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The Role of Customized Mentoring in a Successful STEM Scholarship Program for Underrepresented Groups

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Conference

2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Columbus, Ohio

Publication Date

June 24, 2017

Start Date

June 24, 2017

End Date

June 28, 2017

Conference Session

Minorities in Engineering Division Technical Session 6

Tagged Division

Minorities in Engineering

Tagged Topic

Diversity

Page Count

14

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/29003

Download Count

91

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Paper Authors

biography

Aldo Morales Pennsylvania State University, Harrisburg

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Dr. Aldo Morales was born in Tacna, Peru. Dr. Morales earned his B.S. in Electronic Engineering, with distinction, from Northern University (now University of Tarapaca), Arica, Chile. He has an M.Sc. Ph.D. in electrical and computer engineering from University of Buffalo, The State University of New York at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY. Currently, he is a professor of electrical Engineering at Penn State Harrisburg. Dr. Morales was the PI for a 3-year Ben Franklin Technology Partners Grant that established the “Center of Excellence in Signal Integrity” at Penn State Harrisburg. He was a co-author for the Best Poster Paper Award at the IEEE International Conference on Consumer Electronics 2007, Las Vegas, Nevada, for the paper "Transmitter Pre-emphasis and Adaptive Receiver Equalization for Duobinary Signaling in Backplane Channels''. In addition, of Best Paper Award at the IEEE Asia Pacific Conference on Circuits and Systems 96, Seoul, Korea, for the paper "Basis Matrix Representation of Morphological Filters with N-Dimensional Structuring Elements''.

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biography

Sedig Salem Agili Pennsylvania State University, Harrisburg, The Capital College

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Sedig S. Agili received his BS, MS, and Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Marquette University in 1986, 1989, and 1996, respectively. Currently he is a Professor of Electrical Engineering teaching and conducting research in signal integrity of high-speed electrical interconnects, electronic communications, and fiber optic communications. He has authored numerous research articles which have been published in reputable peer refereed journals and conference proceedings. He is the Co-director for The Center of Excellence in Signal Integrity at Penn State Harrisburg. He was honored by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) with Best paper award at the IEEE International Conference on Consumer Electronics 2007, Las Vegas, Nevada, for the paper " Transmitter Pre-emphasis and Adaptive Receiver Equalization for Duobinary Signaling in Backplane Channels.'' He was also honored by DesignCon for 2013 Best Paper Award Finalist, for the paper “A Rapid Prototyping of FPGA - Based Duobinary Transmitter/Receiver for High Speed Electrical Backplane Transmission,” Santa Clara, CA, January 2013. He received the 2010 Technical Achievement Award from the Central Pennsylvania Engineers Week Council. He is a senior member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers and a full member of Sigma Xi.

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Sofia M Vidalis Pennsylvania State University, Harrisburg

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Sofia Vidalis is an Associate Professor and Associate Chair in the Department of Civil Engineering/Structural Design and Construction Engineering Technology at Penn State Harrisburg. She received her Ph.D., Masters, and Bachelors in Civil Engineering from the University of Florida. She has worked at Florida Design Consultants as a Transportation Engineer. She is an active national and local member of American Society of Civil Engineers.

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Linda M. Null Pennsylvania State University

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Linda Null received an M.S. and a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Iowa State University, an M.S. in Computer Science Education and an M.S. in Mathematics Education from Northwest Missouri State University, and a B.S. in Mathematics and English from Northwest Missouri State University. She is currently the Computer Science graduate program coordinator and associate program chair at Penn State Harrisburg, where she has been a member of the faculty since 1995. Her areas of interest include computer organization and architecture, operating systems, computer science education, and computer security.

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biography

Jennifer Leigh Sliko Pennsylvania State University, Harrisburg

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Jennifer Sliko is a Lecturer in Earth Sciences in the Civil Engineering Program at Penn State Harrisburg, where she teaches a variety of introductory-level geology classes. Her research focus includes geoscience education and using geochemical proxies in fossils for paleoenvironmental reconstructions. Jenn’s recent projects include developing new ways to teach about climate change issues in general education classes and linking environmental changes to evolutionary changes in various fossils. She received her B.S. in Geology and Marine Science in 2000 from Rider University and her Ph.D. in Geosciences from the University of South Florida in 2010.

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Abstract

In 2011, STEM faculty members at Penn State Harrisburg applied and were awarded an NSF grant in order to increase and retain under-represented, female, first-generation, and low-income STEM college students, due to demonstrated national and regional needs to augment these populations in higher education STEM programs. In a recent ASEE paper, the authors published the steps taken in implementing a university STEM scholarship program to attain the simultaneous goals of increasing STEM enrollment and increase diversity in the STEM fields. In particular, the authors evaluated the necessity of strong and broad-based (peers, faculty, industrial) mentoring. Initial results were encouraging with regards to STEM scholarship student retention.

Based on this initial work, the authors paired freshman STEM scholars with a peer mentor in the same or a similar major, in addition to pairing every STEM scholar with a faculty mentor. After conducting a brief mentor/mentee training session, the peer mentoring teams met on a monthly basis throughout the semester. The authors evaluated the effectiveness of the mentoring programs through a series of pre-, mid-, and post-year assessments. The authors used a combination of assessment tools from the NSF-approved Assessing Women and Men in Engineering and the Motivated Strategies for Learning Questionnaire. These tools are designed to identify longitudinal changes in the self-efficacy of undergraduate students studying engineering. Results obtained indicate a significant improvement in metacognitive strategies, goal orientation, resource management, and academic performance. Additionally, many STEM scholars expressed interest in participating in future mentoring programs. In addition to the traditional peer and faculty mentors, industry mentors have provided the opportunity to share their passion for their profession and help STEM students develop communication and leadership skills. This has shown to generate excitement and enhance students’ success.

The success of the mentoring program, coupled with Learning Center initiatives and support from the NSF STEM club, enhances the STEM experience of women and underrepresented population at Penn State Harrisburg.

The authors thank the National Science Foundation Award 1154516 for their support.

Morales, A., & Agili, S. S., & Vidalis, S. M., & Null, L. M., & Sliko, J. L. (2017, June), The Role of Customized Mentoring in a Successful STEM Scholarship Program for Underrepresented Groups Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. https://peer.asee.org/29003

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