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Student Preferences in Mentoring Practices and Program Features in an S-STEM Scholarship/Mentoring Program

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2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 23, 2018

Start Date

June 23, 2018

End Date

July 27, 2018

Conference Session

Mentoring Practices and Project Teams

Tagged Division

Educational Research and Methods

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Paper Authors


Suzette R. Burckhard South Dakota State University

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Dr. Burckhard earned a BS in Engineering Physics, a BS in Civil Engineering, (both from South Dakota State University) an MS in Physics. an MS in Chemical Engineering, and a PhD in Civil Engineering with emphasis in Environmental Engineering, from Kansas State University. She has been on staff at South Dakota State University since 1997 in the Civil and Environmental Engineering department where she is a professor and program coordinator for the BSCE, MSCE and PhDCE. Dr. Burckhard is a member of ASCE, ASEE, ASMR, and several other professional societies. She is a certified distance education specialist and also practices and studies active learning techniques in engineering classrooms as well as the impact of climate on hydrology, water resources and related infrastructure.

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Joanita M. Kant South Dakota State University

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Dr. Joanita Kant is a Research Scientist in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering in the Jerome J. Lohr College of Engineering at South Dakota State University (SDSU). She holds graduate degrees from SDSU in geography and biological sciences with plant science specialization (M.S. and Ph.D., respectively). She has conducted research into heavy metals concentrations in plants and soils on Pine Ridge Reservation and ethnographic research on Rosebud Reservation. That reservation research is part of an ongoing National Science Foundation (NSF)-sponsored Pre-Engineering Education Collaborative led by Oglala Lakota College (a tribal college) in cooperation with South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, and SDSU. She has recently served as a principal investigator for a South Dakota Space Grant Consortium project designed to create interest in STEM education and careers among high school girls at Flandreau Indian School. She has publications in peer-reviewed regional conference proceedings and international journals and has recently co-edited a book about bringing engineering to Native Hawaiians and Native Americans published by SDSU. She has served as an NSF reviewer. Interests include increasing research opportunities for undergraduate students in STEM education, particularly among first generation college students, and, recently, promoting research into environmentally friendly bio-based construction materials.

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Francis Arpan

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Ross Peder Abraham South Dakota State University


Gregory J. Michna South Dakota State University

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Gregory Michna is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at South Dakota State University. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2006, held positions as a Lecturer at Iowa State University and as a Post-Doctoral Research Associate at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and joined the faculty at SDSU in 2009. He teaches courses in thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, heat transfer, and energy systems. His main research interests lie in the areas of thermal management of electronics and two-phase heat transfer.

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Mentoring of college students by faculty has been generally understood to create benefits for mentees as well as mentors. How to improve mentoring relationships and activities has not been sufficiently investigated from the perspective of college student recipients. The literature describes some results and lessons learned from scholarships linked to mentoring programs such as the National Science Foundation’s (NSF’s) S-STEM. In this article, student survey results are reported for S-STEM scholarship/mentoring programs in the College of Engineering from 2014-2017. Through analyzing the surveys of student recipients of faculty mentored scholarships, themes emerged about student preferences in faculty mentoring practices when linked to scholarships. Consensus and non-consensus student preferences are presented, as well as discourse about the value of retaining or removing unpopular features of the program or delivering those features in ways that students prefer. Scholarship recipients ranked the following as the most beneficial aspects of the program: gaining financial assistance, receiving faculty mentoring, becoming involved in campus clubs and organizations, and making industry contacts.

Burckhard, S. R., & Kant, J. M., & Arpan, F., & Abraham, R. P., & Michna, G. J. (2018, June), Student Preferences in Mentoring Practices and Program Features in an S-STEM Scholarship/Mentoring Program Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--31015

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2018 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015