Laboratory of Genetics partners with Xavier University of Louisiana to support underserved groups in STEM

The Laboratory of Genetics is one of four initiatives at UW-Madison to receive a grant to nurture relationships between faculty, staff and students at UW–Madison and at Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs) across the U.S. The MSI Partnership Program funded by the Graduate School provides grants of up to $25,000 for graduate programs, departments and other collaborative groups to establish and extend partner relationships with Department of Education designated MSIs. The program focuses on creating long-term and mutually beneficial relationships in areas such as research collaborations, faculty professional development, creation of collaborative activities, and exchange programs for faculty, staff and students.

“The awardees of these grants already have existing relationships with partners at Minority Serving Institutions. This financial support will allow them to continue building upon their past successes and deepen their connections,” said Graduate School Dean William Karpus. “In addition, grant awardees will be able to leverage these relationships to recruit and enroll graduate students from partnering institutions in the future.”

The Laboratory of Genetics has a newly established partnership with the Department of Biology at Xavier University of Louisiana, which aims to form relationships between faculty, staff and students at both institutions, fund cross-institution visits for faculty and students, and fund Xavier University undergraduates to participate in a Summer Research Opportunity Program in the Laboratory of Genetics. Faculty in Genetics also plan to make annual visits to the Xavier University campus to engage with faculty and staff to strengthen support for students from historically underserved groups in STEM.

With the grant funding, this project plans to support faculty and graduate student visits to Xavier University annually, host a Xavier University faculty member each year who would present an invited seminar in genetics, and empower historically underserved undergraduate students to attend UW–Madison for summer research.

UW–Madison partners: Francisco Pelegri, Professor and Chair, Genetics; Ahna Skop, Professor, Genetics; Amber Smith, Director, Biological Interactions Student Research Opportunity Program; Audrey Gasch, Professor, Medical Genetics; Bret Payseur, Professor and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee Chair, Genetics.

Xavier University of Louisiana partners: Michelle Boissiere, Chair, Department of Biology.

For more information and to learn more about the other three partnerships, please click here.