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Board # 151 : Advancing Diversity Initiatives in the Civil Engineering Profession: Impacts of an NSF S-STEM Grant at a Regional Undergraduate Teaching Institution

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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


Mary Katherine Watson The Citadel Orcid 16x16

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Dr. Mary Katherine Watson is currently an Assistant Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at The Citadel. Prior to joining the faculty at The Citadel, Dr. Watson earned her PhD in Civil and Environmental Engineering from The Georgia Institute of Technology. She also has BS and MS degrees in Biosystems Engineering from Clemson University. Dr. Watson’s research interests are in the areas of engineering education and biological waste treatment.

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Kevin C Bower P.E. The Citadel

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Dr. Kevin Bower is D. Graham Copland Professor of Civil Engineering and Head of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at The Citadel, Charleston, South Carolina. Dr. Bower’s research into teaching and learning forces on improving active learning environments and the development of principled leaders attributes in engineering students.

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William J. Davis P.E. The Citadel Orcid 16x16

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William J. Davis is a professor in Civil & Environmental Engineering at The Citadel in Charleston, SC. He received his Ph.D. in civil engineering from Georgia Tech and is a registered professional engineer. His research interests focus on infrastructure resiliency, transportation facility planning and design, highway safety, and active living by design. He teaches courses in capstone engineering design, engineering management, transportation engineering, geographic information systems, and land surveying.

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A student scholarship and enrichment program was established in 2012 to help address the persistent problem of underrepresented minority, female and socioeconomically disadvantaged students enrolled in civil engineering degree programs and corresponding small number of graduates who enter the civil engineering profession. The program was administered within the civil engineering department of a regional undergraduate teaching institution and was made possible by funding from the National Science Foundation’s Scholarships in Science Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (S-STEM) program. The grant-funded program at our institution entitled, Excellence in Civil Engineering Leadership (ExCEL), offered scholarships to qualified students, within target demographic groups, to obtain financial and educational support in earning a civil engineering degree. Equally important to financial support, ExCEL furnished a variety of program-specific, student support services focused on improving retention, building a supportive learning community, developing principled leaders, and preparing graduates for successful careers.

Watson, M. K., & Bower, K. C., & Davis, W. J. (2017, June), Board # 151 : Advancing Diversity Initiatives in the Civil Engineering Profession: Impacts of an NSF S-STEM Grant at a Regional Undergraduate Teaching Institution Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. 10.18260/1-2--27776

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