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A Pre-engineering Summer Program with Emphasis on Inclusion, Diversity, and Inspiration

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2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


San Antonio, Texas

Publication Date

June 10, 2012

Start Date

June 10, 2012

End Date

June 13, 2012



Conference Session

Attracting Young Minds: Part I

Tagged Division

Minorities in Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

25.91.1 - 25.91.12



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Paper Authors


Lelli Van Den Einde University of California, San Diego

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Lelli Van Den Einde is a tenure-track lecturer at UC, San Diego, and focuses mostly on undergraduate education in mechanics and design courses. Her past research was in the seismic design of bridge systems, but she is currently focused on assessing and improving engineering education pedagogy through technology. She has been the Faculty Advisor for UC, San Diego’s Society of Civil and Structural Engineers (SCSE), a student chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers, for the past two years. Additionally, Van Den Einde is also the Faculty Advisor for the ASCE Concrete Canoe competition team. She teaches a two-quarter technical elective course, which integrates not just the technical components of the concrete canoe project, but vital project management skills. Professionally, Van Den Einde is a member of ASCE and is currently the Secretary and Treasurer for the San Diego Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI) chapter. Van Den Einde has her heart in the students’ interests.

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Terrance R. Mayes University of California, San Diego

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Terrance Mayes serves as Director, Student Life and Diversity, for the University of California, San Diego, Jacobs School of Engineering. In this role he founded, alongside the school’s diversity advisory council, the IDEA Student Center, which promotes inclusion, diversity, excellence, and advancement amongst Jacobs School students, staff, and faculty. A central goal of the center is to increase the enrollment and retention of historically underrepresented minority and female students within the school of engineering. Mayes plays a vital role in ensuring that the Jacobs School develops and maintains a more diverse and inclusive student and faculty population. Prior to accepting his current leadership position, Mayes served as the Director of Student Affairs and Alumni Relations for the Jacob School’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. In that role, he oversaw the academic and career advising for the largest graduate program on the UC, San Diego, campus. He was also responsible for leading the undergraduate advising unit and the department’s engagement with industry and alumni. In 2010, Mayes was honored by the Urban League of San Diego County with one of the inaugural “Forty Under 40” awards. The award introduces young leaders whom are playing critical roles in the community and professional arenas within San Diego County. Mayes, a native of Fresno, Calif., holds a B.A. degree in communications from California State University, Fresno, and a M.S. degree in organizational leadership from National University in La Jolla, Calif.. He is currently pursuing a doctorate in educational leadership with the UC, San Diego/CSU, San Marcos joint doctoral program.

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Nathan Delson University of California, San Diego

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Nathan Delson’s interests include mechatronics, biomedical devices, human-machine interfaces, and engineering education. He isCo-founder and Past President of Coactive Drive Corp., which develops novel actuators and control methods for use in force feedback human interfaces. Medical device projects include an instrumented mannequin and laryngoscope for expert skill acquisition and airway intubation training. He received his undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering from the University of California, San Diego, and then went on to get a doctorate in mechanical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1994. He was a lecturer and Director of the Design Studio at Yale University for four years, and then returned to his alma matter, UC, San Diego, in 1999. He is now a tenured lecturer and Director of the Design Center in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. He teaches hands-on design courses, including an introductory design class, a mechatronics class, and a capstone design class. His interests in design education include increasing student motivation, teamwork, and integration of theory into design projects.

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A Pre-Engineering Summer Program with Emphasis on Inclusion, Diversity, and Inspiration In 2010 a top public research university conducted self-examination in order to assess theclimate, level of satisfaction and retention of their undergraduate students. Results of thisassessment led to the creation of a student center to promote inclusion, diversity, excellence, andadvancement across the University’s School of Engineering. During the summer of 2011 thecenter implemented its inaugural residential pre-engineering program (PrEP). The program’sparticipants included 22 pre-freshman students all of whom were from historicallyunderrepresented groups in engineering and/or first-generation to attend college. Fundingconstraints on the summer program required a tradeoff between academic preparation vs.motivational and social aspects. The engineering school decided to emphasize the motivationaland social aspects while introducing students to existing academic resources on campus. Thegoals of the program were to a) foster a sense of community b) build awareness of campusprograms and resources, c) provide tools to aid in the transition from high school to college, andd) inspire students by exposing them to opportunities in engineering. Activities during the four-day program were designed to address these goals and included: social and team-buildingactivities, academic-themed workshops, and an introduction to campus academic resources. Thispaper summarizes the results of a pre and post survey designed to assess whether the programmet its goals. Noteworthy results include a 50% difference in the students’ awareness of campusresources and a 28% difference in feeling a sense of community with the University.

Van Den Einde, L., & Mayes, T. R., & Delson, N. (2012, June), A Pre-engineering Summer Program with Emphasis on Inclusion, Diversity, and Inspiration Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--20851

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