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Enhancing Research Pipelines for Underserved Students through a Lower-Division Research Experience at a Minority-Serving Institution (Experience)

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Conference

2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Tampa, Florida

Publication Date

June 15, 2019

Start Date

June 15, 2019

End Date

June 19, 2019

Conference Session

Minorities in Engineering Division Technical Session 2

Tagged Division

Minorities in Engineering

Tagged Topic

Diversity

Page Count

18

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/32748

Download Count

3

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Paper Authors

biography

Melissa Danforth California State University, Bakersfield

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Melissa Danforth is a Professor and the Chair of the Department of Computer and Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at California State University, Bakersfield (CSUB). Dr. Danforth was the PI for a NSF Federal Cyber Service grant (NSF-DUE1241636) to create models for information assurance education and outreach. Dr. Danforth was the Project Director for a U.S. Department of Education grant (P031S100081) to create engineering pathways for students in the CSUB service area. She is currently the co-PI for an NSF IUSE grant for STEM retention (NSF-DUE 1430398) and the co-PD for multiple U.S. Department of Education grants related to engineering education and outreach. Her research interests are focused on network and system security, particularly with respects to protecting mission-critical resources and services. She is also conducting research in applying biological concepts to cybersecurity, such as artificial immune systems.

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Charles Lam California State University, Bakersfield

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Dr. Charles C.Y. Lam is a Professor in the Department of Mathematics. Dr. Lam received his Ph.D. in Combinatorics and Optimization from the University of Waterloo. His research areas are in cryptography, digital watermarking, and combinatorics. He is the PI for the NSF IUSE grant (NSF-DUE 1430398) for STEM retention, and the co-PI for the NSF Federal Cyber Service grant (NSF-DUE 1241636) to create models for information assurance education and outreach. He is also the Project Director for Department of Education HSI-STEM Award P031C160080 (A Guided Pathway Solution to STEM Degree Completion), and two MSEIP awards. He has mentored various undergraduate student researchers as a faculty mentor for the LSAMP and McNair Scholars Program. He has extensive experience in curriculum assessment, undergraduate curriculum development, and student mentoring.

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biography

Ronald Hughes California State University, Bakersfield

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ACADEMIC RESPONSIBILITIES:
(2017-Present) Associate Professor for the STEM Affinity Group, School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, California State University, Bakersfield. Duties included teaching responsibilities in Undergraduate Biology. Additional duties included grant writing, management, and evaluation.

RESEARCH INTERESTS:
Include teaching and learning cognition skills, informal learning environments and strategies, and science/technology curriculum design/implementation/evaluation.

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Stephanie Salomon California State University, Bakersfield

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Abstract

As part of a U.S. Department of Education Minority Science and Engineering Improvement Program (MSEIP) grant, University X began a summer research experience for lower-division STEM students in 2015. University X is both a Hispanic Serving Institution and a Minority Serving Institution. One of the goals of the MSEIP grant was to provide research opportunities for lower-division students to promote interest in STEM research and careers. Many programs exist nationally to provide research opportunities for upper-division students, but there is a gap in available programs at the lower-division level. Groups of up to ten lower-division students worked with a faculty member and an upper-division student peer mentor on a research topic chosen by the faculty member for four weeks. Each summer had at least four different research topics to choose from and students could indicate a preference for specific topics on their application. Students selected for the four-week research experience were expected to complete the appropriate first-year curriculum for their major before participation in the program. Stipends were provided to the student participants, the upper-division student peer mentor, and the faculty members. In total, 103 students participated in the summer experience from 2015 to 2018. While this was a STEM grant, nearly 60% of the participants majored in engineering or computer science. About 54% of the participants were Hispanic, which matches the demographics of University X. Overall, 65% of the participants were underrepresented minority students and about 37% were female. Surveys were administered to the participants about their attitudes towards STEM careers and research and their interest in their field of study. In a previous work-in-progress report for the first two years of the research experience, we noted that the majority of respondents indicated an increase in interest in STEM research and careers and an increase interest in their field of study as a result of their participation in the summer program. We also noted a high retention rate, above 90%, for the first two years of participants. These trends continued across the entire cohort. Since a goal of the MSEIP grant was to encourage upper-division research through this lower-division research experience, we surveyed faculty members who led the summer experiences in 2015 through 2017 to see how many of their MSEIP students went on to conduct upper-division research. We are also surveying the MSEIP participants directly to get additional self-reported data on upper-division research with other faculty members at University X or at other institutions. For the faculty survey, faculty members for 33 of the participants responded. Of that group, 14 of their MSEIP students went on to conduct research at the upper-division level with the faculty member, including publications at local or national conferences. All of the faculty respondents indicated that the MSEIP experience was a great recruitment tool for their upper-division research projects and that their MSEIP students were very successful at upper-division research.

Danforth, M., & Lam, C., & Hughes, R., & Salomon, S. (2019, June), Enhancing Research Pipelines for Underserved Students through a Lower-Division Research Experience at a Minority-Serving Institution (Experience) Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. https://peer.asee.org/32748

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