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HBCU RISE Program Description

Education and Outreach

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Training of Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Fellows in Mentoring and Pedagogy

An important emphasis in this proposal is to train graduate students in multidisciplinary research on carbon cycling and how to integrate and communicate the knowledge gained from this and other research to students in the classroom. There is growing evidence (Darling-Hammond, 1999) that the most important source of student learning is teaching quality. Increasing teacher capacity requires effective professional development. Since many of our graduates will likely spend part of their careers in academia, we want them to be better equipped to teach and mentor effectively the next generation of students. Therefore all graduate students and the postdoc supported by the HBCU-RISE grant will be required to receive several hours of instruction on how to mentor and provide instruction to students. Most other graduate students in the ESI will participate as their faculty advisors are a part of the HBCU-RISE Center. This training will be done by Dr. Bernadette Kelley, an expert in the fields of education and teaching methodologies, and the PI, Dr. Henry Williams, who has been nationally recognized for his mentoring activities especially of minority students. Other science faculty who have extensive mentoring experiences will also be involved. The training component will include lecture presentations by the students in undergraduate courses. Dr. Kelley will evaluate their performance and provide feedback. In addition the students and postdocs will be required to attend a number of workshops on methods and techniques in teaching effectiveness offered by the School of Education at FAMU. These activities are consistent with the NSF GK-12 program and other initiatives to improve teaching and communication skills of graduate students. Following initiation of the teacher training component, graduate students and postdocs will have the opportunity to practice the art of teaching and mentoring in the ESI High School Summer Camp and the proposed HBCU-RISE Center Summer Undergraduate Research Program. This will have the dual benefit of providing experiences for the graduate students and postdoctoral fellows in mentoring young students and providing youthful role models for high school and undergraduate students. As a result of the experience, these students will be better “positioned” to pursue careers in science as they progress through high school and into college. Many of the participants in the undergraduate research program will be recruited from the Florida A&M University (FAMU) NSF Florida-Georgia Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (FGLSAMP) and the FAMU NSF HBCU-UP program. We have commitments from the Directors of the undergraduate programs to work with the HBCU-RISE Center to recruit their students in the HBCU-RISE Summer Research Program (see letters in Supporting Documents). The FGLSAMP and the HBCU-UP will also be targets of our recruitment efforts for the ESI graduate program.

Summer Research Training for Undergraduates at Partner Institutions

Some students especially those who have worked previously with a FAMU scientist will have the option of being supported by the FAMU HBCU-RISE program to spend a summer engaged in research and interactions with scientists at some of the nations leading, marine and environmental institutions. We have secured agreements with scientists at several institutions including Drs. Russell Hill and Feng Chen at the University of Maryland Center of Marine Biotechnology (COMB), Dr. Linda Duquay, Director of the University of Southern California Sea Grant Program in the Wrigley Institute for Environmental Studies, Dr. Rachel Noble at the University of North Carolina Institute of Marine Science, Dr. Marc Frischer at the Skidaway Oceanographic Institute and Fredrika Moser at the Maryland Sea Grant College which administers a NSF funded REU program at the University of Maryland Center for Estuarine and Environmental Studies. Furthermore, we have secured agreement from Drs. Hill and Chen at COMB to consider one of our undergraduate students for their two-week summer undergraduate course on microbial ecology supported a NSF grant. Additionally, we have requested one additional slot for one of our students to be paid by our HBCU-RISE, if necessary. All undergraduate and graduate students will be expected to present their research results at national scientific conferences. Upon their return they will present their experiences to first and second year students who may not have yet attended a professional meeting. They will also display in the ESI any posters presented for others to see. These activities will motivate the neophyte students.