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Summary of Outcomes from a Scientific Village Learning Community Implementation

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2021 Illinois-Indiana Regional Conference



Publication Date

April 16, 2021

Start Date

April 16, 2021

End Date

April 17, 2021

Conference Session

Diversity, Inclusion, and Access

Tagged Topics

Diversity and Diversity, Inclusion, and Access

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Samuel Darko

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Dr. Samuel Darko is an avid teacher who believes everybody can learn, so far as they approach it with discipline and dedication.

A trained engineer in the fields of chemical [Universidad de Oriente, Cuba] and environmental engineering [University of South Carolina, Columbia], Samuel is interested and focuses on Waste-to-Wealth Initiatives, where waste is reused or converted into usable resources through hydrothermal carbonization (HTC) of waste biomass, thus, creating a sustainable environment, and the remediation of contaminated systems via Advance Oxidation Processes such as photocatalysis.

His current research is on the conversion of waste biomass into nanocomposites for environmental and industrial applications.

Samuel has been with Benedict College since the Fall Semester of 2004 and teaches both Environmental Science and Engineering courses

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Associate Professor of Engineering at Benedict College, has been teaching undergraduate transportation, mathematics, statistics, and computer science courses at different levels. He has been involved in undergraduate research experiences programs since 2011.

He has been working on risk analyses and intelligent transportation systems through the development of applications of statistical models on different systems such as traffic signals and freeway monitoring. He is also engaged in the modeling and quantifying of cyberattacks at transportation networks under the framework of connected and autonomous vehicles. He is currently serving as associate director at the Tier 1 University Transportation Center for Connected Multimodal Mobility. Part of different NSF and DOT funded projects.

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This research focused on increasing retention rates and improving academic and career success in the STEM disciplines at an HBCU through a hands-on and mentorship-focused research program. We have utilized the “Scientific Village” model, where students interacted as peers assisting, encouraging, holding each other accountable, and interacted with faculty mentors. Incorporating hands-on research further stimulated and engaged students to enhance interest in STEM curriculum and careers. This was a voluntary, three-year, mixed-method, hands-on research program that tracked a cohort of 60 second-semester STEM students at Benedict College. We conducted a mixed-methods study to examine the impact of a learning community model (the Benedict College Scientific Village), fused with critical pedagogy and hands-on laboratory research, on the collegiate success and retention of minority students in the STEM disciplines.

Darko, S., & Comert, G. (2021, April), Summary of Outcomes from a Scientific Village Learning Community Implementation Paper presented at 2021 Illinois-Indiana Regional Conference, Virtual. 10.18260/1-2--38278

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