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Board # 81 : Engineering a Culture of Engagement

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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 Topic

NSF Grantees Poster Session

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Brock J. LaMeres Montana State University

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Dr. Brock J. LaMeres is the Director of the Montana Engineering Education Research Center (MEERC) and an Associate Professor in the Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering at Montana State University. LaMeres teaches and conducts research in the area of computer engineering. LaMeres is currently studying the effectiveness of online delivery of engineering content with emphasis on how the material can be modified to provide a personalized learning experience. LaMeres is also researching strategies to improve student engagement and how they can be used to improve diversity within engineering. LaMeres received his Ph.D. from the University of Colorado, Boulder. He has published over 80 manuscripts and 2 textbooks in the area of digital systems and engineering education. LaMeres has also been granted 13 US patents in the area of digital signal propagation. LaMeres is a member of ASEE, a Senior Member of IEEE, and a registered Professional Engineer in the States of Montana and Colorado. Prior to joining the MSU faculty, LaMeres worked as an R&D engineer for Agilent Technologies in Colorado Springs, CO where he designed electronic test equipment.

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Jessi L. Smith Montana State University

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Jessi L. Smith is Professor of Psychology at Montana State University and is Special Assistant to the Provost as the PI and Director of ADVANCE Project TRACS. Her research specializes in social psychological aspects of gender and culture that utilizes models and theories to advance the success of people at risk in education, business, and health.

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This paper presents the current status of a research project underway at Montana State University investigating student “dis-engagement” and how it relates to a student’s ultimate motivation to enter the engineering workforce. This research aims to understand why engineering students show less and less concern overtime for how engineering contributes to public welfare. Prior work has shown that when the engineering profession is viewed as one that holds only agentic value (i.e., advancement only for one’s self), it is often unappealing to certain student groups, especially women and first generation college students. If interventions can be implemented that change the value system among engineers to create a culture that views engineering as having important prosocial, communal value, this cultural shift will have a transformative impact on the formation of engineers by attracting a more diverse population into the profession. This will in turn spur innovation and support an inclusive engineering workforce. This two-year project is currently in its first year through funding from the National Science Foundation’s Research Initiation in Engineering Formation (RIEF) program. This paper will present the initial findings of a comprehensive survey deployed in a 100-level, electrical engineering course to measure student attitudes about, stereotypes of, and overall level of (dis)engagement in engineering. This paper will benefit engineering educators interested in improving student persistence, retention, and graduation rates through cultural interventions. The ultimate goal of this work is to contribute to the body of knowledge of how to produce graduates that choose to stay in the engineering workforce with a commitment to benefiting society through their work.

LaMeres, B. J., & Smith, J. L. (2017, June), Board # 81 : Engineering a Culture of Engagement Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. 10.18260/1-2--27932

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