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Revising the Dissertation Institute: Contextual Factors Relevant to Transferability

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Conference

2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Tampa, Florida

Publication Date

June 15, 2019

Start Date

June 15, 2019

End Date

June 19, 2019

Conference Session

Graduate Student Writing and Communication

Tagged Division

Graduate Studies

Tagged Topic

Diversity

Page Count

12

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/33247

Download Count

18

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Paper Authors

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Juan M. Cruz Virginia Tech

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Juan M. Cruz is an assistant professor of Electronic Engineering at Universidad Javeriana in Colombia and a Ph.D. candidate of Engineering Education at Virginia Tech. He has a B.S. in Electronic Engineering and a Masters in Education from Universidad Javeriana in Colombia, His research interests include using system thinking to understand how instructional change occurs, faculty development process, and faculty and students motivation.

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Mayra S. Artiles Virginia Tech Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0001-7604-0410

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Mayra S. Artiles is a Ph.D. candidate in Engineering Education at Virginia Tech. Mayra is currently a research assistant for the NSF funded program the Dissertation Institute where she studies the motivation of underrepresented minorities in doctoral engineering programs. As part of her long-term goals, Mayra desires to continue researching graduate education practices in student support. Her current research focuses on understanding the advisor selection processes practiced in STEM and the role of department and faculty in facilitating doctoral student success. Mayra also conducts research on underrepresented populations in doctoral engineering programs for which she was recognized and inducted to the Edward Bouchet Graduate Honor Society. Her work on education has been published in the International Journal of Doctoral Studies and the American Society for Engineering Education, as well as presented in national and international conferences. Mayra holds a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez and a master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Purdue University with a focus on nanotechnology. Prior to her current position, she worked at Ford Motor Company as an Electrified Vehicles Thermal Engineer.

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Holly M. Matusovich Virginia Tech

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Dr. Holly M. Matusovich is an Associate Professor in the Department of Engineering Education. She is current the Assistant Department Head for Undergraduate Programs and the former Assistant Department Head for Graduate Programs in Virginia Tech’s Department of Engineering Education. Dr. Matusovich is recognized for her research and practice related to graduate student mentoring. She won the Hokie Supervisor Spotlight Award in 2014, was nominated for a Graduate Advising Award in 2015, and won the 2018 Graduate Student Mentor Award for the College of Engineering. Dr. Matusovich has graduated 10 doctoral students since starting her research program in Spring 2009. Dr. Matusovich co-hosts the Dissertation Institute, a one-week workshop each summer funded by NSF, to help underrepresented students develop the skills and writing habits to complete doctorate degrees in engineering. Across all of her research avenues, Dr. Matusovich has been a PI/Co-PI on 12 funded research projects including the NSF CAREER Award with her share of funding be ingnearly $2.3 million. She has co-authored 2 book chapters, 21 journal publications and more than 70 conference papers. She has won several Virginia Tech awards including a Dean’s Award for Outstanding New Faculty, an Outstanding Teacher Award and a Faculty Fellow Award. She holds a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Cornell University, an M.S. in Materials Science from the University of Connecticut and a Ph.D. in Engineering Education from Purdue University.

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Gwen Lee-Thomas Quality Measures LLC Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0001-9063-2770

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Dr. Gwen Lee-Thomas is the CEO of Quality Measures, LLC, a Virginia-based consulting firm specializing in program and project evaluation, team-building, and capacity building in evaluation. With 20 years of experience in project evaluation and implementation of educational activities for over $100M in federal and state funded projects, Gwen consistently works collaboratively with her clients to maximize evaluation outcomes.

As an external evaluator, Gwen has conducted over 80 evaluations in various areas with an emphasis in STEM-H related curriculum experiences at various colleges and universities across the U.S. Gwen’s work with NSF, USDOE, DOE, DOD, HRSA, and DOJ helps provide the evaluative needs and expectations of federally funded grants with regard to accountability and compliance. In addition, she has served as a panel reviewer for NSF proposals for S-STEM and other EHR programs, GAANN, SIP, and EOC with the USDOE, and is currently a Peer Reviewer for the NCA Higher Learning Commission.

As an administrator, Gwen has served Director of Assessment for 6 years and Executive Assistant to the President for one year at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology. She has also served as Assistant to the President and Provost for Special Projects at a Old Dominion University. Her experience as a Commissioner on the Indiana Commission for Higher Education has allowed her to embrace a broader perspective of the nuances of higher education and business & industry. In addition, Gwen has served as the board chair for the Indiana Minority Health Coalition—a grassroots legislated non-profit organization that promoted advocacy and education across the state with 19 local coalitions. As a full-time tenure track assistant professor and an adjunct faculty, Gwen has helped Master and PhD students understand and navigate the subtleties of organizational culture to negotiate their professional success.

Gwen received her bachelor’s degree from Southeastern Louisiana University in 1984, her Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Instruction in 1996, and a PhD in Education Administration in 1999 from Indiana State University.

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Stephanie G. Adams Old Dominion University

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Dr. Stephanie G. Adams is the Dean of Engineering and Technology at Old Dominion University. She was previously department head and professor of Engineering Education at Virginia Tech; Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies in the School of Engineering at Virginia Commonwealth University; and a faculty member and administrator at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL). Her research interests include: Teamwork, International Collaborations, Faculty Development, Quality Control/Management and Broadening Participation. She is an honor graduate of North Carolina A&T State University, where she earned her BS in Mechanical Engineering, in 1988. In 1991 she was awarded the Master of Engineering degree in Systems Engineering from the University of Virginia. She received her Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Engineering from Texas A&M University in 1998. She is the recipient of numerous awards and honors, including the National Science Foundation's most prestigious, Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) award. She is a Fellow of the American Society of Engineering Education, holds membership in a number of organizations and presently serves on the National Advisory Board of the National Society of Black Engineers.

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Abstract

Data show that underrepresented minority (URM) engineering students have lower rates of completion and higher rates of attrition in their doctoral studies than their majority peers. To address attrition and support students, we have developed a research-based intervention that we call the Dissertation Institute (DI). As part of a five-year NSF-funded project, we have developed and refined the DI as a one-week intensive writing and workshop experience for URM in the final phases of their engineering doctoral degrees. We have hosted two DIs to date (2017 and 2018) and we are preparing for our third DI in 2019. The goal of the DI is to offer practical and timely experiences for URM doctoral students to contribute to their degree success. At the same time, we have been researching the motivational factors that promote or detract from degree progress. This analysis looks across the data we have collected and analyzed to date to describe how the DI has evolved over time and in research-informed ways. This approach is in alignment with the final project research question: What are the critical contextual differences between the annual DIs that are important to consider with regard to the transferability of DI for future sustainability? We believe that other institutions, programs, and advisors can use our findings in developing local workshops as our research broadly indicates that the first two offerings of the DI have positively impacted students’ motivation to finish their dissertation. In critically examining the DI itself and documenting the changes over time, we find that: 1) lack of writing is a symptom of other challenges in pursuing the doctoral degree, and 2) a balance of writing time and professional development is needed to support students. Although heavily grounded in research data (e.g., comparative analysis of quantitative and qualitative data gathered in each of the prior Dis), herein we describe the evolving design of the DI and lessons learned to date.

Cruz, J. M., & Artiles , M. S., & Matusovich, H. M., & Lee-Thomas, G., & Adams, S. G. (2019, June), Revising the Dissertation Institute: Contextual Factors Relevant to Transferability Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. https://peer.asee.org/33247

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