Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences

URM (Undergraduate Research and Mentoring): Mentoring in 'New Biology'

URM (Undergraduate Research and Mentoring): Mentoring in 'New Biology'

A grassroots model to successfully increase minority student populations in Illinois and enhance the quality and diversity of the workforce of the 21st century.

Illinois Advocates for Latino Advancement in Science, or I-ALAS has been formed to assist Latinos studying science. See the Daily Illini article, Faculty members bring Latino students into the sciences by Avani Chhaya for more information.

iALAS is formed by a group of faculty in the College of ACES and other colleges motivated to increase the representation of minority students at UIUC, with a special focus on Latino students, the impact of recruitment, retention and graduation of minority undergrad and grad students in STEM disciplines.

i-ALAS operational goals include the efforts to:
  1. Offer matching funds for grant applications to federal agencies, private foundation, and companies in order to demonstrate institutional commitment in proposals initiated by faculty
  2. Increase the number and stipends of fellowships, thus making undergrad and grad fellowships more competitive with those of other institutions
  3. Support integration of recruitment, mentoring, and graduate education by establishing a PIPELINE to enhance STEM and the workforce of the 21st century
  4. Support direct interaction between faculty and students from UIUC and from Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSI), community colleges and middle and high schools, using the model of our North Eastern Illinois University –UIUC ongoing collaboration (recruitment, co-mentoring, enhance experiences). Host faculty from HSI and other institutions to receive training and learn state-of-the-art research practices and other scholarly activities for curriculum integration
  5. Support interaction with middle-high school teachers, offer research mentoring and curriculum development activities (e.g. RET), and develop the lower end of our PIPELINE
  6. Support research mentoring and public engagement experiences for minorities at UIUC (summer research experiences, travel to national meetings to communicate research, etc.) and efforts to disseminate, assess, and increase the impact (e.g. course development) of our overall activities


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   The Undergraduate Research and Mentoring in New Biology program
   is supported by NSF award #1041233.