The Minority Recruitment and Retention Committee (MRRC) is a group of graduate students, faculty, and staff from the Department of Sociology and the Department of Community and Environmental Sociology at UW-Madison. We work to recruit and retain historically disadvantaged and underrepresented students and faculty of color, to monitor and improve racial climate, and to seek out resources for underrepresented students. Prospective or current students should feel free to contact members of the Committee with questions about the graduate program, underrepresented students’ perspectives, or the Committee’s goals.
In 2003, the Sociology program established the MRRC to improve diversity in the graduate student population. Faculty collaborated with students to apply for an NSF grant that supported the Committee’s work for the first years of its existence. With that support we have made a number of contributions to the program, including the development of the Student Lounge, and the establishment of a group-tutor for Stats 361. In addition, our recruitment efforts have resulted in increased underrepresented minority representation among incoming graduate students. Prior to MRRC (1997-2003), around 5% of our new enrollees, on average, were underrepresented minorities. From 2004-2013, new cohorts have been comprised, on average, of around 20-25% of underrepresented minorities. We aim to continue these and other improvements, and to raise awareness of our efforts by re-instituting MRRC’s annual report at the joint-department meeting.