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Graduate Student Peer Mentoring: A Means for Creating an Engineering Education Research Community

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2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


San Antonio, Texas

Publication Date

June 10, 2012

Start Date

June 10, 2012

End Date

June 13, 2012



Conference Session

Research and Graduate Studies

Tagged Division

Graduate Studies

Page Count


Page Numbers

25.677.1 - 25.677.8



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Paper Authors


Brook Sattler University of Washington

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Brook Sattler is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Human Centered Design & Engineering at the University of Washington. Her dissertation focuses on mechanisms for supporting engineering student development, specifically self-authorship.

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Adam R. Carberry Arizona State University Orcid 16x16

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Adam R. Carberry is an Assistant Professor in the College of Technology and Innovation, Department of Engineering, at Arizona State University. He earned a B.S. in materials science engineering from Alfred University, and received his M.S. and Ph.D., both from Tufts University, in chemistry and engineering education, respectively. His research interests include student conceptions, engineering epistemological beliefs, self-efficacy, and service-learning.

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Lauren D. Thomas Virginia Tech

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GEECS Peer Mentoring: A Means for Creating an Engineering Education Research CommunityEngineering education research (EER) is in a pivotal time as a developing field. For example, theJournal of Engineering Education has grown into a premier scholarly journal that encourageshighly empirically-based research. Many institutions around the world are now offering research-based graduate degrees in engineering education, which has increased the need for facultytrained to conduct rigorous EER. These rapid changes appear to be just the beginning of majortransformations of the field, especially in regards to where graduate students are being trained.While many students are now being educated in departments of engineering education (e.g.,Purdue and Virginia Tech), most emerging engineering education researchers are or have beentrained in other engineering disciplines or in the liberal arts (e.g., education, psychology, or childdevelopment). These emerging researchers often learn in isolation from other EER graduatestudents. This isolation has become one of the major driving forces for the creation of theGraduate Engineering Education Consortium for Students (GEECS). The purpose of GEECS isto provide a community for graduate students, especially those dispersed throughout the nation.The GEECS mission is: GEECS brings together emerging researchers in engineering education to create a supportive network. Our mission is to enhance each other’s scholarly, professional and personal development through collaboration, encouragement, knowledge sharing, and critical and reflective analysis as we contribute to the engineering education discipline.To fulfill the GEECS mission, there exists an opportunity to personally and professionallysupport one another through such things as peer mentoring. Peer mentoring is small workinggroups of EER graduate students who connect monthly via conference calls. These long distancemeetings afford students the opportunity to engage in setting goals, monitoring each other’sprogress, and giving/receiving feedback. Students encourage each other to set both high andspecific goals related to a work-life balance (i.e., research, service, teaching, and personal goals).In addition to goal setting and monitoring, students provide one another with feedback on currentwork. In this paper, we discuss the progress of two peer mentoring groups through an in-depthcase study analysis. These two cases are based on the authors’ experiences in both developingand contributing to the peer mentoring groups. In this paper, we describe how GEECS peermentoring works and its purpose to grow a community of EER scholars.

Sattler, B., & Carberry, A. R., & Thomas, L. D. (2012, June), Graduate Student Peer Mentoring: A Means for Creating an Engineering Education Research Community Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--21434

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