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Board # 149 : S-STEM: Mathematics, Engineering, and Physics Scholars

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2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Columbus, Ohio

Publication Date

June 24, 2017

Start Date

June 24, 2017

End Date

June 28, 2017

Conference Session

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Tagged Topics

Diversity and NSF Grantees Poster Session

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Paper Authors


Lee Ann Jerome Clements Jacksonville University

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Dr. Lee Ann J. Clements is the Associate Provost for Accreditation at Jacksonville University. Prior to serving in this role she served for twelve years as the Chair the Division of Science and Mathematics. She received her B.A. in Biology from the University of Virginia, her M.S. and PhD from the University of South Carolina in Marine Science. Her research projects have included investigating the role of metallic pollutants in altering development, the effects of environmental variability on skeletal regeneration, and the effects of ocean acidification on marine organisms. She is also involved in projects that help communicate science to the general public and is one of the creators of The Science Of . . . a web-based video magazine. In addition to her role as Associate Provost Dr. Cements is also the Interim Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and a tenured Professor of Biology and Marine Science at Jacksonville University.

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Huihui H Wang Jacksonville University

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Dr. Huihui Wang, one of Co-PIs, is an assistant professor and the Chair of the Engineering Department at JU. JU is a private, undergraduate liberal arts institution in northeast Florida. Within our College of Arts & Sciences, the STEM disciplines continually draw the largest student enrollment numbers. In 2015, the Engineering Department transitioned from its 30 year history as an engineering dual degree program to a four year onsite program. The former program was affiliated with seven well-known universities including Columbia University, the University of Florida, and the Georgia Institute of Technology. JU opted to establish the onsite engineering program based on students’ needs and interests as identified through feedback from the previous dual degree program. This four-year program can confer a BS degree in mechanical engineering or electrical engineering. The new engineering department has added two more faculty positions, put $200,000 towards upgrading equipment and facilities, increased retention rates and increased internship opportunities (Dr. Wang has supervised several interns). As a member of ASME, ASEE, IEEE, Florida Engineering Society (FES), and an advisor of NSPE JU Chapter, she actively participates in conferences, workshops and professional activities.

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Anna Little Jacksonville University

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Anna Little is an Assistant Professor of Mathematics at Jacksonville University. She has a PhD in Mathematics from Duke University and her research interests include high-dimensional data analysis, clustering, and machine learning.

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W. Brian Lane Jacksonville University

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Han Duong Jacksonville University

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The Mathematics, Engineering, and Physics (MEP) Scholars program at is contributing well-prepared individuals to the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) workforce by providing an educational experience that emphasizes student discovery. This program is designed to increase enrollment of students, including those from underrepresented groups, and improve retention of scholars through graduation or transfer to an affiliated institution in engineering-related disciplines. The project is recruiting annual cohorts of students based on academic ability and financial need and supporting them by the development of a Residential Learning Community (RLC), faculty mentors, tutoring, peer study groups, college survival skills training, and career development. Since we received this NSF grant in July 2014, we have already recruited 23 scholars. Among them, we have one Asian, five African American, and four Hispanic. Our retention rate in majors are 75% in general, specifically, 80% from year 1 to year 2, and 72% from year 2 to year 3. A couple of changes happened since we started this scholarship program. We expanded this scholarship to students majored in computer science which is one key pipeline for the next generation STEM workforce. The 3+2 engineering dual degree program was transitioned to a 4-year engineering department which can confer BS degrees of mechanical engineering and electrical engineering. At the beginning of each year, we have orientations to welcome new scholars and kick off a new academic year. We usually start with ice breakers to introduce PIs, faculty mentors, staff to each other and then play several games to help scholars explore their own types of study methods, cultivate team work spirits, have hands-on experiences, and improve their communication skills and leadership. In addition, each year we have various curricular, co-curricular and extra-curricular activities such as: faculty mentor and scholar meetings to track our scholar’s academic progress, faculty mentor trainings provided by our center for teaching and learning, campus visits and seminars about STEM education given by external speakers who are professors at other universities, filed trips to local engineering companies, movie nights including discussion sessions about the relevant science/engineering related with movies, T-shirt design competition, Halloween party with masks designed by our scholars, career workshop given by our career resource center staff beyond the monthly PIs meetings and annual evaluation given by our external evaluator. We are still in the middle of this project and we are exploring better practices for improving our scholars’ learning, preparing them ready for their careers to increase the number of next generation STEM workforce and increasing the number of women, minors and students from underrepresented groups. PIs, senior personnel, faculty mentors, and other personnel have learned lessons from participating in this project and have more self-reflections about the next step of this project as well as our professional developments.

Clements, L. A. J., & Wang, H. H., & Little, A., & Lane, W. B., & Duong, H. (2017, June), Board # 149 : S-STEM: Mathematics, Engineering, and Physics Scholars Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. 10.18260/1-2--27771

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: © 2017 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