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Exploring the Mentoring Needs of Engineering Postdoctoral Scholars of Color: Is Systematic Change Required in the Postdoctoral Training Environment? (Research)

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Conference

2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access

Location

Virtual Conference

Publication Date

July 26, 2021

Start Date

July 26, 2021

End Date

July 19, 2022

Conference Session

Minorities in Engineering Division Technical Session 4

Tagged Division

Minorities in Engineering

Tagged Topic

Diversity

Page Count

17

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/37154

Download Count

13

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Paper Authors

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Sylvia L. Mendez University of Colorado at Colorado Springs

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Dr. Sylvia Mendez is a Professor and Chair of the Department of Leadership, Research, and Foundations at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs. She earned a PhD in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from the University of Kansas, a MS in Student Affairs in Higher Education from Colorado State University, and a BA in Economics from Washington State University. Dr. Mendez's research centers on effective faculty mentoring practices, broadening participation in higher education, and the educational attainment and schooling experiences of Mexican descent youth in the mid-20th century.

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Sarah Elizabeth Cooksey University of Colorado Colorado Springs

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Sarah Cooksey is a Ph.D. graduate from the University of Colorado Colorado Springs. She currently works at UCCS as a Research Assistant and Lecturer in the department of Leadership, Research, and Foundations and on a grant with the National Science Foundation trying to understand the career decision making process of underrepresented minorities in STEM fields. Sarah is a special education teacher in the state of Colorado, whose specific research interests lie in the educational experiences of marginalized populations, special education best practices, and education in prison reform.

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Kathryn Elizabeth Starkey University of Colorado at Colorado Springs

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Ms. Starkey is currently a third year doctoral student in Leadership, Research, & Policy at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs. In addition to her doctoral studies, she is currently employed at the Adult Learning Lead Specialist at Colorado State University Pueblo. Her research interests include state education policy, adult learning, and policy analysis and evaluation, which allows her to pursue these interests both in her studies and in employment.

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Valerie Martin Conley University of Colorado at Colorado Springs

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Valerie Martin Conley is dean of the College of Education and professor of Leadership, Research, and Foundations at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs. She previously served as director of the Center for Higher Education, professor, and department chair at Ohio University. She was the PI for the NSF funded research project: Academic Career Success in Science and Engineering-Related Fields for Female Faculty at Public Two-Year Institutions. She is co-author of The Faculty Factor: Reassessing the American Academy in a Turbulent Era.

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Clayton J. Clark II Florida A&M University

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Dr. Clayton J. Clark II is a Professor in Civil and Environmental Engineering at Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University (FAMU) in the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering, and a licensed Professional Engineer. His research specialties include water quality, water resources, remediation of contaminated soil and water, environmental sustainability, hydrology, hazardous waste management, and STEM education. Dr. Clark has been blessed to have the opportunity to edit three books, produce nearly forty peer-reviewed publications, in addition to over fifty presentation to national and international audiences. He has also served as a reviewer for numerous technical journals and a panel reviewer for the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Education, and the Environmental Protection Agency numerous times. Dr. Clark’s research interests include combining chemical and environmental engineering techniques for hazardous waste handling and disposal; research and treatment of various environmental contaminants; overall environmental and water resources sustainability; and STEM Education. He has previously served as Director for the Title III Minority Graduate Fellowship Program and the STEM-Public Policy Program at FAMU. He presently serves as the Director for the Program of Excellence in STEM (PE-STEM) and the Civil Engineering Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need (GAANN) Program at FAMU. He has also served as faculty advisor for Engineers without Borders and the National Society for Black Engineers for the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering, and received his M.A. in Biblical Studies in 2019. He and his wife Kimberline of 21 years are the parents of 3 sons and 2 daughters.

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Natalie Yolanda Arnett FAMU-FSU College of Engineering

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C. Fred Higgs III Rice University

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I am the John and Ann Doerr Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Rice University, where I am also the Faculty Director of the Rice Center for Engineering Leadership (RCEL) and the founding-director of the Particle Flow & Tribology Lab.
Outside of Rice's School of Engineering, I am also its Vice Provost of Academic Affairs.

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Illya V. Hicks Rice University

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Illya V. Hicks was born and raised in Waco, TX. He received a BS in mathematics (1995) from Southwest Texas State University (currently Texas State University at San Marcos). He also received an MA and PhD in Computational and Applied Mathematics (2000) from Rice University. Illya served as faculty member in the Industrial and Systems Engineering Department at Texas A&M University (2000-2006) and is currently a professor in the Computational and Applied Mathematics Department at Rice University. He has also served as the faculty advisor to the president of Rice University (2016-2019).
In terms of research, his interests are in combinatorial optimization, graph theory, and integer programming with applications in big data, imaging, social networks, and logistics. Illya is the recipient of the 2005 Optimization Prize for Young Researchers from the Optimization Society of INFORMS and the 2010 Forum Moving Spirit Award from INFORMS for his work with the Minority Issues Forum of INFORMS. Illya was also recently named an INFORMS Fellow.

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Comas Lamar Haynes Georgia Tech Research Institute

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Comas Lamar Haynes is a Principal Research Engineer / faculty member of the Georgia Tech Research Institute and Joint Faculty Appointee at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. His research includes modeling steady state and transient behavior of advanced energy systems, inclusive of their thermal management, and the characterization and optimization of novel cycles. He has advised graduate and undergraduate research assistants and has received multi-agency funding for energy systems analysis and development. Sponsor examples include the National Science Foundation, Department of Energy and NASA. Dr. Haynes also develops fuel cells and alternative energy systems curricula for public and college courses and experimental laboratories. Additionally, he is the co-developer of the outreach initiative, Educators Leading Energy Conservation and Training Researchers of Diverse Ethnicities (ELECTRoDE). He received his Bachelor of Science degree from Florida A&M University and his graduate degrees (culminating in a Ph.D.) from Georgia Tech; and all of the degrees are in the discipline of Mechanical Engineering.

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Tammy Michelle McCoy Georgia Institute of Technology Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0001-7452-8447

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Tammy M. McCoy is the TA Development and Future Faculty Specialist for the Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) at the Georgia Institute of Technology. In this capacity, she works closely with graduate students and postdoctoral scholars interested in pursuing careers in college teaching through teaching assistant (TA) training and support, academic career development programs, and training and certification in college teaching. Specifically, she teaches courses and facilitates workshops to support future faculty development; assists in the implementation of the orientation program for new TAs and the support of departments offering TA training courses; contributes to the Tech to Teaching certificate program for graduate students and postdoctoral scholars; provides individual consultation and teaching evaluation to graduate students and postdoctoral scholars seeking to enhance expertise in the classroom; and assists with the campus-wide awards program that recognizes excellence in teaching within the TA community at Georgia Tech. Tammy earned her Ph.D. and completed a postdoc in materials science and engineering at Georgia Tech. She also earned a M.S. in materials engineering from Auburn University and a B.S. in mechanical engineering from Mississippi State University. Prior to beginning her current position, Tammy taught science at a local high school, was an instructor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at Spelman College, and an adjunct instructor in the Department of Mathematics, Computer Science, and Engineering at Georgia Perimeter College.

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Molly Stuhlsatz BSCS Science Learning

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Abstract

This phenomenological study (Moustakas, 1994) explores the mentoring needs of 11 engineering postdoctoral scholars of color with an adaptation of the ideal mentoring model (Zambrana et al., 2015) used as the conceptual framework. A critical theory lens (Morrow & Brown, 1994) is applied to Moustakas’ (1994) four-stage process of phenomenological data analysis to examine the interview data: epoché, horizontalization, imaginative variation, and synthesis. The essence of the phenomenon is engineering postdoctoral scholars of color have primary and secondary mentoring needs pertaining to their immediate career acquisition of a tenure-track faculty position. Primary mentoring needs include expanding professional networks for the tenure-track faculty job search and receiving guidance on work-life balance and enhancing technical skills. Secondary needs consist of refining research directions and research expertise promotion, as well as acquiring political guidance on matters of race/ethnicity in academia. These findings reveal the importance of higher education institutions and postdoctoral supervisors assuming greater responsibility for ensuring postdoctoral scholars receive the mentorship and career support they desire, which may require a systematic change in the postdoctoral training environment.

Mendez, S. L., & Cooksey, S. E., & Starkey, K. E., & Conley, V. M., & Clark, C. J., & Arnett, N. Y., & Higgs, C. F., & Hicks, I. V., & Haynes, C. L., & McCoy, T. M., & Stuhlsatz, M. (2021, July), Exploring the Mentoring Needs of Engineering Postdoctoral Scholars of Color: Is Systematic Change Required in the Postdoctoral Training Environment? (Research) Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. https://peer.asee.org/37154

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