Paper No. 189-5
Presentation Time: 9:00 AM-6:30 PM
STUDENT MENTOR EXPERIENCES IN THE SUMMER REU UTEP-ROCCS
UTEP-ROCCS (University of Texas at El Paso-Research Opportunities for Community College Students) is a summer REU designed to provide two-year community college students guidance through a research project, culminating in a presentation of that research at a national conference or virtual poster session. The student participants receive mentorship from juniors and seniors at four-year universities. Student mentors receive background materials and training from faculty advisors throughout the spring semester. The undergraduate mentors then work with the selected community college students to conduct field- and laboratory-work, process data, and create write-ups throughout the months of June (in-person) and July (virtually). Student mentors help student participants in the collection of field and laboratory data, have the opportunity to teach them fundamental geologic processes as well as methods of data processing, and aid in interpretations. Abstract authorship and figure-making are collaborative efforts, with student mentors and faculty advisors providing feedback on the work of the student participants. Undergraduate mentors provided a peer-to-peer relationship that bridged the gap between participants and faculty. This dynamic furthered academic assimilation in a research-intensive environment that participants coming from community college had not previously encountered. A short survey was distributed to all mentors, previous and current, in order to assess how much support was offered by faculty and the impact that the mentoring experience had on both mentors and community college student participants. Responses from current mentors will be reported as their initial impressions of the program, and the survey will be given again at the end of their mentoring experience to see if their attitudes have changed over the course of the program. This presentation will report on those survey findings, and detail the experiences and benefits imparted to those student mentors by the UTEP-ROCCS program.