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What's in a Story? Comparative Analysis of Role Model and Mentor Narratives

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2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


Virtual On line

Publication Date

June 22, 2020

Start Date

June 22, 2020

End Date

June 26, 2021

Conference Session

Minorities in Engineering Division Technical Session 4

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Minorities in Engineering

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Kyle F. Trenshaw University of Rochester Orcid 16x16

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Kyle Trenshaw is currently the Educational Development Specialist at the University of Rochester's Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning. He received his B.S. in chemical engineering from the University of Missouri in 2009, and his M.S. (2011) and Ph.D. (2014) in chemical engineering from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. His research interests include science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education; supporting diversity in STEM fields with an emphasis on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning (LGBTQ+) students; and using the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) to improve students’ communication skills during group work.

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Elif Miskioğlu Bucknell University

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Dr. Elif Miskioğlu is an early-career engineering education scholar and educator. She holds a B.S. in Chemical Engineering (with Genetics minor) from Iowa State University, and an M.S. and Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from Ohio State University. Her early Ph.D. work focused on the development of bacterial biosensors capable of screening pesticides for specifically targeting the malaria vector mosquito, Anopheles gambiae. As a result, her diverse background also includes experience in infectious disease and epidemiology, providing crucial exposure to the broader context of engineering problems and their subsequent solutions. These diverse experiences and a growing passion for improving engineering education prompted Dr. Miskioğlu to change her career path and become a scholar of engineering education. As an educator, she is committed to challenging her students to uncover new perspectives and dig deeper into the context of the societal problems engineering is intended to solve. As a scholar, she seeks to not only contribute original theoretical research to the field, but work to bridge the theory-to-practice gap in engineering education by serving as an ambassador for empirically driven, and often novel, educational practices.

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Derek Rushton University of Rochester

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Philip Asare Bucknell University

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Role models, mentors, and coaches play a key part in the development and ultimate success of students in higher education. In particular, underrepresented minorities (URMs) in STEM may not see themselves in the faculty and support staff in their disciplines and may struggle to make strong professional connections with those who do not share their multiple identities and cultural values. In this study, we compare narratives shared by 36 potential role models and 29 mentors in STEM and how those narratives might differentially impact the viewer based on their identity-based and culturally-situated themes. Our results suggest that, despite the many contextual differences (e.g., age, point in professional career, race, ethnicity, etc.), role models and mentors share many of the same kinds of narratives around their values and aspirations. However, the apparent differences are often identity-relevant, and the role models’ narratives generated deep emotional responses in the researchers as viewers. Future work will explore students as viewers based on these results.

Trenshaw, K. F., & Miskioğlu, E., & Rushton, D., & Asare, P. (2020, June), What's in a Story? Comparative Analysis of Role Model and Mentor Narratives Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--35506

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