University of Wisconsin–Madison

Multicultural Graduate Network (MGN)

The Multicultural Graduate Network is your resource for social networking, learning and professional development. Housed within the Graduate School at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, we focus on the needs of graduate students of color, and also serve as an inclusive network for ALL graduate students!

  • About MGN

    The Multicultural Graduate Network (MGN), located in the Graduate School, Office of Diversity, Inclusion, and Funding brings together graduate students from across UW–Madison to foster community and relationships. We seek to address the needs of students of color through professional development opportunities, social networking, and continued dialogue.

  • History

    The Multicultural Graduate Network started out as Partners For Success, a mentorship program which supported graduate students at the beginning of their programs. From there, it evolved into what is today the Multicultural Graduate Network, a space for students of color to come together through learning and community.

  • Goals

    The Multicultural Graduate Network has three primary goals for increasing and supporting graduate students of color:

    1. Bridging the gap between admissions and enrollment;
    2. Creating multicultural spaces through which graduate students can build communities across campus, as well as spaces for graduate students to connect with others from their own and similar cultural backgrounds;
    3. Providing learning and professional development opportunities to support graduate students from the beginning to end of their graduate program(s).

MGN Welcome Celebration

The Multicultural Graduate Network through the Graduate School at UW–Madison kicks off the start of a new school year with a large celebration to invigorate the vibrant community of graduate students on campus.

2018 Multicultural Graduate Network Welcome Celebration

Thursday, August 30
Location TBD

The Multicultural Graduate Network, through the Graduate School at UW–Madison, kicks off the start of a new school year with a large celebration to invigorate the vibrant community of graduate students on campus.


The Graduate Student Peer Mentor Awards recognize graduate students who exhibit stellar mentorship qualities.

Peer mentor awardees

Dine Around

The Multicultural Graduate Network Dine Around event provides students with the opportunity to present their studies to their graduate student peers across disciplines. Students who have completed preliminary examinations are invited to submit applications including an application form, a one-page abstract and bio. Each year, two individuals are selected to present at an intimate gathering of graduate students and Graduate School staff members. Students end the evening by engaging in thoughtful discussions about the research topics presented and provide feedback. This feedback is compiled and sent to each speaker to give them suggestions for future presentations.

Past Presenters

Stephanie D'costaStephanie D’costa is a doctoral candidate in the department of Educational Psychology in the School Psychology program area. She received a BA in Human Development from California State University in Long Beach, CA where she focused on Language development in relation to academic success. Her research interests include cultural and linguistic adaptations for educational and psychological practices and the increasing resilience for children who have experienced trauma. In specific, her dissertation research examined the effectiveness of a linguistically modified guided reading intervention in promoting the academic language of English Language Learners (ELLs). Stephanie is currently working with WIDA developing instructional tools for ELLs. She has also spent time as mental health therapist providing treatment for children who have been sexually abused. In addition to her research, Stephanie enjoys drinking microbrews and spending time playing fetch with her active dog.

Fatima SartbayFor the past two years, Fatima Sartbay has been deeply involved with educational programs geared toward improving the educational opportunities of low – income, minority students in the Madison area. As a single mother from a low – income Madison community, Fatima has not only been involved in educational programs that have served her Madison Bayview neighborhood, but has also been connected with the PEOPLE Program for the past two years. As both a middle school and high school Academic Lead for PEOPLE, Fatima has supervised about 20 academic tutors, overseeing their lesson plans, organizing weekly staff meetings, and allocating tutor resources to meet the specific academic needs of PEOPLE students. As part of her Academic Lead responsibilities, Fatima currently coordinates and monitors the academic performance of PEOPLE students with the assistance of teachers from the Madison Metropolitan School District.

Natalie GuerreroNatalie Guerrero, originally from Chicago, graduated with a BA in Neuroscience from Pomona College in 2011 and entered into the Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) at the University of Wisconsin (UW) in 2012. As a fourth year MD/PhD student, she is a co-president of the UW School of Medicine and Public Health Latino Medical Student Association, a student representative on the MSTP Diversity Committee, co-chair of the MSTP Outreach Committee, and the chair of the Baha’i Campus Association. Natalie is pursuing a Ph.D. in Population Health Sciences, and her research interests include health disparities and maternal and child health. She has been the lead author of manuscripts and poster presentations in these areas and is currently leading research on the delivery of medical interpreter services in the pediatric setting. Her career goal is to serve minority communities as a primary care physician and to lead research that aims to improve the health of minority populations.

Jess ClaytonJess Clayton holds a MSc from the London School of Economic and Political Science in the Political Economy of European Integration and a MA in Political Science from the University of Wisconsin–Madison, in addition to a BA in European History and German language from Wittenberg University in Ohio. Prior to beginning work on her PhD in International Relations, Jess worked as a European regulatory consultant in Washington, DC, where she specialized in the analysis of German, Swiss and European chemical and environmental legislation. She is also the co-author and editor of a textbook on European integration entitled: The Student’s Guide to European Integration (Polity Press, 2004). Jess’s doctoral thesis explores the relationship between international inter-governmental organizations and international non-governmental organizations, using a mixed methodological approach and data gathered from an original survey of IGOs designed and administered in 2012. Her research interests also include the role played by interest groups in the development of EU environmental legislation, member state compliance with EU legislation, and the effect of EU economic and diplomatic sanctions on human rights in Africa.

Saili KulkarniSaili S. Kulkarni is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Rehabilitation Psychology and Special Education. Her research focuses on special education teacher beliefs and intersections of race and ability. Saili is in her final year at UW–Madison and hopes to work in the academic setting as faculty member in a teaching oriented university. Saili is the former program coordinator for the Multicultural Graduate Network and is finishing her dissertation with the support of the Arvil S. Barr Graduate Fellowship through the School of Education. Saili also works as a national scorer for the edTPA assessment for new teachers. In addition to her research and scholarly pursuits, Saili plays co-recreational indoor and outdoor soccer, and enjoys singing showtunes.

End of the Year Celebration

The Multicultural Graduate Network’s End of the Year Celebration is an opportunity to honor graduate students who have completed their degree programs and to celebrate the end of another year at UW–Madison! Students gather at a local restaurant/bar to socialize and congratulate those who have finished their degrees!