Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



In this study, a new model for attracting, advancing, and advocating for the participation of underrepresented minorities in research venues is proposed with the intention of fostering academic inclusion, development, and post-graduation mentorship. It involves developing and nurturing a disposition from faculty by proactively identifying students via classroom interaction, performance, and academic aptitude and extending a personal invitation to collaborate on the research team. Current research opportunities for engineering undergraduates at tier-one institutions are obtained by students' incentive to communicate with faculty members via email or office hours. Despite the available opportunities, only a limited number of students are selected to participate due to the finite space and a degree of competency within a group. As for underrepresented minorities, such as Latino and African American students, these types of venues may seem inaccessible since a large number are first-generation college students who encounter supplementary challenges due to their cultural background, lack of proper academic guidance, and other institutional-based factors. These challenges oftentimes hinder their exposure, access, and participation to such academic resources that are necessary components for securing employment post-graduation or establishing fundamental research knowledge for graduate school. In the process of performing research, the faculty member serves as a mentor by providing extensive technical guidance and offer emotional support to strengthen academic development while simultaneously advocating post-graduation career venues. Primary results of the proposed model indicate increased levels of underrepresented minority student interest and motivation to engage in research as evidenced by the testimonies of current members. These emerging findings attest to the importance of faculty members’ desire to outreach directly with the students and establishing culturally responsive pathways for engaging minority students in research opportunities. Thus, students attract employers associated in the realm of research interest or attend graduate school post-graduation.


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Publication Title

2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition





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