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    I: Community Updates
National Disability Awareness Month
Christian Ray: Equal Access for Students
    II: Community News
Virtual recruitment event
Zimmerman on racism and social justice panel
Administrative Offices reach Gold Certification
Graduate Student Appreciation Week
Chemistry labs recognized for energy savings
    III: Upcoming Events
Alumni Lecture
Fall 2020 Professor Lunch
I-ChEM: Illinois Chemistry Experience for Minorities
"Picture a Scientist" Documentary Screening
    IV: Resources 
Chemistry World’s review of “Picture a Scientist”
Survey: Graduate Enrollment Grew in 2019
College Muslim groups fight student isolation on campus
Focusing on Student Veterans' Strengths



National Disability Awareness Month

The United States celebrated the 30th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA30) on July 26, 2020. Learn the history that led to the law against discriminating against disabled persons and statistics and analysis of how employers include persons living with disabilities in today's workforce in this Ability Magazine article.  


 Head shot of Professor Christian Ray

Chemistry at Illinois striving to be "ahead of the curve" accommodating student needs

As an instructional faculty member in the Department of Chemistry, Professor Christian Ray teaches hundreds of students each semester and strives to connect with all of them. By getting to know so many students, Ray has become more aware of the challenges that many faces, including physical, mental, cognitive, and emotional issues. He's very proactive about referring students who are not already receiving assistance from the Division of Disability Resources and Educational Services (DRES) on campus. 

“For me, the biggest thing is just being open and approachable, because a lot of these challenges we can’t know about,” said Ray, a recipient of the Karen Wold Level the Learning Field Award, given to faculty and staff who advocate on behalf of students and implement educational strategies, technologies and accommodations related to disabilities that provide equal access to academic resources. Learn more about how the Department of Chemistry is striving to accommodate students' needs. 



Photo of flyer for department recruiting event

Virtual Recruitment Event to Showcase the Illinois Chemistry Experience for Minorities

On Oct. 31, the Department of Chemistry is hosting its first-ever virtual recruitment event geared toward juniors and seniors in college, postbaccalaureate, and Master's students of color underrepresented in the chemical sciences who are interested in pursuing a Ph.D. in chemistry. The department defines students of color to include students who may identify as Black, African-American, Asian, South Asian, Middle Eastern, Pacific Islander, Latinx, Chicanx, Native American, and multiracial.

Led by Lloyd Munjanja, associate director of graduate diversity and program climate, four committees of graduate students are helping organize this recruiting event on Oct. 31 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Participants will learn about research in the six chemistry areas within the department and will network with current graduate students and some of our chemistry faculty members. Participants are encouraged to register by Oct. 25. Help spread the word about this recruiting event.

 Head shot of Professor Steve Zimmerman

Professor Zimmerman appointed to university racism and social injustice committee

Professor Steve Zimmerman has been appointed to the Teaching and Scholarship working group as part of the university’s Call to Action to address racism and social injustice.

It’s one of four working groups and a Steering Committee charged with identifying steps to create a campus free of structural and system racism and bias. The other working groups are Diversity and a Culture of Inclusion; Public Safety, Policing, and the Justice System; and Community Action and Public Engagement.

Chancellor Robert J. Jones announced the next steps forward in this Call to Action and the corresponding Steering Committee and Working Groups in correspondence on Sept. 25, 2020.

 Photo of the Department of Chemistry sign on the 109 Noyes office door

Administrative Offices first on campus to reach Gold Certification in Green Office Program

The Department of Chemistry Administrative Offices located in 109 Noyes Laboratory have become the first office spaces this year to reach gold certification as part of the university’s Certified Green Office Program (CGOP) designed by The Institute for Sustainability, Energy, and Environment (iSEE). Gold certification is accomplished when an office commits to 16 or more sustainability actions. Simple, inexpensive actions spanning from carpooling with coworkers to recycling ink cartridges and batteries can be adopted to increase sustainability. 

 An image that says, "We appreciate you."

Graduate Student Appreciation Week

The Department of Chemistry has decided to celebrate the nationally designated Graduate Student Appreciation Week, Oct. 26-30, in the future, when everyone can celebrate in person with food, games, and prizes. But the department wants to express how much all of our talented and dedicated Chemistry at Illinois graduate students are appreciated.

In the meantime, the Graduate College has chosen to celebrate the week virtually, so check out that lineup that also includes two Diversity, Equity & Inclusion wellness workshops.

 Iced packed laboratory tubes are shown in a freezer

Chemistry labs recognized for energy savings in the International Laboratory Freezer Challenge

Labs in the Department of Chemistry have been recognized for making significant energy-saving steps that helped the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign win the International Laboratory Freezer Challenge for a third straight year. The university was honored by the International Laboratory Freezer Challenge as one of the top universities to implement cold-storage best management practices and reduce energy usage for a third straight year. Twenty-one labs on campus, including some Chemistry at Illinois labs, combined to save approximately 263 kWh/day, the equivalent energy use of nine average households.




Fall 2020 Professor Lunch

Oct. 19, 2020, at 12 p.m.

The Women Chemists Committee is hosting its Fall Professor Lunch, featuring professors Angad Mehta, Liviu Mirica, and Lisa Olshansky via Zoom. Please RSVP for the event. After introductions, there will be an open Q&A. The WCC hopes participants get to know the professors better and help build community within the department. Email questions: uiuc.wcc@gmail.com. All are welcome. Zoom meeting ID: 997 3125 8563. Password: WCC.

Chemistry at Illinois Alumni Lecture

Oct. 29, 2020, from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m.

The upcoming Alumni Lecture, "Catalysis Used in Oil Industry and Next-Gen Alkylate Gasoline Manufacturing Technology Development," features Dr. Hye Kyung Timken (Ph.D., '87, Oldfield), who is a Principal Scientist and Chevron Fellow. During her 33-year industrial career, Timken conducted research on next-generation petroleum refining and petrochemical processes and catalysts, holds 123 U.S. patents, and has published 18 scientific journal articles. Register here for this Zoom event

I-ChEM: Illinois Chemistry Experience for Minorities

Oct. 31, 2020, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The Department of Chemistry is hosting a virtual recruitment event on Saturday, Oct. 31, that targets juniors, seniors, postbaccalaureate, and Masters students of color underrepresented in the chemical sciences who are interested in pursuing a Ph.D. in chemistry. Participants are encouraged to register by Oct. 25. Find more details and the registration link on this event page.

"Picture a Scientist" Documentary Screening

Nov. 5, 2020 - Nov. 8, 2020

The Women Chemists Committee and Diversity Committee are co-sponsoring a virtual screening of the documentary, "Picture a Scientist." An official selection of the 2020 Tribeca Film Festival, the documentary "chronicles the groundswell of researchers who are writing a new chapter for women scientists," according to the film's website, following three scientists, a molecular biologist, analytical chemistry professor, and geomorphologist. Sign up here no later than 5 p.m. Nov. 2 to receive a link in your e-mail granting access to view the documentary between 8 p.m. Nov. 5 and 8 p.m. Nov. 8.




Chemistry World's review of "Picture a Scientist"

What do you picture when you think about a scientist? For the longest time, the most prominent image would probably have been a man in a white lab coat. But it’s 2020, and we all know that scientists actually come in a variety of genders, colors, sizes, and outfits, to name but a few. But what is it really like being a scientist who does not fit that ‘traditional’ image? Picture a Scientist tells the story of three prominent scientists and the struggles and discriminations they have faced throughout their careers by simply being a woman and by being Black. Read more

Council of Graduate Schools/GRE Board Survey: Graduate Enrollment Grew in 2019

The survey found gains among underrepresented minority students as well as international students. Collectively, students from underrepresented minority groups -- American Indian/Alaska Native, Black/African American, Native Hawaiian/other Pacific Islander, and Hispanic/Latinx -- accounted for about a quarter (24.8 percent) of all U.S. citizens and permanent resident students newly enrolled in graduate education, up from 24.1 percent the year before. The report on the survey notes, however, that students from these groups "remain particularly underrepresented in science, engineering, technology, and mathematics (STEM) fields. Read more

College Muslim groups fight student isolation on campus 

For many Muslim college students, their refuge is a Muslim student association (UIUC MSA) where they can feel at home and not stand out for anything but themselves. This article explains how many university MSAs are struggling to maintain that community feeling during the pandemic. Read more

Focusing on Student Veterans' Strengths

A new research article identifies the strengths that students who are military veterans bring with them to higher education. Previous research has identified the challenges these students may face, including disabilities, post-traumatic stress disorder, and higher rates of anxiety and depression. But a deficit-only framing ignores data that supports student veterans’ success in college, the article states. Student veterans tend to have higher grade point averages and better retention rates than the national average, research shows. Read more