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Engineering Students Perspective on Mentoring and Leadership

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2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Atlanta, Georgia

Publication Date

June 23, 2013

Start Date

June 23, 2013

End Date

June 26, 2013



Conference Session

Engineering Leadership Development Division Technical Session

Tagged Division

Engineering Leadership Development Division

Page Count


Page Numbers

23.520.1 - 23.520.12



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Paper Authors


Diana Bairaktarova Purdue University, West Lafayette

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Diana Bairaktarova is a doctoral candidate in the School of Engineering Education at Purdue University. She holds B.S. and M.S. degrees in Mechanical Engineering from Technical University at Sofia, Bulgaria and an M.B.A. from Hamline School of Business at St. Paul, Minnesota. Bairaktarova has over a decade of experience working as a design engineer. Her research is focused on human learning and engineering (i.e. understanding how individual differences and aptitudes affect interaction with mechanical objects in engineering education instruction), and how engineering students’ personality traits influence ethical decision making process in engineering design.

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Monica Farmer Cox Purdue University, West Lafayette

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Dr. Monica F. Cox is an associate professor in the School of Engineering Education at Purdue University and is the inaugural director of the Engineering Leadership Minor. She obtained a B.S. in Mathematics from Spelman College, a M.S. in Industrial Engineering from the University of Alabama, and a Ph.D. in Leadership and Policy Studies from Peabody College of Vanderbilt University. Teaching interests relate to the professional development of graduate engineering students and to leadership, policy, and change in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education. Primary research projects explore the preparation of engineering doctoral students for careers in academia and industry and the development of engineering education assessment tools. She is a National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career (CAREER) award winner and is a recipient of a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE).

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Glen DePalma Purdue University

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Glen DePalma is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Statistics at Purdue University.

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Pouneh Eftekhari

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Engineering Students Perspective on Mentoring and Leadership Instruction, Mentorship and Leadership is an elective course in the engineeringcurriculum designed to provide upper class engineering students with the training andinformation they will need to provide mentorship to incoming first-year engineering students,enabling them to successfully transition to XXX University and to the College of Engineering.The goal of the course is to enable the upper class engineering students (peer mentor) to:facilitate first-year engineering students' successful achievement of XXX course goals; developand apply effective teaching techniques to prepare, conduct, and evaluate a class; and developand apply professional leadership skills in eight mentoring roles. The training sessions and classperiods are designed to enable the peer mentors to achieve the course goals. In order to improve instruction in engineering education a study was conducted to learnabout students’ perception on mentoring and leadership before and after taking the course. Thestudy investigates if there is a relationship between students’ beliefs of their mentoring andleadership skills, the evaluation of these skills from their peers, and the course assessment. A pre- and post survey was designed with 15 questions asking students to self assess theirskills and experiences including their confidence on mentoring incoming first-year engineeringstudents; developing and applying leadership skills in mentoring roles; comfortability withmentoring international students and engaging individuals from diverse backgrounds. Along withthe peer mentor’s self-evaluation, peer mentors are also asked to submit mid-term evaluationsaddressing their strengths and weaknesses as a peer mentors and what they might do to improveon their weaknesses. Peer mentors are asked to write these evaluations as a summary of theirincoming first-year student’s responses to mid-term evaluation questions. Open-ended questionswill ask students to assess their peer mentors teaching or mentoring performance. Preliminary results show that there is a discrepancy between peer mentor’s selfassessment on mentoring, leadership skills and teaching performances and their students’evaluation of peer mentors strengths and weaknesses. In addition, the majority of the peermentors state low comfort levels with regards to mentoring individuals from diversebackgrounds and addressing behavioral issues in class. Correlations are also identified in regardsto gender, mentoring experience, and students’ beliefs of the concept of leadership.

Bairaktarova, D., & Cox, M. F., & DePalma, G., & Eftekhari, P. (2013, June), Engineering Students Perspective on Mentoring and Leadership Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. 10.18260/1-2--19534

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