A self-assessment of our lab’s commitment to improving diversity in STEM over the last year

The following is a summary of a recent self-assessment completed by the lab in order to evaluate our commitment and progress toward improving diversity in STEM.

  • Kerri has become increasingly involved in ongoing diversity and inclusion initiatives through the MDTP and Department of Bacteriology. She now serves on the MDTP Diversity and Inclusion Committee’s ‘Faculty Trainer Support and Onboarding’ Subcommittee, which seeks to improve accessibility of program-specific resources for new faculty, provide specific guidance to improve faculty-student interactions throughout the first-semester rotation process, develop program-specific research mentor training opportunities and programming, and encourage new (and existing) faculty to participate in activities to improve cultural awareness and responsibility within the program.
  • Aldo and Kerri also continue to participate in the SciMed GRS Program on campus, by attending events and serving as a student panel member or faculty application reviewer. These efforts will continue through the 2021-2022 academic year.
  • In response to feedback from the lab last year, Kerri has modified the lab’s policy/expectations document to include specific guidance for different members of the lab (e.g., Ph.D. vs. undergraduate students). These additions were reviewed and approved by the lab on 08/31/2021.
  • Andrew was the first to share his research plans via a “blog” post on the lab’s website in August 2020. However, the lab has since decided to postpone any future posts to the lab’s “blog” until further notice. This decision was made to allow the lab to focus on other changes to the lab website, which will include the development of professional web pages for each lab member over the coming year.
  • The lab participated in several outreach events over the last year, including the 19th Annual UW-Madison Science Expeditions Virtual Open House, Wednesday Nite @ the Lab, and the 2020 Wisconsin Science Festival.
  • Members of our lab also participated in a number of efforts to expose undergraduate students at UW-Madison and beyond to research in STEM over the last year. We welcomed five UW-Madison-based undergraduate students to the lab. Holly and Kerri also co-mentored a student from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign as part of UW-Madison’s NSF REU Program in Biological Interactions.
  • Finally, the lab has decided not to engage in any specific recruiting efforts over the next year, given the bias of existing initiatives through the MDTP, SciMed GRS, and other programs at UW-Madison toward such efforts. We believe our efforts over the next year should instead be devoted to engaging in active anti-racist and anti-marginalization work across the UW-Madison campus (and other organizations that we are affiliated with).

Note: We are committed to continuing to conduct annual self-evaluations of our progress, and will continue to post a summary of these self-evaluations on our website each year.