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Rise: Research Internships In Science And Engineering

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2003 Annual Conference


Nashville, Tennessee

Publication Date

June 22, 2003

Start Date

June 22, 2003

End Date

June 25, 2003



Conference Session

ASEE Multimedia Session

Page Count


Page Numbers

8.992.1 - 8.992.3



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Paper Authors

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Janet Schmidt

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 2003-560

Research Internships in Science and Engineering (RISE): Lessons from the First Year

Dr. Linda C. Schmidt, Dr. Janet A. Schmidt, Paige E. Smith and Kristen E. Vogt A. James Clark School of Engineering, University of Maryland


In science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields, the low presence of women at all levels has been well documented. Barriers contributing to the paucity of women have been identified as external, or contextually based1,2 (e.g., lack of female role models and the "shadow job" expectation for female faculty of mentoring students even though they receive little formal recognition or reward), and internal, or individually based 3,4,5 (e.g., low self-perceptions of ability by undergraduate women).

At the University of Maryland (UM), an innovative educational intervention has been developed to help overcome key barriers to the success of women in STEM. Research Internships in Science and Engineering (RISE) is designed to serve women in the higher-educational pipeline: incoming first year students, advanced undergraduates, graduate students, and female faculty members. The purpose of this paper is to describe RISE and identify how this program uniquely addresses key internal and external barriers faced by women in STEM fields. RISE is funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation, the Clark School of Engineering and the Office of the Provost at the University of Maryland.

Research Internships in Science and Engineering (RISE): Program Description

There are two key points in the career of undergraduate women where participation in a deliberately designed intervention can significantly impact success. The first is during the transition from high school to college (which tends to be the initial encounter with the predominantly male STEM environment). The second is during the latter half of their undergraduate education, when career options, including whether or not to pursue graduate education, are being considered. Taking into account these opportunity points, the RISE program consists of two different tracks: RISE – The First Year Summer Experience (Track One) for incoming first year students, and RISE – Summer Research Teams (Track Two) for more advanced undergraduates.

RISE – The First Year Summer Experience (Track One) is a two week residential orientation program for first year female students entering engineering, mathematics, computer science or physical science at UM. The focus of the orientation is to address issues of self-confidence and self-efficacy with regards to the incoming student’s ability to be successful during the first year in college. Based on previous research indicating that female students often enter STEM fields with fewer technical skills and less confidence than male students, Track One includes technical “Proceedings of the 2002 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2002, American Society for Engineering Education”

Schmidt, J. (2003, June), Rise: Research Internships In Science And Engineering Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee. 10.18260/1-2--12439

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