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ASEE Safe Zone Workshops and Virtual Community of Practice to Promote LGBTQ Equality in Engineering

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Conference

2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

New Orleans, Louisiana

Publication Date

June 26, 2016

Start Date

June 26, 2016

End Date

August 28, 2016

ISBN

978-0-692-68565-5

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

NSF Grantees Poster Session II

Tagged Topics

Diversity and NSF Grantees Poster Session

Page Count

14

DOI

10.18260/p.26284

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/26284

Download Count

40

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Paper Authors

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Stephanie Farrell Rowan University

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Dr. Stephanie Farrell is Professor of Chemical Engineering at Rowan University (USA) and was 2014-15 Fulbright Scholar in Engineering Education at Dublin Institute of Technology (Ireland). She obtained her PhD in Chemical Engineering from New Jersey Institute of Technology in 1996. Prior to joining the faculty at Rowan in 1998, she was an Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering and Adjunct Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Louisiana Tech University until 1998. Dr. Farrell has contributed to engineering education through her work in experiential learning, focusing on areas of pharmaceutical, biomedical and food engineering. She has been honored by the American Society of Engineering Education with several teaching awards such as the 2004 National Outstanding Teaching Medal and the 2005 Quinn Award for experiential learning. Stephanie has conducted workshops on a variety of topics including effective teaching, inductive teaching strategies and the use of experiments and demonstrations to enhance learning.

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Erin A. Cech Rice University

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Erin Cech is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology at Rice University. Before coming to Rice in 2012, Cech was a postdoctoral fellow at Stanford’s Clayman Institute for Gender Research. She earned her Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of California, San Diego and B.S. degrees in Electrical Engineering and Sociology from Montana State University. Cech’s research seeks to uncover cultural mechanisms of inequality reproduction--particularly gender, sexual identity and racial/ethnic inequality within science and engineering professions. Her current research projects focus on the recruitment and retention of women, racial/ethnic minority and LGBTQ individuals and the role of professional cultures in inequality in STEM.

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Rocio C Chavela Guerra American Society for Engineering Education

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Rocio Chavela is Director of Education and Career Development at the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE). She holds a Ph.D. in Engineering Education from Purdue University, a B.S. and a M.S. in Chemical Engineering from Universidad de las Americas, Puebla in Mexico. Rocio’s current efforts focus on engineering faculty and graduate student development, with particular emphasis on the adoption of evidence-based instructional practices.

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Adrienne Minerick Michigan Technological University Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0002-2382-7831

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Adrienne Minerick is a Professor of Chemical Engineering and Associate Dean for Research & Innovation at Michigan Technological University. She earned her M.S. and Ph.D. from the University of Notre Dame and B.S. from Michigan Tech. Adrienne’s research interests include electrokinetics, predominantly dielectrophoretic characterizations of cells, and the development of biomedical microdevices. She earned a NSF CAREER award and was nominated for Michigan Professor of the Year in 2014. Research within her Medical micro-Device Engineering Research Laboratory (M.D. – ERL) also inspires the development of Desktop Experiment Modules (DEMos) for use in chemical engineering classrooms or as outreach activities in area schools (see www.mderl.org). Adrienne is currently Chair of ASEE's Diversity Committee and PIC I Chair; she has previously served on WIED, ChED, and NEE leadership teams and contributed to 37 ASEE conference proceedings articles.

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Tom J Waidzunas Temple University

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Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology, Temple University

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Abstract

Even though recent years have seen significant advances in LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer) equality in the U.S. through legislation and social acceptance, research shows that LGBTQ students and faculty on college campuses still experience exclusion and dis-crimination. This paper describes a transformative project that links diversity research with a faculty development initiative to promote LGBTQ equality in engineering. . The aims of the project are to (1) identify aspects of engineering culture that present barriers to LGBTQ equality, (2) build knowledge and skills to disrupt discrimination and promote LGBTQ equality in engineer-ing departments on college campuses and (3) to identify best practices for promoting LGBTQ equality in engineering.

Safe Zone Workshops create a visible network of LGBTQ-affirming faculty who contribute to creating a positive and inclusive climate in engineering departments. A Virtual Community of Practice (VCP) works together to support individual members to take action to advance LGBTQ equality in their departments. Over 270 engineering educators have attended the 20 Safe Zone Workshops offered at the ASEE Annual Conference in the last two years. Surveys of partici-pants that the content has been appropriately tailored to an audience of engineering educators, and that there is a clear call to expand the workshops and nurture the conversation about LGBTQ inclusion in engineering. Online technology is being to create a scalable and sustainable model for sharing knowledge, tools and resources to promote LGBTQ inclusion in environments that are traditionally difficult to penetrate. Using a two-tiered, train-the-trainer structure, two experts trained a cohort of twenty leaders to facilitate online and face-to-face Safe Zone Workshops and lead a Virtual Community of Practice for engineering faculty. The workshops and VCP are being launched in early 2016.

This project uses a transformative, cyclical mixed-method research model to provide a basis for social change. The transformative research generates new knowledge of engineering culture through surveys of engineering deans, faculty and students as well as ethnographic participant observations during Safe Zone training sessions with engineering faculty. The cyclical aspect of the project plan integrates this new knowledge into another level of Safe Zone training sessions that address engineering culture more specifically.

Farrell, S., & Cech, E. A., & Chavela Guerra, R. C., & Minerick, A., & Waidzunas, T. J. (2016, June), ASEE Safe Zone Workshops and Virtual Community of Practice to Promote LGBTQ Equality in Engineering Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.26284

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: © 2016 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