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Creating a Support Network for Students through a Student-led Mentoring Program

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2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


San Antonio, Texas

Publication Date

June 10, 2012

Start Date

June 10, 2012

End Date

June 13, 2012



Conference Session

FPD VIII: Crossing Bridges and Easing Transitions into the First Year

Tagged Division

First-Year Programs

Page Count


Page Numbers

25.353.1 - 25.353.9



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Paper Authors


Danielle M Fitch Department of Aerospace Engineering, Texas A&M University

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Danielle M. Fitch is a Master’s student in the Department of Aerospace Engineering at Texas A&M University. Her current research investigates heuristic strategies and maneuvers to cover the frequency plane for an interferometric satellite imaging system with optimal cost and imaging performance.

Danielle currently serves as the Mentoring Chair for the Texas A&M student branch of Sigma Gamma Tau, the Aerospace Engineering Honor Society. As Mentoring Chair, she is responsible for organizing and conducting the current mentoring program in the Department of Aerospace Engineering. She has also been involved in the mentoring program in previous years.

She is the recipient of the Larry Anderson Outstanding Senior Award and has also held the positions of AIAA Student Branch Chair, and AIAA Student Branch Treasurer.

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Kristi J. Shryock Texas A&M University

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Kristi J. Shryock is the Assistant Department Head for Undergraduate Programs and Outreach in the Department of Aerospace Engineering at Texas A&M University. She is also a Senior Lecturer in the department. She received her Ph.D. in interdisciplinary engineering with a research focus on engineering education. She works to improve the undergraduate engineering experience through evaluating preparation in mathematics and physics, incorporating experiential education in the classroom, and introducing multidisciplinary design.

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Dimitris C. Lagoudas P.E. Texas A&M University

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Dimitris C. Lagoudas received his B.S. from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece, in 1982, and his Ph.D. from Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Penn., in 1986. Lagoudas arrived at Texas A&M in 1992 and currently serves as the Department Head and the inaugural recipient of the John and Bea Slattery Chair in Aerospace Engineering. As Director for the Texas Institute for Intelligent Materials and Structures (TiiMS), his research involves the design, characterization and constitutive modeling of multifunctional material systems at various length scales and considering various functionalities, including mechanical, thermal and electrical. His research team is recognized internationally, especially in the area of modeling and characterization of shape memory alloys and multifunctional composites. He has authored or co-authored about 350 scientific publications, including 167 in archival journals, several of which are now considered classic papers in the field. The theoretical models that his research group developed have been implemented into finite element analysis software and utilized by many industrial and governmental entities (Boeing, DoD, and NASA), as well as academic institutions worldwide.

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Creating a Support Network for Students through a Student-Led Mentoring ProgramMentoring programs at the college-level can occur in many forms. Some programs provide amechanism for faculty and students to be engaged. Other programs work to link industry withcurrent students. The purpose of most mentoring programs is to help increase the retention rateof students and provide a support network for them. To address these concerns, a mentoringprogram was started in the Aerospace Department at the Institution to connect junior and seniorlevel students to freshman and sophomore level students. The goals of the program are to:provide an understanding of what Aerospace Engineering is and possible applications and careerpaths; design and build fund and educational projects with students; provide advice on classes,professors, study habits, and general college life; host laboratory tours; discuss internships,research, and organizational involvement; handle tutoring sessions and office hours and motivatestudents about Aerospace Engineering.This paper will provide a framework for starting a mentoring program at your institution. Whilethis is not a new idea, the authors will discuss why the current structure was selected and howthis program is unique. The role of a mentor and mentee and the expectations of each will bedetailed. Example time lines, activities, and structure will be provided. In addition, potentialstruggles and past experiences will be shared, and strategies utilized to effectively overcomethese will be discussed. Departments with current mentoring programs and those looking tobegin a new one will discover practical, effective methods in this paper.

Fitch, D. M., & Shryock, K. J., & Lagoudas, D. C. (2012, June), Creating a Support Network for Students through a Student-led Mentoring Program Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--21111

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