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Transforming Undergraduate STEM Summer Internships in a Federal Government Institution for 21st Century Engineering Careers

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Conference

2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Indianapolis, Indiana

Publication Date

June 15, 2014

Start Date

June 15, 2014

End Date

June 18, 2014

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Cooperative & Experiential Education Division Technical Session 2

Tagged Division

Cooperative & Experiential Education

Page Count

22

Page Numbers

24.1279.1 - 24.1279.22

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/23212

Download Count

148

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Paper Authors

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Mary Yvonne Lanzerotti Air Force Institute of Technology Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0001-7802-1117

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Dr. Lanzerotti is an Associate Professor of Computer Engineering at the Air Force Institute of Technology. She received degrees from Harvard University, University of Cambridge (UK), and Cornell University.

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Maggie Varga SOCHE

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Maggie Varga, Director, Southwestern Ohio Council for Higher Education (SOCHE)

Maggie Varga is a Director for the Southwestern Ohio Council for Higher Education (SOCHE). In her capacity as Director, Maggie leads the SOCHEIntern Program, which employs nearly 300 students annually in cooperation with local government and small businesses, as well as the Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT) and Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. The program provides high impact experiential learning opportunities for students while generating economic benefit and enhancing community sustainability. Her work improves the efficiency of programs that support member institutions and increase the success of more than 120,000 students in southwest Ohio. Maggie has also provided guidance and leadership in the creation and evolution of regional initiatives such as the Dayton Water Roundtable, Ohio’s Great Corridor Association, and the University of Dayton Rivers Institute.

Prior to her position at SOCHE, Maggie worked for the Fitz Center for Leadership in Community at the University of Dayton.

Maggie has a Master of Business Administration and a Bachelor of Science in Economics and Finance from the University of Dayton.

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Sean J. Creighton SOCHE

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Sean Creighton is the Executive Director of SOCHE, a regional consortium of colleges and universities dedicated to educating, employing, and engaging citizens. In 2012, SOCHE received the Dayton Business Journal Non-Profit Business of the Year Award.

Sean is an elected member of the Board of Education for the Yellow Springs Public Schools, and serves on advisory committees for several local and national organizations. He has published and presented extensively on the impact of higher education, collaboration and civic engagement, and has conducted research for the Kettering Foundation on the economic and civic missions of regionally based colleges and universities.

Sean has degrees from Marist College and New York University, and earned his PhD from Antioch University. He lives in the charming village of Yellow Springs with his wife, Leslee, and his five fun children, Liam, Maya, Quinn, Audrey, and Juliette.

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Derrick Langley Air Force Institute of Technology

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Derrick Langley is an Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering at the Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT), Wright-Patterson Air Force Base (AFB), Ohio. He received his B.S. in electrical engineering from the University of Central Florida in 2003, his M.S. in electrical engineering from Wright State University in 2007, and his Ph.D. in electrical engineering from AFIT, Wright-Patterson AFB in 2012. His current research interests are metamaterials, microelectronics, microelectromechanical systems and nanotechnology.

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Diana Lynn Cahill Air Force Institute of Technology

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Mrs. Diana Lynn Cahill, Air Force Institute of Technology

M.Ed., Curriculum and Instruction, Wright State University B.A., English, Youngstown State University

Ohio Teaching License, High School, English

Current Position– Civilian Student Coordinator, Air Force Institute of Technology, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.

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Richard K. Martin The Air Force Institute of Technology

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Richard K. Martin received dual B.S. degrees (summa cum laude) in physics and electrical engineering from the University of Maryland, College Park, in 1999 and the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering from Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, in 2001 and 2004, respectively. Since August 2004, he has been with the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT), Dayton, OH, where he is an Associate Professor. He is the author of 29 journal papers and 56 conference papers, and he holds five patents. His research interests include radio tomographic imaging; navigation and source localization; and laser radar. Dr. Martin has been elected Electrical and Computer Engineering Instructor of the Quarter three times and HKN Instructor of the Year twice by the AFIT students. He is currently serving as an Associate Editor for IEEE Signal Processing Letters and a Guest Editor for the IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Signal Processing.

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Abstract

Transforming Undergraduate STEM Summer Internships in a Federal Government Institution for 21st Century Engineering CareersAbstractThis paper describes first steps to transform all internships in the undergraduate STEM SummerResearch Program in the federal government at the Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT) toprepare students for engineering careers in the 21st century. AFIT is a government institution ofhigher education within the Air Force. Over 40 students participate annually and performresearch in all six engineering departments at the AFIT Graduate School of Engineering andManagement. These are the departments of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Electrical andComputer Engineering, Engineering Physics, Mathematics and Statistics, Operational Sciences,and Systems Engineering and Management.First, starting in summer 2012, a formal assessment tool is now distributed to students tomeasure the impact of the research experience. Second, starting in summer 2013, students arenow provided with four career broadening programs that are informed by student survey resultsin 2012. These programs are made possible through a partnership among AFIT, the LEADER(Launching Equity in the Academy across the Dayton Entrepreneurial Region) Consortium, andthe Southwestern Ohio Consortium for Higher Education (SOCHE). The partnership assesses thestudents’ experiences and informs future experiences based upon the results of student surveys.SOCHE has employed nearly 1,000 STEM students in the past 25 years.Feedback was sought in 2012 from the 48 participating students to improve all internships in theSummer Research Program in order to help prepare engineering student interns for work in the21st century. In response to the feedback, four new voluntary program components were madeavailable to all students in the 2013 Program. Because of government restrictions, studentparticipation is voluntary. The components are: (A) A joint orientation process with SOCHE andAFIT Project Leaders; (B) Student cohorts through social activities and STEM-based games; (C)A weekly seminar meeting with outside presentations of general interest, such as job-hunting,resume-writing, information about scholarships and fellowships, and the process to apply tograduate school; and (D) A Poster Session so that students present the engineering experiencesthey have gained. A poster competition was held to select the best student posters, and selectedstudents were awarded “Posters of Excellence” Certificates.In 2013, SOCHE again implemented an assessment tool in an effort to better understand theneeds of the 43 participating students. Of these students, 10 students had also participated in the2012 program (repeat participation rate of nearly 25%). SOCHE asked all 43 students tocomplete a pre survey when the program was in session (response rate: 33%) and a post surveyfollowing the program (response rate: 16%). Post survey responses are favorable to the careerbroadening programs. Student participation in the 12 one-hour weekly events was nearly 100%in the joint orientation and 13% in the other events.This paper will describe the importance of the four new career-broadening components totransform the internships at AFIT to prepare students for engineering careers in the 21st century.Additional results and findings of the assessment of the 2013 Summer Research Program will bediscussed, and the results and findings will be compared with results from the 2012 Program.

Lanzerotti, M. Y., & Varga, M., & Creighton, S. J., & Langley, D., & Cahill, D. L., & Martin, R. K. (2014, June), Transforming Undergraduate STEM Summer Internships in a Federal Government Institution for 21st Century Engineering Careers Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. https://peer.asee.org/23212

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