Asee peer logo

Board 245: Description, Assessment, and Outcomes of Several Interventions within a National Science Foundation Research Traineeship (NRT): Graduate Certificate, Field Trips, Internships and International Experiences

Download Paper |

Conference

2023 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Baltimore , Maryland

Publication Date

June 25, 2023

Start Date

June 25, 2023

End Date

June 28, 2023

Conference Session

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Tagged Topic

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Page Count

9

DOI

10.18260/1-2--42688

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/42688

Download Count

101

Request a correction

Paper Authors

biography

Eduardo Santillan-Jimenez University of Kentucky

visit author page

Dr. Eduardo Santillan-Jimenez is PI and project coordinator of a National Science Foundation Research Traineeship (NRT) program designed to enhance graduate education by fully integrating research and professional skill development within a diverse, inclusive and supportive academy. Originally from Mexico, Dr. Santillan-Jimenez joined the University of Kentucky (UK) first as an undergraduate research intern and then as a graduate student performing his doctoral research at the UK Center for Applied Energy Research (CAER) and at the University of Alicante (Spain). After obtaining his Ph.D. in 2008, he worked as a postdoctoral fellow at Utrecht University (The Netherlands) prior to returning to UK, where he now holds the positions of Program Manager at CAER and Adjunct Assistant Professor at the Department of Chemistry. His current research focuses on the application of heterogeneous catalysis to the production of renewable fuels and chemicals, with emphasis on the upgrading of algae and waste oils to drop-in hydrocarbon fuels. His synergistic activities include participating in a number of K-20 educational initiatives designed to increase and broaden participation in STEM fields.

visit author page

biography

Carissa B. Schutzman, Ph.D. University of Cincinnati Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0001-5453-5973

visit author page

Dr. Carissa Schutzman is a Senior Research Associate for the University of Cincinnati Evaluation Services Center. In 2020 she joined the Center where she leads evaluation and research projects and actively represents the ESC within the university and the

visit author page

biography

Keren Mabisi

visit author page

Keren Mabisi is a Junior Research Associate at the University of Cincinnati, Evaluation Services Center. As an external evaluator, she utilizes quantitative and qualitative methods on various NIH, ESF, NIEHS and SEPA funded projects. She obtained a Master

visit author page

author page

Apala Biswas University of Cincinnati

Download Paper |

Abstract

An ongoing National Science Foundation Research Traineeship (NRT) aims to enhance graduate education by integrating research and professional skill development within a diverse, inclusive, and supportive academy. This contribution will describe several interventions within this NRT, namely, a graduate certificate on Innovations at the Nexus of Food, Energy, and Water Systems (INFEWS) – which is the research topic of the NRT – field trips to sites related to INFEWS, internships and international experiences. Moreover, the assessment and outcomes of each of these interventions will be discussed.

A graduate certificate on INFEWS established through this NRT aims to 1) impart both conceptual and technical knowledge related to INFEWS to students; 2) provide them with training on key transferable skills; and 3) equip them to consider the societal, cultural, behavioral, and economic aspects of research on the food, energy, and water nexus. The starting point of the certificate is a multi-departmental and interdisciplinary course on INFEWS. In a subsequent semester students receive training on key transferrable skills in a course designed to integrate these skills with content covered in the foregoing INFEWS course. Completing these core courses gives students 6 of the 12 credit hours needed to attain the certificate. Students earn the other 6 credits by choosing from a list of elective courses. Notably, courses fulfill both certificate and degree requirements, so anticipated time-to-degree is not extended. The certificate is evaluated by assessing student learning outcomes with multiple measures, which include teacher course evaluations of individual courses, the rubric used to review a research proposal that students prepare in the transferable skills course, a professional skills dossier, competency assessments, and student post-surveys.

While field trips to facilities related to INFEWS and internships at sites best aligned with their career interests – inside or outside academia – helped foster a sense of community among trainees and exposed them to various work sites and career paths, international experiences helped them gain a global perspective and appreciation for the international nature of STEM research. Evaluation data related to field trips, internships, and international experiences are collected via student focus group discussions, student post-surveys, student follow-up surveys, and alumni surveys. Additionally, the number and type of internships are tracked, and student placement with the internship host after graduation is also monitored.

By sharing a description of these interventions and details about their evaluation as well as their outcomes, this contribution will inform practitioners interested in similar educational programs and experiences of both challenges and opportunities associated with these initiatives. In turn, this will help the higher education community in its pursuit to identify and implement the best and most effective practices.

Santillan-Jimenez, E., & Schutzman,, C. B., & Mabisi, K., & Biswas, A. (2023, June), Board 245: Description, Assessment, and Outcomes of Several Interventions within a National Science Foundation Research Traineeship (NRT): Graduate Certificate, Field Trips, Internships and International Experiences Paper presented at 2023 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Baltimore , Maryland. 10.18260/1-2--42688

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: © 2023 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