STLHE 2015 has ended
Achieving Harmony: Tuning into Practice
Back To Schedule
Thursday, June 18 • 4:30pm - 5:00pm
CON09.05 - Understanding the role of undergraduate research mentorship in influencing student identity development

Sign up or log in to save this to your schedule, view media, leave feedback and see who's attending!

There is considerable literature on mentoring relationships in higher education, on undergraduate research (UGR) experiences and the identity development of university students across the spectrum of academic, professional and personal identities (Wuetherick and McLaughlin, 2011; Laursen et al., 2010; Luyckx et al, 2010; Ralph and Walker, 2010; and Trede, Macklin and Bridges, 2010). There is, however, little previous work that brings these three diverse literatures together. This presentation sets out to examine how mentoring relationships in undergraduate research experiences influence student identity formation in personal and professional communities. This multi-institutional and multidisciplinary effort introduces work in progress developed at Elon University’s Center for Engaged Learning Seminar on Excellence in Mentoring Undergraduate Research. While this work aims to explore how students negotiate shifting identities across personal and professional communities, its preliminary exploration will be on the most important values of mentoring relationships in UGR, and on the mentoring practices that shape students’ identity development. We propose that students’ ability to understand themselves as researchers is largely shaped by the ways in which they navigate/negotiate between personal and professional identities. We would also suggest that mentors might not be aware of the challenges that some students—particularly from under-represented populations—face in negotiating personal and professional identities. Therefore, an outcome for our research is to develop resources for faculty preparing to work with undergraduate researchers.


Laursen S, Hunter A, Seymour E, Thiry H, and Melton G (2010). Undergraduate Research in the Sciences: Engaging Students in Real Science. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Luyckx K., Schwartz S. , Goossens L., Beyers J. Missotten L. (2010) Processes of personal identity formation and evaluation, In: Handbook of Identity Theory and Research (Vols 1 and 2). Schwartz, Seth J. (Ed); Luyckx, Koen (Ed); Vignoles, Vivian L. (Eds); New York, NY, US: Springer, 77-98.

Ralph E., and Walker K. (2010). Rising with the tide: Applying “Adaptive Mentorship” in the professional practicum. Collected Essays on Learning and Teaching, 3.

Trede F., Macklin R., and Bridges D. (2012) Professional identity development: a review of the higher education literature. Studies in Higher Education. 37 (3), 365–384.

Wuetherick, B. and McLaughlin, L.(2011). Students’ Perceptions of the Learning Environment: A Partnership to Enhance Our Understanding of the Undergraduate Experience. In Little S. (ed.). Staff-Student Partnerships in Higher Education. London: Continuum International Publishing Group.

avatar for Brad Wuetherick

Brad Wuetherick

Executive Director, Learning and Teaching, Dalhousie University
Brad Wuetherick is the Executive Director, Learning and Teaching at Dalhousie University, and is an active researcher in teaching and learning in higher education in areas including undergraduate research, educational development, SOTL, facilitating change in teaching and learning... Read More →

Thursday June 18, 2015 4:30pm - 5:00pm PDT
Seymour Room

Attendees (0)