New leadership is poised to rebuild the the Illini Statistics Club

Pranavi Challagonda has stepped up as the president. The club experienced a brief lull following Covid, but Pranavi has a strategy to kick things into gear this semester. She’s not working alone. She has a team of dedicated students filling out the remaining leadership roles.

The new president, Pranavi Challagonda, came to the university excited to join the statistics community and connect with her peers. However, when she found the community was struggling to recoup from the harsh Coronavirus Pandemic, she realized she wouldn’t just be joining a community, but helping to rebuild one. She said, “Coming into the school year as a freshman I was looking out for it, but I didn’t see them at Quad Day or anywhere really. I kept spamming their email if I’m being honest, and the president from last year reached out and told me they were taking board applications.”

Last year as a freshman, Pranavi took on the roles of Social Media Director and Treasurer for the club. The experience made her realize that she wasn’t the only one searching for a more organized circle. She said, “It was sad. I knew there were a lot of people who would like to be involved, and thought it’s too bad that people don’t have this community that a lot of other majors do.” She realized that there was indeed a demand for the club, it just lacked the buzz that more active clubs seemed to have. What they needed was a jumpstart, and Pranavi could deliver just that.

It was only natural that she was offered the position of president for this year, considering how much drive she’s shown. She got to work immediately, saying, “I was able to start sending out applications. We got a lot of applicants, and I got to choose this amazing board! I wanted to choose people who had similar goals for the club. They also really care about fostering community and since we all have those similar goals it really motivates the effort.” She makes it clear how valuable the rest of the leadership is to her. She said, “I’m so happy with the people I picked. We only met a couple of weeks ago, but honestly, I already feel so close to them in the sense that I know I don’t have to do all of this on my own. It’s nice to have others take on some of that responsibility, and because they really want to. They’re just as passionate about it am.”

Stat Club Meeting
Turnout for first Illinois Statistics Club Meeting

With community as the focus, the Stats Club is offering a new mentorship program for its members starting this fall! Pranavi explains, “Other clubs have big-little systems, which is what we’re trying to adopt here. I realize from my own experience this system keeps you more engaged in the club. You have this person who’s older than you, who you can reach out to for support. If we adapt that to this club, I’m sure we will get more involvement. Since the club hasn’t been so active in the past, we want to give all the opportunities to connect that we can this year.” The club welcomes all members, freshman through P.h.D, and from a variety of majors. The Illini Statistics Club celebrates this diversity, and uses it as a tool to foster community.

Other events to look out for include the upcoming Mixer, date TBD. This will be a less formal way for students to meet advisors and faculty within the department as one another. The club is also planning an industry mixer for October. During this event, members will get the opportunity to meet representatives from different companies, ask questions, and network. Overall, the Illini Statistics Club is ready to embrace the new term, with a mix of social, academic, and professional opportunities in the works.



If you want to keep up-to-date with the Illini Statistics Club, check out their Instagram

If you have questions about the club, you can contact them at



Elizabeth McNutt

Elizabeth McNutt is a staff writer for the Department of Statistics. If you have news to share, please contact the Statistics news group at