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Board # 100 : Exploring Enculturation in the First-Year Engineering Program

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2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Columbus, Ohio

Publication Date

June 24, 2017

Start Date

June 24, 2017

End Date

June 28, 2017

Conference Session

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Tagged Topics

Diversity and NSF Grantees Poster Session

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Paper Authors


Noemi V Mendoza Diaz Texas A&M University Orcid 16x16

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Dr. Mendoza Diaz is Instructional Assistant Professor at the College of Engineering at Texas A&M University. She obtained her Ph.D. from Texas A&M University in Educational Administration and Human Resource Development and worked as a Postdoctoral Researcher with the Institute for P-12 Engineering Research and Learning-INSPIRE at the School of Engineering Education-Purdue University. She was a recipient of the Apprentice Faculty Grant from the Educational Research Methods ASEE Division in 2009. She also has been an Electrical Engineering Professor. Dr. Mendoza is interested in Socioeconomically Disadvantaged Engineering Students, Latino Studies in Engineering, and Entrepreneurship in Engineering Education.

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So Yoon Yoon Texas A&M University Orcid 16x16

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So Yoon Yoon, Ph.D., is an assistant research scientist at Institute for Engineering Education and Innovation (IEEI) within the Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station (TEES) and Texas A&M University. She received her Ph.D. and Educational Psychology with the specialties in Gifted Education and Research Methods & Measurement, respectively from Purdue University. Her work centers on P-16 engineering education research, as a psychometrician, program evaluator, and institutional data analyst. She has authored/co-authored more than 30 journal articles and conference proceedings and served as a reviewer of journals in engineering education, STEM education, and educational psychology, as well as an external evaluator and an advisory board member on several NSF-funded projects.

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Jacques C. Richard Texas A&M University Orcid 16x16

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Dr. Richard got his Ph. D. at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, 1989 & a B. S. at Boston University, 1984. He was at NASA Glenn, 1989-1995, taught at Northwestern for Fall 1995, worked at Argonne National Lab, 1996-1997, Chicago State, 1997-2002. Dr. Richard is a Sr. Lecturer & Research Associate in Aerospace Engineering @ Texas A&M since 1/03. His research is focused on computational plasma modeling using spectral and lattice Boltzmann methods for studying plasma turbulence and plasma jets. His research has also included fluid physics and electric propulsion using Lattice-Boltzmann methods, spectral element methods, Weighted Essentially Non-Oscillatory (WENO), etc.
Past research includes modeling single and multi-species plasma flows through ion thruster optics and the discharge cathode assembly; computer simulations of blood flow interacting with blood vessels; modeling ocean-air interaction; reacting flow systems; modeling jet engine turbomachinery going unstable at NASA for 6 years (received NASA Performance Cash awards). Dr. Richard is involved in many outreach activities: e.g., tutoring, mentoring, directing related grants (for example, a grant for an NSF REU site). Dr, Richard is active in professional societies (American Physical Society (APS), American Institute for Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), etc.), ASEE, ASME. Dr. Richard has authored or co-authored about 25 technical articles (19 of which are refereed publications). Dr. Richard teaches courses ranging from first-year introductory engineering design, fluid mechanics, to space plasma propulsion.

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Tanya Dugat Wickliff Texas A&M University

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Delivering significant results in pivotal roles such as Sr. Consultant to high-profile clients, Sr. Project Manager directing teams, and Executive Leader of initiatives and programs that boost organizational effectiveness and optimize operations have been hallmarks of Dr. Wickliff’s career spanning more than 24 years with leaders in the oil & gas and semiconductor industries.

As an expert in the areas of Executive Leadership and Team Development, Strategy Design & Execution, Supply Chain Optimization, Change Management, System Integration and LEAN Process Improvement (technical and business), Dr. Wickliff is passionate about Organizational Wellness and the Holistic Wellness of individuals. She is also a professional Facilitator and Motivational Speaker.

Dr. Wickliff earned a PhD in Interdisciplinary Engineering from Texas A&M University where she combined Industrial Engineering and Organizational Development to conduct research in the area of talent management and organizational effectiveness. She also completed an executive MBA from the University of Texas-Dallas and a BS in mechanical engineering from the University of Houston. She is founder of a nationally recognized pre-college initiative program, FreshStart, which has served more than 2000 students since its inception.

Dr. Wickliff is blessed to work daily in the area of her passion – developing young professionals – in her role at Texas A&M University. She is the Director of the College of Engineering’s, Zachry Leadership Program and a Professor of Engineering Practice. At Texas A&M University, she has taught Capstone Senior Design and Foundations of Engineering courses, but now teaches Engineering Leadership Development courses. She has also taught Project Management and Risk Management courses for the University of Phoenix.

Dr. Wickliff has been honored with University of Houston’s Distinguished Young Engineering Alumni Award, the Black Engineer of the Year Career Achievement Award for New Emerging Leaders and featured in several publications. She has presented keynote addresses, facilitated workshops and given motivational presentations at numerous civic and corporate forums domestically and internationally. She is a contributing author to Tavis Smiley’s book, “Keeping the Faith”, with her inspiring life story. She believes that her life’s calling and thus career quest is to be a catalyst of significant, positive change and growth for individuals and entities. However, through it all, Dr. Wickliff gives top priority to her relationship with God, her husband Oscar Smith and her three sons – Jamar Dugat, Raymond Wickliff and Cortlan Wickliff.

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Exploring Enculturation in the First-Year Engineering Program Culture is defined as the set of beliefs, customs, and or arts of a particular group. Engineering enculturation can be defined as the process by which an engineering student learns the traditional content of an engineering culture and assimilates its engineering practices and values. Examples of content, practices and values in the engineering culture are, among others, algorithmic thinking, teamwork, problem solving, or engineering design. Enculturation and acculturation have been investigated in the humanities with little connections to the engineering profession. Enculturation can be understood as the acquisition of a culture, or in this case, the assimilation to the engineering culture. This funded research can help in the understanding of the engineering academic programs, seen from a perspective of “enculturation process into the engineering profession”. It can also shed light to the first year engineering programs, as a first step into this cultural assimilation process. The assimilation process to the engineering culture can be associated to engineering outcomes as defined by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) and through common outcomes among engineering programs, including first year engineering programs. A group of professors at a university located in the southwestern region of the United States are conducting engineering enculturation research based on self- reported student’s perceptions as well as performance indicators (i.e. grades) of at least 400 first year engineering students. In this work in progress, a Likert-based survey is administered to students followed by targeted focus groups. Results of these perceptions are compared to performance indicators. Given the importance of representation in engineering, underrepresented groups are specially considered and researched. Since publications and reports show that attrition is high during the first year engineering program, this inquiry seeks to explore the enculturation of individuals new to the profession. This paper contains the initial results from this work in progress to investigate enculturation of first year engineering students.

Mendoza Diaz, N. V., & Yoon, S. Y., & Richard, J. C., & Wickliff, T. D. (2017, June), Board # 100 : Exploring Enculturation in the First-Year Engineering Program Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. 10.18260/1-2--27666

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