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Board 230: CAREER: ‘Support our Troops’: Re-storying Student Veteran and Service Member Deficit in Engineering through Professional Formation and Community Advocacy—Year 2

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2023 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Baltimore , Maryland

Publication Date

June 25, 2023

Start Date

June 25, 2023

End Date

June 28, 2023

Conference Session

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Tagged Topics

Diversity and NSF Grantees Poster Session

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Paper Authors


Angela Minichiello Utah State University Orcid 16x16

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Angela Minichiello is an associate professor in the Department of Engineering Education at Utah State University (USU) and a registered professional mechanical engineer. Her research broadly examines issues of access, diversity, equity, and inclusion in engineering. She is particularly interested in military and post-traditional students, self-regulated learning, and online and remote pedagogy and instruction.

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Hannah Wilkinson Utah State University

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Hannah Wilkinson is a graduate student in Engineering Education at Utah State University. She received a B.S. in Chemical Engineering in from the University of Utah.

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There is an urgent need to recruit, retain, train, and sustain a diverse engineering workforce able to meet the socio-technical and environmental challenges of 21st century society. Together, student veterans and service members (SVSM) are a unique yet understudied group that comprises substantial numbers of those historically underrepresented in engineering based on their race, ethnicity, gender, ability, or sexual orientation. That, in combination with technical interests and skills, maturity and life experience, and leadership and teamwork training, makes SVSM ideal candidates for helping engineering education meet these demands.

This NSF CAREER project aims to advance full participation of SVSM within higher engineering education and the engineering workforce by 1) Research Plan: developing deeper understandings about how SVSM participate, persist, and produce professional identities in engineering education and 2) Education Plan: putting new understandings into practice through collaborative development, implementation and broad dissemination of evidence-based military ally and mentorship programs for SVSM in engineering and awareness/support trainings for engineering faculty, staff, and administrators. The project builds from previous work using a longitudinal, narrative inquiry research approach and an innovative, two-strand theoretical framework. In doing so, this project aims to both critically examine higher engineering education structures and interpretively explore SVSM professional identity development in engineering programs at 2- and 4- year public institutions in the western United States. Research findings from both strands are then integrated within multi-institutional, collaborative research to practice efforts to develop inclusive, assets based SVSM programs and services to be made available nationally. Integrating research and educational efforts in this way engages SVSM, colleges of engineering, institutions, and local communities in the development, implementation, and sustainment of educational and support resources for SVSM in ways that would be unachievable by the research team alone.

This paper reports on project activities conducted and substantial outcomes reached during project YEAR 2. Specifically, the following activities and outcomes will be presented: 1) Research Plan: preliminary qualitative thematic and narrative findings, centered on institutional structure and professional identity development, gleaned from SVSM personal narrative journal entries and one-on-one narrative interviews, 2) qualitative themes centered on institutional awareness, perceptions, and supports gaps from one-on-one interviews with institutional agents (e.g., veterans resource administrators and staff and engineering college level administrators and advisors) at participating 2- and 4- year public institutions, and 3) collaboratively developed and member-checked understandings of the implications of institutional level results for the development, implementation, and sustainment of educational and support resources for SVSM at western public colleges and universities.

Minichiello, A., & Wilkinson, H. (2023, June), Board 230: CAREER: ‘Support our Troops’: Re-storying Student Veteran and Service Member Deficit in Engineering through Professional Formation and Community Advocacy—Year 2 Paper presented at 2023 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Baltimore , Maryland. 10.18260/1-2--42670

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