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Undergraduate Engineers And Interdisciplinary Peer Mentoring Groups

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Conference

2010 Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Louisville, Kentucky

Publication Date

June 20, 2010

Start Date

June 20, 2010

End Date

June 23, 2010

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Page Count

9

Page Numbers

15.1293.1 - 15.1293.9

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/16475

Download Count

31

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Paper Authors

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Rebecca Bates Minnesota State University, Mankato

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Rebecca A. Bates received the B.S. degree in biomedical engineering from Boston University in 1990, the M.S. degree in electrical engineering from Boston University in 1996 and the Ph.D. degree in electrical engineering from the University of Washington in 2004. She also received the M.T.S. degree from Harvard Divinity School in 1993. She is currently an Associate Professor in the Computer Science department at Minnesota State University, Mankato. Her research interests include speech recognition and understanding as well as engineering education.

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Deborah Nykanen Minnesota State University, Mankato

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Deborah K. Nykanen is an Associate Professor of Civil Engineering at Minnesota State University, Mankato. She received her Ph.D. degree in civil engineering from the University of Minnesota in 2000. Her teaching, research and professional experience focus on water resources, hydrology and hydrometeorology. Dr. Nykanen has 9 years of academic experience and is a registered P.E. in Minnesota.

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Marilyn Hart Minnesota State University, Mankato

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Marilyn Hart is an Associate Professor of Biological Sciences at Minnesota State University, Mankato. She received her Ph.D. degree in cellular and molecular biology from St. Louis University School of Medicine in 1995.

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Mezbahur Rahman Minnesota State University, Mankato

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Mezbahur Rahman received his undergraduate degree in statistics from Dhaka University in Bangladesh in 1986, the M.S. degree in probability and statistics from Michigan State University in 1989 and the Ph.D. degree in applied statistics from the University of California Riverside in 2006. He is currently a Professor in the Mathematics and Statistics department at Minnesota State University, Mankato. His research interests are parametric and non-parametric statistical inferences including estimates and tests for parameters and distributions.

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Abstract
NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Undergraduate Engineers and Interdisciplinary Peer-Mentoring Groups Abstract

In conjunction with a National Science Foundation-sponsored scholarship program, we have implemented an interdisciplinary peer mentoring support system. This paper describes the structure of the scholarship cohort, its advising program and associated seminar, and presents results from interviews with engineering and computer science student participants. These results indicate key successes of this program and we provide implementation suggestions for other related programs. Overall, students made connections with peers from multiple majors, while developing academic, professional and life skills.

Introduction

Facilitating professional development and mentoring for STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) ultimate success and satisfaction with their careers. A National Science Foundation S-STEM grant allows our Midwestern comprehensive university to award scholarships to cohorts of 23 students enrolled in one of the following majors: Mathematics; Computer Science; Biology; Information Technology; Electrical, Mechanical, Civil, and Computer Engineering; and Electronic, Manufacturing, Automotive and Computer Engineering Technology. Scholars can renew their $5000 scholarships (which provides almost full tuition assistance) for up to a total of three years. Key components of the program are the integration of research and academic experiences and a broadened participation of underrepresented groups. Other grant implementations may focus on cohorts within a single major, such as the graduate software engineering program at UW LaCrosse1, but we feel the benefits of an interdisciplinary program offer value beyond the scope of a single-major program. Additionally, by including biology, we have been able to increase the number of women recipients, creating a sense of critical mass within the program to support the women in engineering and computer science.

Selected students receive financial support and an opportunity to develop academic, professional and life skills through a weekly scholars seminar. The seminars familiarize scholars with various university support services, allow participation in interdisciplinary discussions addressing broad academic and career issues, and build relationships with other scholars in an interdisciplinary setting. A small group of math, science and engineering faculty oversees the seminar and selection of scholars.

This paper describes the structure of the interdisciplinary scholarship cohort, its advising program and associated seminar, and presents results from anonymous surveys and semi- structured interviews with the engineering and computer science student participants from the first three years of the program. We also present background research supporting peer mentoring and faculty involvement, and describe the process of selecting our scholar cohort and the structure of the seminar. We conclude with implementation suggestions for developing similar interdisciplinary communities of learners in other settings.

Bates, R., & Nykanen, D., & Hart, M., & Rahman, M. (2010, June), Undergraduate Engineers And Interdisciplinary Peer Mentoring Groups Paper presented at 2010 Annual Conference & Exposition, Louisville, Kentucky. https://peer.asee.org/16475

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: © 2010 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