The gender and racial gap in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics has been well-documented. Women, persons with disabilities, and three racial and ethnic groups—African Americans, Hispanics, and American Indians or Alaska Natives—remain underrepresented in science and engineering.

Illinois Institute of Technology strives to widen the pipeline for underrepresented people, and aims to do so through programming that bridges the gap between underrepresented people and STEM professions.

Learn more about the programming that the Office of Community Affairs offers to help combat this gap on its Educational Opportunities page.

Enabling Minority Students

Jean-Luc Ayitou, an assistant professor of chemistry at Illinois Tech and a recipient of a 2018 National Science Foundation CAREER Award, explores science by engaging his community.

After joining the university, Ayitou founded Vivifying Scientific Curiosity for Underrepresented Undergraduate Students to encourage students from diverse backgrounds to pursue graduate education and to explore research opportunities. Through this program, students are trained to use advanced spectroscopy tools to investigate common photochemical processes encountered in nature.

Ayitou and his scholars also serve as ambassadors for scientific research in their respective communities, including in Bronzeville.