrepreneurship training, counseling, and networking. The AWARE program hosts a four-part workshop series to introduce researchers to the entrepreneurial ecosystem. Participants explore the commercialization process, engage with investment experts, and discover local resources for entrepreneurs. AWARE offers resources and an enhanced infrastructure that make the current entrepreneurial ecosystem more accessible to all. Those resources include a dedicated entrepreneur-in-residence familiar with the needs of those from underrepresented groups; small proof-of-concept grants for teams; targeted mentorship, training, and networking opportunities; and AWARE events found on the Research Park calendar.

Learn more about AWARE

Colman Inclusive Leadership (CILP) 

The Colman Inclusive Leadership Program (CILP) invites graduate students to participate in an immersive, three-day program that provides the skills and knowledge to support their development as leaders in graduate school and beyond. CILP introduces students to a range of practical skills, leadership theory, and special topics through readings, interactive group activities, case studies, and discussions.

Read more about our CILP fellows

Higher Education Recruitment Consortium (HERC)

The Higher Education Recruitment Consortium (HERC) is a nonprofit consortium of colleges, universities, and related groups committed to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion in the higher education workforce.  We serve over 700 higher education institutions, hospitals, labs, and affiliated employers united by a shared vision of cultivating a diverse, equitable, and inclusive higher education workplace where people from all backgrounds and perspectives can thrive. You can search for higher education jobs through HERC. 

 

Mavis Future Faculty Fellows 

The Mavis Academy was developed to train the next generation of great engineering faculty. Fellows participate in a series of workshops, seminars, and activities that cover various aspects of an academic career. Workshop themes include describing life as a faculty member, writing cover letters and CVs, preparing for campus interviews, and defining and achieving success as a faculty member.

Read more about our Mavis Fellows

Sloan University Center of Exemplary Mentoring at Illinois

The Sloan University Center of Exemplary Mentoring broadens participation in advanced engineering, physical and mathematical science careers, and strengthens the talent pool in these fields while increasing equitable opportunities in the U.S. The grant supports doctoral students underrepresented in STEM. In addition to financial support, Sloan Scholars receive guidance from a team of mentors.

Find Sloan Fellowship Recipients

Summer Predoctoral Institute

The Summer Predoctoral Institute (SPI) provides incoming graduate students from underrepresented populations with an early introduction to graduate study and an opportunity to work with an advisor in their department. 

Read more about an SPI participant

SURGE Fellowship 

This award recognizes outstanding incoming graduate students in The Grainger College of Engineering, who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents, plan to obtain a doctoral degree on a full-time basis, and come from communities that are underrepresented in engineering. The SURGE Fellowship is a 5-year fellowship program that combines financial support with opportunities for networking and community building.

Find Sloan Fellowship Recipients

Undergraduate Opportunities

Below are some opportunities available to help support and celebrate our undergraduate students from diverse backgrounds. If you notice any opportunities that are missing from this list, please let us know at chbe-comms@illinois.edu

Academic Redshirt in Science and Engineering

The Academic Redshirt in Science and Engineering (ARISE) Scholars program prepares talented students from the state of Illinois to succeed in Engineering at Illinois. Up to 25 students are named ARISE scholars every year, giving them an extra year to get ready for traditional first-year courses. The program includes a customized curriculum, individual faculty mentors, tutoring, and career services.

Chemical Science through Community (C²)

C² aims to foster excellence in chemical sciences at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Undergraduate Chemistry and Chemical Engineering majors from underrepresented groups (African American, LatinX, and Native American) are encouraged to apply. By partnering with graduate student mentors and engaging in monthly networking and professional development events, C2  brings together faculty and students from the School of Chemical Sciences to build a community of scholars in which diversity and excellence thrive. Monthly professional development workshops and networking events are combined with one-on-one peer mentorship, and student affiliates are also eligible to apply for Summer Research Scholarships sponsored by the 3M Corporation and competitive Travel Awards to present their research at national conferences for organizations such as the National Organization for Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers (NOBCChE), Society for Advancing Chinos/Hispanics & Native Americans in Science(SACNAS), and the Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students (ABRCMS).

Clare Boothe Luce Program

The Claire Boothe Luce (CBL) program aims to support women undergraduates seeking to study or teach science, mathematics, and/or engineering, creating a pathway to graduate studies. Each year, eight women undergraduates are selected to take part in the Illinois Scholars Undergraduate Research program and work closely with a faculty sponsor/graduate student mentor on research projects. 

The Future of Discovery: Training Students to Build and Apply Open Source Machine Learning Models and Tools (FoDOMMaT)

FoDOMMaT is a 10-week training experience in machine learning at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) in which students will work on developing open-source machine learning models and tools and applying them to solving real-world problems.

Morrill Engineering Program

The mission of the Morrill Engineering Program is to empower African American, Hispanic, and Native American engineering students, support their success as scholars, and enable them to leverage a community of students, staff, and alumni to achieve excellence in engineering. The MEP program hosts a variety of activities throughout the year to enhance the student experience. 

DEI Student Organizations

Our campus offers many student organizations to help you make meaningful connections, get involved, and develop a variety of skills on your path to a fulfilled and successful future.  

The mission of NSBE is to increase the number of culturally responsible Black engineers who excel academically, succeed professionally, and positively impact the community.

Learn more

NOBCChE is a non-profit professional organization dedicated to assisting black and other minority students and professionals in fully realizing their potential in academic, professional, and entrepreneurial pursuits in chemistry, chemical engineering, and allied fields. We invite you to browse our website, engage with us on social media, talk to our members, attend our programs and discover the NOBCChE spirit for yourself.

Learn more

We are the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign’s Student Chapter of the Society for the Advancement of Chicano/ Hispanic and Native Americans in the Sciences (SACNAS) and Friends. We are an all-inclusive chapter and we welcome the participation of all individuals who support the mission of SACNAS. One of our goals is to promote diversity in STEM by encouraging and providing students with resources to succeed in the sciences. We believe in being inclusive of all people in order to promote diversity in the sciences. Thus, we have added “Friends” to our chapter name in order to reflect the welcoming of individuals who are interested in joining our cause as our allies. It is our intention to foster a sense of community to students of all backgrounds.

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SHPE changes lives by empowering the Hispanic community to realize their fullest potential and impacts the world through STEM awareness, access, support and development. SHPE's vision is a world where Hispanics are highly valued and influential as the leading innovators, scientists, mathematicians and engineers.

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For more than seven decades, SWE has given women engineers a unique place and voice within the engineering industry. Our organization is centered around a passion for our members’ success and continues to evolve with the challenges and opportunities reflected in today’s exciting engineering and technology specialties.

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We are building a professional community of students and alumni from the school of chemical sciences @ UIUC, dedicated to advancing representation and inclusion both in academia and industry. 

Learn More


Graduate Student

Academic Women in STEM (A-WIS) is geared toward improving communication amongst peers about issues facing women through facilitating conversations as well as providing recommendations surrounding women’s issues and providing an open and welcoming space to all genders in efforts to learn about women’s experiences and needs in the academic environment through discussions, workshops, seminars, activities, and community outreach.

Follow AWIS on Twitter  Request to join their Slack

GEDI seeks to develop STEM graduate students in the following areas: professional journal publication, industry and academia preparation, interdisciplinary research discourse, research grant proposals, and course/examination skills development.

Learn More

 

GradSWE is a support community and advocate for graduate women in engineering and for undergraduate women interested in pursuing graduate studies in engineering. We encourage women to pursue graduate school, support them throughout their graduate education, and help prepare them for their future careers after they complete their degree. GradSWE provides events that cater to the needs of graduate students and undergraduate students interested in pursuing graduate school.

Learn more

Campus Offices and Resources

Our campus features a number of offices and resources dedicated to lead our campus toward an increasingly diverse and inclusive community that is open, just, and welcoming for all.

As part of the Office of Student Affairs, this office connects students with the cultural centers listed below, events and programs, additional resources, and links to report acts of intolerance.

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Serves as a resource to campus units on issues such as accessibility and accommodations, affirmative action, discrimination and harassment prevention, and Title IX.

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Provides information, resources, and guidance for undocumented, DACA, and those affected by immigration reform.

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Academic mentoring and programs, tutoring, federal TRIO programs and services.

Learn more

Internal and external fellowship support, programs (such as the Sloan University Center of Exemplary Mentoring), summer research opportunities, and more.

Learn more

The Grainger College of Engineering programs MERGE and SURGE are used to develop a diverse and highly motivated pool of engineers.

Learn more

The mission of the IDEA Institute is to support scholarship, innovation, collaboration, and leadership in the areas of inclusion, diversity, equity, and access at all levels: faculty, staff, students, and K-12 outreach/public engagement. IDEA priorities include:

  • Operating the GIANT program to support DEI-related projects, pilot studies, and best practices;
  • Collaborating with departments/units to formulate individualized DEI plans that align with college and campus plans;
  • Working with faculty to integrate DEI into course materials;
  • Working with campus to develop a self-paced DEI certificate course; and
  • Applying for external funding to support large DEI efforts.

Learn more

Cultural Resource Centers

Our campus is home to cultural and resource centers that serve our diverse community and foster a climate of respect, tolerance, and the free exchange of ideas. 

The mission of Bruce D. Nesbitt African American Cultural Center is to provide a network of programs and support services promoting the individual, social, cultural and academic well-being of Illinois’ African American students. Opened in fall 1969 in response to calls from students, the African American Cultural Center at Illinois was rededicated in 2004 to former Director Bruce D. Nesbitt, a trailblazer for opportunity and equality who inspired more than two decades of university students. BNAACC continues this work today as a vehicle for self-expression and leadership enhancement for students of African descent through workshops, seminars, and performing arts groups. 

Learn more

The University of Illinois has one of the largest and most vibrant Asian American university communities in the Midwest, where 1 in 4 students is Asian American or Asian international. The Asian American Cultural Center promotes cross-cultural understanding of Asian American and Asian international experiences and provides educational and cultural support for Asians and Asian Americans in our university community. Opened in fall 2005, the Asian American Cultural Center provides the University of Illinois community with space to gather and share the diverse and rich cultures that are a part of the Asian American experience. 

Learn more

Diversity & Social Justice Education provides courses, programs, workshops, and professional trainings to prepare Illinois students to work and live in a diverse global society. DiversityEd offers students, faculty, and staff opportunities to build their own capacity to promote critical thinking, compassion, and equity. 

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Since its founding in 1974, La Casa Cultural Latina has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to Latina/o students and the campus community, as well as local and global communities. La Casa reflects the diversity of Latina/o cultures and exemplifies el éxito Latino that shapes the Americas in our contemporary world. The mission of La Casa Cultural Latina is to promote a welcoming and dynamic atmosphere through the development of educational, cultural, socio-political, and social programs that lead to greater recruitment, retention, advancement, and empowerment of Latina/o students. 

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The mission of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Resource Center is to foster an environment that is open, safe, and inclusive for people of all sexualities and gender identities. The Center is a resource not only for the LGBT community but for the entire University community. It exists for anyone who is interested in learning about LGBT people, issues, and concerns. The LGBT Resource Center seeks to help in the efforts to address homophobia, biphobia, transphobia, and heterosexist attitudes and beliefs on the campus, and to work to make the environment safe and affirming for all students, faculty, staff, and LGBT students, faculty, and staff in particular.

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The Native American House serves as a support and resource center for all students, faculty, staff and the community, providing programs and resources that allow people to expand their cultural and academic experiences at the University of Illinois. After nearly 15 years of Native student protests and lobbying efforts, the Native American House opened in 2002 with the mission to build a Native-centered learning community. All students, faculty, staff, and community members are welcomed and encouraged to participate in the many educational, cultural, and social programs tailored about Native American and Indigenous cultures, peoples, and current events.

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At the Women’s Resources Center, we aim to support and connect students by linking them with faculty, alumnae, staff, community leaders and other women students through programs, workshops, mentorship, meals, fun activities, and networking events. The Women’s Resources Center was established to empower women and strengthen alliances with men, offer opportunities for all students, including trans and gender non-conforming students, build leadership skills, challenge sexism, racism, heterosexism, ableism, and all forms of social oppression, and achieve greater gender equity and cultural diversity. We’re committed to creating community among students, student groups, and the University of Illinois. We’re committed to YOU! All genders are welcome at the Women’s Resources Center!

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International Education enhances opportunities for students to engage with cultures from around the world. We promote deeper campus internationalization through supporting the success of international students, enhancing the global competencies of all students, and creating meaningful cultural exchange between international and domestic students.

Learn more

 

Bruce D. Nesbitt African American Cultural Center.
Bruce D. Nesbitt African American Cultural Center
Asian American Cultural Center
Asian American Cultural Center
La Casa mural
La Casa mural

 

Title IX 

The Title IX Office at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is primarily responsible for coordinating the university’s compliance with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (Title IX) and related federal and state laws and regulations, in addition to university policies and procedures. This includes providing leadership, oversight, consultation, education, and training to the university community around the topic of Title IX. It also includes helping to ensure that the university responds appropriately and effectively to issues and grievances related to Title IX and related state and federal laws. The Title IX Office is responsible for issues pertaining to: Sexual Misconduct, Athletics, and Pregnant & Parenting.

Title IX Office
University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
614 E. Daniel Street, Suite 303
Champaign, IL 61820
Email: titleixcoordinator@illinois.edu
Phone: (844) 616-7978

Non-Confidential Resources

Division of Disability Resources and Educational Services

The mission of the Division of Disability Resources and Educational Services is to ensure that qualified individuals with disabilities are afforded an equal opportunity to participate in and benefit from the programs, services, and activities of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign through the identification and enactment of reasonable modifications to institutional policies and procedures, the provision of effective auxiliary aids and services, the establishment of innovative educational services, and the pursuit of interdisciplinary disability research.

Academic Accommodations and Support  Living Accommodations
Transportation Health Campus Life Athletics

Our campus is a campus a leader in the area of post-secondary education for persons with disabilities. DRES has been associated with many programmatic innovations, including:

  • The seminal research that led to the development of the first architectural accessibility standards that would become the American National Standards Institute Standards.
  • The first wheelchair-accessible fixed-route bus system.
  • The first accessible university residence halls.
  • The first university service fraternity and advocacy group comprised of students with disabilities (Delta Sigma Omicron).
  • The first collegiate adapted sports and recreation program for students with disabilities, which also produced the first wheelchair athlete in the world to win an Olympic Gold Medal.

While impressive, our work continues toward the mission of DRES to ensure that the nature and degree of access to programs, services, and facilities, and the level of self-determination afforded qualified persons with disabilities are indistinguishable from those which are available to their peers without disabilities. 

Mental Health and Wellness

Our campus created a centralized site to connect students, parents/families, faculty, and staff with services for mental health, wellness, access, and accommodation. We strive to provide supportive, judgment-free, and collaborative solutions specific to individuals and groups.

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