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Inspiring Academic Engagement and Motivation of Minority College Students through Transformative Success Stories on Social Media (Work-in-Progress)

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2022 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Minneapolis, MN

Publication Date

August 23, 2022

Start Date

June 26, 2022

End Date

June 29, 2022

Conference Session

Minorities in Engineering Division Poster Session

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Paper Authors


Victor Garcia

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Victor Garcia holds a PhD in Civil Engineering from The University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP). Victor is currently a research civil engineer at the US Army – Engineer Research and Development Center in Vicksburg, MS. He leads research projects sponsored by the US Department of Defense that focus on improving the design and construction practices for military transportation installations. Victor has been also collaborating with UTEP faculty on education programs such as the Yes She Can, STEM Fuerte, and H-AGEP programs, which are sponsored by the US Department of Education and National Science Foundation to improve the quality of education for minoritized students.

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Diane Golding University of Texas at El Paso

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Diane Elisa Golding is an educator, scholar, and mentor who is dedicated to student success. Her areas of interests include educator professional development; educator integration of technology; supporting minoritized student in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM); and student and peer mentorship. She is the Director of the University of Texas El Paso (UTEP) Yes, SHE Can Program, a Department of Education funded program designed to engage, motivate and support minoritized students, especially women in engineering. Her work continues in the realm of improved STEM education as she leads the Department of Education, STEMSHINE initiative. Diane Elisa is a 2022 recipient of the Academy of Distinguished Teachers Award for her outstanding contributions to teaching and learning at UTEP.

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Suzanne Atiya University of Texas at El Paso

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Karla Ayala Mendoza

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This Work-in-Progress paper presents an alternative approach to use social media not only to engage students but also to motivate them academically by showcasing success stories of graduating senior students. The U.S. Department of Education sponsored the Yes She Can program at The University of Texas at El Paso to contribute to the education of women students in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) disciplines. The use of social media became a key component of the Yes She Can program, especially during the COVID 19 pandemic. The Yes She Can program has published four types of social media posts, namely: 1) Quote of the week, 2) Announcements of events and opportunities, 3) Stories of famous people, and 4) Student success stories. While the content of the first three social media posts is self-explained, the ‘student success stories’ posts were generated from information provided by senior students through an online survey, specifically graduating women students. By showcasing ‘student success stories’ posts during the spring of 2021, our social media disseminated information of 14 internships, 20 scholarships, 23 conferences, 34 student organizations, 16 research programs, and 27 community service opportunities that are available at our university. From this study, the ‘student success stories’ posts were identified as a promising strategy to not only increase students’ engagement but to inspire and motivate younger students to succeed academically in STEM education.

Garcia, V., & Golding, D., & Atiya, S., & Ayala Mendoza, K. (2022, August), Inspiring Academic Engagement and Motivation of Minority College Students through Transformative Success Stories on Social Media (Work-in-Progress) Paper presented at 2022 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Minneapolis, MN.

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