The role of connectedness for minoritized students at a mentoring conference

Carin Queener, Joi Lynn Mondisa, Dorian Davis, Renaldo C. Blocker

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


Multiple research studies have highlighted a variety of compounding factors (e.g., academic and social isolation, confronting unwelcoming climates) which contribute to the small numbers of Black students in STEM higher education. Mentoring has been shown to help support minoritized populations and their development of a sense of belonging. Formal mentoring programs, which provide social support, and access to mentors, peers, and resources, help to mitigate issues of isolation. In this exploratory study, we investigate the effects of The Why You? Initiative, Inc. [YU?] Biannual Spring Confab-a conference designed to facilitate excellence and professional/academic development among minoritized populations. We examine conference participants' connectedness, that is, how linked a participant feels to the community. Eleven participants completed a pre- and post- survey featuring statements and open-ended questions about their experience. Preliminary findings indicate that conference attendance generally increased participants' connectedness, although students desired more networking time. Subsequently, the conference should be repeated and allow more time for interactions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1405
JournalASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings
StatePublished - Jun 22 2020
Event2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference, ASEE 2020 - Virtual, Online
Duration: Jun 22 2020Jun 26 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering


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