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Research Engineer Network: A Network Analysis of Graduate Student Relationships

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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

17

Permanent URL

https://strategy.asee.org/37666

Download Count

20

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Paper Authors

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Chrysafis Vogiatzis University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0003-0787-9380

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Dr. Chrysafis Vogiatzis is a teaching assistant professor for the Department of Industrial and Enterprise Systems Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Prior to that, Dr. Vogiatzis was an assistant professor at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University. His current research interests lie in network optimization and combinatorial optimization, along with their vast applications in modern socio-technical and biological systems. He is serving as the faculty advisor of the Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineers, and was awarded the 2019 Faculty Advisor award for the North-Central region of IISE.

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Stephanie Marie Teixeira-Poit North Carolina A&T State University

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Stephanie M. Teixeira-Poit, PhD, Assistant Professor of Sociology at North Carolina A&T State University, leads large-scale, mixed-methods projects that seek to address disparities through complex intervention implementation and evaluation. Dr. Teixeira-Poit has three primary research streams. First, she implements and evaluates interventions to address workforce shortages and improve the capacity of the workforce. Second, she leads health services studies that examine the impact of developing systems of care and transforming practices on health care access and utilization, delivery and quality of care, and health outcomes. Third, she assesses the effect of social determinants of health on access to care and patient outcomes. She evaluates the effectiveness of interventions designed to attenuate the effect of social determinants on patient outcomes. She has 15 years of experience leading research teams; designing and implementing research and evaluation; developing protocols for surveys, interviews, and focus groups; collecting and analyzing qualitative data, and programming advanced statistical analyses of quantitative data using Stata. She has served as principal investigator or task leader on research studies funded by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), National Cancer Institute (NCI), National Multiple Sclerosis Society (NMSS), and National Science Foundation. Before joining the University, Dr. Teixeira-Poit worked as a researcher for 7 years at RTI International and 5 years at the Center for Urban Affairs and Community Services.

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Tobin N. Walton North Carolina A&T State University

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My research is focused on developing interdisciplinary theoretical frameworks and methodological designs capable of modeling the social and psychological drivers of behavior, decision-making, and information processing across multiple domains (e.g., STEM
education, food security, the environment).

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Grace Gowdy North Carolina A&T State University

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Dr. Gowdy is an Assistant Professor at North Carolina A&T’s Department of Social Work & Sociology. Dr. Gowdy currently works on multiple studies examining how formal and informal mentoring relationships can support educational outcomes for historically-underrepresented students.

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Bala Ram P.E. North Carolina A&T State University

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Dr. Bala Ram serves as a Professor in Industrial Systems Engineering and the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs for the College of Engineering at NC A&T State University. As a faculty member, he played a significant role in the implementation of a PhD in Industrial & Systems Engineering. Dr. Ram served as the PI for a cross-disciplinary Research Experience for Undergraduates site sponsored by NSF. He is currently the PI for an NSF project on Innovation in Graduate Education. Dr. Ram is an evaluator for the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET.

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Abstract

The Graduate Research Identity Development program (GRID) is an initiative in the College of Engineering at North Carolina A&T State University, sponsored by the National Science Foundation since 2019. The program offers seminar-type lectures supplemented with activities designed to help graduate students develop critical skills for research-based careers. The program is focused on graduate engineering students but is open to graduate students from all programs. Students also choose mentors from within and outside the university with the goal of increasing their sense of belonging to the field and their identities as research engineers. As part of this program, a pilot study is in progress, aimed at performing a full-scale network analysis of student interactions. A web-based survey was administered to collect information about students in and outside the College of Engineering who participate in the GRID program sessions. The survey was designed to collect information on the relationship networks (or lack thereof) that students are involved in as they matriculate through their graduate program. It assesses things such as how and where the students interact with one another, members of faculty and staff, and with contacts from intramural and extramural organizations. Several items are also used to assess students’ perceptions of themselves as research engineers. In this paper, we focus on the interactions of students in the classroom. More specifically, we form networks based on the student answers about the classes they have taken in different departments. We then analyze the resultant networks and contrast certain graph theoretic properties to students’ scores on the research engineer identity items. Do students that are in the periphery, or students that have more connections attain higher research engineer identity scores? Do students that form complete subnetworks (cliques) or core-periphery structures (induced stars) have higher scores than others? This paper presents the findings from this pilot study from the network analysis on this cohort of students. In summary, we find that students with high eigenvector centrality scores and those who form larger cliques possess significantly higher research engineer identity scores.

Vogiatzis, C., & Teixeira-Poit, S. M., & Walton, T. N., & Gowdy, G., & Ram, B. (2021, July), Research Engineer Network: A Network Analysis of Graduate Student Relationships Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. https://strategy.asee.org/37666

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