The Department of Astronomy at the University of Illinois is committed to encouraging a diverse and supportive environment in astronomy, where every student, postdoc, staff, or faculty member is provided with the opportunities and resources necessary to succeed in their career.   We do not tolerate any harassment or discrimination in this Department, and we expect our Department members to report any such behavior seen anywhere on campus or the community. 

To foster engagement and diversity, we have an established award for our undergraduate students and organizations in the Department.   The Layla Suzanne Ryan Memorial Scholarship is given to a Junior or Senior major or minor in Astronomy who exhibits community service participation with a preference for women or underrepresented students.

In addition, the group Society for Equity in Astronomy is a fostering network of astronomers in the Astronomy Department (and related departments) that connects people just beginning their astronomy careers with those further along the same path to offer mentoring and discussion on career experience in astronomy. SEA also hosts the Astronomy Cultural Journal Clubs to raise awareness on issues of gender and diversity in astronomy, STEM, and academia in the department. 

If you have any questions about the opportunities for underrepresented groups that Astronomy at Illinois has to offer, please feel free to contact us.