CS Student Ambassadors/Research Scholars (CS STARS)

Are you interested in pursuing undergraduate research while getting involved with departmental engagement activities? 


Do you want to connect with a community of women interested in pursuing computer science research?

Meet the CS STARS

CS STARS are first-year through senior
Illinois students who bring diverse research, service,
and leadership skills to all our activities.

Meet the 2023-24


What is CS Student Ambassadors/
Research Scholars (CS STARS)?

Program Dates: Academic year 2023-24

Illinois CS Student Ambassadors/Research Scholars (CS STARS) is designed for University of Illinois undergraduate students interested in pursuing undergraduate research in a chosen area of interest while also serving as departmental leaders to recruit women to the CS majors and empower women CS undergraduates. 

The program takes place during the academic year. CS STARS receives a stipend and commits to about 10 hours per week. They conduct research with and are mentored by a CS faculty member (6-7 hours a week) and also engage in recruiting, mentoring, and cohort-building activities (3-4 hours a week).

Using application materials, the CS STARS team matches participants to Illinois CS faculty members who would be a good fit for supporting each participant’s research and personal goals. During the summer, CS STARS have additional opportunities to conduct research full-time in the Illinois Computer Science Summer Research Program.

Leadership Groups


CS STARS participate in various outreach activities, such as Hour of Code, and provide computing educational opportunities to local pre-college youth.


CS STARS facilitate many community-building activities within the CS Department, including the annual October: Trick or Research!


Prospective students interested in applying to one of the Illinois CS Undergraduate majors may meet with the CS STARS during a campus visit or Chicago-area recruitment fair.

STARS Curriculum

CS STARs engage in research with their mentors and in recruitment, community building, and outreach activities. During the class meeting time on Wednesdays from 5-6 pm, we will have presentations related to research skills (e.g., reading/writing research papers, poster development and presentation), professional development(e.g., resume writing, graduate school) and opportunities to share and practice these skills with other CS STARS. We will also have dedicated time for training and planning for recruiting, engagement, and outreach activities. See the course syllabus for more information. 

Classes meet on Wednesdays at 5:00 p.m. in SC2405
and via Zoom.

Learn More

Illinois CS STARS will :

  • Participate in research and develop an ongoing engagement with faculty and their research group 
  • Participate in a one-credit course for CS STARS focused on research, leadership, and mentorship skills on Wednesdays at 5:00 p.m. during the fall and spring semesters.
  • Serve as ambassadors to recruit women who are interested in the CS majors
  • Facilitate activities and maintain departmental connections among undergraduate women in computing

Eligibility and Application Information

Applications are open to all Illinois undergraduate students who are interested in pursuing research and empowering women in Computer Science. 

  • Research (e.g., Summer Research Experiences for Undergraduates)

  • Mentorship, leadership, and teaching at any level (e.g., student organization leadership, CA experience, community mentorship/volunteer work with youth)

  • Commitment to broadening participation in education and supporting students from diverse backgrounds

  • Excellent listening, oral, organizational, and communication skills

  • Potential for leadership, mentorship and empathy

  • Online application

  • Materials: CV, application statements, bio, contact info for one reference

  • Click here for more information on the application process!


CS Program Team

Nancy Amato

Abel Bliss Professor of Engineering
Head of Department of Computer Science

Cynthia Coleman

Director of External Relations

Carolyn Hughes

Broadening Participation in Computing Program Coordinator

Tiffani L. Williams

Teaching Professor

BPC Team

Simon Kato

BPC Fellow

Marta Markowicz

BPC Fellow