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Engaging COEUR Principles to Achieve Higher Impact in Student Learning through a Campus-Community Partnership with the Air Force Institute of Technology

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Conference

2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

New Orleans, Louisiana

Publication Date

June 26, 2016

Start Date

June 26, 2016

End Date

August 28, 2016

ISBN

978-0-692-68565-5

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

CEED Paper Session 2: Leveraging Internships and Experiential Learning in Higher Education

Tagged Division

Cooperative & Experiential Education

Page Count

22

DOI

10.18260/p.26963

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/26963

Download Count

130

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Paper Authors

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Derrick Langley Air Force Institute of Technology

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Derrick Langley is an Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering at the Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT), Wright-Patterson Air Force Base (AFB), Ohio. He received his B.S. in electrical engineering from the University of Central Florida in 2003, his M.S. in electrical engineering from Wright State University in 2007, and his Ph.D. in electrical engineering from AFIT, Wright-Patterson AFB in 2012. His current research interests are metamaterials, microelectronics, microelectromechanical systems and nanotechnology.

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Diana Lynn Cahill SOCHE

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Diana Cahill, M.Ed., is currently Program Manager for Southwestern Ohio Council for Higher Education, SOCHE. Previously, Cahill was the Civilian Student Coordinator at the Air Force Institute of Technology, AFIT. She earned an M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction from Wright State University and a BA in English from Youngstown State University.

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Mary Yvonne Lanzerotti Air Force Institute of Technology Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0001-7802-1117

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Dr. Lanzerotti is an Assistant Professor of Physics at Augsburg College (Minneapolis, MN), an Adjunct Associate Professor of Computer Engineering in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the Air Force Institute of Technology, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, and an Affiliate Researcher at the University of Minnesota (Minneapolis, MN). She received her A.B. from Harvard College, M. Phil. from University of Cambridge (U.K.), and her Ph.D. from Cornell University, all in physics.

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Richard Martin The Air Force Institute of Technology

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Richard K. Martin received dual B.S. degrees (summa cum laude) in physics and electrical engineering from the University of Maryland, College Park, in 1999 and the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering from Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, in 2001 and 2004, respectively. Since August 2004, he has been with the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT), Dayton, OH, where he is an Associate Professor. He is the author of 35 journal papers and 64 conference papers, and he holds five patents. His research interests include radio tomographic imaging; navigation and source localization; cognitive radio; laser radar; and engineering education. Dr. Martin has been elected Electrical and Computer Engineering Instructor of the Quarter three times and HKN Instructor of the Year twice by the AFIT students. He is currently serving as a Senior Area Editor for IEEE Signal Processing Letters and has served as a Guest Editor for The IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Signal Processing and an Associate Editor for IEEE Signal Processing Letters.

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Maggie Varga Southwestern Ohio Council for Higher Education

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Maggie Varga, Chief Operating Officer, Southwestern Ohio Council for Higher Education (SOCHE)

Maggie Varga is the COO for the Southwestern Ohio Council for Higher Education (SOCHE). In this capacity, Maggie leads the SOCHEIntern Program, which employs nearly 300 students annually in cooperation with local government and small businesses, as well as the Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT) and Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. The program provides high impact experiential learning opportunities for students while generating economic benefit and enhancing community sustainability. Her work improves the efficiency of programs that support member institutions and increase the success of more than 120,000 students in southwest Ohio. Maggie has also provided guidance and leadership in the creation and evolution of regional initiatives such as the Dayton Water Roundtable, Ohio’s Great Corridor Association, and the University of Dayton Rivers Institute.

Prior to her position at SOCHE, Maggie worked for the Fitz Center for Leadership in Community at the University of Dayton.

Maggie has a Master of Business Administration and a Bachelor of Science in Economics and Finance from the University of Dayton and was a member of the first cohort of the University’s Rivers Steward Program.

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Sean Joseph Creighton SOCHE

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Sean Joseph Creighton, Ph.D., is the President of SOCHE, a regional coalition of colleges and universities dedicated to educating, employing, and engaging citizens. SOCHE coordinates programs for over 20 diverse members of higher learning with an annual economic impact of $3.3 billion, serving over 155,000 student and more than 36,000 employees. SOCHE received the Dayton Business Journal’s Non-Profit Business of the Year Award in 2012 and Innovation Index Award in 2015.

Sean is serving his third term as an elected member of the Board of Education for the Yellow Springs Public Schools, where he has been president, co-chaired the 2020 Strategic Plan, and served as the district’s legislative liaison. He also serves on advisory committees and boards for several local and national organizations, including the Dayton Literary Peace Prize, Learn to Earn, International Leadership Association, Springfield Museum of Art, TEDxDayton, ThinkTV Public Broadcasting, and Wright-Patterson Air Force Base Community Partner Leadership Council.

Sean has published and presented extensively on higher education, collaboration, civic engagement, and talent retention. He is also a principle investigator for the Kettering Foundation on several research projects concerning the civic mission of higher education. A higher education advocate and voice for collaboration, he posts regularly at creightoncollaborative.com. Sean holds degrees from Marist College and New York University, and earned his PhD from Antioch University. He lives in the charming village of Yellow Springs with his wife, Leslee, and his five fun children, Liam, Maya, Quinn, Audrey, and Juliette.

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Jeremy Paul Stringer Air Force Institute of Technology

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Dr. Stringer received his BSEE from USAFA in 1998, MSEE from AFIT in 2000, and Ph.D. from AFIT in 2013. He is currently an Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering at AFIT and specializes in RADAR and adaptive Beamforming

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Abstract

This work presents a thematic analysis of student benefits and student outcomes that are achieved in a summer undergraduate research program following the implementation of the Council of Undergraduate Research Characteristics of Excellence in Undergraduate Research (COEUR) principles in a campus-community partnership. Our partnership between the Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT) and Southwestern Ohio Council for Higher Education (SOCHE) engages principles described in COEUR to enrich undergraduate student research experiences in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) fields in the AFIT Summer Research Program. AFIT is located on Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, and SOCHE is located off-campus in Dayton, Ohio.

Since 2012, SOCHE and AFIT, a graduate school in engineering and applied science devoted to defense-focused research-based education, are partnering to transform student research experiences so that students can succeed in the 21st century STEM workforce. Students in the Summer Research Program are selected by AFIT Faculty Advisors to perform research in 12-week internships. Students are referred to as SOCHE interns because SOCHE is the government contractor and employer of the 40-50 students who participate annually. As the students’ employer, SOCHE is able to assess the experiences of the students.

The two research questions we ask are, “How do students describe the benefits of their research experiences, and how do these descriptions change during our transformation of the research experiences each year?” and the second question is “How do faculty describe the benefits of the research experiences for the students, and how do these descriptions change each year?” We employ applied thematic analysis of student surveys to develop answers to these research questions. Applied thematic analysis provides an inductive approach to analyze the qualitative data in a method that is systematic and rigorous [Ohland and McNeil 2015; Guest 2012].

In this partnership, SOCHE collects free-form student responses obtained in in-depth student pre-surveys and in-depth student post-surveys in 2012 (48 students), 2013 (43 students), 2014 (49 students), and 2015 (34 students). AFIT collects free-form faculty responses in annual faculty advisor surveys.

Our study is identifying themes in the student responses regarding their self-identified benefits and outcomes, and themes in the faculty responses regarding the benefits and outcomes of the students. Our approach is to categorize the benefits according to the rubric of Seymour et al. (2003), namely: (i) Personal/professional; (2) Thinking and working like a scientist; (3) Skills; (4) Clarification, confirmation, and refinement of career/education goals; (5) Enhanced career/graduate school preparation; (6) Changes in attitudes toward learning and working as a researcher; (7) Other benefits, including a good summer job and access to lab equipment.

In 2015, SOCHE introduced five new initiatives. These initiatives address the two student concerns provided in 2014 student post-surveys regarding housing and computer access. First, SOCHE created a “Student Village” for out-of-town and out-of-state student by partnering with Wright State University (WSU). In this village, a negotiated fixed rate for three months was offered to students for a furnished apartment with all utilities included.. In 2015, 14 of the 34 interns took advantage of this opportunity. Second, SOCHE established a full-day presence on-site AFIT each week. In 2015, SOCHE was available each Wednesday from 9am until 5pm. Third, SOCHE worked with AFIT to obtain “Smart ID” cards for students. In addition, SOCHE personalized a formal meet-and-greet with each student on the student’s first day and student’s last day of the internship. On the student’s first day, the student is welcomed, shown to the work location, given an individual tour of AFIT, and introduced to their Faculty Advisor; on the last day, the SOCHE Director meets with each student to thank them for their participation. In 2015, SOCHE also reached out to all student interns from the time they are hired until they return to their home schools. This personal outreach includes personalization of transportation arrangements for out-of-town and out-of-state students as well as a phone number to call with any questions and concerns.

In conclusion, we are excited to have the opportunity to transform the student research experiences in the AFIT Summer Research Program. We are encouraged by student responses to initiatives that we are introducing each year. Since 2012, the initiatives include a joint orientation with SOCHE and AFIT (2013), creation of student cohorts (2013), weekly seminar meeting with outside presentations of general interest (2013), poster session (2013), and weekly drop-in sessions offered by SOCHE at AFIT (2014). In 2016, the village concept introduced by SOCHE is planned, and SOCHE will be on-site at AFIT for two or more days per week. Working together, we are excited to continue to transform the student research experiences.

Langley, D., & Cahill, D. L., & Lanzerotti, M. Y., & Martin, R., & Varga, M., & Creighton, S. J., & Stringer, J. P. (2016, June), Engaging COEUR Principles to Achieve Higher Impact in Student Learning through a Campus-Community Partnership with the Air Force Institute of Technology Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.26963

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: © 2016 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