Lessons learned from a chemical engineering REU: The importance of training graduate students who are supervising reu students

Joseph C. Tise, Kirsten Susan Hochstedt, Sarah E. Zappe, Esther W. Gomez, Manish Kumar

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) programs have been shown to promote positive outcomes such as increased interest in graduate school and STEM careers for their participants. Research has also shown how graduate students benefit from mentoring undergraduate researchers-namely they receive instrumental research support, improve teaching skills, and develop socioemotionally. Less research, however, has investigated the ways in which graduate students mentor undergraduate REU participants, and how the mentoring role may impact the graduate students. To address this gap in the literature, the current study examines the way in which graduate students mentor, and the impact of the mentor role on graduate students participating in a chemical engineering REU program. The research questions were explored using a mixed-methods approach. REU students and mentors were asked to complete pre- and post-surveys, as well as participate in a brief interview at the end of the REU experience. Mentor pre- and post-surveys included measures of their interest in serving as a mentor, their previous experience as an REU student or mentor, their mentorship style, their confidence in their ability to mentor others, and their beliefs about the value of mentoring others. Interview questions further explored the approaches that mentors used as well as the perceived impact on the graduate student of the mentor role. Overall, the results indicate that training of graduate student mentors in mentorship approaches may help them to more effectively work with REU students. Findings, suggestions for future research, and implications are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings
StatePublished - Jun 23 2018
Event125th ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition - Salt Lake City, United States
Duration: Jun 23 2018Dec 27 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Engineering


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