During the summer of 2014, journalism Assistant Professor Charles “Stretch” Ledford met Yemaya Bordain, then a PhD student in electrical and computer engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. When she told him that in 2015 she would become the first African American woman to be awarded that degree, Ledford knew he had found the touchstone for a story he had long hoped to tell - that of the severe underrepresentation of minorities, especially blacks, in the sciences. Ledford assembled a team of students from journalism, graphic design, industrial engineering and computer engineering in an independent study to report on the issue. The result was eight video stories presented via the web at http://BlackScienceMatters.com.  The web site is scheduled to go live on Monday, April 18.  Ledford will discuss the project on WILL-AM’s news talk program “The 21st” at 11:00am on the 18th.

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