Our Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion

How the Cavagnero Lab is Taking Action to Promote Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

The Cavagnero group operates on the belief that diversity is the source of our strength. We are committed to recruiting, retaining and supporting underrepresented students from diverse backgrounds. The ability for our lab to solve problems and better our research efforts is enhanced by creating an environment where students feel safe and valued for sharing their unique experiences. We believe that diversity and inclusion make us better scientists, colleagues, and people.


Silvia Cavagnero

  • Takes an active role in mentoring and supporting underrepresented scientsts, including graduate and undergraduate students from diverse backgrounds.
  • Has been the organizer of Scientific Sessions on Cutting Edge Themes in Biophysical Research at the SACNAS National Conference (every year, from 2015 to 2021), encouraging the participation of Chicanos and American Indians in scientific biological research. This year's SACNAS scientific session organized by Silvia focused on cutting-edge advances in Protein Design.
  • Was a Lecturer at the Summer School for Underrepresented Students (Univ. North Carolina, Chapel Hills)
  • Participated as a recruiter, mentor, poster judge and lecturer in the SACNAS National Conference, encouraging the participation of Chicanos and Native Americans in scientific research (2010-2021). 
  • Co-organized the 3rd USA-Mexico International Workshop on Protein Folding and Dynamics (2013). 
  • Was the Chair of the UW-Madison Diversity Committee from 2010-2016.
  • Was the Co-founder, co-organizer, co-fund raiser and active participant of CHOPS (Chemistry OPportunitieS).
  • Hosts a yearly "Group Happiness" lunch where suggestions an grievances from current group members can be heard and worked through. 
  • Attended Diversity and Mentoring CMB workshops in 2016, 2017 and 2019.
  • Was an active participant in the 8-hour Reseach Mentor Training organized by Cheri Barta and AJ Boydston in October 2020.
  • Participated in Bystander Intervention Training Workshop at UW-Madison in December, 2020. 
  • Participated in Chemistry Department Diversity Workshops in 2021.
  • Is actively involved in the recruiting of underrepresented students and faculty across the UW-Madison campus.


The Cavagnero Group

  • Active participation by group members in a bi-weekly book club that focuses on topics around diversity, equity and inclusion. 
  • Current group members are actively involved in CHOPS, Catalyst and other outreach programs through UW-Madison.
  • All group members (and staff researchers) have been required to attend Bystander Intervention Training presented by UW-Madison.
  • The Cavagnero Lab has hosted a session for "Expand your Horizons" which actively promotes young women's interest in STEM.
  • Once a month the Cavagnero Lab holds a discussion on diversity, equity and inclusion for the first part of our group meetings. Topics and resources for discussion are chosen by a different student each month. 
  • Graduate students and staff researchers take an active role in mentoring undergraduate students from all backgrounds.
  • The Cavagnero lab has an anonymous "suggestion box" to report grievences and incidents of any kind in an anonymous fashion to Silvia. These reports are discussed at the next group meeting in a constructive and educational manner.
  • A group document has been formed and circulated that contains information and resources surrounding diversity, equity and inclusion. 
  • Cavagnero group members are actively encouraged to seek out opportunities in which they can foster diversity, equity and inclusion in their personal and professional lives.