Discipline: Chemistry & Chemical Sciences
Subcategory: STEM Science and Mathematics Education
Maria Ngu-Schwemlein - Winston-Salem State University
Co-Author(s): Kenneth Brown, John Merle, Sezgin Kiren, Mamudu Yakubu, and Kshawna Askew, Department of Chemistry, Winston-Salem State University, Winston-Salem, NC
Undergraduate research is well recognized as an effective high-impact educational practice associated with student success in higher education. Winston-Salem State University (WSSU), a historically Black college, has set aggressive goals in its Strategic Plan to prepare minority students for success. Accordingly, the Chemistry department embarked on a targeted infusion project to strengthen its curriculum. A curricular scaffold was framed to lay the foundation for effective research skills. Project activities include (i) implementation of research foundation courses and a capstone interdisciplinary research-oriented upper-level laboratory course; (ii) adaptation of short guided research-oriented projects into some laboratory courses; and (iii) acquisition of modern instrumentation to support the research-oriented laboratory experiments and undergraduate research. Evaluation results from the pre- and post- survey comparisons indicate that students broadened their research experiences. Acquired instrumentations, including a PicoSpin NMR spectrometer, a HPLC system interfaced with an Advion Electrospray and Ionization Mass spectrometer, and a FluoroMax spectrofluorometer, were beneficial for undergraduate research projects.as demonstrated by student research activities. Additionally, a pilot international summer undergraduate research experience (iSURE) was conducted at two Malaysian universities. Survey results from the participants indicate that iSURE broadened their educational and research experiences, and they expressed increased motivation, confidence and perception as a scientist. These TIP activities also enhanced faculty research publications and presentations with undergraduates and increased the number of chemistry graduates with research experiences.
Funder Acknowledgement(s): This research project is funded by a NSF-HBCU-UP Targeted Infusion Project HRD 1438865.
Faculty Advisor: None Listed,