ASPIRE Members Conduct Research
In summer 2010, six ASPIRE members were awarded service learning scholarships, continuing for a third year, undergraduate research as an emerging emphasis of the ASPIRE program. ASPIRE President, Taria Pritchett and ASPIRE Secretary, Teresita Mariano were among the Scholars supported by the Office of Undergraduate Research. School of Education professor Rosalie Rolon-Dow serves as their faculty mentor. Service-Learning Scholarships provide highly motivated students the opportunity to immerse themselves in a service-learning project for ten weeks in the summer in a setting outside of the classroom. Scholars work in a Delaware community agency and simultaneously pursue academic reflection under the guidance of a UD faculty mentor. Their research question was, “How do Black girls construct and represent their identities as students and community members? They presented their findings at the first annual University of Delaware Undergraduate Research and Service Celebratory Symposium in August 2010. They are currently writing a paper, entitled “This is My Point of View:” Tales of Living and Learning from African-American Girls” to be published in an urban education journal.
An ASPIRE team of Research Fellows also worked with Bayard Middle School students in a Measuring Up for Leadership workshop that was designed to support the middle school learners in learning about leadership and strengthening problem-solving skills. ASPIRE team, Khalid Bilal, Anh Nguyen, and Amber Beaman, were engaged in research to investigate attitudes about school and perceptions of teaching as a career pathway, using pre- and post-experience self reports from the middle school learners. This study is related to the on-going work of ASPIRE director, Dr. Melva Ware, to identify and refine strategies that increase college access for underrepresented students.
The ASPIRE Research Fellows and Summer Learning Scholars are planning to report on their work during the national Phi Delta Kappa and Future Educators of America conference, in Atlanta, GA, in February 2011.