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Reflections of S-STEM Faculty Mentors

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2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 23, 2018

Start Date

June 23, 2018

End Date

July 27, 2018

Conference Session

Mentoring Practices and Project Teams

Tagged Division

Educational Research and Methods

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Paper Authors


Suzette R. Burckhard P.E. South Dakota State University

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Dr. Burckhard earned a BS in Engineering Physics, a BS in Civil Engineering, (both from South Dakota State University) an MS in Physics. an MS in Chemical Engineering, and a PhD in Civil Engineering with emphasis in Environmental Engineering, from Kansas State University. She has been on staff at South Dakota State University since 1997 in the Civil and Environmental Engineering department where she is a professor and program coordinator for the BSCE, MSCE and PhDCE. Dr. Burckhard is a member of ASCE, ASEE, ASMR, and several other professional societies. She is a certified distance education specialist and also practices and studies active learning techniques in engineering classrooms as well as the impact of climate on hydrology, water resources and related infrastructure.

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Joanita M. Kant South Dakota State University

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Dr. Joanita Kant is a Research Scientist in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering in the Jerome J. Lohr College of Engineering at South Dakota State University (SDSU). She holds graduate degrees from SDSU in geography and biological sciences with plant science specialization (M.S. and Ph.D., respectively). She has conducted research into heavy metals concentrations in plants and soils on Pine Ridge Reservation and ethnographic research on Rosebud Reservation. That reservation research is part of an ongoing National Science Foundation (NSF)-sponsored Pre-Engineering Education Collaborative led by Oglala Lakota College (a tribal college) in cooperation with South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, and SDSU. She has recently served as a principal investigator for a South Dakota Space Grant Consortium project designed to create interest in STEM education and careers among high school girls at Flandreau Indian School. She has publications in peer-reviewed regional conference proceedings and international journals and has recently co-edited a book about bringing engineering to Native Hawaiians and Native Americans published by SDSU. She has served as an NSF reviewer. Interests include increasing research opportunities for undergraduate students in STEM education, particularly among first generation college students, and, recently, promoting research into environmentally friendly bio-based construction materials.

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Gregory J. Michna South Dakota State University

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Gregory Michna is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at South Dakota State University. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2006, held positions as a Lecturer at Iowa State University and as a Post-Doctoral Research Associate at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and joined the faculty at SDSU in 2009. He teaches courses in thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, heat transfer, and energy systems. His main research interests lie in the areas of thermal management of electronics and two-phase heat transfer.

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Ross Peder Abraham South Dakota State University

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Richard Reid P.E. South Dakota State University

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Across college campuses it has long been held that, aside from teaching and research, student mentoring is one of the primary duties of faculty. For 15 non-consecutive years from 2002 through 2018, South Dakota State University (SDSU) was awarded grants from the National Science Foundation for undergraduate scholarship/mentoring programs known as Computer Science, Engineering, and Mathematics Scholarships (CSEMS), or Scholarships for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (S-STEM). The literature includes some descriptions, reviews, and assessment recommendations for CSEMS and S-STEM programs, but there is a gap in reporting reflections of faculty mentors after participation. The situational perspective of this research is interpretivism, where findings were interpreted and the results may or may not be generalizable to other contexts. Through this approach, the research question was tested: In the opinion of CSEMS and S-STEM faculty mentors, what were the benefits, if any, of the program on participating students, faculty mentors, the Colleges involved, as well as SDSU as an institution? This is a mixed methods case study, where 15 of 43 former CSEMS and S-STEM faculty mentors who served in those programs at any time from 2002 to 2017 at SDSU, completed a short-answer survey providing basic descriptive data about themselves and their activities in the programs. Of most importance, however, they wrote essays in response to a series of questions designed to prompt reflections on their experiences within the programs. From the essays, consensus themes were extracted that may be useful to better understand and potentially improve scholarship/mentoring programs.

Burckhard, S. R., & Kant, J. M., & Michna, G. J., & Abraham, R. P., & Reid, R. (2018, June), Reflections of S-STEM Faculty Mentors Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--30925

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