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A Survey of Women in Academia and the role of a Multidisciplinary Professional Society

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Conference

2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Columbus, Ohio

Publication Date

June 24, 2017

Start Date

June 24, 2017

End Date

June 28, 2018

Conference Session

Women in Engineering Division Technical Session 2

Tagged Division

Women in Engineering

Tagged Topic

Diversity

Page Count

11

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/27523

Download Count

21

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Paper Authors

biography

Daniela Faas Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering

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Prior to joining Olin College, Dr. Faas was the senior preceptor in design instruction at the John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Science at Harvard University. Dr. Faas was a Shapiro postdoctoral fellow in the Mechanical Engineering Department at MIT after receiving her Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering and Human-Computer Interaction from Iowa State University. Dr. Faas graduated from Bucknell University with her M.S. in Mechanical Engineering and joint B.S./B.A. in Mechanical Engineering and International Relations. Dr. Faas is currently a research affiliate in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at MIT. Her research focuses on developing low cost immersive Virtual Reality applications for products and systems, early stage design process and methodology and engineering education.

Research interests: virtual reality (VR) applications in mechanical design, design methodology and engineering education.

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Anne M Lucietto Purdue University, West Lafayette (College of Engineering) Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0003-0053-753X

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Dr. Lucietto has focused her research in engineering technology education and the understanding of engineering technology students. She teaches in an active learning style which engages and develops practical skills in the students. Currently she is exploring the performance and attributes of engineering technology students and using that knowledge to engage them in their studies. In addition to this work, she is interested in professional societies and how they support careers of their members.

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Gretchen L. Hein Michigan Technological University

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Gretchen Hein is a senior lecturer in Engineering Fundamentals at Michigan Tech. She have been teaching ENG3200, Thermo-Fluids since 2005. She also teaches first-tear engineering classes. She has been active in incorporating innovative instructional methods into all course she teaches. Her research areas also include why students persist in STEM programs and underrepresented groups in engineering.

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Lucy Lenhardt Pennsylvania State University, Erie (Behrend College)

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Gannon University, Erie PA. B.S. Mechanical Engineering Technology
Penn State University, Erie PA. B.S. Plastics Engineering Technology
1986-1990: Johnson Controls, Incorporated, Plastics Components Division (Quality Engineering)
1990-1994: Penn State University, Plastics Technology Deployment Center. (Research and Development)
1994-present: Penn State University, Senior Research Associate. (Faculty, Plastics Engineering Technology)

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Christi Patton Luks Missouri University of Science & Technology

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Dr. Patton earned a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Texas A&M University, an M.S. in Applied Mathematics from The University of Tulsa, and a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from The University of Tulsa. She is currently an Associate Teaching Professor of Chemical Engineering at Missouri University of Science & Technology.

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Beth A Myers University of Colorado Boulder

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Beth A. Myers is the Director of Assessment and Accreditation at the University of Colorado Boulder. She holds a BA in biochemistry, ME in engineering management and PhD in civil engineering. Her interests are in quantitative and qualitative research and data analysis as related to equity in education.

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Abstract

The Society of Women Engineers (SWE) is a professional society with a mission to “Stimulate women to achieve full potential in careers as engineers and leaders, expand the image of the engineering profession as a positive force in improving the quality of life, and demonstrate the value of diversity.” SWE is an organization that is deeply rooted in industry. The founding members were employed by firms that are a result of the industrial revolution, and thus the focus of its membership is on those that work for industry, consultants, and often themselves. Therefore, leaving a population of members who are in academia underrepresented and misunderstood.

Early discussion at the board level in the mid 2000’s indicated a willingness for a paradigm shift. However, the representation of academics on the board and other leadership roles has been lacking. This can be attributed to the lower numbers of this group relative to the whole, as well as the requirements of tenure that do not support the time and dedication to such an endeavor. A small but influential group of members, including a former board member, and a few involved at various levels of the society have been working toward increasing opportunities for women in academia (WIA). Some of the initiatives have been the societal support of the WIA committee, the addition of professional development opportunities targeting women in academic careers, providing recognition and awards, aiding in networking opportunities. These all lead toward career advancement, making SWE more attractive to women engineers in the academe.

To further our understanding of available opportunities and those opportunities that will make membership and active participation more attractive to members in academia, a survey was developed using accepted survey design techniques. Information gathered by the survey include demographics, perceived needs, and potential contributions the individual could make in furthering the creation of professional development opportunities for this population. This work is intended to share the results of this survey using descriptive statistics, increasing the interest in further developing our understanding of this underserved population within SWE.

Faas, D., & Lucietto, A. M., & Hein, G. L., & Lenhardt, L., & Luks, C. P., & Myers, B. A. (2017, June), A Survey of Women in Academia and the role of a Multidisciplinary Professional Society Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. https://peer.asee.org/27523

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2017 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015