The Microbiology Doctoral Training Program stands with the greater University of Wisconsin’s mission of supporting and fostering diversity:

Diversity is a source of strength, creativity, and innovation for UW–Madison. We value the contributions of each person and respect the profound ways their identity, culture, background, experience, status, abilities, and opinion enrich the university community. We commit ourselves to the pursuit of excellence in teaching, research, outreach, and diversity as inextricably linked goals.

The University of Wisconsin–Madison fulfills its public mission by creating a welcoming and inclusive community for people from every background — people who as students, faculty, and staff serve Wisconsin and the world.

The Microbiology Doctoral Training Program is committed to the strength only diversity can bring.  We strive to fully support all members of our community – Black, Indigenous, People of Color, LGBTQ+, first-generation, people with disabilities and all marginalized groups.  

We all belong here at MDTP, all of us make our program great, all of us have a place in STEM.


MDTP is proud that students have led the program in working to make MDTP and STEM a more equitable and diverse place for everyone in our community.  In particular, MDTP alum Rachel Salemi put in extraordinary effort to bring equity issues to the attention of leadership and the program is grateful to them for their work.

  • Create and maintain a dialogue about diversity within the program.
  • Work towards creating a program in which students and trainers from all backgrounds feel welcomed, appreciated, and included.
  • Continually assess the needs of underrepresented minorities in the program and determine a plan for addressing said needs.
  • Recognize that privilege exists and use such privilege to lift communities that have been systematically marginalized.  Privilege is a responsibility. 
  • Encourage students, trainers and staff to advocate for diversity by providing resources, such as time, space and/or monetary support.
  • Recruit, retain, and support people who have overcome different barriers and created opportunities in different ways.
  • Educate ourselves and our community about the reality of implicit bias and the impact it has on science and education.


  • Applicants not only evaluated on academic and research achievements, but also on their background of overcoming obstacles and creating opportunities.
  • Funding opportunities in collaboration with Science and Medicine Graduate Research Scholars for students from diverse backgrounds.
  • Annual participation in ABRCMS and SACNAS for recruiting.  
  • MDTP Trainers are expected to have honest dialogues and open communication with the students in their program and their mentees.
  • Encourage collaborating departments to focus on diversity and inclusion.
  • Host events that provide research-based evidence concerning diversity (impact, challenges, implicit bias, financial education) in an attempt to educate current students and trainers.
  • MDTP now has a dedicated committee focusing on diversity and inclusion in the program.
  • Anonymous feedback form for students in the program.

MDTP Diversity and Inclusion Subcommittees 2022-23

Leave Policy SubcommitteeThe subcommittee will gather information about current campus efforts to secure paid leave for graduate students, as well as external (e.g., NIH) guidelines regarding paid leave for graduate students. This subcommittee would advocate for action on paid leave policies with grad school and central campus HR. The subcommittee would also work to connect students and faculty who are in need of guidance regarding leave policies with faculty and students who have made ad hoc leave arrangements.  (Erin Conley, David Hershey, Emily Eix, Holly Nichols)

Financial Equity and Funding Transitions Subcommittee – This subcommittee will gather resources and contacts for students as they navigate transitions between funding sources and troubleshoot problems. The subcommittee would advocate for students experiencing any breakdowns in the process.  This subcommittee will also explore avenues to bring the educational resources MDTP students need to explore financial literacy.  (Mark Mandel, Maddie Topf, Azka Ahmed, Jassim Al-Oboudi, Jennifer Tran)

Accommodations Subcommittee – This subcommittee will help students navigate the process of requesting and securing accommodations for any reason.  (Katie Barnes, Heather Emery, Amelia Hansen, Travis Wentz)

Training and Reporting Subcommittee – This subcommittee will work on finding ways members of the program can broadly engage in learning more about microaggressions, racism, sexual harassment and marginalization. This subcommittee would also work on providing guidance or “flowchart” to help community members know how to report instances and repercussions of reporting.  (Tu Anh Huynh, Marta Gaglia, Hailey Bussan, Kayley Manuel, Joie Ling)

Faculty Trainer Support and Onboarding Subcommittee – This subcommittee will work on developing resources to ensure that faculty trainers have the resources necessary to provide the best training environment for MDTP students. This includes, but is not limited to, PI-student expectation documentation, rotation forms, rotation guidelines, and mentor training.  (Kerri Coon, Emma Mohr, Natalia Rosario Melendez, Rauf Salamzade, James Kosmopoulos, Mariah Riel)

Land Acknowledgement

The University of Wisconsin–Madison occupies ancestral Ho-Chunk land, a place their nation has called Teejop (day-JOPE) since time immemorial. In an 1832 treaty, the Ho-Chunk were forced to cede this territory. Decades of ethnic cleansing followed when both the federal and state government repeatedly, but unsuccessfully, sought to forcibly remove the Ho-Chunk from Wisconsin. This history of colonization informs our shared future of collaboration and innovation.  Today, UW–Madison respects the inherent sovereignty of the Ho-Chunk Nation, along with the eleven other First Nations of Wisconsin.