Thursday, March 9, 2023

The Power of Mentoring with Matched Mindsets: Creating a Culture of Leadership

Through participation in student organizations and matched-minds mentoring collaborations, students can maintain relationships with other individuals that have the same professional interests, develop stronger mentoring relationships with their teachers and industry SMEs, gain ability to think critically, plan appropriately, and make well-grounded career decisions.

To enhance student enrollment, retention, and success in STEM fields of study, a focused strategy was implemented to establish student STEM organizations aligning underrepresented students with matched mentors and mindsets. We developed a survey tool based on published literature and established instruments, including measures of STEM belonging, science identity, and growth mindset, as well as measures assessing students’ views on their STEM participation. The developed research process can be applied across the learning institution and applicable in other colleges and universities.

There is limited data available on underrepresented students who are pursuing STEM careers regarding factors associated with their participation in STEM. By examining the views and experiences of diverse STEM students across these domains, insights can be gained which may help develop strategies to facilitate STEM participation by other underrepresented students and growth of students in these domains in STEM leadership.

The results of this mixed-methods research study identified how student organizations provide the structure for students to develop a greater sense of belonging in STEM which can have a positive impact on academic achievement and retention in STEM particularly for women and students of color. The belief of “belonging” in STEM may be influenced by relationships with mentors of similar cultural backgrounds and life experiences. Student organizations can be an incubator for the development of STEM leadership competencies.

Research integration was applied to develop the Matched-Minds Mentoring program for students in STEM programs. The results of the first Matched-Minds Mentoring cohort, including eighty-plus students, were amazing! Specifically, the key findings were:


     1. By examining the preferences and attitudes of STEM students, we can gain insights into factors associated with their decision to pursue STEM, which can help develop strategies to encourage more students to enter STEM and to provide support interventions with focus on underrepresented students.

     2. Research Integration: The STEM Matched-Mentoring Pilot was a success with a positive impact to student persistence and retention.

Implications or Recommendations:

The recommendation is to expand the Matched-Minds Mentoring program across the learning institution. This research method is applicable in other colleges and universities as well.

The Research Team was thrilled to share research findings at the 2023 National Organization for Student Success (NOSS) conference in Nashville, Tennessee, March 2023!

Dr. Karen Lynne-Daniels Ivy (Principal Investigator)

Dr. Karen Lynne-Daniels Ivy, Ph.D. is the Assistant Dean of Technology Studies for Forbes School of Business & Technology at the University of Arizona Global Campus. She is also co-founder of the media tribute company, Visionary Expressions, LLC. Karen is a life-long learner, and her educational background consists of a combination of business, technical, marketing, and leadership advanced studies. Dr. Ivy’s professional experience includes over 30 years of business, technical, and leadership contributions in the Aerospace, Manufacturing, Commercial Consumer and Office, Health Care, and Information Technology industries. This includes Technology Leadership support to Lockheed Martin Space and Aeronautics missions and Honeywell Aerospace missions. She is an accomplished Senior Leader in the Information Technology Services industry with expertise in strategic development and oversight, service delivery, program management, and technology and innovation transformation.

Research Team:

Dr. Karen Ivy - Primary Investigator, Dr. Tahereh Daneshi, Lisa Sims, & Michael Hayden

Thursday, February 9, 2023

Where is the recession? By Dr. Robin Dhakal

This week we learned that the US economy created 517,000 new jobs in January 2023 while the market estimate was just 187,000 jobs. That pushes the official unemployment rate down to 3.4% which is the lowest it has been since 1969. In addition, the average hourly wages also increased by 0.3% in January with an annual rate of 4.4%. All of these data along with the fact that the GDP grew by 2.9% in the last quarter of 2022 begs an important question: where is the recession?

In October 2022, the CEO of JP Morgan Chase, Jamie Dimon said that he expects the US to head into a recession “within the next six to nine months.” He was not alone in this prediction. Many financial analysts, economists, and news networks also concurred with Mr. Dimon’s view about the looming recession. One of the primary reasons that economists believe we are heading into a recession is because of the Fed’s efforts to bring down inflation. The inflation in the US has come down since July of last year. In June 2022, the CPI rose by 1.3%- one of the highest rates of increase in the recent past. However, that rate was 0% in July and -0.1% in December. This is an encouraging sign and a sign that the Fed’s interest rate hike is working. In fact, the Feds first started raising the interest rates in March and have gradually increased them since. It is also an encouraging sign that the Feds slowed the rate hike this month.

So, are the economists wrong about the possibility of a recession? It’s complicated. Historically, every time we have a higher level of inflation, the Fed uses its monetary policy tools to raise interest rates. When the rates are increased, consumer spending, investment, and exports fall. This causes domestic production to fall- hence causing the recession. One example of this is the inflation that persisted from the late 1960s to the early 1980s which is often coined “the great inflation.” To combat high levels of inflation, the Feds increased the rates aggressively up to 20% which pushed the US economy into a recession. Following the recession, the Fed started lowering the rates. This, coupled with fiscal policies of cutting tax rates, led to one of the strongest recoveries in the recent past.

Even though there are some similarities with the 1980s, there are a lot of differences, too. Unlike the 1980s when we saw a high level of inflation and two recessions in quick succession, we have a very robust GDP growth rate even while the Feds increased the rates aggressively. There are some reasons for concern because of the layoffs in the recent past from companies like Twitter, Facebook, and Google, but the data suggests that the labor market is still strong. Much of the layoffs we are seeing are companies shedding some of the overhiring we saw during the COVID pandemic in the tech industry. Moreover, as the world is getting past the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic impacts, the supply chain issues that companies experienced are fading. Shipping volumes are up in most of the largest ports in the world. Even though the supply chain issues are not expected to fully return to a normal level until 2024, it has improved. In addition, crude oil prices have come down significantly and the stock market is higher than at the start of 2020 with the Dow increasing by about 18% since the start of 2020. All of this is good news, and we should expect inflation rates all around the world to fall because of these factors.

Considering all these factors, it is reasonable to think that we *might* dodge the bullet on the recession this year or have a shorter, milder recession. That, of course, will depend on two major things: 1) how does the Fed reach moving forward? Will they keep raising the rates until the inflation has cooled significantly, or will they increase it at a slower rate? 2) how will Congress handle the debt limit crisis? On January 19, the US reached the debt ceiling. However, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen doesn’t expect the US to default on its debt until early June. If the debt ceiling fight in Congress is not resolved soon, it will have a devastating effect on the US and global economy- and will almost certainly put us in a recession. It will raise the interest rates on the loans that the government owes, rattle the bond market, and affect the stock market globally- to name a few.
Dr. Robin Dhakal

Dr. Robin Dhakal Bio:

“Dr. Robin Dhakal is an Assistant Professor in the Forbes School of Business and Technology. He earned a M.A. and a Ph.D. in Economics from University of South Florida and a B.A. in Business/Economics and Mathematics/Computer Science from Warren Wilson College. His academic research focuses on development economics and political economy. He has been teaching Economics in colleges and universities for the past nine years." Dr. Robin's LinkedIn Address

Friday, February 3, 2023

2022 Forbes School of Business and Technology® $15K Scholarship Recipients

Congratulations to our two scholarship recipients. Darrius Finney was awarded the $15,000 2022 Senior Project Scholarship, and Tobe Attah was awarded the $15,000 2022 Entrepreneurship Scholarship. The scholarships are directly applied to their UAGC degree program and cover a portion of their educational expenses. You may learn more about the Senior Project Scholarship and the Entrepreneurship Scholarship at UAGC Scholarships 

*The Forbes School of Business and Technology® scholarship program is managed by Dr. Murad Abel, Dr. Jorge Cardenas, and Professor Bill Davis.

2022 Senior Project Scholarship Recipient Darrius Finney

My name is Darrius, and I am currently a student at the University of Arizona Global Campus pursuing a Master of Arts in Organizational Management. I began UAGC in 2019 because of the flexible learning and expedited classes offered. I started UAGC in 2019 with only 60 college credits and went on to complete my Bachelor of Arts in Human Resource Management in 2022 with UAGC. When beginning this journey, I never imagined three years later I would be four classes away from my Master’s Degree. When I completed my final course for my Bachelor’s, MGT 490 Strategic Human Resources Planning, I received an email in April of 2022 regarding the Senior Project Scholarship. I was reading the details and saw that UAGC offered a $15,000 scholarship to an undergraduate student seeking to pursue a Master’s degree with UAGC. The submission requirements include a letter of intent and your final paper in MGT490. I submitted the requirements and didn't think that I would be the lucky winner. Fast forward to December 2022, I received an email stating, “Congratulations, you are the winner of the Senior Project Scholarship!” I was speechless and genuinely so thankful for the opportunity to continue my education with UAGC. My whole intent behind furthering my education was to secure a better future for myself, set an example for my family, and provide my nieces with another role model to look up to. Everything I do is for my family, and this scholarship enables me to continue being the role model they deserve. With my master's degree, I plan on pursuing a career as a Human Resources Director and inspiring others never to give up and always set their goals high. My advice to others applying for this scholarship is to do it! As Wayne Gretzky said, "You miss 100 percent of the shots you don't take." I honestly wouldn't have this opportunity if I didn't take a shot at applying.

2022 Entrepreneurship Scholarship Recipient Tobe Attah

My name is Tobe Attah, and it is a pleasure to be awarded the Entrepreneurship Scholarship presented by the Forbes School of Business and Technology® at UAGC. To share a brief introduction of myself, I am the Managing Director for an engineering, construction, and management firm based in Dallas, Texas. Our services include the construction and management of civil engineering projects with a focus on pavement, drainage, water, and wastewater systems, among others. I am working towards earning my doctorate at UAGC to broaden my horizons on business administration and organizational development, and my goal is to become a professor. I look forward to taking advantage of the classes and professors who are experts in the field of leadership and management, as they can offer me valuable knowledge that can help me achieve my goals.

College is a great opportunity for students to explore their entrepreneurial ideas since they have access to a wealth of resources that can support them in making their ideas a reality. Numerous colleges offer incubators, accelerators, scholarships, and other programs that provide networking opportunities, funding, and mentorship. Additionally, college students have access to a wide variety of lecturers and peers who can offer unique knowledge and insight. Utilizing these resources and following through on entrepreneurial ideas can help students develop important skills like creativity, problem-solving, and perseverance, which are beneficial in any professional setting.

Thursday, September 1, 2022

Authentic Human Connection: A Key Component of a Culture of Care In the Online Classroom

 Bill Davis, Lead Faculty, Department of Organizational Studies, and Sarah Korpi, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Director, Division of Continuing Studies Assistant Director, Learning Engineering Group, University of Wisconsin – Madison 

Bill Davis

Do you want to motivate and inspire your students to reach for higher goals? During our combined 37 years of teaching in higher education, we have had the opportunity to observe the evolution of online classrooms and the unique challenges they possess in terms of engagement. Below are the five key insights and ideas we believe are most relevant to establishing authentic human connections and a flourishing culture of care.

Students Matter | Authentic Human Connection

 We believe students matter, and they are the reason we exist. According to Schlossberg, Lynch, and Chickering (1989, p.21), student success is dependent on the degree to which students feel they "matter." The four dimensions of mattering are:

  • Attention
  • Importance
  • Ego-extension
  • Dependence

Sarah Korpi
Our experience tells us that by being genuine, authentic educators, we demonstrate to students that they matter. Utilizing a positive and helpful servant transformational leadership style is one way to work to build authentic human connection. Servant transformational leaders work selflessly to serve students and equip them for success. They inspire a shared vision, model the way, enable others to act, and encourage the heart. They promote intelligence and problem solving, give personal attention and coaching, and they gain respect and trust.

Building authentic human connection with our learners helps students feel seen and valued and that they belong in our classrooms, all things that promote student persistence and success. According to Maggie Wooll (2021, para. 6): "Human connection is a deep bond that's formed between people when they feel seen and valued. During an authentic human connection, people exchange positive energy with one another and build trust. Human connection makes you feel heard and understood and gives you a sense of belonging." Serving students by being positive, timely, and reliable shows them that you care. What we model for our students through our actions and ways of being is often reflected in how our students interact with each other in our courses; leading by example and demonstrating the behavior we wish to see is powerful. We can further promote student persistence and success by delivering high-quality teaching practices, innovating to find new and better ways to serve and reach students, and by providing caring consideration.

Good Leaders Understand the Culture and Context They Lead, Teach and Coach In

Each group of students is unique, and what works well for one group may not work well or at all for another. As educators, we are the leaders of our classrooms. We understand the course content, the way the course fits into the overall curriculum, the institutional context we teach in, and the dynamics of our unique groups of learners. As the course leader, modeling consistency and staying engaged with learners promotes student success.

Keep students in your line of sight. Involve and engage them where you can, sharing information and rewarding and recognizing the good they do, even if they haven't yet fully reached the learning outcomes. Help them grow their skills, knowledge, and confidence levels by leading and teaching with care. Most importantly, be mindful that some adult learners are connecting to their education for the very first time. Some learners are reconnecting after a significant break in learning. Taking the time to understand your students' situations and the roles they balance is one easy way to promote authentic human connection. In addition, this information can help you to plan each week to serve and support them as they engage with your class and balance their other responsibilities. Being aware of all support resources and sharing them regularly helps normalize utilizing those resources in support of learning.  

Lead and Coach with Care

As you lead and coach with care in your online classroom, be aware of your role's importance and purpose. Always have as a goal to provide students with a meaningful and gratifying learning experience. Keep the main thing the main thing, student learning. Lead with care and emotional intelligence, having a high sense of self-awareness, social awareness, self-management, and relationship management. Good leader-coaches understand the content and culture they lead and the situational variables and dynamics in an online classroom.

So, in every student interaction, work to connect with your students, build valuable rapport and provide students with high-quality engagement and feedback. Where you can, be proactive and take the initiative to serve and coach them outside the classroom (one-on-one coaching via zoom or phone, etc.). Be a positive role model, leading by example and putting forth high-quality work, innovation, and caring in all the roles in which you serve students.

Consider these suggestions:

1. Observe and listen to your student's passions and purpose, recognizing any apprehensions they may have.

2. Lead with care when life happens and situations arise. Set the right tone, show empathy and compassion as you listen, and provide valuable advice, and coaching with care. Help students identify and eliminate any road blocks to success.

3. As you coach, remember these tips from Project Manager (2016):

  1. Coaching Leaders:
    1. Unlock potential
    2. Coach with questions

                                                               i.      Ask:

1.       "What is the goal?"

2.       "What are you trying to achieve?

3.       "How can you get there?"

Coaching with care also means providing positive encouragement to your students. Be positive, immediate, and reliable. The impact will be building trust and demonstrating to students that you care.

Purpose, Passion, and Vision

Remember, it is an honor and a pleasure to share in our students' learning journey. You will be sharing and working to enrich, support, and empower your students, and many times they will present opportunities for you to provide valuable advice or role modeling. Be aware of the vital role you play. Value the time you share with each student in every class and work to influence positive outcomes and meaningful results.

It's important to remind your students that the steps they take to achieve their vision include their plans and the processes they implement to achieve their goals. Goals allow students to focus on their objective, mobilize to achieve a goal, and increase their performance (Locke and Latham, 1968). Remind students of visualization techniques so they can imagine how their life will look once they have achieved their goal (Mind Tools, n.d.). Finally, engage in dialogue and help them see their progress and define their purpose, passion, and vision if needed.


Purpose provides students with a sense of meaning and guides their life and career decisions. It helps them shape their goals and gives them a sense of direction.


Passion is a student's sense of energy for something. According to Hudson and McLean (2006), "Your passions are your internal energy source, the fire or determination you have for reaching some destination up ahead. They tell you why you are on this journey and what you want from life. They are your push and pull." These energies might be derived from achievement, a search for meaning, compassion/contribution, and play and creativity. Every adult has the capacity to tap these passions.


Vision is what you hope the world will look like in the future because of your commitments and actions today. An inspiring and meaningful future vision can motivate and move you into action.

Identify and Overcome Barriers to Create Authentic Connection

In the classroom, instructors can use barriers to learning as opportunities to create authentic connection. Barriers create opportunities for outreach and connection and can be celebrated as connection points. As instructors, we can work to differentiate between practices that promote authentic connection in the face-to-face classroom and those that promote authentic connection in the online learning environment. Regardless of modality, reflecting on and mindfully selecting engagement strategies creates the platform for subsequent conversations about identified barriers, and strategies learners can employ to overcome these barriers.

Our education, experience, and board experience in ADEIL - Association of Distance Education and Distance Learning have instilled a strong belief that instructors are a powerful force. They can be transformational servant-style leaders who are authentic and genuine. Instructors can help students change their lives when they choose to pursue higher education. Simply put, instructors can lead, lift, and equip students for success.

According to Rich Diviney (2021), who authored The Attributes: 25 Hidden Drivers of Optimal Performance, "You can't hide you (authenticity)." Among the attributes, authenticity is the most important in building trust. Authenticity cannot be fake or copied. Consistency of action, thought and values is the simplest measure of authenticity. Consistency builds trust, and a lack of consistency builds doubt. When instructors demonstrate a positive attitude, lead with consistency and care, and continue to nurture students in their learning continuum, they become authentic leader-coaches. They help create the right learning environment in their classrooms. 


Davis, B. (2021). Balancing roles for adult learners. Retrieved from

Davis, B. (2020). Why passion matters to adult learners. Retrieved from

Diviney R. (2021). 25 Hidden Drivers of Optimal Performance. New York. Random House

Hudson, F.M., & McLean, D.P. (2006). Life launch, a passionate guide to the rest of

your life. Santa Barbara, CA: Hudson Institute Press.

Mind Tools (n.d.). Locke's goal-setting theory. Retrieved from

Project Manager (2016). How to Give Feedback [Video]. Retrieved from

UFP Research Fellows Roundtable Session 3

 UFP Research Fellows Roundtable Session 2 reveals key information, analysis and findings from research grants at University of Arizona Global Campus (UAGC).   

  • Live Learning Mathematics – Holly Ourso, College of Arts & Sciences
  • Immersive experiences for student engagement – Dan Tinianow, College of Arts & Sciences
  • The Use of Digital Badges to Enhance Student Engagement and Retention – Shari Schwartz, College of Arts & Sciences
YouTube description, "Each virtual gathering will highlight multiple initiatives from the 2021-2022 University Fellows Program. Primary investigators will share brief updates (10-15 minutes) about their initiatives along with any findings that are available at this point, and time will be set aside for Q&A and discussion after each presentation." 

If you are interested in connecting to UAGC YouTube page you can do that by (Clicking Here).

Thursday, August 18, 2022

UFP Research Fellows Roundtable Session 2

 UFP Research Fellows Roundtable Session 2 reveals key information, analysis and findings from research grants at University of Arizona Global Campus (UAGC).   

  • Live Learning Mathematics – Holly Ourso, College of Arts & Sciences
  • Immersive experiences for student engagement – Dan Tinianow, College of Arts & Sciences
  • The Use of Digital Badges to Enhance Student Engagement and Retention – Shari Schwartz, College of Arts & Sciences
YouTube description, "Each virtual gathering will highlight multiple initiatives from the 2021-2022 University Fellows Program. Primary investigators will share brief updates (10-15 minutes) about their initiatives along with any findings that are available at this point, and time will be set aside for Q&A and discussion after each presentation." 

If you are interested in connecting to UAGC YouTube page you can do that by (Clicking Here).

Tuesday, August 9, 2022

UFP Research Fellows at UAGC Live Session 1

UFP Research Fellows Session 1 reveals key information, analysis and findings from research grants at University of Arizona Global Campus (UAGC)

o   Bridging the motherhood penalty: Identifying the specific challenges working mothers face in completing their education and advancing their careers and strategies to support their success – Brandy Havens, Forbes School of Business & Technology

o   Quality Improvement in Online Course Design: A Case Study – Hwangji Lu, College of Arts & Sciences

YouTube description, "Each virtual gathering will highlight multiple initiatives from the 2021-2022 University Fellows Program. Primary investigators will share brief updates (10-15 minutes) about their initiatives along with any findings that are available at this point, and time will be set aside for Q&A and discussion after each presentation. "

If you are interested in connecting to UAGC YouTube page you can do that by (Clicking Here).