The words “diversity” and “inclusivity” are guaranteed to be found on every website at UW-Madison. But how “diverse” and “inclusive” is UW-Madison exactly? Are mentors and faculty advocating for underrepresented students? How do students find support and connect with others with interests in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) fields?
Every summer since 2007, students from some of the smallest high schools in Wisconsin have descended on the Morgridge Institute for Research at the University of Wisconsin–Madison for some big-time scientific immersion.
The Morgridge Rural Summer Science Camp has allowed more than 500 high-academic achievers from across the state to spend a week learning from leaders in stem cell research, a field that UW–Madison helped make famous. The students arrive passionate and motivated in science, but the hope is this deep dive into real research will seal the deal for a future scientific career.
Light dots represent all participating schools since 2007; dark dots are those participating in 2018. Morgridge Institute for Research
Now, 12 years into the camp, organizers are finding it has been a difference-maker.
Julia Nepper’s favorite thing about science is a little surprising.
“It’s OK to be wrong. Until you acknowledge what you don’t know, you cannot progress,” said the North Carolina native who, at age 23, received her Ph.D. in biophysics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison last month.
That’s right; she’s a Ph.D. at 23.
For Angela Byars-Winston, becoming the first Black tenure-track, full-professor in the UW-Madison Department of Medicine in September was just another stepping stone in her career.
As a member of the National Academy of Sciences Higher Education and Workforce Development Board, a 2011 selectee for the Obama administration’s Winning the Future initiative as Champion of Change, and a recipient of a $1.4 million grant from the National Institute of Health to research the impact of diversity awareness on mentor-mentee relationships in STEM, Byars-Winston has no shortage of accomplishments.
One of 14 children, freshman Rosee Xiong is continuing her family’s strong educational drive. Four of her older siblings already have graduated from UW–Madison. Photo by Doug Erickson Rosee Xiong barely remembers a day when she didn’t have her fingers on a computer keyboard or some other piece of technology. That youthful passion paid off […]