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Catalyzing Graduate Student Research Dissemination: Case Study of a Technical Poster Competition

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Conference

2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

San Antonio, Texas

Publication Date

June 10, 2012

Start Date

June 10, 2012

End Date

June 13, 2012

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Tricks of the Trade

Tagged Division

Student

Page Count

19

Page Numbers

25.289.1 - 25.289.19

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/21047

Download Count

34

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Paper Authors

biography

Timothy Carl Becker P.E. Iowa State University

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Timothy C. Becker is a Ph.D. candidate of civil engineering at North Carolina State University and a lecturer in the Department of Civil, Construction & Environmental Engineering at Iowa State University. Becker holds a B.S. in construction engineering from Iowa State University and a M.B.A. from Arizona State University. Becker is a registered Professional Engineer in the state of Arizona and is a member of ASEE, NSPE, ASCE, and the Lean Construction Institute (LCI).

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biography

Joel K. Sikkema Iowa State University

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Joel Sikkema is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering at Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa. His dissertation research is focused on photocatalytic degradation of nitrogen oxides by concrete pavement containing titanium dioxide. In Jan. 2013, he will assume a faculty position in the Engineering Department at Dordt College, Sioux Center, Iowa.

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Nicole Lynn Oneyear Iowa State University

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Nicole Oneyear is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering at Iowa State University, emphasizing in transportation. She previously received both her B.S. and M.S. degrees in civil engineering from Iowa State University. Her research interests include traffic calming, automated enforcement, and rural highway curve safety.

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Shashi S. Nambisan P.E. Iowa State University

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Since 2007, Shashi Nambisan has been the Director, Institute for Transportation (InTrans) and a Professor of Civil Engineering at Iowa State University (ISU) in Ames, Iowa. He previously served on the faculty at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, for more than 17 years. He is a registered Professional Engineer in the state of Nevada. One of Nambisan’s passions is the development of the future transportation workforce. He enjoys working with students. His advisees have developed successful professional careers at universities or in the private and public sectors. Many of them serve in leadership positions in professional societies. He has taught 18 different undergraduate and graduate courses related to transportation as well as undergraduate capstone design courses. Nambisan also has been very active in leadership roles of several professional societies and organizations such as the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE), Council of University Transportation Centers (CUTC), Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE), and Transportation Research Board (TRB). His current appointments include those as a member of the Educational Activities Committee which reports to ASCE’s Board of Direction; Chair of the ASEE Civil Engineering Division; member of the Executive Committee of CUTC; and member of the AASHTO Research Advisory Committee-CUTC Liaison Group. For his contributions as an educator, researcher, and leader, Nambisan has received several awards and honors. Among the awards and honors he has received are the following: a proclamation by the Governor of Nevada designating Jan. 31, 2007 as the “Professor Shashi Nambisan Day” in recognition of his leadership role in and contributions to enhancing transportation safety and the Harry Reid Silver State Research award in 2005.

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Abstract

Encouraging Graduate Student Efforts to Disseminate Research Efforts and Outcomes: Case Study of a Showcase EventAbstract Graduate students in engineering are strongly encouraged to disseminate their efforts andtheir findings through topical outlets including peer reviewed publications and conferencepresentations. However, many graduate students either do not pursue or are not successful insuch endeavors. Informal discussions with many graduate students at a large Midwestern civilengineering department identified three primary impediments in this regard: inexperience withresearch poster preparations, inadequate oral communication skills, and limited time resources.To help minimize such impediments and to help students enhance their success in professionaldissemination efforts; graduate student leaders in the department organized and executed aResearch Showcase and Poster Competition. It was designed to specifically provide posterpreparation practice, improve oral communication skills, and build confidence. The inter-divisional Research Showcase and Poster Competition was designed to mimic aposter session at typical professional conferences. Considerations in this regard included thereview and feedback process adopted, the quality expected from participants, advancesubmission of the posters, judging and audience participation. A specific evaluation rubric wasdeveloped for the competition. Activities prior to the event included a widely publicized call forabstracts, an on-line abstract submission portal, faculty review of abstracts, and invitation ofselected students to prepare posters. Further, the participants were provided guidelines (e.g.,poster design criteria, preparation tips, and attire expectations) and the evaluation rubric to beused. Examples of efforts to minimize the burden on the participants included electronic postersubmission; convenient event location in the department’s primary building; and printing,framing, and installing of posters on behalf of the presenters. The event was publicized widely to a broad audience, which included faculty,professional staff, undergraduate and graduate students. A panel of judges (senior faculty fromthe Department and practitioners who represented the Department of Natural Resources and theDepartment of Transportation) used the evaluation rubric to assess the presentations and theyprovided formal critique of each presenter’s ability to communicate their research. Surveys were designed to evaluate the effectiveness of the event, and they wereadministered prior to, during, and after the event. A total of 185 responses were received forthese surveys. A preliminary analysis of the surveys indicated that the event was a notablesuccess as indicated by the following: 70 percent of the respondents reported learning somethingfrom the event; 93 percent of the respondents recommended that the department support suchevents in the future. The surveys indicated that the competition has addressed the primary goal ofincreasing awareness among students the importance of dissemination of research efforts andfindings. Further, the post-event surveys completed by a majority of the presenters revealed thatparticipation in the competition has increased their interest in pursuing opportunities to presenttheir research findings at professional settings. To achieve a greater impact in this regard, futureefforts must target and work to change the perceptions of those for whom research disseminationdoes not appear to be a priority.

Becker, T. C., & Sikkema, J. K., & Oneyear, N. L., & Nambisan, S. S. (2012, June), Catalyzing Graduate Student Research Dissemination: Case Study of a Technical Poster Competition Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. https://peer.asee.org/21047

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: © 2012 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