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Biological Materials and Processes (BioMaP) Research Experiences for Undergraduate

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2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Vancouver, BC

Publication Date

June 26, 2011

Start Date

June 26, 2011

End Date

June 29, 2011



Conference Session

Biological & Agricultural Technical Session II

Tagged Division

Biological & Agricultural

Page Count


Page Numbers

22.288.1 - 22.288.19



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Paper Authors


Frankie Santos Laanan Iowa State University

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Frankie Santos Laanan is an associate professor in the department of educational leadership and policy studies at Iowa State University. He is director of the Office of Community College Research and Policy. His research focuses on college access, college impact, minority students’ pathway to STEM degrees, and the impact of community colleges on society and individuals. He is PI and co-PI on three NSF grants focused on increasing women and minorities in STEM fields.

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Balaji Narasimhan Iowa State University

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Monica H. Lamm Iowa State University


Carlos Lopez Iowa State University

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I am a PhD student in Educational Leadership and policy studies with emphasis in higher education. I earned his Bachelor’s degree in Industrial and Systems Engineering and Master’s degree in Engineering Management both from Florida International University. I worked in companies such as CommerceBank, Johnson & Johnson, Electrolux and others as part of the operations, quality control, quality assurance and management teams. I started working at the office of Community College Research and Policy (OCCRP) as a Graduate Research Assistant in February 2009. I am currently working on a National Science Foundation funded project entitled the Pathway2STEM as Project Manager. I am also working in the Biomedical Materials and Process BioMaP REU project in conjunction with the ISU Engineering Department where he is conducting human interaction surveys, gathering data and coordinating logistics. One of his biggest passions is the study and encouragement of transfer students of all races and gender from Community College to a STEM program at the university.

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Dimitra Lynette Jackson Iowa State University

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Dr. Jackson is a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Office of Community College Research and Policy (OCCRP). She received her Bachelor's of Science degree in Psychology from the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff in 2003. She obtained her Master’s degree in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies with an emphasis in Student Affairs from Iowa State University in 2005. In 2010, Dr. Jackson obtained her doctoral degree in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies with an emphasis in Higher Education Administration. Dr. Jackson has worked as a Program Specialist in Multicultural Student Affairs at Iowa State University, as a Family Interaction Specialist at the Institute for Social and Behavioral Research (ISBR) at Iowa State University and has been working in OCCRP for the past 4 years. She currently works on National Science Foundation (NSF) funded projects such as Path2STEM degree and the Advanced Technological Education (ATE) project as well as additional projects that focus on the experiences of community college students and community college transfer student success. Dr. Jackson's dissertation is entitled "Transfer students in STEM majors: Gender differences in the socialization factors that influence academic and social adjustment." She is passionate about students, more specifically community college transfer students and women pursuing advanced degrees in STEM areas.

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Biological Materials and Processes (BioMaP) Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU): Experiences of undergraduate students, graduate students mentors and faculty. AbstractIn the past 30 years there has been a dramatic increase in the number of programs dedicated toinvolving engineering students in undergraduate research activities. The National ScienceFoundation (NSF) began providing financial support for such programs in 1987 through theResearch Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program, which was specifically designed toattract talented students into research careers in science and engineering. The BiologicalMaterials and Processes (BioMaP) Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) is a three-year renewal REU site program funded by the NSF.The purpose of the REU program is to provide an opportunity for undergraduate students toconduct hands-on research that includes two research prongs: 1) Biological Materials, and 2)Biological Processes. The overall goal of the REU BioMaP summer program is to create excitingresearch experiences at Iowa State University (ISU) for undergraduate students in “BiologicalEngineering,” specifically in the areas of Biological Materials and processes (BioMaP). Theundergraduate students (BioMaP) summer group is integrated by domestic students fromdifferent universities within United States.The research design consisted of quantitative and qualitative data from two summer cohorts in2009 and 2010. The quantitative component included pre- and post-surveys from undergraduatesparticipants. The qualitative component included three student focus groups, as well as focusgroups with graduate student mentors. Additionally, interviews with selected faculty mentorswere conducted. The pre-survey collected data such as demographic information about thestudents, including sex, race, ethnic background, and other data such as their understanding ofresearch and their familiarity with the research process (including computational research and/ orlaboratory research). The purpose of the post-survey and qualitative focus groups was to evaluatethe overall learning experience and satisfaction of the students during and after at the BioMaPsummer research program. Also, the data collected will help to improve the BioMaP summerresearch program. Findings will also address how students describe the factors that facilitate theirsuccess as engineering students.The goal of the study is to contribute to the literature about the experiences of students andfaculty who participated in the BioMaP REU summer program. Additionally, this study willbenefit not only the undergraduate students but faculty and graduate mentors as well. It willprovide information that will impact initiatives designed to assist undergraduate students inlearning more about research and graduate school. Also, the findings of this study will helpundergraduates find a pathway to their future career goals in STEM areas.

Laanan, F. S., & Narasimhan, B., & Lamm, M. H., & Lopez, C., & Jackson, D. L. (2011, June), Biological Materials and Processes (BioMaP) Research Experiences for Undergraduate Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--17569

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