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Bridges to STEM Careers: A Student Mentor Persective

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2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


New Orleans, Louisiana

Publication Date

June 26, 2016

Start Date

June 26, 2016

End Date

June 29, 2016





Conference Session

Tricks of the Trade - Reflections and Advice on the Educational Process

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Christopher Emmanuel Early The University of Houston-Clear Lake

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Christopher Early is a student at The University of Houston-Clear Lake. He is currently pursuing a Bachelors of Science degree in Computer Science and Mathematics. Christopher works as a Research Assistant and Student Mentor in the School of Science and Computer Engineering. He has also engaged in research at the University of Houston-Downtown.

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Jose Daniel Velazco University of Houston-Clear Lake

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Jose Daniel was born in Jalisco, Mexico. Since his childhood, he has had an interest in mathematics and technology. He came to the United States at the age of 11, and at the age of 12, he broke his first computer. Daniel was amazed at how computers operate and realized an education in computer science implied a good mixture of his two interests. He studied and worked as a mathematics tutor at San Jacinto Community College, for which he received an Associates of Science in Mathematics. Daniel is a current UHCL NSF Scholar and mentor at the BSC Club at UHCL. Daniel has grown interest in artificial intelligence and would like to continue his education in this field. Aside from school, Daniel is member of a church’s youth group and volunteers to community events. During the summer of 2015, Daniel traveled on a missionary trip to Mozambique, Africa. He taught a group of students, professors, priests, and radio broadcasters about video editing and computer repair in an institute called Nacuxa and a local radio station. Daniel wishes to return to Mozambique in the future.

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Miguel Rosales University of Houston-Clear Lake

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Miguel Rosales has been a student at the University of Houston-Clear Lake since 2014 and is a senior undergraduate seeking degrees in computer science and mathematics. During his academic career Miguel has coauthored papers under Springer’s Microgravity Science and Technology and the First Year Engineering Experience Conference. In addition, Miguel actively conducts robotics research at the University of Houston-Clear Lake, and is president of the National Science Foundation Scholars organization at his university. Miguel’s interests include competing in programming and robotics orientated competitions. Miguel will be graduating at the end of this Fall semester and hopes to start working towards a degree in robotics programming.

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Edgar Cantu AutoSol Inc.

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Edgar Cantu is a University of Houston-Clear Lake graduate. He earned a Bachelors of Science in Computer Engineer in 2015. Currently a software developer for AutoSol Inc. and a former Bridges to STEM Careers Mentor in UHCL.

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Bridges to STEM Careers: A Student Mentor Perspective

A team of student mentors has been developed with the goal of increasing the availability of opportunities for student success and retention as STEM students transition from large urban community colleges to a four-year university. In the first two years of the affiliated NSF STEP grant, the mentor team has worked to provide activities for students, including summer orientation sessions, Tech Fridays, mentoring and tutoring sessions, an annual STEM challenge, and BSC clubs on four campuses. 15 students have acted as mentors, session leaders, tutors and club leaders. Mentors attend the Computer Science 1 and Computer Science 2 classes, hold weekly recitation sessions, and office hours during which students in a number of mathematics, computer engineering, and computing courses can find tutoring help. In addition, the student mentors encourage student participation in competitions such as design challenges, hackathons, and other STEM related activities outside the classroom. These activities and competitions allow students to network, develop cross-disciplinary skills, build hands on experience, and apply critical thinking while being exposed to “real world” problem solving situations. Approximately 140 different students have participated in one or more events, and each event has been assessed by an external reviewer. Mentors from the four campuses have chances to interact during combined BSC club meetings, Tech Fridays and the STEM Challenge. We propose that a model similar to this could be successfully and beneficially implemented more widely, with the goal of increasing both interest and retention in STEM fields.

Early, C. E., & Velazco, J. D., & Rosales, M., & Cantu, E. (2016, June), Bridges to STEM Careers: A Student Mentor Persective Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.26389

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