6/2/2020 4:05:42 PM
Vongai Tizora is a junior studying bioengineering with a concentration in cellular and tissue engineering and a minor in chemistry on the pre-med track. She grew up in Forsyth, Illinois and attended Huntley High School where she served as the President of Student Council.
Vongai’s undergraduate career has been dedicated towards serving underrepresented minority (URM) students in STEM. She has organized a week-long event to celebrate the diversity within The Grainger College of Engineering (GCOE) as Diversity and Inclusion Director for the Dean’s Student Advisory Committee, launched a local K-12 STEM outreach program as Engineering Outreach Chair of Alpha Omega Epsilon, and collaborated on an interdisciplinary, anti-racism task force with the Institute for Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Access (IDEA) Institute composed of students, staff, and faculty last summer. As the Internal Vice President of the National Society of Black Engineers, she helped establish a grant-funded program through the IDEA Institute, which is dedicated to providing a support system for URM undergraduate and graduate students. Vongai hopes to improve the retention and recruitment of URM students in STEM.
Thanks to the education Vongai received as a Grainger student, she has been given numerous opportunities for success. Under the guidance of mentors at Dr. Rohit Bhargava’s Chemical Imaging and Structures Laboratory, she gained insight in the intersection between science and medicine. This upcoming summer she will be a research fellow at the Mayo Clinic Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. She is looking forward to learning more about the exciting field of Regenerative Sciences during her time there.
In her free time, Vongai enjoys reading, editing videos, and jogging. You might also catch her on the quad from time to time taking in the fresh air and lively sights.
Special thanks to everyone who has helped guide Vongai throughout her life, including her father, mother, and brother. Her family gave her the strength to prevail in spite of challenges through their unconditional support and kindness.