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Engineering Undergraduates Involved in Geoscience Research: Exploring Gender and Minority Status Differences

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2019 Fall Mid Atlantic States Conference


New York, New York

Publication Date

November 1, 2019

Start Date

November 1, 2019

End Date

November 30, 2019

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Janet Liou-Mark New York City College of Technology

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Dr. Janet Liou-Mark is a Professor of Mathematics at New York City College of Technology. She is also a Co-Principle Investigator on three National Science Foundation (NSF) grants: Math Science Partnership (MSP) grant, Research Experience for Undergraduate (REU) grant, and Improving Undergraduate STEM Education (IUSE): Pathways into Geoscience grant and a Co- Principle Investigator on a Department of Education Minority Science and Engineering Improvement Program (MSEIP) grant. Dr. Liou-Mark has organized several STEM-related conferences and national conference sessions on diversifying the STEM workforce. She continues to speak at conferences and conduct workshops on best practices for underrepresented minorities in STEM. Dr. Liou-Mark is selected as the 2017-2018 Scholar on Campus. She was awarded the 2017 Best of New York Award for her contributions to City Tech. Her research interest in the implementation of the Peer-Led Team Learning (PLTL) instructional model in mathematics has won her the 2011 CUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Mathematics Instruction and the Mathematical Association of America Metro New York Section 2014 Award for Distinguished Teaching of Mathematics. She is the director of the Peer-Led Team Learning Leadership Program at City Tech, and she has trained over 175 underrepresented minority students majoring in a STEM discipline to be effective Peer Leaders. Moreover, Dr. Liou-Mark has personally mentored over 200 STEM students where a third are continuing or obtaining advanced STEM degrees. She organizes and speaks at women conferences in Malawi, Africa, and she is also building libraries for the schools and communities in the Malawian villages.

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Reina Li

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Reggie Blake

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Undergraduate research is a notable best practice for keeping engineering students on pathways that lead to Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) careers. The benefits STEM students (particularly females and underrepresented minorities) have obtained from undergraduate research experiences are well documented. The New York City College of Technology in partnership with the City College of New York have been offering a year-long research program to students who attend an institution within the City University of New York system. Since the geosciences are inherently interdisciplinary, engineers will play a pivotal role in advancing environmental solutions. Research experiences in the geosciences may, therefore, help to prepare engineering majors to think more deeply about the health and the sustainability of the environment. Outcomes from this program highlight its tremendous benefits in advancing and equipping engineering students with state-of-the-art geoscience knowledge and experience. For the nine-week summer research component of the program, participants were asked to self-report their expectations, perceptions about research, self-efficacy in research skills and processes, and their desire to pursue graduate school and research careers before and after the summer program. Data were collected via pre- and post-surveys. A total of 49 students participated in the undergraduate research program from 2014 to 2018. Descriptive statistics and paired-sample t-tests were used to analyze the responses. The results showed that by the end of the summer research experience, students reported significant learning gains in their research confidence, experience, and overall exposure to the geosciences.

Liou-Mark, J., & Li, R., & Blake, R. (2019, November), Engineering Undergraduates Involved in Geoscience Research: Exploring Gender and Minority Status Differences Paper presented at 2019 Fall Mid Atlantic States Conference, New York, New York.

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