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Enhancing Graduate Education by Fully Integrating Research and Professional Skill Development within a Diverse, Inclusive, and Supportive Academy

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Conference

2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access

Location

Virtual On line

Publication Date

June 22, 2020

Start Date

June 22, 2020

End Date

June 26, 2021

Conference Session

NSF Grantees: Student Development

Tagged Topics

Diversity and NSF Grantees Poster Session

Page Count

11

DOI

10.18260/1-2--34569

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/34569

Download Count

162

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Paper Authors

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Eduardo Santillan-Jimenez University of Kentucky

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Dr. Eduardo Santillan-Jimenez is co-PI and project coordinator of a National Science Foundation Research Traineeship (NRT) program designed to enhance graduate education by fully integrating research and professional skill development within a diverse, inclusive and supportive academy. Originally from Mexico, Dr. Santillan-Jimenez joined the University of Kentucky (UK) first as an undergraduate research intern and then as a graduate student performing his doctoral research at the UK Center for Applied Energy Research (CAER) and at the University of Alicante (Spain). After obtaining his Ph.D. in 2008, he worked as a postdoctoral fellow at Utrecht University (The Netherlands) prior to returning to UK, where he now holds the positions of Program Manager at CAER and Adjunct Assistant Professor at the Department of Chemistry. His current research focuses on the application of heterogeneous catalysis to the production of renewable fuels and chemicals, with emphasis on the upgrading of algae and waste oils to drop-in hydrocarbon fuels. His synergistic activities include participating in a number of K-20 educational initiatives designed to increase and broaden participation in STEM fields.

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Qing Duan University of Cincinnati

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Qing Duan, Ph.D., M.S., currently serves as a Research Associate at the University of Cincinnati Evaluation Services Center. She joined the Center in 2017. Dr. Duan has a Ph.D. degree in Bioinformatics and a Master’s Degree in Statistics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her study focused on the interplay between genetic and environmental factors on the development of chronic diseases, as well as method development and improvement to promote genetic epidemiology studies. Her academic training focused on quantitative research method and statistical computing and have extensive experiences working with method evaluation, quantitative data collection, data management, and analysis from descriptive statistics to advanced statistical modeling. Her work at the University of Cincinnati Evaluation Services Center consists of evaluation and research. She has been leading evaluation projects with respect to instrument development, data collection, data analysis, and results dissemination. She has broad interests in projects in public health and education domain.

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Jacinda K. Dariotis University of Cincinnati

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Jacinda K. Dariotis, PhD, MAS, MA, MS, is the Professor in the Research Methods sub-unit of the School of Education and Director of the Evaluation Services Center (ESC) in the College of Education, Criminal Justice, and Human Services (CECH), and Director of the Institute for Interdisciplinary Data Science at the University of Cincinnati (UC). She received her doctorate and masters in Human Development and Family Studies and masters in Statistics from Penn State University and a masters concentrating in Developmental Psychology from Columbia University. After serving as faculty for nearly a decade in the department of Population, Family, and Reproductive Health at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health (where she currently holds an adjunct faculty position), she joined UC and began directing the Evaluation Services Center in early 2015. As Director of Research in CECH from 2016-2019, Dr. Dariotis supported the research needs of faculty, student, and staff including consulting on proposals, identifying appropriate funding mechanisms, and organizing a research methods consulting service available during the academic year. In fall of 2017, she was appointed Director of the Institute for Interdisciplinary Data Science, a new institute committed to developing a culture and community of data analytic experts who collaborate on projects to address real-world issues.

Dr. Dariotis is a basic, applied, and transdisciplinary scholar who integrates methods and content from numerous disciplines. Her areas of specialization include research and evaluation methods, survey research, biosocial methodologies, prevention and translational science, public health, adolescent and young adult risk-taking decision-making and behaviors, stress reactivity, and mindfulness-based programs. She adopts a collaborative approach to research and evaluation projects; collectively, she and her colleagues have received funding from local, state, and federal agencies. She has authored or co-authored over 50 articles published in top-tired journals, over 100 scholarly presentations, and over 200 technical and evaluation reports. Dr. Dariotis is committed to quality research and evaluation to promote the health and well-being of individuals, families, and society as well as capacity building to equip and empower community and academic partners with meaningful and high quality data and sustainable tools to make informed decisions about current and future programming needs.

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Mark Crocker University Kentucky

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Mark Crocker received BSc. and Ph.D. degrees in chemistry from the University of Bristol in the U.K., and spent two years as a NATO postdoctoral researcher at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Thereafter he spent 15 years working in industry for first Shell Research and then Degussa’s automotive catalyst division. In 2003 he moved to the University of Kentucky (UK) where he is currently a Professor in the Department of Chemistry and an Associate Director of the Center for Applied Energy Research. At UK he leads a research group focusing on biofuels and environmental catalysis.

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Abstract

Graduate training often takes a monodisciplinary approach that is not informed by best practices, ignores the needs and preferences of students, and overlooks the increasingly interdisciplinary and international nature of research. This is unfortunate, particularly since graduate education that is fully integrated with interdisciplinary research can help students become part of a trained and diverse workforce equipped to meet society’s many challenges. Against this backdrop, a National Science Foundation Research Traineeship (NRT) program is being established at the University of Kentucky leveraging the most effective instruments for the training of STEM professionals, such as network-based graduate student mentoring and career preparation encompassing both technical and professional skillsets. Briefly, the training graduate students will receive – in a way that is fully integrated with the research they perform – includes: 1) tools such as individual development plans and developmental network maps; 2) a multi-departmental and interdisciplinary course on research-related content; 3) a seminar course on transferrable skills (ethics, research, communication, teaching, mentoring, entrepreneurship, teamwork, management, leadership, outreach, etc.); 4) a certificate to be awarded once students complete the two courses above and garner additional credits from an interdisciplinary curriculum of research-related courses; 5) summer internships at other departments and at external institutions (other universities, industry, national laboratories) nationwide or abroad; 6) an annual research-related symposium including all elements of a scientific conference; 7) internal collaborative research grants for participants to fund and pursue their own ideas; 8) fields trips to facilities related to the research; and 9) coaching on job hunting as well as résumé, motivation letter and interview preparation. Since a workforce equipped to meet society’s challenges must be both well trained and diverse, multiple initiatives will ensure that this NRT will broaden participation in STEM. Recruitment-wise, close collaboration with a number of entities will provide this NRT with a broad recruitment pool of talented and diverse students. Moreover, collaboration with these entities will provide trainees with ample opportunities to acquire, practice and refine their professional skills, as trainees present their results and recruit in conferences, meetings and outreach events organized by these entities, become members and/or join their leadership, and expand their professional and mentoring network in the process. In addition, minority trainees will be surveyed periodically to probe their feelings of well-being, preparation, acceptance, belonging and distress, as well as their perception of how well structured their departments and programs are. According to recent literature, these factors determine whether or not they perform (i.e., publish) at rates comparable to their male majority peers. Saliently, the evaluation of the educational model employed will afford a comprehensive understanding not only of the academy components that were more utilized and impactful, but will reveal the individual mentoring and skill-building facets of the program driving its successful implementation. The evaluation plan includes outcomes, performance measures, an evaluation timetable, benchmarks and a description of how formative evaluation will improve practice, the evaluation process also extending to research activities.

Santillan-Jimenez, E., & Duan, Q., & Dariotis, J. K., & Crocker, M. (2020, June), Enhancing Graduate Education by Fully Integrating Research and Professional Skill Development within a Diverse, Inclusive, and Supportive Academy Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--34569

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