MCDB Welcomes Everyone.
MCDB is strongly committed to diversity and equal opportunity for all students, staff, and faculty at CU. We understand that excellence is only achieved by embracing diversity, and like many other university STEM departments, we recognize that we must do better. We are working to eliminate all real and perceived barriers that may cause members of the MCDB community to feel uncomfortable or limit the educational experience in MCDB. This includes creating an explicitly anti-racist atmosphere that will make everyone feel welcome, and ensure that no one is subjected to discrimination or harassment of any kind. We are also enacting structural changes that will improve support for underrepresented students and provide resources to help students complete the academically rigorous MCDB major.
MCDB students and faculty are strongly committed to improving STEM culture and promoting inclusive excellence within and outside the department. To address the inequities and system racism that plague the academy in general and specifically in science, MCDB is committed to recruiting, training, and retaining graduate students from all backgrounds. At the graduate level, specific actions taken to begin to improve MCDB’s makeup include:
- Participation in the Colorado Advantage program
- The removal of the GRE testing requirement from our application
- A lower threshold of GPA cutoff of 2.75 for program entry
- Graduate program application fee waiver for those who qualify
Each of these actions is justified by scientific literature that indicates that these items presented barriers to entry for underrepresented peoples, especially Black, Indigenous, and other Peoples of Color (BIPOC).
Recent and ongoing structural changes within the community of MCDB to support underserved peoples upon entry into and throughout the program include:
- Engagement of faculty in diversity and inclusion efforts, and a semi-annual participation in the CIMER mentor/mentee training to improve the training experience of ALL graduate students and postdocs, with a specific focus on understanding the perspective of peoples from backgrounds that differ from the PIs
- A semi-annual participation in trainings and conversations about being anti-racist
- Critical re-evaluation of current hiring and recruiting processes to be more inclusive and to improve representation at all levels within the department (students, staff, faculty)
- Bolster existing Colorado Diversity Initiative programs including SMART and STEM Routes with increased faculty engagement and support
- Development of new Bridge programs to recruit underrepresented students to MCDB undergraduate and graduate programs, in partnership with URM-serving institutions like Metro State University in Denver
- Strengthen and expand departmental connections with other campus communities by establishing departmental student liaisons for campus-level graduate student resources
- Increased invitations to faculties from diverse backgrounds to give departmental seminars and lectures in collaboration with CU Cafe
- An anonymous hotline to report incidents of racist or prejudiced encounters with CU community members
MCDB graduate students have volunteered to act as liaisons for various community organizations on campus. Please see our Graduate Student Resources webpage to learn more about other resources and communities on campus. The graduate school also has a list of community resources that our graduate students are encouraged to participate in.
Many of the faculty, staff, and students from MCDB actively participate in programs to recruit underserved undergraduates into research, including:
STEM Routes: An initiative that brings underserved undergraduate students into labs to do research and work with graduate student mentors