About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 4669-4672
Publication year: 2009
ISBN: 978-84-612-9801-3
ISSN: 2340-1117

Conference name: 1st International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 6-8 July, 2009
Location: Barcelona ,Spain

ENHANCING THE UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH EXPERIENCE THROUGH DEVELOPMENT OF THE MENTOR-MENTEE RELATIONSHIP

J.B. Hoffman, D.V. Arbona

North Carolina State University (UNITED STATES)
Despite the numerous benefits faculty and students may gain by supporting and engaging in undergraduate research, most undergraduate students at large, tier I universities do not set foot in a laboratory beyond those in the classroom. Unfortunately, laboratories designed for undergraduate curricula do not mirror "real life" science that is hypothesis driven, unpredictable, and extremely dynamic. Instead, students learn to follow "cookbook" laboratory recipes with predictable outcomes. Several factors may be attributed to the dismal number of undergraduate students engaging in research opportunities including: the intimidation factor of complex scientific jargon and techniques, lack of exposure to or inclusion in experiments, minimal guidance, and most importantly, the absence of a connection with a faculty mentor. The development of the mentor-mentee relationship is critical to the success of an undergraduate's research experience and future research endeavors. In order to promote students' interest in faculty members' research, faculty should integrate their research in their classroom instruction or as guest lecturers for student organizations. Without continuous mentoring and nurturing during the critical undergraduate years, graduate students who are under qualified or less adept at experimental design, data analysis, and scientific writing will emerge from graduate programs. In order to attract and improve undergraduate research at a tier I university, we aim to expand upon the development of our productive and successful mentor-mentee relationship. We will share our experiences from the perspectives of both Dr. Jackie Hoffman, the faculty mentor, and Victoria Arbona, the undergraduate mentee, while conducting research in our avian reproduction laboratory at North Carolina State University. We have discovered that continuous interaction, inside and outside of the laboratory, informal "briefing" sessions pertaining to the research questions we are trying to answer, and inquiry-based guidance have been critical in developing our partnership. Additionally, we will discuss the importance of making the student an integral part of a research project rather than simply assigning students with “busy-work." Lastly, we will discuss the benefits we have each reaped from our mentor-mentee relationship. Specifically, Dr. Hoffman will expand upon the fresh perspective and wide spectrum of questions Victoria has brought to the laboratory, and Victoria will explain why she has become invested in the laboratory's research objectives. Ultimately, we have found that if the level of commitment is optimal in both parties (the student and the mentor), then the benefits of undergraduate research can help mold future scientists, provide students with hands-on inquiry skills, invigorate faculty, and provide faculty with a different perspective on their own research questions. We will discuss the development, implementation, and strategies that have enabled us to be successful as a research team and will make recommendations to enhance undergraduate research programs at other research institutions.
@InProceedings{HOFFMAN2009ENH,
author = {Hoffman, J.B. and Arbona, D.V.},
title = {ENHANCING THE UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH EXPERIENCE THROUGH DEVELOPMENT OF THE MENTOR-MENTEE RELATIONSHIP},
series = {1st International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies},
booktitle = {EDULEARN09 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-612-9801-3},
issn = {2340-1117},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Barcelona ,Spain},
month = {6-8 July, 2009},
year = {2009},
pages = {4669-4672}}
TY - CONF
AU - J.B. Hoffman AU - D.V. Arbona
TI - ENHANCING THE UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH EXPERIENCE THROUGH DEVELOPMENT OF THE MENTOR-MENTEE RELATIONSHIP
SN - 978-84-612-9801-3/2340-1117
PY - 2009
Y1 - 6-8 July, 2009
CI - Barcelona ,Spain
JO - 1st International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
JA - EDULEARN09 Proceedings
SP - 4669
EP - 4672
ER -
J.B. Hoffman, D.V. Arbona (2009) ENHANCING THE UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH EXPERIENCE THROUGH DEVELOPMENT OF THE MENTOR-MENTEE RELATIONSHIP, EDULEARN09 Proceedings, pp. 4669-4672.
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