Mentoring African American Undergraduate Researchers

Abdul Karim Bangura, Ph.D.

April 18, 2012

Note: In this video, the intricate pattern in the speaker's suit interacts with the video camera's scanning pattern, generating stripes that seem to vibrate (i.e., "moray patterns").

Video Segments

  1. What "counts" as undergraduate research?
  2. What are the outcomes for African American students?
  3. How can faculty mentor and motivate undergraduates to pursue original research?
  4. How can faculty help undergraduates find outlets for their research?
  5. Why should faculty actively support undergraduate research?


Studies suggest that African American undergraduates, in particular, benefit from involvement in research. 1 So how can faculty engage African American students in original research? Having successfully mentored dozens of African American undergraduates, Political Science Professor Abdul Karim Bangura explains how other faculty can do the same. After explaining what "counts" as undergraduate research, Dr. Bangura describes the impressive learning outcomes for many of the African American undergraduate researchers he has mentored during his career. Then he explains how other faculty members can also motivate undergraduates to pursue original research and help those students follow through—from formulating a research question to producing a presentation or publication.

1 See Five high-impact practices: Research on learning outcomes, completion, and quality, by J.E. Brownwell and L.E. Swaner (2010), for a review of relevant research.