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Presence of Stereotype Vulnerability in Freshman STEM students at a Historically Black College

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2017 FYEE Conference


Daytona Beach, Florida

Publication Date

August 6, 2017

Start Date

August 6, 2017

End Date

August 8, 2017

Conference Session

WIP: Student Success & Development - Focus on Self-Efficacy

Tagged Topics

Diversity and FYEE Conference - Works in Progress Submission

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Paper Authors


Whitney Gaskins University of Cincinnati

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Dr. Gaskins joined the Engineering Education Department in 2015 as an assistant professor educator. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Cincinnati in 2008. Whitney earned her Masters of Business Administration in Quantitative Analysis from the University of Cincinnati, Lindner College of Business in 2010. She earned her Doctorate of Philosophy in Biomedical Engineering/Engineering Education also from the University of Cincinnati.
Whitney also works with the Emerging Ethnic Engineers (E3) Program. She teaches Calculus 1 during the Summer Bridge program and instructs Cooperative Calculus 1 during the school year.

Continuing with her commitment to community involvement, Whitney has previously served on the National Executive Board for the National Society of Black Engineers, a student-managed organization with more than 30,000 members. She served as the Planning Chairperson for the 2013 Annual Convention and is currently an advisor for the Great Lakes Region.

Dr. Gaskins the President of the Sigma Omega graduate chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. She is also a member of the Society of Women Engineers, the Women’s Alliance, the National Technical Association, The Biomedical Engineering Society and the National Alliance of Black School Educators amongst other activities. She is Deaconess at New Friendship Baptist Church. Whitney was recognized in the 2013 Edition of Who’s Who in Black Cincinnati.

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The first year of college encompasses one of the most challenging transitions a student may face during their college career and/or lifetime. For minority students in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM), the transitioning experience may yield many stressors that lead to diminished college experiences. In the first year, STEM students not only explore their sense of belonging within their fields of study but how they fit within their environment. The psychological effects of fitting into an environment unlike their usual, may expose and establish diminished sense of worth and self-efficacy (Aronson & Salinas, 2006). One of which, Stereotype Threat Vulnerability (STV), exposure to being perceived and/or treated as a stereotype, which self-fulfills as the stereotype, may diminish student’s academic abilities (Robertson & Chaney, 2015). This quantitative study examined the presence of STV at a Historically Black University of approximately 179 freshman STEM students. Demographics of the students in the study consisted of approximately 80% female and 20% male. Reported racial/ethnic background of participants were approximately 80% African American, 13% Asian American, 4% White, 4% Other, and 1% Hispanic/Latino. The findings indicated will be discussed.

Gaskins, W. (2017, August), Presence of Stereotype Vulnerability in Freshman STEM students at a Historically Black College Paper presented at 2017 FYEE Conference, Daytona Beach, Florida.

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