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Thursday, October 5, 2017

ARFP Pairs Students with Graduate Mentors, Faculty

ARFP students and faculty
Six San Diego State University undergraduate transfer students got the opportunity to work with graduate mentors and faculty to conduct research focused on improving outcomes for underserved populations.

The interactions took place last school year thanks to the Aztec Research Fellowship Program (ARFP), which was established in 2014 to provide students from underrepresented groups, opportunities to engage in social science research.

“The program is designed to increase student success through research and creative endeavors,” said Dr. Marissa Vasquez Urias, ARFP director and a faculty in the College of Education’s Postsecondary Educational Leadership. “The program helps students with their academic goals by providing undergraduate fellows with opportunities to develop meaningful relationships with faculty and graduate mentors who support their academic, personal, and professional development.”

Through the Aztec Research Fellowship Program, fellows learn how to conduct empirical research, how to present such research at scholarly conferences and how to produce manuscripts for publication. Participants must be community college transfer students who are currently pursuing an undergraduate degree at SDSU.

Last year fellows participated in:

  • Weekly research-training seminars 
  • A research practicum that engaged students in existing SDSU empirical research projects with the Community College Equity Assessment Lab
  • Presented at SDSU's Student Research Symposium
  • One-on-one mentorship from SDSU faculty and graduate students

Since the program began, several fellows have gone on to accomplish other achievements. They include:

  • One was selected to participate in the Institute for the Recruitment of Teachers summer academy in Andover, Maryland.
  • Another was selected to participate in a paid summer research project at the University of Texas at Austin
  • A third fellow was accepted to a master’s program at SDSU
  • One was selected to participate in the Penn Center for Minority Serving Institutions Graduate Student Weekend at the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education
  • Another was selected to participate in the American Educational Research Association Undergraduate Student Education Research Training Workshop in San Antonio, Texas
  • Two were selected to participate in the 2017-2018 National Association of Student Personnel Administrators Undergraduate Fellowship Program
  • One was selected to participate in the Student Worker Program with the San Diego District Attorney’s Office 
  • Two fellows presented their research findings at a national conference in Fort Worth, Texas

Alejandro Arias, majoring in Foods and Nutrition with minors in Honors Interdisciplinary Studies and Counseling and Social Change, is one of the students who has benefitted from the Aztec Research Fellowship Program.

“The program has a seminar component to it which helped me learn how to research literature, and read scholarly work, this has been helpful in class research projects,” said Ariaz, who feels grateful for being able to work with Vasquez Urias and Soua Xiong, coordinator of the Community College Equity Assessment Lab.

“They went above and beyond the Program and supported me in my studies and in other capacities both on and off campus,” said Arias, who received the California State University Trustees’ Award for Outstanding Achievement. “The best part of the program was having the opportunity to ask questions, advice, and engage in dialogue. I would recommend the program to any and all students.”

Read the full story on the CSU Office of the Chancellor website.