School of MCB COVID-19 Information

MCB Commitment to Diversity

MCB Statement

The community of biologists in the School of Molecular and Cellular Biology at the University of Illinois is committed to understanding life at the organismal, cellular, and molecular levels. Our fundamental understanding of the natural world directly impacts human health, the health of the environment, and our broader culture and society. Thus, innovation, drive, and excellence are critical to our mission.

Our entire community firmly believes that scientific discovery and advances in the life sciences can be made by anyone, and that diversity within our school drives the innovation that keeps MCB research at the forefront of scientific discovery. However, we recognize that societal, academic, and structural barriers have often kept talented individuals out of our community.

We are committed to eliminating these barriers and supporting students and scientists of all backgrounds, both to push our science to new heights and to fulfill our mission as an educational institution. We condemn racism and sexual harassment, which have long held back both individuals and science as a whole. We will not tolerate discrimination on the basis of gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, disability status, national origin, religion, neurological differences, or socio-economic status.

We welcome and strive to support all students as they think deeply about the molecular basis of life, work hard to understand basic biology, and share their scholarship with others.

Outreach with STEM Illinois

The School of MCB is a proud supporter of STEM Illinois, an outreach initiative of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and community partners. STEM Illinois aims to engage with K-12 students, especially those from diverse backgrounds and different learning styles, and connect them with STEM education and career opportunities. We help produce webcast episodes featuring alumni in health professions.

A Road Map to Becoming a Doctor: Race, Space, and COVID-19

Communiversity Think-and-Do webcast on Nov. 14, 2020. Guest speakers: Dr. Kameno Bell (BS, '92, biology), Dr. Garth Walker (BS, '09, economics), Dr. Christopher Hicks (BS, '09, kinesiology)

Campus Offices

Office of Inclusion and Intercultural Relations

The Office of Inclusion and Intercultural Relations connects students with cultural centers on campus, including the Asian American Cultural Center, the Bruce B. Nesbitt African American Cultural Center, DiversityEd, International Education, the LGBT Resource Center, La Casa Cultural Latina, the Native American House, and the Women’s Resource Center. In addition, this office sponsors events on diversity, social justice, and cultural understanding, and facilitates a variety of workshops and training programs.

Office of the Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

This campus office focuses on making Illinois a place where all people can achieve their full potential as students, faculty, and staff. Staff work in areas of accessibility and accommodations, affirmative action, discrimination and harassment prevention, and Title IX.

Open Illinois

This campus office provides" information, resources and guidance for undocumented students, DACA recipients and those affected by immigration reform.

Office of Minority Student Affairs

OMSA is part of Student Affairs, and staff offer services to enhance the academic achievement, personal development, and graduation rates of first generation, low-income, and historically underrepresented students at Illinois.

Graduate College’s Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

This office in the graduate college provides internal and external fellowship support and programs for graduate students.

Physical and Mental Health Support

Disability Resources and Educational Services

Campus Counseling Center

McKinley Health Center

National Grad Crisis Line: 1.877.GRAD.HLP (1.877.472.3457)

Student Organizations

Society for Advancing Chicanos/Hispanics & Native Americans in Science (SACNAS)

American Medical Women’s Association at UIUC

oSTEM (Out in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics)

Out in Chemistry UIUC

Society of Women Engineers

Contact Our Committee

The MCB Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee is currently comprised of the following members:

  • Rachel Smith-Bolton, Associate Professor and Associate Head, Department of Cell and Developmental Biology (Chair)
  • Claudio Grosman, Professor and Head, Department of Molecular and Integrative Physiology
  • Shawna Smith, Program Coordinator, MCB Graduate Program
  • Alejandra Stenger, Senior Coordinator for Diversity, MCB/Biochemistry Instructional Program
  • Cari Vanderpool, Professor and Associate Head, Department of Microbiology
  • Anna Sokac, Associate Professor, Department of Cell and Developmental Biology
  • Bill Brieher, Associate Professor, Department of Cell and Developmental Biology

To reach the committee, please email:

Para obtener información en español, comuníquese con Alejandra Stenger - email:, teléfono: (217) 244-7241

Members of the committee at the 2019 Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students.