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Reflections on Realizing the Promise of the NSF S-STEM Program

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Conference

2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access

Location

Virtual Conference

Publication Date

July 26, 2021

Start Date

July 26, 2021

End Date

July 19, 2022

Conference Session

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Tagged Topic

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Page Count

8

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/37652

Download Count

24

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Paper Authors

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Mark F. Roll P.E. University of Idaho Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0003-4701-1922

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Dr. Mark F. Roll is an Associate Professor in Materials Science & Engineering focused on organic and hybrid functional materials in high-value and thin-film applications. He completed his Ph.D. in Macromolecular Science & Engineering at the University of Michigan in 2010, where he gained extensive experience in hybrid organo-silicate chemistry. Prior to his current position at UI he served as National Research Council Post-Doctoral Fellow at the National Institute of Standards and Technology in the Polymers Division, studying polymers in microelectronics applications. His research projects at the University of Idaho center on thin-films based on hybrid materials, including silicates, polyoxometalates, and diamondoid polymers with funding from sources including the National Science Foundation, the Office of Naval Research, the Semiconductor Research Corporation, and the Donors of the American Chemical Society Petroleum Research Fund.

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Brian K. Johnson P.E. University of Idaho Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0002-0747-2794

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Brian K. Johnson received his Ph.D. in electrical engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1992. Currently, he is a Distinguished Professor and Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories Endowed Chair in Power Engineering in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Idaho (Moscow, Idaho). His interests include power systems applications of power electronics, power systems protection and relaying, resilient operation of power systems, applied superconductivity, and power systems transients. Dr. Johnson is a registered professional engineer in the state of Idaho.

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Michael R. Maughan University of Idaho

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Michael R. Maughan is an Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Idaho. He holds B.S. and M.S. degrees in mechanical engineering, and a Ph.D in Materials Engineering from Purdue University. Michael has worked in industry for both Fortune-50 and startup companies as a mechanical designer and engineering manager, and holds five patents. He is a registered professional engineer in the state of Idaho. His research spans the fields of mechanical and materials engineering, studying the microscale properties, behavior, failure, and manufacture of materials and mechanical systems.

His work has been published in peer-reviewed mechanical engineering and materials journals including Journal of Materials Research, International Journal of Plasticity, Materials Research Letters, and the ASME Journal of Electronic Packaging, among others. He recently was selected to receive the Estus H. and Vashti L. Magoon Award for excellence in graduate teaching at Purdue University.

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Michael Lowry University of Idaho

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Dr. Michael Lowry is an associate professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Idaho and conducts research for the National Institute for Advanced Transportation Technology. His research focuses on engineering and planning for bicycle travel. Dr. Lowry serves on the US National Academy of Science Committee for Bicycle Transportation Research. He was awarded the College of Engineering Outstanding Young Faculty award for excellence in teaching and research. He has worked as a visiting scholar in Spain, Norway, and the United Kingdom.

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Melinda A. Davis University of Idaho

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Dr. Davis has a unique combination of education and skills to provide research and evaluation services to STEM education programs. She holds a Ph.D. in Soil Microbiology and after spending over 20 years as a practicing science researcher she spent 12 years engaging in meaningful STEM education research and evaluation. As Director of STEM Education for University of Idaho (UI) since 2012, she developed the STEM Education Strategic Plan and was responsible for evaluating UI STEM education programs against stated objectives, providing feedback that helped bring the university programs into alignment with that strategy. She has served as Principal investigator, researcher, and evaluator on a number of federally funded programs, including NSF ITEST, NSF AISL, Department of Education Math Science Partnership, and NSF ATE programs. She participates in the STELAR PI and Evaluator summits sponsored by NSF and recently presented a novel approach for culturally relevant evaluation methods. She is an active member of the American Evaluation Association and specifically of the STEM Education and Training topical interest group. She provides university faculty with evaluation plans and support for privately and federally funded STEM grant proposals.

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Connor J. Hill University of Idaho

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Abstract

Our NSF S-STEM funded program has helped students with high financial need graduate with degrees in STEM fields by focusing on reducing the hours students needed for employment outside of school through scholarship support. Within this set of students, some were highly self-motivated, and the support from the scholarships allowed them to raise their grade point averages and, in some cases graduate sooner. For other students, engagement in the form of "intrusive advising" was particularly effective to help them achieve success. During the grant period, loss of grant staff led to a reevaluation of the program structure, leading to the incorporation of a graduate student as cohort facilitator and interface. Simultaneously, it was found that cohort students were extensively involved in multiple on-campus activities, including professional societies, limiting their ability and interest to take on additional program-specific activities and responsibilities.

While this program has been effective, it has identified key questions for future projects: 1. Within the constraints of the NSF S-STEM program, what is the appropriate balance of near-peer, graduate student, staff, and faculty advisors? 2. Is it reasonable for a NSF S-STEM program to operate independently of existing host University academic staffing and structures? 3. Given a desire for intra-cohort activities, are low cohort numbers spread across multiple disciplines problematic given the multiple external commitments expected of driven students? 4. If a S-STEM program is focused on a specific discipline, is it critical to have previously identified specific external funding entities to sustain the program's existence beyond the grant period?

While our NSF S-STEM program has succeeded in assisting STEM students with high financial need to graduate and obtain STEM employment; several questions have arisen for future efforts, and additional long-term support has not been forthcoming from within or without the investigator’s university. In particular, identifying stable staffing and coordination structures, some perhaps already present within our institution, and external funding avenues for long-term support are key challenges for future opportunities to sustain this valuable program.

Roll, M. F., & Johnson, B. K., & Maughan, M. R., & Lowry, M., & Davis, M. A., & Hill, C. J. (2021, July), Reflections on Realizing the Promise of the NSF S-STEM Program Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. https://peer.asee.org/37652

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