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Ask NAMME: The Nobel Project: A Carle Illinois College of Medicine Pathway Program

October 26, 2021

STEM Illinois is deeply rooted in the historic mission of land-grant institutions. The mission is to democratize higher education and address the world’s most pressing societal challenges such as health disparities. These challenges also include the lack of diverse healthcare providers. The STEIM Illinois Nobel Project works with students in Chicago (urban), Pembroke (rural) and Urbana-Champaign (micro-urban) to prepare them to succeed in STEM majors and medical school. The goal is to create an ecosystem of 100,000 Community Health Workers and Citizen Scientists (community researchers) to address racism as a health crisis. The Nobel Scholars, the Designing Resiliency and Well-being Maker Lab Node and the Siebel Center for Design will work together to create a Wellness Store.

Ruby Mendenhall is a Professor of Sociology and African American Studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She is an Associate Dean for Diversity and Democratization of Health Innovation at the Carle Illinois College of Medicine. Her research examines Black mothers’ resiliency and spirituality, and how living in racially segregated neighborhoods with high levels of violence affects their mental and physical health. Recent grants from the National Science Foundation, the MacArthur Foundation and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign will support work around training Community Health Workers and Citizen Scientists. Ruby discusses her vision for healing in her TEDxUIUC talk entitled DREAMing and Designing Spaces of Hope. Website:


October 26, 2021


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