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The Role of E-Mentoring in the African American Higher Education Experience (Work in Progress)

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2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


Virtual Conference

Publication Date

July 26, 2021

Start Date

July 26, 2021

End Date

July 19, 2022

Conference Session

Minorities in Engineering Division Technical Session 4

Tagged Division

Minorities in Engineering

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Paper Authors


Nagash Antoine Clarke University of Michigan

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Nagash Clarke is a doctoral student at the University of Michigan working with Dr. Joi-Lynn Mondisa. In his research, he examines mentoring and its particular implications for minoritized populations. He received a Bachelor's in Chemistry from Pace University, and a Master's degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Michigan. He currently teaches Chemistry at Washtenaw Community College.

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Joi-lynn Mondisa University of Michigan Orcid 16x16

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Joi Mondisa is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Industrial and Operations Engineering and an Engineering Education Faculty Member at the University of Michigan–Ann Arbor. Dr. Mondisa holds a PhD in Engineering Education, an MS in Industrial Engineering, an MBA, and a BS in General Engineering. She researches STEM mentoring experiences and mentoring intervention programs in higher education.

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Kinnis Gosha Morehouse College

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Dr. Kinnis Gosha (Go-Shay) is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Computer Science and Director of the Culturally Relevant Computer Lab at Morehouse College. Dr. Gosha’s research interests include conversational agents, social media data analytics, computer science education, broadening participation in computing and culturally relevant computing. More specifically, Gosha's passion lies in his research in virtual mentoring where he has several peer-reviewed research publications. Gosha's Culturally Relevant Computing Lab is comprised of approximately 10 top undergraduate researchers each year from Morehouse College, Spelman College and Clark Atlanta University. The lab investigates research problems centered on creating innovative computing technologies to solve cultural problems and issues. To date, Dr. Gosha has accrued over $7.6 million dollars in sponsored research funding and over 40 peer reviewed research publications.

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In this work in progress paper, we discuss the utility of electronic mentoring also called e-mentoring. E-mentoring is mentoring that occurs via electronic mediums such as email, phone, Skype etc. as a means of engagement and development. E-mentoring is not a new phenomena. For years, mentors and mentees have used electronic means to connect with each other while bridging geographical, social, racial, gender and cultural gaps. A more recent advance is the use of chatbots as emotional or intelligent agent mentors, specifically embodied conversational agents (ECAs). ECAs are computer-generated representations that have human-like appearances and mannerisms, and are designed to have a human-like relationship with the user. The challenge and goal that accompanies using ECAs is how to deliver mentoring that promotes skill building, academic and career development, and psychosocial support. In this literature review, we provide a brief overview of e-mentoring and its relationship to African American students’ experiences. In particular, we discuss the characteristics, uses, benefits, and disadvantages of e-mentoring and the use of ECAs. We also provide an overview of the challenges and opportunities of e-mentoring uses for minoritized populations such as African American undergraduate students. In addition, we propose that e-mentoring and ECAs should implement culturally sustaining practices, especially when engaging with minoritized populations. In this paper, we explore the feasibility for using e-mentoring as a more contemporary technique for assisting African American students.

Clarke , N. A., & Mondisa, J., & Gosha, K. (2021, July), The Role of E-Mentoring in the African American Higher Education Experience (Work in Progress) Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference.

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