Engaging under-represented populations in agricultural research

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Recruitment of under-represented students to a career in the life sciences requires that the students believe that such a career is within their reach. The best way to instill that this possibility could be a reality is to engage the students in research at early stages in their academic careers. Hands-on experiences with state of the art equipment (usually not present at their home institutions), such as confocal laser spectral scanning microscopes and gas chromatography/mass spectrometers, gives them the opportunity to actively conduct research and thus imagine themselves as life scientists. Particularly challenging is recruiting students to careers in agricultural research, as agriculture is often viewed as a symbol of oppression. Families also encourage the students to pursue biomedical careers. Engaging the students in all aspects of research, from developing hypotheses to planning and executing experiments to collecting and analyzing data and preparing data for presentations, allows the students to experience the day-to-day activities of a life scientist. All of this is done with the guidance of their mentors. Mentoring is a critical component of the undergraduate research experience. Each student has a faculty mentor as well as a post-doc or graduate student mentor, which gives the undergraduates multiple senior investigators with whom to interact. This program also provides graduate students and post-docs the opportunity to develop mentoring skills that will contribute to their success as teachers and major professors. The output of this program is that all of the women participants pursued post-graduate education.

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Engaging under-represented populations in agricultural research

  1. 1. Engaging under-­represented populations in agricultural research:Are there factors other than gender and diversity?<br />Wendy Ann Peer and Angus S. Murphy<br />Department of Horticulture <br />peerw@purdue.edu<br />murphy@purdue.edu<br />
  2. 2. Family farm<br />Under-represented groups<br />Migrant farm workers<br />Historically agricultural laborers<br />Impressions of agricultural research among diverse populations<br />
  3. 3. Engage under-represented groups <br />Engage non-traditional students<br />Offer agriculture and science research as alternative to medical school<br />Not everyone is admitted to medical school<br />Skills for biomedical research<br />Give back to local communities<br />Purpose<br />
  4. 4. Is gender a predictor of a career in agriculture or science research?<br />Is ethnicity a predictor of career in agriculture or science research?<br />Is there a correlation between gender and ethnicity and pursuit of a career in agriculture or science research?<br />HypothesisAmong students engaged in research<br />
  5. 5. Diversity background targeted<br />Under-represented groups<br />Non-traditional groups<br />First generation college students<br />Re-entry students<br />Mature first-time students<br />Female and male participants<br />Geographic information<br />Indiana<br />Illinois<br />New Jersey<br />Rio Grande Valley, Texas<br />Salinas Valley, California<br />Participants - undergraduates<br />
  6. 6. Collect data on student gender and ethnicity <br />Track student education and career<br />Participation in research through graduation<br />Post-graduate education<br />Current career<br />Analysis<br />Gender<br />Ethnicity<br />Geography<br />Method<br />
  7. 7. Total participants<br />Gender<br />Diversity<br />Gender x Diversity<br />Geography<br />Outcomes<br />Results<br />
  8. 8. 2003-2010<br />40 females, 31 males<br />Majority were diversity participants for each gender<br />
  9. 9. Academic year<br />16 females, 15 males<br />Majority of females were not diversity participants<br />Majority of males were diversity participants<br />
  10. 10. Summer<br />24 females, 16 males<br />Majority were diversity participants for each gender<br />
  11. 11. Gender<br />Majority of females pursued post-graduate education<br />Majority of males completed baccalaureate degree<br />
  12. 12. Gender<br />Academic year Summer<br />Majority of participants completed baccalaureate degrees<br />Majority of females pursued post-graduate education<br />Similar numbers of males completed baccalaureate degree and continued their education<br />
  13. 13. Diversity<br />Majority of Hispanic and Asians pursued post-graduate education <br />Sample size is too small for black, non-Hispanic students to draw trends<br />Majority of white, non-Hispanics completed baccalaureate degrees<br />
  14. 14. Diversity<br />Academic year Summer<br />The majority of white, non-Hispanics completed <br />baccalaureate degrees.<br />Majority of Hispanic, Asians and black non-Hispanics pursue post-graduate education.<br />The majority of white, non-Hispanics completed <br />baccalaureate degrees.<br />
  15. 15. Gender x Diversity<br />Majority of females from under-represented groups pursue post-graduate education. <br />Majority of males from under-represented groups graduate or pursue post-graduate education.<br />
  16. 16. Gender x Diversity<br />Academic year Summer<br />Majority of females from under-represented groups pursue post-graduate education. <br />Majority of males from under-represented groups graduate or pursue post-graduate education.<br />Majority students complete baccalaureate degrees.<br />
  17. 17. Rio Grande Valley, TX vs. Salinas Valley, CA<br />Hispanic<br />Pacific Islander<br />Geographic and cultural factors<br />
  18. 18. Under-represented groups who participate in research pursue higher education more frequently than white, non-Hispanics<br />Females from under-represented groups tend to pursue post-graduate education<br />Males from under-represented groups who participate in summer research tend to pursue post-graduate education<br />Outcome assessmentgender x diversity<br />
  19. 19. Geographical region<br />Socio-economic backgrounds<br />Influences the type of post-graduate education pursued<br />Outcome assessmentdata collection<br />
  20. 20. Graduate student<br />Anindita Bandyopadhyay<br />MatheusBenatti<br />Joshua Blakeslee<br />Alfred Diggs<br />Fazeeda Hosein<br />Srinivas Makam<br />DeeptiSanjai<br />BoosareeTitapiwatanakun<br />Post-doctoral<br />Haibing Yang<br />Nicola Carraro<br />Gregory Richter<br />Jiabing Ji<br />Thank you - Mentors<br />
  21. 21. Thank you<br />Ivy Tech<br />Janice McKenzie<br />UTPA faculty mentors<br />Mike Persans<br />Tom Whelan<br />Nabanita Schubert<br />Kristine Lowe<br />CSUMB faculty mentors<br />HenrikKibak<br />AparnaSreenivasan<br />Funding<br />NSF<br />NSF C-RUI<br /> UTPA-Purdue<br />Indiana 21st Century<br />Indiana Elks<br />SROP program at Purdue<br />Purdue faculty & staff <br /> mentors<br />Angus Murphy<br />Wendy Peer<br />Peter Goldsbrough<br />Bruce Applegate<br />BakhYakubov<br />Marshall Porterfield<br />

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