DEI Committee

The Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee is vested in the recruitment and retention of talented graduate students to the Neuroscience Training Program. Members of the committee include students and faculty who work together to fulfill these goals.  The different roles of this committee include attending area recruitment fairs, helping coordinate the Program’s participation in the undergraduate summer research opportunities program, and sending representatives to recruit the best and brightest diverse minds from a wide array of student research conferences and colleges including those that enroll large numbers of historically marginalized students. Our future endeavors will include arranging visits by students from high schools and colleges. 

In order to promote retention, the committee meets to discuss student experiences and needs. The committee plans the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Lecture Series to bring in speakers from underrepresented groups from around the country and coordinate a Welcome Meet-Up each August so that incoming students can connect with current students who answer questions, share resources and tips for enjoying life in Madison. 

The committee is also engaged in efforts to further enhance the retention of historically marginalized students by establishing a mentoring program to improve the personal and professional mentorship that students can have access to.

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Committee Members

Faculty Members

Brad Postle, Co-Chair

Brad Postle is a Professor in the Departments of Psychology and Psychiatry. Since 2011 he has been PI and Director of the NSF-supported Psychology Research Experience Program (PREP), which each summer brings URM undergraduates from around the country for mentored research projects in UW–Madison laboratories. As Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience he has introduced novel initiatives to call attention to and counteract longstanding patterns of systematic undercitation of research by women neuroscientists.

LaTasha Crawford, Co-Chair 

LaTasha Crawford is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Pathobiological Sciences in the School of Veterinary Medicine.  She has been a member of the DEI Committee since 2019.  She is also a member of the newly formed Equity/Diversity working group tasked with developing strategies to address emerging needs oNTP students and faculty which fall beyond the scope of the DEC.  She was a first-generation college student and is also a member of an ethnic group that is underrepresented in biomedical research and veterinary medicine.   

Marcelo Vargas

Marcelo Vargas is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Neurology. He strives to build a community where everybody feels welcome and individuals from diverse backgrounds can thrive. He is also committed to creating a diverse and inclusive neuroscience research community at UW-Madison.

Student Members

Ruohong Wang

Ruohong (Chris) Wang is a second year PhD student with Dr. David Ehrlich studying the neural circuits behind movements. Wang hopes to help the NTP program to become more inclusive, especially for students coming from different cultural backgrounds.

Kao Lee Yang

Kao Lee Yang is a fourth-year PhD/MPA student in the Neuroscience and Public Policy program training with Dr. Barbara Bendlin in the Wisconsin Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center. Her dissertation work is focused on utilizing imaging and fluid biomarkers to detect early Alzheimer’s disease pathology. In addition to her dissertation research, she is committed to identifying ways to make the scientific world more inclusive for scientists, trainees, and research participants. As such, in addition to conducting research, she also advocates for and works toward methods to increase inclusion of minoritized and underrepresented groups. In January of 2022, she founded Hmong in the Biological Sciences, a group that connects and uplifts Hmong-identifying scientists and trainees. As a UW-Madison Morgridge Center Fellow for community-engaged scholarship from 2022-2023, Kao Lee collaborated with individuals and groups to create culturally and linguistically appropriate informational brochures on dementia for Hmong and Cambodian elders. Kao Lee joined the NTP DEI committee to support the programs efforts in uplifting the voices of minoritized groups within the program and in the larger campus community.

Reporting Incidents of Hate & Bias

Campus information on reporting incidents of hate and bias can be found here.

Filing a bias or hate incident report through UW.

Filing a hostile and intimidating behavior report through UW.

Filing a police report with the Madison Police Department.

Filing a police report with the UW-Madison Police Department.

Fellowships & Funding

There are multiple opportunities for funding allocated to underrepresented students. Please check out the Funding Opportunities tab under our NTP Resources page to learn more.