Office of Minority Student Affairs |University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Welcome to the Office of Minority Student Affairs

For nearly 50 years, the Office of Minority Student Affairs continues to be a campus leader in delivering exceptional mentoring, success coaching, tutoring, college prep, research training, graduate school preparation, 2nd year and beyond scholarships, academic recognition events, and many other academic and retention support services and advocacy for African-American, American Indian, Latino/a, Multi-racial, Educational Opportunities Program, TRIO, and President's Award Program students at all academic levels.

OMSA Graduate Mentor Makes a Difference Here and in Africa

Eugene Moore, an OMSA graduate mentor and doctoral student in Education Policy, Organization and Leadership, was recently highlighted on the College of Education's homepage for the work he has done in creating scholarships at the University of Illinois in the name of two family members, starting a summer youth program for local children, and for helping to establish a secondary school in Tanzania.

TRIO McNair Scholar Receives NSF Graduate Fellowship


TRIO McNair Scholar, Juan Pablo Llinas, has been awarded the National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship to pursue his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering. The total amount of the award is 132K over 3 years. The NSF GRFP, the oldest graduate fellowship of its kind, has a long history of selecting recipients who achieve high levels of success in their future academic and professional careers. The reputation of the GRFP follows recipients and often helps them become life-long leaders that contribute significantly to both scientific innovation and teaching. Past fellows include numerous Nobel Prize winners, U.S. Secretary of Energy, Steven Chu, Google founder, Sergey Brin and Freakonomics co-author, Steven Levitt. To read more about this prestigious fellowship, visit:NSF

Juan also received the Berkeley Graduate Fellowship, which is given to the top 5% of admitted graduate students at UC Berkeley. Between these two generous fellowships, Juan has secured full funding for the next 5 years to pursue his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering at UC Berkeley on novel nanomaterials and devices. Additionally, Juan was recently selected as the recipient of the 2014 John Bardeen Award. This award is given annually to one student in Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Illinois. To read more about this prestigious award, visit the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering website. In the fall of 2013, Juan received the following awards and recognitions: Bradley J. Griffis Scholarship, Henry O. Koehler Merit Scholarship, Texas Instruments Scholarship, Schlader Memorial Scholarship, Hayward Tau Beta Pi Scholarship, BP Scholar, and he also led the team that won the 2013 SHPE National Academic Olympiad. Juan is a first-generation college student, of Columbian descent. He aspires to join the professorate to engage in cutting-edge research and mentor other first-generation students in Engineering. Regarding OMSA’s role in his academic success, Juan remarked, “The McNair program and OMSA have played a strong role in making me a strong graduate school applicant. I hope to continue seeing programs like these help students reach their potential.”

Former OMSA Director Michael Jeffries Creates Scholarship for OMSA Students


Michael Jeffries, former Associate Dean of Students and OMSA Director, has created a scholarship for OMSA students. The scholarship is named the Dean Michael L. Jeffries and Mrs. Gayle Jeffries and Friends Office of Minority Student Affairs High Achievement Scholarship. The scholarship will be provided annually to persons served by OMSA. The eligibility criteria will be a 3.0 grade point average from the previous year at Illinois and recipients will be students who demonstrated interest in pursuing studies in graduate or professional school. The primary focus will be on students from Chicago Public Schools who are participants in OMSA activities. The first award will be given at the 46th Annual OMSA Mom’s Day Scholastic Awards Ceremony in April 2014.


TRIO McNair Scholar Wins Award at SACNAS


University of Illinois student, Carol Villanueva-Perez (pictured left), won an award for her poster presentation at the SACNAS (Society for the Advancement of Chicanas/os and Native Americans in the Sciences) Conference in San Antonio this fall. Approximately 1,300 undergraduate and graduate students presented their research at this annual conference that draws more than 4,000 antendees. Ms. Villanueva-Perez was one of less than 10 students in the social sciences who won an award. Her poster presentation, System Justification in Children, was created with the guidance of her research mentor, Dr. Andrei Cimpiam, an Assistant professor in the Department of Psychology.

Five more scholars from our program presented at this conference: