Illinois State University
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Service and Support

Diversity Advocacy provides service and support for historically underrepresented, LGBT (lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender, queer and ally), first generation, and/or low income students.  Through partnerships with several university offices, Diversity Advocacy works to help remove the barriers that may hinder students’ successful college transition.


The Mentoring and Academic Success Achievement Initiative - MASAI (fall semester)

MASAI is a peer mentor program focused on the retention of first generation, low income and historically underrepresented first-year and transfer students. Participants are paired with upper-class students who assist mentees with academic work, help them get involved in the campus community and organizations, assist with their transition into the University culture and provide information about campus resources.


Safe Zone

In an effort to provide support to ledbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender (LGBT) community, the Dean of Students Office has created Safe Zone.

Safe Zone provides safe spaces on campus that are highly visible and easily identifiable to gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender persons, places where support and understanding are readily available and where bigotry and discrimination are not tolerated.

Safe Zone is designed to provide a visible and non-threatening way for faculty/staff to make a statement that understanding and support for the LGBT community is offered here at Illinois State. It also shows unsupportive individuals that homophobia, heterosexism, and hostility will not be tolerated.



The Diversity Advocacy website serves as the “home” for scholarships geared toward historically underrepresented students attending Illinois State University.


ABAE Book Scholarship

The Association of Black Academic Employees offer this scholarship to help fund books for undergraduate students at Illinois State, in good academic standing, who demonstrate a commitment to the African-American community via scholarship and service.


Black Colleagues Association Scholarship

The Black Colleagues Association Scholarship is awarded to African-American students and is funded by the Black Colleagues Association, a chartered affinity club of the Alumni Association.


Brett Cassens Memorial Scholarship

The Brett Cassens Memorial Scholarship was established through memorial gifts made by family, friends, and colleagues, and through a gift from the Cassens/Stille Trust. This scholarship provides support for the gay, lesbian, and bisexual community at Illinois State University as well as supporting students who have interest in pursuing careers in medicine. Applications will be available in the spring semester.

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT) Student Support Fund

The LGBT Student Support Fund provides emergency grants for students who lose the financial support of his/her family due to their sexual orientation. The primary focus of the initiative is to create a safety net, keeping a student enrolled while he or she works through family and financial issues. Awards will be considered by the LGBT Student Support Fund Selection Committee. The Selection Committee consists of the Executive Board of Illinois State University’s Triangle Association and the Dean of Students Office. Students requesting assistance should contact Diversity Advocacy at (309) 438-8968.


Diversity Advocacy

387 Student Services Building
Campus Box 5800
Normal, IL 61790-5800
Phone: (309) 438-8968
Facsimile: (309) 438-5593


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Illinois State University

The Dean of Students Office
Normal, Il 61790-3090
Phone: 309.438.2008

Dean of Students Intranet

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