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Developing Future Science Policy Leaders

NSF Award:

Innovation through Institutional Integration (I3): The Modeling Institute  (Arizona State University)

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Increasingly, economic competitiveness and development in the 21st century require a workforce with strong competencies in science, technology, mathematics and engineering (STEM). To cultivate STEM-competent workers, many nations are developing scientific training and mentoring initiatives.

Researchers studying differences in mentoring and training strategies are using knowledge gained in their investigations to mentor Hispanic-American students at Texas A&M International University (TAMIU). Students worked closely with project personnel in surveying, interviewing, conducting laboratory observations and digital video-ethnographic filming with elite scientists in the premier research institutions and universities in Japan, Singapore and Taiwan.

Students were also invited to present their research experiences and findings at national and international conferences, submit co-authored manuscripts to scientific journals, and serve as role models to other students in the U.S. southern border region.

By exposing, socializing and training Hispanic-American graduate students in the field of international science policy, this project increases the involvement of individuals from a segment of the U.S. population that is:

  • historically underrepresented in science;
  • struggling to break the triple minority status of being poor, Hispanic and at the U.S. periphery; and
  • aiming to transform a region pervaded by communities that are at underdeveloped socioeconomic levels and poor population health statuses.

This population's participation in techno-scientific activities contributes to the emergence of an ethnically diverse national scientific workforce critical to the economic, scientific and technological advancement and competitiveness of the U.S. in the 21st century.

The research group from TAMIU and Indiana University is studying how differences in mentoring and training strategies in the East Asia region impact scientific productivity. Understanding these differences allows U.S. policy researchers to both predict future levels of productivity and to formulate best practices for transfer to U.S. institutions. 

Specifically, the researchers are examining graduate training practices essential to transmitting technology skills: mentoring practices, mentor-mentee interaction, professional networking, daily research activities, and the role of information and communications technology in graduate training.

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  • interview team prepares materials for the study
Research team prepares survey materials for the study.
Marcus Ynalvez, Texas A&M International University

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