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Welcoming and Building Community for Graduate Students Through Remote Tech Environments

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Conference

2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access

Location

Virtual Conference

Publication Date

July 26, 2021

Start Date

July 26, 2021

End Date

July 19, 2022

Conference Session

Graduate Studies Division Technical Session 1

Tagged Division

Graduate Studies

Page Count

14

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/38038

Download Count

94

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Paper Authors

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Marianna Savoca Stony Brook University

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Marianna Savoca is both an administrator and faculty member. She teaches career development, leadership, and external relations, collaborates with faculty on research and programmatic initiatives, as well as oversees internships and practicum experiences for graduate and undergraduate students. She leads campus-wide efforts to scale career development and access to high-impact experiential education for students in all majors and degree levels. She is Co-PI on two NSF-funded projects with a focus on STEM student success and is a published author. She holds a PhD in Higher Education Leadership.

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Rachel F. Perlman Stony Brook University

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Rachel is a PhD candidate in the Interdepartmental Doctoral Program in Anthropological Sciences at Stony Brook University. Outside of her research, she is devoted to accessibility in STEM higher education. She has experience working with several diversity and inclusion initiatives at her university, and served as the graduate student assistant for this paper's virtual orientation program for graduate students.

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Kimberly Bell Stony Brook University

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Kimberly is a Postdoctoral Associate in the Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching (CELT). She leads initiatives for graduate teaching assistants (TAs) and Postdocs as well as help faculty incorporate active learning, formative assessment, and inclusive teaching practices in both in-person and online courses. She is also an instructor in Undergraduate Biology and the First Year Student Seminars. Her postdoctoral research is focused on developing and evaluating the effectiveness of online vs. face-to-face graduate teaching assistant pedagogy training. Kimberly earned her PhD in Genetics from Stony Brook University, MS in Neuroscience and Behavior from University of Massachusetts Amherst, and BS in Psychology/Biology from Stony Brook University.

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Monica Bugallo Stony Brook University Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0003-2963-1474

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Mónica F. Bugallo is the Vice Provost of Faculty Affairs and Diversity, Equity & Inclusion and Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Stony Brook University. She received her B.S., M.S, and Ph. D. degrees in computer science from University of A Coruña, Spain. She joined the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Stony Brook University in 2002. Her research interests are in the field of statistical signal processing, with emphasis on the theory of Monte Carlo methods and its application to different disciplines including biomedicine, ecology, sensor networks, and finance. In addition, she has focused on STEM education and has initiated several successful programs with the purpose of engaging students at all academic stages in the excitement of engineering and research, with focus on underrepresented groups. She has authored and coauthored two book chapters and more than 185 journal papers and refereed conference articles.

Bugallo is a senior member of the IEEE, serves on several of its technical committees and is the current vice chair of the IEEE Signal Processing Society Signal Processing Theory and Methods Technical Committee and the chair of the EURASIP Special Area Team on Theoretical and Methodological Trends in Signal Processing as well as an elected member of the IEEE Signal Processing Society Sensor Array and Multichannel Technical Committee. She has been part of the technical committee and has organized various professional conferences and workshops. She has received several prestigious research and education awards including the State University of New York (SUNY) Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching (2017), the 2019 Ada Byron Award of the Galician Society of Computer Engineers (Spain) for a successful professional career path that inspires women to engineering study and careers, the Best Paper Award in the IEEE Signal Processing Magazine 2007 as coauthor of a paper entitled Particle Filtering, the IEEE Outstanding Young Engineer Award (2009), for development and application of computational methods for sequential signal processing, the IEEE Athanasios Papoulis Award (2011), for innovative educational outreach that has inspired high school students and college level women to study engineering, the Higher Education Resource Services (HERS) Clare Boothe Luce (CBL) Scholarship Award (2017), and the Chair of Excellence by the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid-Banco de Santander (Spain) (2012).

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Abstract

Creating community among new graduate students in a COVID world prompted the development of a two-week virtual orientation program for engineering and applied sciences graduate students at a research university. Despite the complexity of multiple time zones, technology challenges, and the virtual space, the program sought to accomplish three goals: (1) community building among students; (2) intellectual engagement with faculty in the home department; (3) career development as a foundation for their overall graduate school experience. Participants (N=350 MS or PhD students) were introduced to support services (i.e. health and counseling, ombuds) and student organizations (i.e. GWISE), attended workshops on digital literacy and technology tools, gained perspective from alumni and industry panels, and began their personal career development plan. Evaluations were highly positive, with means of 3.5 – 4.4 on a 5.0 scale, with 5 being very satisfied. Moreover, 87 first-year PhD students were enrolled in a rigorous and comprehensive online asynchronous TA training, with high satisfaction scores from those who completed the training. While virtual delivery may have limitations, this program has clearly demonstrated that a pre-arrival program can add value to the graduate student on-boarding process and improve the welcome culture at educational institutions.

Savoca, M., & Perlman, R. F., & Bell, K., & Bugallo, M. (2021, July), Welcoming and Building Community for Graduate Students Through Remote Tech Environments Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. https://peer.asee.org/38038

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