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Building STEM Pathways for Students with Special Abilities

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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

Creating Equity Through Structure and Pedagogy

Tagged Topics

Diversity and ASEE Diversity Committee

Page Count

14

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/30165

Download Count

36

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Paper Authors

biography

Peter Golding University of Texas, El Paso

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Professor and Undergraduate Program Director in the Department of Engineering and Leadership at UTEP: Director of the Center for Research in Engineering and Technology Education: Provost Faculty Fellow in Residences in the Center for Faculty Leadership and Development at UTEP.

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Celena Arreola American Society for Engineering Education

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Celena Arreola graduated on May 13, 2017 with Bachelors of Science in Engineering Leadership at the University of Texas at El Paso with a concentration in Mathematics and Civil Engineering. Currently she is pursuing an M.S. in Engineering and is due to graduate in May 2019. She has been actively involved within the Department of Engineering Education & Leadership as a recruitment leader and administrative assistant. Currently she serves as the graduate advisor for the American Society for Engineering Education student chapter and is a research team leader in the Center for Research in Engineering and Technology Education where she focuses on the success of students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics of two post-secondary educational institutions based in El Paso.

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Crystal Fernandez-Pena University of Texas, El Paso

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Mike Thomas Pitcher University of Texas, El Paso

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Mike Pitcher is the Director of Academic Technologies at the University of Texas at El Paso. He has had experience in learning in both a traditional university program as well as the new online learning model, which he utilizes in his current position consulting with faculty about the design of new learning experiences. His experience in technology and teaching started in 1993 as a student lab technician and has continued to expand and grow over the years, both technically as well as pedagogically. Currently he works in one of the most technically outstanding buildings in the region where he provides support to students, faculty, and staff in implementing technology inside and outside the classroom, researching new engineering education strategies as well as the technologies to support the 21st century classroom (online and face to face). He also has assisted both the campus as well as the local community in developing technology programs that highlight student skills development in ways that engage and attract individuals towards STEAM and STEM fields by showcasing how those skills impact the current project in real-world ways that people can understand and be involved in. As part of a university that is focused on supporting the 21st century student demographic he continues to innovate and research on how we can design new methods of learning to educate both our students and communities on how STEM and STEAM make up a large part of that vision and our future.

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Cory Brozina Youngstown State University

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Dr. Cory Brozina is an assistant professor and the Director of First-Year Engineering at Youngstown State University. He completed his B.S. and M.S. in Industrial & Systems Engineering from Virginia Tech, and his Ph.D. is in Engineering Education, also from Virginia Tech. His research interests include learning analytics, student support and success, first-year engineering, and assessment.

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biography

Helen Elizabeth Geller University of Texas, El Paso

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Helen Geller is the Program Manager for the STEMGROW grant, funded by the Department of Education at the University of Texas at El Paso.

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Carolina Favela University of Texas, El Paso

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Carolina Favela is currently a Senior at the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) and plans to graduate with her Bachelors of Science in Mechanical Engineering in the Fall of 2018.
Carolina is currently a yearlong university Undergraduate Research Student and Development Specialist for the STEMGrow program, a partnership with El Paso Community College (EPCC) that focuses on achieving the next generation of student engagement and professional preparation. As a current STEMGrower, Ms. Favela strives to innovate and improve university diversity through exemplary mentoring, merging students who transition between UTEP and EPCC to improve the graduation rate of students in STEM fields. She also encourages students with disabilities (or as one calls it “special abilities”) to pursue degrees in STEM as well as break barriers for women in engineering to create a broad spectrum of opportunities and meet the 21st century STEM demands.
Although having a passion of helping beyond students learning, Carolina also had advocated and helped students who major in Mechanical Engineering as an exemplary Teachers Assistant in the Mechanical Engineering department laboratory “Lockheed Martin” to have a reflection of a real-world engineering experimental environment. She has also pushed the most updated modern engineering revolution of 3D printing to its limits by showing several students the importance of creativity, critical thinking, team building and problem solving.
As a lifelong learner, Carolina plans to pursue a Masters in Mechanical Engineering with a focus on Propulsion as well as attain a doctorate degree in Aerospace Engineering to meet the demands of a future employer such as NASA, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, or Space X.

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Melissa Stearns

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Abstract

We have been working with students in engineering sciences who are designated as having disabilities. However, we find in working with these students studying STEM at XXXX that they are able to teach us all lessons. We have recognized that rather than realizing dis-abiliities, our students contrarily exhibit special abilities and capacities for success. To celebrate this awareness, we have partnered with the Center of Accommodation and Support Service (CASS) at XXXX and the Center for Students with Disabilities at the XX Community College to organize and implement a Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM Ability Awareness program.

We report on the implementation of this program, whereby students in the XXXX area who oftentimes represent underrepresented and low socioeconomic communities find strength and support through coming together to discuss common challenges and opportunities. They are often first-generation learners, which presents unique challenges such as lack of exposure to the broad spectrum of STEM Pathways. Our goals are to highlight and address the stereotypes and stigma of the STEM fields. We are increasing awareness of educational and career opportunities in STEM and educating the stakeholders about equal access and equal opportunity.

The program components include keynote speakers, role-models, panels of experts, fun & hands-on activities, and tours of STEM facilities. The speakers share their own experience on various issues such as overcoming the barriers, how a regular day looks like in the workplace, an inclusive work environment, and increasing diversity. We report that through these events we can considerably raise awareness of opportunities to increase the contributions of persons with special abilities in higher education, in businesses and in regional STEM industries.

Golding, P., & Arreola, C., & Fernandez-Pena, C., & Pitcher, M. T., & Brozina, C., & Geller, H. E., & Favela, C., & Stearns, M. (2018, June), Building STEM Pathways for Students with Special Abilities Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. https://peer.asee.org/30165

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