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Board 114: Work-in-Progress: Engineering Identity across the Mechanical Engineering Major

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Conference

2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 23, 2018

Start Date

June 23, 2018

End Date

July 27, 2018

Conference Session

Mechanical Engineering Division Poster Session

Tagged Division

Mechanical Engineering

Tagged Topic

Diversity

Page Count

8

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/29884

Download Count

20

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Paper Authors

biography

Kathleen E. Cook Seattle University

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Kathleen Cook, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor in the Psychology Department at Seattle University. Dr. Cook received her doctorate in Social and Personality Psychology from the University of Washington, with a minor in quantitative methods and emphases in cognitive and educational psychology. Her research has included classroom learning, person perception, health perceptions, and jury decision making.

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Yen-Lin Han Seattle University

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Yen-Lin Han is an Assistant Professor in the department of Mechanical Engineering at Seattle University. Her research interests include micro-scale molecular gas dynamics, micro fluidics, and heat transfer applications in MEMS and medical devices as well as autonomous vehicles and robotics. Her work in experimental and computational investigations of micro flow phenomena has been published in high impact journals including Physics of Fluids, Applied Materials and Interfaces, and Journal of Microelectromechanical Systems. She also holds the patent for the continuous trace gas separator and a provisional patent for the dynamic tumor ablation probe. She is passionate about Engineering Education and has been teaching undergraduate courses since 2006. She is experienced in developing inverted classroom lectures and facilitating students’ learning through authentic engineering problems. She is also the Co- PI for the NSF Revolutionizing Engineering and Computer Science Departments grant awarded to the Mechanical Engineering department at Seattle University to study how the department culture changes can foster students' engineering identity. Dr. Han received her BS degree in Material Science and Engineering from National Tsing-Hua University in Hsinchu, Taiwan, her PhD degree in Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering and MS degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Southern California. She is a member of American Society of Engineering Education, American Society of Mechanical Engineering and American Educational Research Association.

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Teodora Rutar Shuman Seattle University

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Professor Teodora Rutar Shuman is the Chair of the Mechanical Engineering Department at Seattle University. She is an Affiliate Professor at the University of Washington. She is the PI on a NSF-RED grant. Her research also includes NOx formation in lean-premixed combustion and electro-mechanical systems for sustainable processing of microalgae. Her work is published in venues including the Journal of Engineering Education, IEEE Transactions on Education, Bioresource Technology, Chemical Engineering Journal, Proceedings of the Combustion Institute, and Combustion and Flame. She is a member of the American Society of Engineering Education and the Algae Biomass Organization. Dr. Shuman recently served as Chair for the ASEE Energy Conversion and Conservation Division.

She received a Dipl.Ing. degree in mechanical engineering from Belgrade University in 1992, an M.S.M.E. from the University of Washington in 1994 and a Ph.D. from the University of Washington in 2000.

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Gregory Mason P.E. Seattle University

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Gregory S. Mason was born and raised in Spokane Washington. He received the B.S.M.E. degree from Gonzaga University in 1983, the M.S.M.E. degree in manufacturing automation from Georgia Institute of Technology in 1984 and the Ph.D. degree in mechanical engineering, specializing in multi-rate digital controls, from the University of Washington in 1992.
He worked in a robotics lab for the Department of Defense for five years after receiving his M.S.M.E. He is currently a Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Seattle University, Seattle, WA. His research interests are controls system and the use of technology to enhance engineering education.
Dr. Mason is a member of the American Society of Engineering Education and the Society of Manufacturing Engineers. He is a licensed professional engineer.

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Jennifer A. Turns University of Washington

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Jennifer Turns is a Professor in the Department of Human Centered Design & Engineering at the University of Washington. She is interested in all aspects of engineering education, including how to support engineering students in reflecting on experience, how to help engineering educators make effective teaching decisions, and the application of ideas from complexity science to the challenges of engineering education.

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Abstract

Identity influences who people think they are, what they think they can do and be, and where and with whom they think they belong. In education, identity is a determining factor in one pursuing, persisting, and persevering in a field. In engineering, it has been shown to be an important factor in attracting and retaining underrepresented minorities. This paper presents preliminary results from an identity study of mechanical engineering students.

All undergraduate students enrolled in the mechanical engineering program at a private, mid-sized university were invited to participate. The program utilizes a cohort model where all students at each level (freshmen, etc.) take at least one of their courses together. One of the authors not teaching any of these courses visited each cohort’s classroom. Students were invited to access the Qualtrics survey using their devices (phone, laptop, etc.). If they gave consent they continued on past the first screen to the survey questions. These included 5 demographic questions (age, year in school, whether a transfer student, and perceived gender and ethnicity) and the 37-item revised Engineering Student Identity Survey (ESIS-2). The ESIS-2 includes such questions as, “I think about the fact I am an engineering student,” and, “I feel strong ties to other engineering students.”

75 students participated. Each group showed ESIS-2 scores above the scale midpoint and juniors and seniors showed stronger total ESIS scores than freshmen and sophomores. These results serve as students’ baseline engineering identities. As we revamp our mechanical engineering program it is important to pay attention to how identities, especially those of the underrepresented, are affected by the changes made.

Going forward we will monitor both changes to the program and to student identities through continued use of the ESIS and through other tools. What we learn will lead to a clearer understanding of the changes that promote engineering identities, particularly in women, and how such identities affect students’ sense of belonging in a program and their persistence in the major.

This project was funded by a grant from NSF’s Division of Undergraduate Education (DUE) through IUSE/PFE: RED.

Cook, K. E., & Han, Y., & Shuman, T. R., & Mason, G., & Turns, J. A. (2018, June), Board 114: Work-in-Progress: Engineering Identity across the Mechanical Engineering Major Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. https://peer.asee.org/29884

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