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Reflections on Teaching and Mentoring

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2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 14, 2015

Start Date

June 14, 2015

End Date

June 17, 2015





Conference Session

Teaching & Learning in Graduate Programs

Tagged Division

Graduate Studies

Tagged Topic


Page Count


Page Numbers

26.1326.1 - 26.1326.12



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Paper Authors


Diane L Peters Kettering University

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Dr. Diane Peters, P.E. is an assistant professor of mechanical engineering at Kettering University.

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Reflections on Teaching and MentoringGraduate students at various universities may have the opportunity to participate in a variety ofoutreach activities, including activities where they are teaching or mentoring others. Theseexperiences are generally considered to be beneficial for both the graduate student who isparticipating in the activity and the population that is being taught or mentored. As they assistothers, the graduate student has the opportunity to develop his or her skills as a teacher and amentor, which are critical skills for someone who wishes to pursue an academic career.Several years ago, the author of this paper participated in a university-sponsored outreachactivity as a graduate student, in which he/she spent several hours each week for an entireacademic year at a local high school serving a community with a large population ofunderrepresented minorities. In this program, graduate students partnered with high schoolteachers, and were a regular presence in one or more of their classes. In the course of theprogram, they were to assist the teacher with science-related and engineering-related activities,assist small groups of students who were having difficulties in the class, and serve as role modelsto the high school students. As part of this program, each graduate student was encouraged tostart a blog, and to regularly post updates to their own blog or to a group blog.In this paper, the author will use the techniques of auto-ethnography to analyze the content ofhis/her blog, in order to determine what meaning these experiences had in his/her developmentas a teacher and a mentor. This analysis will be influenced by the passage of time and by laterexperiences, since the author has since graduated, worked as an adjunct faculty member and inan industrial position, and subsequently began a tenure-track faculty position. It is anticipatedthat this passage of time will enable some of the long-term effects of these experiences tobecome evident. The results of this analysis will be of interest to graduate students who have theopportunity to participate in similar outreach programs, as they can consciously work to gain theinsights that will help them in later stages of their careers, and to those designing such programs,as they will be able to use this information to explain the value of similar programs to all of thoseinvolved in them.

Peters, D. L. (2015, June), Reflections on Teaching and Mentoring Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.24663

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