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NDSU students excel through strong relationships with professors

Friday, August 25, 2017

Amaniel Mrutu was new to research when he began working with an NDSU faculty mentor. In fact, he had never written an in-depth research paper.

The senior majoring in statistics is helping Abraham Ayebo, assistant professor of mathematics, to study students’ attitudes toward math classes.

Mrutu’s role is to analyze data Ayebo collected from more than 500 first-year calculus students. The research explores calculus students’ beliefs about the learner’s perceived mathematical ability and beliefs about the discipline of mathematics.

And Ayebo is teaching Mrutu about research through regular meetings to discuss the project.

Four of 5 NDSU students meet with faculty at least once a semester to work on special projects, conduct research or get help on coursework. The experience sets students up for success.

Meetings like this are a common practice among NDSU students who work closely with faculty members on research or other special projects or who ask for help with coursework. Developing these strong relationships can help students excel in their studies and lead to better opportunities for jobs and graduate schools.

Mrutu plans to pursue a master’s degree in statistics, and his research experience will help prepare him for the next level of education. Mrutu recently joined the Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program, which helps students go on to earn master’s degrees or doctorates.

Working with Ayebo has helped him grow as a researcher and gain a better understanding of statistical methods.

“The exciting part of research is that it has an everyday use,” Mrutu said. “When I read research papers, I see that all of it is intertwined. Others can go in and follow-up on work created by others.”

His plans to pursue a master’s degree program related to quantitative research, evaluation and measurement. Education researchers with this expertise conduct research for governmental institutions, universities and nonprofit organizations to inform policy-making decisions.

Ayebo provides feedback and resources to ensure Mrutu understands the research. He also gives Mrutu some life advice.

“Pursue academic goals that you find intrinsically motivating,” Mrutu said.

STEPS to Success

NDSU STEPS to Success initiative highlights the actual attitudes and behaviors held by the majority of NDSU students, like Mrutu, and gives tips on how to achieve success in college.

The information is based on research. The STEPS to Success team gathered information from a large sample of NDSU undergraduates in spring 2016, asking both about their own academic behaviors and attitudes and their perceptions about other students’ academic behaviors and attitudes.

Student Focused. Land Grant. Research University.

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North Dakota State University
Phone: +1 (701) 231-1068 - Fax: (701) 231-1989
Campus address: Old Main 204
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Last Updated: Friday, August 25, 2017 11:38:30 AM
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