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Assessing the Networking Preferences and Resource Satisfaction among Engineering Faculty in the California State University System

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Conference

2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Tampa, Florida

Publication Date

June 15, 2019

Start Date

June 15, 2019

End Date

June 19, 2019

Conference Session

Women in Engineering Division Technical Session 5

Tagged Division

Women in Engineering

Tagged Topic

Diversity

Page Count

14

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/32123

Download Count

2

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Paper Authors

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Lalita G. Oka California State University, Fresno

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Dr. Lalita Oka is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Civil and Geomatics Engineering at the California State University, Fresno. She teaches undergraduate and graduate level Geotechnical Engineering courses. Her research interests include Geomechanics, Geotechnical Earthquake Engineering, Experimental and Numerical Modeling, and Engineering Pedagogy. Her pedagogical work is supported by the ‘Course Redesign with Technology (CRT)’ grant from the Chancellor’s Office of California State University and the Discover-e program of the Fresno campus. Dr. Oka is also very passionate about the contribution of female faculty in engineering. She believes that the female faculty can and should refuse to be defined by the male stereotypes in the field of engineering education as well as the engineering profession.

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Kimberly Stillmaker California State University, Fresno

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Dr. Stillmaker is an Assistant Professor in the Civil Engineering Department at CSU, Fresno. She teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in structural engineering. She attained her PhD in Civil Engineering at UC Davis. Her research interests include seismic analysis and design of steel structural and gender inclusion in engineering.

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Constance Jones California State University, Fresno

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Dr. Constance Jones is Professor and Chair, Department of Psychology, California State University, Fresno. Her research interests include research design, statistics, and evaluation research generally, and personality change across the lifespan specifically. As a Chair of the Department of Psychology, she is interested discovering and utilizing best practices for supporting academic faculty.

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Arezoo Sadrinezhad California State University, Fresno

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Dr. Arezoo Sadrinezhad is an assistant professor of Civil Engineering in the Lyles College of Engineering. She earned her PhD in Civil Engineering with emphasis in Geotechnical Engineering in August 2014. She also has a PE licence in the State of California. Prior to pursuing a PhD, Dr. Sadrinezhad was working as a seismic specialist and design engineer. She contributed to the seismic rehabilitation of more than fifty schools and hospitals. She also contributed in design of multiple superstructures and substructures. Her research and practice experiences include probabilistic constitutive modeling of soils, seismic design of structures/geostructures, and performance based design.

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Maryam Nazari California State University, Fresno

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Dr. Maryam Nazari is an Assistant Professor of Civil Engineering at CSU, Fresno. She earned her PhD in Structural Engineering with a minor in Engineering Mechanics at Iowa State University (ISU). Her research expertise includes "Resilient and Sustainable Civil Infrastructures" and "Smart Materials for Structural Health Monitoring". In addition to her academic experiences, Dr. Nazari worked as a structural design engineer for five years, where she participated in several seismic rehabilitation projects. Her recent research grants and awards include SB-1 California Transportation grant, ASCE Fresno Best Research Project, SEI/ASCE Young Professional Scholarship, and ISU’s Research Excellence award.

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Abstract

Given the low representation of women among engineering faculty, it is important to ensure women in engineering academia have networking opportunities and resources necessary to advance in their careers. To this end, an online survey was sent in April 2018 to engineering faculty employed at California State University (CSU) campuses offering a degree in engineering or computer science. The main objective of this study was to evaluate the networking and collaboration needs of women faculty and compare them to their men counterparts. Two primary portions of the survey focused on collaboration with others and satisfaction regarding available resources. A total of fifty-two engineering faculty from ten campuses of the CSU responded. A high proportion of respondents valued collaboration with others and having a network diverse with respect to gender and organization. While having a gender-diverse network was highly valued, using gender to actively seek collaborations appeared to be much less popular. No significant gender differences existed. It was, however, observed that tenure-track faculty were significantly more likely to value collaborating with others and having a diverse network with respect to the organization than tenured faculty. For evaluating the availability of resources, the faculty were also asked to rate their level of satisfaction with resources available for nine distinct aspects of their academic career. Among all respondents, the lowest areas of satisfaction were with industry relations and research equipment. Tenure-track faculty reported significantly higher satisfaction than tenured faculty in five of the nine categories: teaching training, grant writing, professional networking, professional development, and overcoming bias. Gender differences between tenure-track faculty satisfaction were shown to be insignificant, with the exception that women were significantly more satisfied with resources for teaching materials. Four categories ranked in the five lowest areas of satisfaction for each gender (the availability of research equipment, professional networking, industry collaboration, and work-life balance) with teaching materials and overcoming bias rounding out the fifth category for men and women, respectively. Overall, this study highlighted the need for networking and research resources among the tenure-track engineering faculty at the CSU campuses. Finally, strategies to address these needs, particularly as they pertain to supporting tenure-track women, are recommended, the most significant of which is a recommendation for the CSU to apply for an ADVANCE grant to provide inter-campus networking and mentoring opportunities.

Oka, L. G., & Stillmaker, K., & Jones, C., & Sadrinezhad, A., & Nazari, M. (2019, June), Assessing the Networking Preferences and Resource Satisfaction among Engineering Faculty in the California State University System Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. https://peer.asee.org/32123

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