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Mentoring Approaches that Support Minoritized STEM Undergraduates: A Pilot Study (EBR)

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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 Technical Session 4

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Paper Authors


Sarah Bork University of Michigan

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Sarah Jane (SJ) Bork received her B.S. and M.S. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the Ohio State University in 2017, and her M.S. in Engineering Education Research from the University of Michigan in 2020. As a doctoral candidate in Engineering Education Research at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, SJ is studying the mental health experiences of engineering graduate students.

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Joi-lynn Mondisa University of Michigan

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Joi Mondisa, PhD, is an Assistant Professor in the Industrial & Operations Engineering Department and an Engineering Education Faculty Member at the University of Michigan. She earned her Ph.D. in Engineering Education and an M.S. degree in Industrial Engineering from Purdue University; an M.B.A. degree from Governors State University; and a B.S. degree in General Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Prior to her graduate studies, she worked as a professional in the areas of manufacturing, operations, technical sales, and publishing for ten years. She also served as an adjunct faculty in the Engineering Technology Program at Triton College in River Grove, IL for seven years.

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Nagash Clarke

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PhD student Engineering Education, University of Michigan

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This work presents the research methods and preliminary results from a pilot study that assesses mentoring approaches used to support racially minoritized students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. There is a national imperative to broaden participation of racially minoritized undergraduates in STEM fields as evidenced by reports and the recent calls for social justice and equity in these fields. In STEM, mentoring has been recognized as a mechanism that can help to support racially minoritized student populations (e.g., persons who identify as Black, Hispanic/Latinx, and American Indian/Alaskan Native). Yet for mentors in higher education, minimal examples exist that detail effective mentoring approaches, strategies, and competencies that support the persistence and success of minoritized mentees in STEM. In better understanding mentoring approaches, we can make visible how to better mentor these populations and help to employ more equitable mentoring participation. The research question guiding this study is: What approaches are used by mentors who help racially minoritized undergraduate mentees persist in STEM fields? Mentoring literature and two theoretical frameworks were leveraged to situate these mentoring experiences. Intersectionality theory is used to explore the role of compounding minoritized identities within the power contexts (i.e., structural, hegemonic, disciplinary, and interpersonal) of higher education. Community cultural wealth is also used as a lens to examine six forms of capital (i.e., family, social, navigational, aspirational, resistant, and linguistic) that may be used in mentoring practices with minoritized students. This paper will present the methods and findings from the pilot study, centering on the development of the team’s interview protocol. This work will provide insights about the piloting process of a larger study as well as initial emergent themes about the approaches and experiences of mentors who mentor minoritized undergraduate students in STEM.

Bork, S., & Mondisa, J., & Clarke, N. (2022, August), Mentoring Approaches that Support Minoritized STEM Undergraduates: A Pilot Study (EBR) Paper presented at 2022 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Minneapolis, MN.

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