Asee peer logo

Mentoring of Underrepresented Minority Scholars in the Reinvigorating Engineering and Changing History (REACH) Program and AGEP Program: Development of Interactive Learning Modules

Download Paper |


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

Mentoring Graduate Students - Diversity and Assessment

Tagged Divisions

Minorities in Engineering and Graduate Studies

Page Count


Page Numbers

25.931.1 - 25.931.7



Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


Jiabin Zhu Purdue University, West Lafayette

visit author page

Jiabin Zhu is a Ph.D. student in the School of Engineering Education at Purdue University. She obtained a B.S. in physics from East China Normal University, a M.S. in optics from Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), and a second M.S. in biomedical engineering from Purdue University. Her primary research interests relate to comparative study methods and frameworks in engineering education, global engineering, professional development, and mentoring of engineering graduate students. She is a student member of American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE).

visit author page

author page

Monica Farmer Cox Purdue University, West Lafayette


Demetra Evangelou Purdue University, West Lafayette

visit author page

Demetra Evangelou, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor in the School of Engineering Education at Purdue University. She obtained her B.A. in psychology from Northeastern Illinois University, and a M.Ed. and Ph.D. in education from University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. She is a member of Sigma Xi Science Honor Society. Evangelou was awarded an NSF CAREER grant in 2009 and a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) in 2011. Evangelou’s current research focuses on engineering thinking, developmental factors in engineering pedagogy, technological literacy, and human-artifact interactions.

visit author page


Cyndi Lynch Purdue University, West Lafayette

visit author page

Cyndi Lynch is the Director of Fellowships and Graduate Student Professional Development for the Graduate School. Lynch is a registered veterinary technician, focusing on animal behavior. She holds a bachelor's degree in animal science and a master's of science degree in curriculum and instruction from Purdue University. Lynch administers the fellowship program for the university, counseling students on fellowship applications and fostering positive experiences for fellows. In addition to the fellowship responsibilities, Lynch directs the Graduate Student Professional Development program and instructs Purdue’s Preparing Future Faculty course and the Preparing Future Professionals course, designed to facilitate graduate students transition into faculty positions and non-academic positions respectively. Lynch’s research focuses on doctoral student engagement and assessment of doctoral student learning outcomes in identified best practices, including mentoring, developing effective writing strategies, orientations and transition courses, and doctoral student professional development.

visit author page

Download Paper |


Underrepresented Minority Graduate Student Mentoring: Development of Interactive Learning ModulesGeared towards serving underrepresented minority students who are pursuing Master’s or Ph.D.sin engineering, the Reinvigorating Engineering and Changing History (REACH) Scholars andthe Midwest Crossroads Alliance for Graduate Education and the Professoriate (AGEP) programfocus on enhancing the recruitment, retention and enrichment of URM minority graduatestudents in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Housed within a College ofEngineering and the Graduate School at a Midwest University, respectively, the REACHScholars and AGEP programs provide URM students with opportunities to connect closely withpeers and faculty members, to form a scholarly community of students and faculty acrossdisciplines, to obtain key attributes and skill sets that are critical to academic success, and toexplore multiple pathways to careers in STEM.To allow our students from both REACH and AGEP programs to be prepared broadly formultiple career options, our research team developed a series of interactive learning modules thatexpose graduate students to a variety of topics that are critical to students’ preparation for futurecareers. Initial interactive learning modules focus on (1) being a mentor and being mentored, (2)leadership and management, and (3) issues of diversity.The development of each learningmodule is guided by supportive teaching and learning strategies in STEM education, includingthe How People Learn framework by Bransford, Brown and Cocking (1999), “Backward DesignApproach” by Wiggins and McTighe (1998) and other best practices in teaching and learning.Each learning module includes five consecutive components: (1) context set up, (2) warming up,(3) an experienctial exercise, (4) processing, and (5) closure. Within each module, students willbe introduced to key topics; will be encouraged to share values and attitudes towards these topics;will be exposed to theories, frameworks, or current best practices that are informed from researchin these key areas; and will be encouraged to discuss additional concerns about these topics andtheir implementation.This paper provides an overview of these interactive learning modules andshowcases sample interactive learning modules that are being piloted among the REACH andAGEP scholars in the programs along with corresponding assessments.Bransford, J.D., Brown, A.L., & Cocking, R.R. (2000). How people learn: Brain, mind,experience, and school. Washington, DC: National Academy Press.Wiggins, G., & McTighe, J. (2005). Understanding by design. (Expanded 2nd Edition.)Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

Zhu, J., & Cox, M. F., & Evangelou, D., & Lynch, C. (2012, June), Mentoring of Underrepresented Minority Scholars in the Reinvigorating Engineering and Changing History (REACH) Program and AGEP Program: Development of Interactive Learning Modules Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--21688

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2012 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015