NTP Receives the 2023 UW Graduate School’s Partnership Program in Graduate Excellence (PPGE) Award

DEI values in action from the UW Neuroscience Training Program and collaborators at Universidad Ana G. Mendez (Carolina campus), a Hispanic serving institution in Puerto Rico!

Ana Garić, NTP manager, with Daviana Menendez, a UAGM student in Dr. Loyda Mendez’s lab, at ABRCMS Conference 2022

Beginning in Summer 2023, the Neuroscience Training Program (NTP) at UW-Madison will launch a new initiative to promote scientific collaboration and research opportunities with a Hispanic-serving institution in Puerto Rico. The NTP will collaborate with faculty and students at the Universidad Ana G. Mendez, Carolina campus (UAGM-Carolina) to develop new science outreach workshops, create opportunities for scholarly visits for faculty and students, recruit postbaccalaureate and graduate students to UW-Madison, and facilitate research collaborations between the universities.

This new initiative will be funded by a 2023 Partnership Program in Graduate Excellence (PPGE) award from the UW Graduate School with supporting funds from the SMPH, and will enhance existing science diversity and outreach efforts made possible by an NIH T32 Training Grant to the NTP and the National Science Foundation’s NSF-S-STEM and NSF-HSI grants to UAGM-Carolina. Laura Knoll, SMPH Associate Dean for Basic Research Training, comments “I am excited about this collaborative program that NTP is building and very happy to support the proposed activities by underwriting travel and hosting expenses.”

The NTP is one of the longest running neuroscience graduate training programs in the country, with ~80 students as of Fall 2023. With a strong commitment to trainee diversity and to science outreach activities in underserved communities, NTP Program Manager Ana Garić began developing a collaboration with counterparts from UAGM-Carolina during the 2022 annual meeting of the Society for Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics & Native Americans in Science (SACNAS). Initiatives born out of those discussions aligned naturally with the PPGE mission of fostering relationships with MSIs, leading to the award.

Dr. Ari Rosenberg, NTP Director

Ari Rosenberg, NTP Director, comments “I am eager to see this partnership inspire youth from underserved communities to pursue careers in science, and for UW-Madison to recruit talented graduate students from UAGM-Carolina.”

Dr. Jorge Torres Colón, Dean of the Division of Science and Technology at UAGM-Carolina, notes, “We are very enthusiastic about this PPGE collaboration with UW NTP to create a new student exchange program, participate in NTP professional development and outreach activities, and promote research collaborations and joint proposals.”

Dr. Loyda Méndez
Dr. Loyda Méndez, Professor, UAGM-Carolina, Puerto Rico

Dr. Loyda Mendez, Professor at UAGM’s División Académica de Ciencias y Tecnología, and the main collaborator on this project from UAGM-Carolina, says: “It is through activities such as these that we foster our core mission of promoting the integral development of individuals to contribute to the sustainable development of the environment through a socio-humanistic education of excellence: valuing research, internationalization, entrepreneurship, technology, culture, and community engagement.”

NTP students and faculty interested in participating in program activities should watch for program emails about emerging opportunities or contact Ana Garić directly (ana.garic@wisc.edu).