Asee peer logo

Board 103: Work in Progress: NSF S-STEM Program: Recruitment, Engagement, and Retention: Energizing and Supporting Students with Diverse Backgrounds in Mechanical Engineering

Download Paper |


2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Tampa, Florida

Publication Date

June 15, 2019

Start Date

June 15, 2019

End Date

June 19, 2019

Conference Session

Minorities in Engineering Division Technical Session 1

Tagged Division

Minorities in Engineering

Tagged Topic


Page Count




Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


Jamie R. Gurganus University of Maryland, Baltimore County

visit author page

Jamie Gurganus works in the Mechanical
Engineering Department at UMBC, focusing in the field of Engineering Education. She serves as the Associate Director of Engineering Education Initiatives for the College of Engineering and IT at UMBC and recently as Co-Director of Advancing Engineering Education Excellence (AEEE). Her research is focused on solving problems relating to educating engineers, teachers, and the community. She seeks to identify best practices and develop assessments methods that assist teachers with student engagement, helping them to be successful throughout the STEM pipeline.
A few of these key areas include enhancing student’s spatial abilities (k-12 and higher education), integrating service learning into the classroom, implementing new instructional methodologies, and design optimization using additive manufacturing.

visit author page


Liang Zhu University of Maryland, Baltimore County

visit author page

Liang Zhu received her B.S. in Engineering Thermophysics from the University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei, Anhui, China, in 1988, and Ph.D. in Engineering from the City University of New York, New York, USA, in 1995. Currently, she is a Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC). Her research fields include using nanotechnology to improve treatment outcomes of patients. She is also interested in Engineering Education research, and currently she serves as the Director of Mechanical Engineering S-STEM Scholarship Program at UMBC.

visit author page

author page

Charles D. Eggleton University of Maryland, Baltimore County

author page

Shuyan Sun

Download Paper |


NSF S-STEM Program : Recruitment, Engagement, and Retention: Energizing and Supporting Students with Diverse Backgrounds in Mechanical Engineering (work in progress)

Recognizing current and future needs for a diverse skilled workforce in mechanical engineering and the rising cost of higher education that acts as a barrier for many talented students with interests in engineering, the NSF funded S-STEM project at a state university focuses resources and research on financial support coupled with curricular and co-curricular activities designed to facilitate student degree attainment, career development, and employability in STEM-related jobs. This program has provided enhanced educational opportunities to more than 90 economically disadvantaged and academically talented undergraduate students in the Mechanical Engineering Department in the past eight years. It is expected that approximately 45 academically talented and financially needy students, including students transferring from community colleges to four-year engineering programs will receive scholarship support in the next 5 years, with an average amount of $6,000 per year for up to four years to earn degrees in mechanical engineering at UMBC. Through scholarships and supplemental support services, this program promotes full-time enrollment and will elevate the scholastic achievement of the S-STEM scholars, with a special emphasis on females and/or underrepresented minorities. It will provide a holistic and novel educational experience combining science, engineering, technology and medicine to improve student retention and future career prospects. The project builds on an established partnership between the state university and community colleges to improve and investigate the transfer experience of community college students to four-year programs, student retention at the university, and job placement and pathways to graduate school and employment. A mixed methods quantitative and qualitative research approach will examine the implementation and outcomes of proactive recruitment; selected high impact practices, such as orientation, one-to-one faculty mentoring, peer mentoring, and community building; participation by students in research-focused activities, such as research seminars and undergraduate experiences; and participation by students in career and professional development activities.

In this paper, preliminary data will be presented discussing the attitudes and perceptions of the s-stem scholars and comparing students in scholarly programs and non-programmed situations.

Gurganus, J. R., & Zhu, L., & Eggleton, C. D., & Sun, S. (2019, June), Board 103: Work in Progress: NSF S-STEM Program: Recruitment, Engagement, and Retention: Energizing and Supporting Students with Diverse Backgrounds in Mechanical Engineering Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. 10.18260/1-2--32172

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2019 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015