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Board # 127 : Building Social Infrastructure for Achieving Change at Scale

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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, 2017

Conference Session

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Tagged Topic

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Page Count

4

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/27722

Download Count

38

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Paper Authors

biography

Donna M Riley Virginia Tech

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Donna Riley is Kamyar Haghighi Head of the School of Engineering Education and Professor of Engineering Education at Purdue University.

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Jennifer Karlin University of Southern Maine

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Jennifer Karlin spent the first half of her career at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, where she was a professor of industrial engineering and held the Pietz professorship for entrepreneurship and economic development. She is now at the University of Southern Maine where she is a research professor of engineering and the curriculum specialist for the Maine Regulatory Training and Ethics Center.

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Jennifer L Pratt University of Southern Maine, Muskie School of Public Service

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Jennifer Pratt is a Research Analyst with extensive experience conducting quantitative and qualitative evaluation projects. Jennifer's strong organizational skills impact a variety of environments in her role at the Muskie School as she guides process flow for several inter-disciplinary teams. She assists with the development and implementation of data collection protocols and surveys. In addition Jennifer develops and facilitates design of databases and use of database management systems, including computer assisted qualitative data analysis tools. She provides technical support and assistance in performance quality improvement (QI) tools that streamline agency processes, improve customer service and enhance agency efficiency and effectiveness.

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Stephanie M. Matos Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

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Stephanie is a Gradaute Research Assistant at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. She has a BS in Industrial Organizational Psychology, a BA in Sociology, and a Certification in Women and Gender Studies. She is a Virginia Tech Pratt Fellow and a Virginia Tech Graduate McNair Scholar.
Her research interest are in Engineering Culture, Institutional Behavior, Women & Racial Minorities in Engineering, Responsible Civic Engagement and
Service Learning as a Pedagogical Practice in Engineering

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Abstract

Engineering education research has emerged as a tool for making systemic and sustainable changes in the formation of engineers that are able to meet current and future national priorities and global challenges. However, the social infrastructure available to engineering education researchers is not yet robust enough to consistently support the development of diverse and deep collaborations sufficient to achieve true systemic change.

In this project, we consider three groups of researchers based on relative social infrastructure strength: those who are connected to a department of engineering education; those who are connected to a center or other non-department, formalized group on their campus; and those who have neither connection (“lone wolves”). Researchers on any given campus might have access to any combination of infrastructure types.

This project is directed toward identifying and amplifying social infrastructure elements that support the needs of lone wolves while sustaining the department- and center-based infrastructures. Lone wolf researchers often work in roles that are highly intertwined with the practice of engineering education; finding better ways to network and support strengthens the links between research and practice, facilitating systemic and lasting change. 

Here we report results from our first year of the project, in which we collected representations of organizational infrastructure, such as faculty workload policies, from college and university web sites. These policies and procedures have been coded for traits related to an individual’s access to infrastructure and connectedness to engineering education research networks, with a view to that trait’s impact on strengthening engineering education research networks. These data are analyzed first to document the organizational landscape and to provide a framework for the analysis of future interviews, which will focus on problems of faculty reward structures and diversity in engineering.

This project advances knowledge through its view of faculty behavior as formed not only by personal motivation and institutional reward structures but also by current economic and policy frameworks in higher education. The results of this project will identify mechanisms to strengthen networks, modify communities' infrastructure, and develop leadership that supports both researchers and practitioners in engineering education.

Riley, D. M., & Karlin, J., & Pratt, J. L., & Matos, S. M. (2017, June), Board # 127 : Building Social Infrastructure for Achieving Change at Scale Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. https://peer.asee.org/27722

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