ILSAMP Members

Map of Member InstitutionsList of Members
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Chicago State University

Chicago, IL

Coordinator: Lezlie Thompson (2005 – Present)
Past coordinators: Yolanda Jordan & Robert Harris

Since the implementation of ILSAMP, Chicago State University has dramatically increased the support and opportunities for STEM initiatives. Our most notable investment in our students and faculty has been the creation of the Center for STEM Education and Research (CSER). This campus institution is a working example of our commitment to furthering minority involvement in the STEM fields both inside and outside the classroom. Through the Center, we have instituted quality programing and collaborative partnerships that engage minority youth in conversation, practice and research in these high demand fields. We have furthered our summer programming across all grade bands with USTEP, Talented Ten, PREP, and collaboration with District 205 as well as the Great Lakes LASO.  In addition, we support a global learning environment. By bringing college age students from Nigeria to study on CSU’s campus and, in exchange, allowing our students to travel to South Africa, we have worked to impress upon this next generation the impact of their commitment to STEM fields on the world stage. We continue to offer creative encouragement to our minority students with visits from notable speakers and professional connections at conferences. With the help of ILSAMP and our dedicated Chicago State University faculty, we continue to forge partnerships that enable our students and community to excel in the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Trevor GrandPre

trevorTrevor GrandPre’s Fearless Pursuit of Science

Confident, well-spoken and knowledgeable are just a few words to describe ILSAMP student Trevor GrandPre. At the 2014 Spring Symposium in STEM, Trevor presented an oral presentation that earned him first place in the Physics category. Having had the honor to sit in on his presentation, I wasn’t surprised. I found out later from Victoria Simek, Associate Director of DePaul University’s STEM Center that, before the conference, GrandPre was debating between an oral and poster presentation, considering an “oral presentation a bit more daunting.” Obviously, Trevor had the ability to rise to the challenge. When talking about Trevor GrandPre, Simek says, “Trevor has been fearless in his academic and research career at DePaul University, seeking out new challenges and making the most of his participation in LSAMP, McNair and his other research endeavors”.

Like many science students, Trevor started out as a college freshman pursuing the goal of becoming a medical doctor. He took the required biology and chemistry classes, but when he started university physics, something changed. GrandPre states that he “found it [physics] much more captivating than my previous science classes”. Soon after, he started to consider studying physics. He did a summer research program at DePaul called the Chicago Initiative for Research and Recruitment in Undergraduate Science (CIRRUS) and began conducting research alongside a professor. That summer spent collecting water samples and comparing the dissolved solids via X-ray diffraction led GrandPre right to the path of Ph.D. instead of M.D. Trevor dove head first into becoming a physicist. He traveled to Dublin, Ireland to present a research poster at The National University of Ireland, Maynooth and attended the Euroscience Open Forum where he was surrounded by an international group of scientists. Most recently, Trevor participated in a research summer at Berkeley. There, he had the chance to showcase the skills and knowledge learned over the past three years in Physics and Mathematics at DePaul. Of his time spent at Berkely, Trevor says, “the professor I worked with treated me like his colleague.”

Also impressive about Trevor is his ability to encourage other students to pursue their own academic dreams. “I think that aspiring students should know that graduate school is competitive, but it is not impossible for great things to happen to them.” From an undergraduate degree at DePaul to a Ph.D. program at Berkeley, this attitude is one that has propelled Trevor GrandPre into his own accomplishments – fearlessly.

Student Academic Major
Abena Asante Chemistry
Bernard Boston Engineering Studies
Lucinda Boyd Biology
Soraida Garcia Biology
Tarita Holloway Chemistry
Carolyn Lesley Chemistry
Armando Mireles Biology
Melanie Morales Biology
Chicago State LSAMP Website

DePaulDepaul University

Chicago, IL

Coordinator: Victoria Simek (1993 – Present)

The LSAMP program at DePaul University focuses on providing meaningful undergraduate research opportunities for students. DePaul LSAMP scholars work alongside full-time faculty in laboratories, conducting research and learning first-hand the challenges and excitement of science. Since 2000, 53 undergraduates have participated in the LSAMP Scholars program.  Of these 53, 48 have graduated with a BS or BA in a STEM field while five are completing their undergraduate work. The presence of LSAMP at DePaul has enabled the university to receive an NSF STEP grant that is being used to leverage the work of the ILSAMP program.  The DPU STEP program, known as CIRRUS (Chicago Initiative for Research and Recruitment in Undergraduate Science) is a collaboration with two of the Chicago City Colleges, Harold Washington and Truman Colleges. The LSAMP Research Scholars program at DePaul, housed in the STEM Center, joins with the CIRRUS program in helping to create a strong STEM community for students, especially those students traditionally underrepresented in science and math.  As part of this growing community, DePaul formed a student-led chapter of SACNAS (Society for the Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americas in Science) which was voted SACNAS Undergraduate Chapter of the Year in 2013.

Ramiah Jacks

B.S., Biological Science with a concentration in Pre-Heath DePaul University Doctoral Student, Loyola University’s Stritch School of Medicine B.S., Biological Science, DePaul University
Doctoral Student, Loyola University’s Stritch School of Medicine

During her undergraduate studies at DePaul University, Ramiah Jacks conducted research with Dr. Cathrine Southern, Associate Professor of Chemistry, from September 2010 to June 2013. Her work focused on analyzing the flexibility of IgG antibodies by using FRET to examine the distance between the two antigen-binding sites and the distance between the antigen-binding sites and the crystallizable fragment, or Fc region. Ramiah presented her work numerous times through poster presentations and oral presentations at local and national venues. Her presentation has placed first among the chemistry discipline presentations. Ramiah’s goal is to research the genetic and environmental factors that contribute to autoimmunity and how these factors lead to autoimmune diseases. She is specifically interested in multiple sclerosis, and other autoimmune diseases that affect the central nervous system. She hopes that through her professional career and personal efforts she is able to provide the scientific community with a positive African-American female role model who will inspire future generations of minority scientists.

Student Academic Major
Brandon Bell Computer Science
Bruktawit Goshu Health Sciences
Trevor Grand Pre Physics
Maya Navarro Chemistry
Patrick Morgan Mathematics
Maria Sanchez Health Sciences
Ian Sanchez Biological Sciences
Darcy Velazquez Chemistry
Clarence Willis Jr Computer Science
Depaul University LSAMP Website

HarryTrumanHarry S. Truman College

Chicago, IL

Coordinator:  Mahesh Guring and  Dr. Denise A. Leanord

Our program seeks to provide learning opportunities in STEM in a fun and interactive way.

Harry S. Truman Website

GovernersStateGovernor’s State University

University Park, IL

Coordinator:  Mary E. Carrington (2008 – present)

Past coordinator:  Joseph Addison

The ILSAMP program has improved retention of our undergraduates, provided them with valuable undergraduate research experience, increased their matriculation in graduate school, and increased their employment in STEM fields.  The ILSAMP program enables our students to attend classes full-time while conducting undergraduate research by providing funds for stipends, books and research equipment.  Students have gained valuable research experience under supervision of our STEM faculty, and/or through the FaST (Faculty and Student Teams) program at Argonne National Laboratory.  In addition, our students benefit immensely from the opportunity to present their research results and to network with other peers in their fields at the annual Undergraduate Research Symposium/STEM Conference.  Students in our LSAMP program, primarily in Biology and Computer Science, have continued on to graduate school, and most are now employed in their respective fields.

Leesha Howard-McCauley

B.S., Biology, Governors State University
M.S., Environmental Biology, Governors State University

Leesha was an LSAMP scholar while an undergraduate in Biology at Governors State University. She conducted research in tallgrass prairie restoration studying seed size, seed predation and their possible effects on restoration projects. She also conducted research on associations between leaf water content, specific leaf area and maximum height as plant species functional traits. She presented results from the seed size and granivory study at the 2005 Undergraduate Research Symposium at Argonne National Laboratory. She then used concepts from her undergraduate research to design research for her master’s thesis, Effects of magnesium and soil depth on five dolomite prairie species. While completing her M.S. degree in Environmental Biology at Governors State, she worked for the U.S. Forest Service at Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie as a botanist intern. Since completing her degree in 2011, she has been employed as NEPA/Natural Resource Specialist at the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest in Wisconsin. In this position she has had the opportunity to work across many disciplines. Her work has included archeology (shown above), conducting hawk surveys, constructing maps using ArcMap, and work related to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)

Governor’s State Website

IllinoisInstituteIllinois Institute of Technology

Chicago, IL

Coordinator: Eric Brey (2012 – present)

Past coordinator: Peter Johnson

The impact of the I-SAMP at IIT has been on providing students from underrepresented groups the opportunity to work in the laboratories of faculty at IIT. This has enhanced the educational experience of the student and contributed to the decision of many of these students to pursue advanced degrees in the sciences and engineering.

Suni Smith

B.S., Electrical Engineering, Illinois Institute of Technology
B.S., Industrial Technology and Management, Illinois Institute of Technology

Mr. Smith was an ILSAMP scholar at IIT from 2007-2009. In his research project, Plug-in Hybrid Electric Micro Air Vehicles, he was working to change the way people fly. With technology developed throughout research Smith performed with his faculty advisor in the Electric Power and Power Electronics Center at IIT, an all-electric airplane with a gasoline-powered generator may soon take to the skies. The ILSAMP program not only had a huge impact on Mr. Smith, but Mr. Smith had a great impact on the program. He helped coordinate events for IIT and other students throughout the year. In addition, he helped to recruit more students into research in engineering the sciences. He continues to be networked with many of his fellow ILSAMP scholars. Mr. Smith is currently a Project Manager for Palladium Energy. The undergraduate research he completed while he was an LSAMP scholar was a huge part of Palladium’s decision to hire him. He was able to focus his career through his research experience. Participation in the ILSAMP contributed to Mr. Smith’s long-term goals as he plans to return to school for an advanced degree.

IIT Website

IllinoisStateIllinois State University

Normal, IL

Coordinator: Christa Platt (2012 – present)

Past coordinator: Beverly Nance (2001 – 2011)

The impact of the LS-AMP program at Illinois State University (ISU) has been to support the highest number of students possible in their academic and professional goals as related to the STEM fields. Student who participate in the LSAMP program at Illinois State receive faculty mentoring, skill building workshops, career workshops and financing to present at and attend conferences.  Further, the LSAMP program seeks to support students by providing academic coaching for those who needed academic support. Other activities such as field trips, socials, and volunteering opportunities have built community between the students.

Juandah Bruce

Student of Biological Studies, Illinois State University

Juandah Bruce is a Biological Studies major at Illinois State University who intends to pursue a graduate degree after her career at Illinois State University. The support Juandah has received has allowed her to attend the Illinois LS-AMP Undergraduate Research Symposium where she was exposed to a variety of underrepresented students engaged in the rigors of research. She used that inspiration to begin an interdisciplinary research study with Chemistry LS-AMP faculty mentor, Dr. Shawn Hitchcock. Her current research is entitled “Asymmetric Synthesis of HIV Protease Inhibitor Nelfinavir” which studies a drug that prevents Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS). Juandah appreciates how encouraging LS-AMP is for students, supporting them both academically and in their career goals. She attends the bi-weekly LS-AMP Community of Scholars Seminars with fellow scholars to gain insight and information on graduate school, faculty research studies, internships, and other opportunities of advancement. In 2013, Juandah received an LS-AMP travel grant to participate in a summer research program at the University of California, Los Angeles where she conducted and presented research on the “Enrichment Initiative of the Navajo Tribe.” Her research was a public health initiative that studied the health effects of alcoholism on a Native American reservation. Juandah continually hones and develops her skills and goals by utilizing the resources of LS-AMP programming, faculty, staff, and a host of LS-AMP peers.


Student Academic Major
John Adams Chemistry
Carrie Baker Physics
Sarah Dove Biology
Milton Miller Mathematics
Nate Turner Biochemisty
Aaron Young Electrical engineering
Illinois State LSAMP Website

KennedyKingKennedy King College

Chicago, IL

Coordinator: Arlicia Corley, M.S., (2004-Present)

From previously funded years the activities and events were successful for a group of transient students (per semester); they include Students, Guest Speakers and Participates at workshops.  STEM Students in Kennedy King College-STEM Club tutor students in math, science and chemistry, weekly, or by student group appointment (Fall Semester-Spring Semester). Students tend to perform better in their STEM Classes and actively seek resources and assistance in transferring into 4-year colleges and universities; as well as, develop skills in laboratory procedures, presentation preparation and career networking.  These strategies inspire students to want to continue their education, thus increasing academic retention.

Quintin Scott

KennedgKing_QuintinStudent of Computer Information Systems, Kennedy King College

Quintin Scott is enrolled at Kennedy King College pursuing a career in Computer Information Systems/Computer Science. As a veteran from the Air Force, his education was delayed but he realized he needed a degree to achieve his career goals. His interest in science motivated him to join the STEM Club. He was introduced to academic research in the summer of 2013 when he studied prairie plants. That allowed him to understand the effects of commercial vs. natural antibiotics of specific prairie plants and the overall importance of plants in our society, worldwide. Quintin was recently accepted into the Honor Society, Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) which is an achievement that he is proud of. “Acceptance into the Honor Society lets me know that I’m on track and it also serves as inspiration to stay focused and academically disciplined. I plan to utilize PTK and the LSAMP program to learn, network, and grow with people who share my enthusiasm for academic advancement. I plan to reach my goals through perseverance, positivity, and surrounding myself around people with similar aspirations.”

Kennedy King College Website

NortheasternNortheastern Illinois University

Chicago, IL

Coordinators: David Rutschman

Past coordinator: Stephanie Levi

The impact of LSAMP has been significant at Northeastern Illinois University.  The program has supported many underrepresented students in STEM fields at NEIU since the partnership began.  Indeed, with the support of LSAMP funds we have increased the number of underrepresented and low income students, over 50% increase, pursuing STEM degrees in the last five years.  LSAMP also supports a variety of supplemental instructional approaches that help our students succeed and continue to post-graduate study and careers in STEM fields. For instance, in addition to offering academic support to STEM students, in the past year alone the center conducted or hosted over 30 workshops, seminars and networking events to meet student academic needs and enhance their professional growth.

Charla Earls

Student of Computer Science/Information Sciences, Northeastern Illinois UniversityStudent of Computer Science/Information Sciences, Northeastern Illinois University

Charla Earls is in her fourth year of a dual degree in Computer Science and Inner City Studies. She is equally passionate about the science that she is about learning as she is about providing an opportunity to young women in inner city communities to become engaged in the field of technology. A Cherokee/African American woman, she hopes to one day make great contributions to both fields. Her plan is to represent the small number of great women in the field by providing access to technologies normally not taught in the inner city communities across the nation. Her plan is to focus on providing these opportunities to more young women in the hopes that another generation of great female computer scientists will emerge. For her summer research project in 2013, Charla and her partner were responsible for parsing language from social media feeds and categorizing them into “clusters” of similar language. Of her summer research, she says: “I enjoyed being immersed in research. This opportunity allowed me hands-on research experience which will serve me well in future classes and personal research endeavors. My research experience has encouraged me to consider going beyond my current goal of attaining my degree.”

Student Academic Major
Charla Earls Computer Science
Mario Valdivia Biology
Northeastern Illinois University Website

OliveHarveyOlive-Harvey College

Chicago, IL
Coordinator: Cornelia Forrester (2012 – Present)

Olive-Harvey College is a minority-serving institution with a long history of partnerships with four year colleges and research facilities in STEM.  OHC has enjoyed a 20 year relationship with Chicago State and the ILSAMP program. The purpose of the ILSAMP Program between Chicago State University and Olive-Harvey College is to encourage minority students into the STEM fields. This is achieved by inspiring students to prepare for college and to encourage transfer to four year institutions and earn baccalaureate degrees in STEM. Over these past 20 years OHC students have had the opportunity to participate in symposiums and research presentations at the other public and private institutions involved in ILSAMP.

Since then through this partnership CSU continues to contribute to OHC through the ILSAMP grant by providing research programs for our students. This initiative increased students’ achievements and to enhance the programs offered at predominantly minority students institutions. The ILSAMP grant has aided the purchase of materials and equipment to allow students to carry out research during their academic life at two year institutions. Students get involved in research, collating data and making presentations to their peers and faculty. They are mentored and directed by faculty to ensure they are learning skills and content. This is an enormous achievement for our students at OHC. Recruitment of students to STEM programs is carried out by faculty and other students. A STEM club was started as an opportunity to recruit students to the STEM fields.

Curry Williams

OliveHarvey_CurryStudent of Computer Science, Olive-Harvey College

One of our students Curry Williams, represented ILSAMP at the Sixth Under-graduate Research Symposium in Tarlac City, Phillipines in May 2013. He was one of the peer mentors employed this summer 2013. He was one of six past summer researcher who gave an invaluable contribution to this summer’s experience. He transferred to Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) on a full scholarship to pursue a baccalaureate degree in Computer Science. Anyone who has spoken with Curry will have heard him share his dream is to move on to earning his Ph.D. and become a professor in his field. During his time at OHC he became the President of the STEM Club, a member of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), a member of Phi Theta Kappa and the Bloomsbury Honor Society.

Olive-Harvey College Website

StAugustineSt. Augustine College

Chicago, IL

Coordinator: German Criollo, M.D. (2013 – Present)
Past Cooridnators: Rodrigo Carraminana, Ph.D (2011-2013)

In 1998 St. Augustine College (SAC) received its first LSAMP grant. A group of ten students – 3 malesa and 7 females, participated in the activity. The activity focused a project using mathematical models and scientific calculators. I was the first science based endeavor conducted by SAC. The interest demonstrated  by the students in this activity was an indicator of the need of programs such as LSAMP. Since then, the activity has been continued every year with renewed interest in scientific investigation.

St. Augustine College has sought to work in close collaboration with Northeastern Illinois University (NEIU), also a ember of the LSAMP program. Students from both institutions have particpated in symposia and other academic activities. SAC, being a two year instition has matinained close cooperative contact; providing essentail metnoring support to a non-traditional student population.

Kristen Jordan

SouthernIllinois_KristenB.S., Zoology, Southern Illinois University-Carbondale
M.S. Student, Zoology, Southern Illinois University-Carbondale

Kristen graduated from Southern Illinois University Carbondale with a B.S. degree in Zoology in August 2011. Currently, she is pursuing a master’s degree in Zoology at SIUC where she received a PROMPT Fellowship. She is conducting research with her mentor Dr. Marjorie Brooks on aquatic ecology. As an undergraduate her accomplishments and professional experiences include: Dean’s List, 2010 Saluki Scholars Research Opportunity Assistantship, NSF S-STEM Green Scholarship, McNair Scholars Program, ILSAMP, and recognized in Who’s Who Among American College Students. Recently, Ms. Jordan presented her research at the American Society of Limnology and Oceanography in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

St. Augestine College

SouthernIllinoisSouthern Illinois University at Carbondale

Carbondale, IL

Coordinator: Rodrigo Carraminana

Nine students from the College of Science and College of Engineering have ILSAMP support, and as of December 1, 2011 all of the funds have been committed. With ILSAMP funding, we maintain an organization in the College of Science called Multicultural Advocates for Success in Science (MASS). This organization is student run and student designed.  Minority participants with solid academic performance reach out to their peers to provide tutoring, academic motivation, personal support, social community and to distribute information about professional opportunities, especially research opportunities.  Without ILSAMP funds, many of the critical and successful activities conducted through MASS will cease. For example, MASS through ILSAMP funding employed five upper classmen to tutor their junior counterparts in gatekeeper courses. This effort has reached over 20 students and has made important contributions to the College of Science to enhance retention over the last few years.  These support and professional services for our underserved students are integral to our continued and successful efforts to enhance retention in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.

Kimber Leigh Cane

Edwardsville_KimberB.S., Southern Illinois University Edwardsville
Third year medical student, Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine

Kimber Leigh Cain graduated magna cum laude from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville in May 2011 with a B.S. degree in Biological Medical Sciences. While at SIUE, Kimber was an LSAMP scholar and was mentored by Dr. Steven McCommas, professor of Biology. Kimber is a third year medical student at Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine (KCOM) in Kirksville, MO.


Student Academic Major
Angel Calvillo Physics
Valeria Copello Biochemisty
Jason Henry Plant Biology
Julio Hernandez Electrical Engineering
Nina Moore Engineering Technology
LeMark Russell Physics
Southern Illinois University at Carbondale Website

SouthernIllinoisEdSouthern Illinois University at Edwardsville

Edwardsville, IL

Coordinator: Sadegh Khazaeli (2008 – present)

Past coordinators: Ronald Banks (2002-2007) and Emil Jason (1993-2006)

ILSAMP allows our students to have experiences that enhance their portfolio while pursuing STEM degrees. They have unique opportunities in presenting their research findings at the annual ILSAMP Spring Symposia and Research Conferences in STEM, the annual Argonne National Laboratory Undergraduate Symposia, the annual Autumn Immunology Conferences, the annual Illinois State Academy of Sciences Research Symposia, the Oklahoma State University LSAMP Annual Research Symposium; and the SIUE Bowman Undergraduate Research Symposium. It also provides SIUE with resources to offer tutorial services in chemistry, physics, and mathematics to prepare students for entry into STEM fields or higher education.

Ignacio Estrada

StAugustine_IgancioA.A. Liberal Arts, St. Augustine College
B.S. Applied Mathematics, Northeastern Illinois University
M.S. Candidate, Applied Mathematics, Northeastern Illinois University

Ignacio Estrada began his college studies at St. Augustine College seeking to gain confidence and an education that could serve as a bridge to a better future for him and his family. He was unsure about which career path to follow and one in Mathematics was not at the top of his list, however, after taking some math and science courses, Ignacio found a passion for Mathematics. After his first semester, in the summer of 2003, Ignacio participated in the LSAMP program at St. Augustine College, where he continued cultivating his passion. It was at that precise time that he knew he wanted to teach in this area, in order to help others learn and appreciate the impact of this field in our everyday lives.

Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville Website

UniversityIllinoisCHicagoUniversity of Illinois at Chicago

Chicago, IL

Coordinator: Florencio Diaz

Past coordinator: Dhruv Mubayi

The Alliance for Minority Participation (AMP) at the University of Illinois at Chicago is a partner of the Illinois Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation created with the goal of increasing the number of underrepresented scholars earning degrees in the disciplines of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). AMP provides programs to improve students’ academic preparation, modifies or reinvents gateway courses to more effectively educate students, plus provides undergraduate research opportunities. AMP Scholars, spend 8-10 hours per week on a research project under the supervision of a faculty member. Students present their finding at the end of the semester. Those who are selected to do research are awarded a $1500 stipend per semester. Candidates for AMP Scholars are within the fields of Biology, Chemistry, Engineering, Mathematics, and Physics. However, other related majors have also participated. Since fall of 1993, the UIC Alliance for Minority Participation has reached over 100 undergraduate minority students per semester. As we arrive to the year 2013, the number of participatory students has vastly increased to about 200 per semester. In Spring 2013, three AMP Scholar earned PhD degrees and five earned Masters degrees.

David Weed

UniversityofIllinois_DavidB.S., Bioengineering, minor in Mechanical Engineering, University of Illinois at Chicago
Ph.D. Candidate, Civil Engineering, University of Illinois at Chicago

David Weed’s fascination with engineering and mathematics, in general, led him to take a wide range of engineering courses in his undergraduate years. His subsequent participation in the LS-AMP program contributed to a first place award in the UIC Engineering Expo for the creation of an assistive technology device which was later patented from his research on liquid interfaces. These successes and research experiences gave him the vision to pursue a graduate degree in engineering. For his first two years he participated in the UIC Bridge to the Doctorate Program. Because of this support, he was able to quickly publish both journal and conference articles on computational simulations of a bio-mechanical knee model. He has presented his research at numerous prestigious conferences. “The assistance I gained from the LS-AMP and the UIC Bridge to the Doctorate Program undoubtedly played a huge role in helping me to focus and hone my research interests. I feel as though I am living a dream, one which would not be possible without the help of those who had the foresight to create such programs.”

University of Illinois at Chicago Website