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CAREER: Learning from Students’ Identity Trajectories to Actualize Latent Diversity

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Conference

2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access

Location

Virtual Conference

Publication Date

July 26, 2021

Start Date

July 26, 2021

End Date

July 19, 2022

Conference Session

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Tagged Topics

Diversity and NSF Grantees Poster Session

Page Count

25

DOI

10.18260/1-2--36783

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/36783

Download Count

23

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Paper Authors

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Allison Godwin Purdue University at West Lafayette (COE) Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0002-0741-3356

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Allison Godwin, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of Engineering Education and Chemical Engineering at Purdue University. Her research focuses what factors influence diverse students to choose engineering and stay in engineering through their careers and how different experiences within the practice and culture of engineering foster or hinder belongingness and identity development. Dr. Godwin graduated from Clemson University with a B.S. in Chemical Engineering and Ph.D. in Engineering and Science Education. Her research earned her a National Science Foundation CAREER Award focused on characterizing latent diversity, which includes diverse attitudes, mindsets, and approaches to learning, to understand engineering students’ identity development. She has won several awards for her research including the 2016 American Society of Engineering Education Educational Research and Methods Division Best Paper Award and the 2018 Benjamin J. Dasher Best Paper Award for the IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference. She has also been recognized for the synergy of research and teaching as an invited participant of the 2016 National Academy of Engineering Frontiers of Engineering Education Symposium and the Purdue University 2018 recipient of School of Engineering Education Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching and the 2018 College of Engineering Exceptional Early Career Teaching Award.

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Brianna Shani Benedict Purdue University

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Brianna Benedict is a Ph.D. Candidate in the School of Engineering Education at Purdue University. She earned her Bachelor’s and Master’s of Science in Industrial and Systems Engineering from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University. Her research focuses on understanding how hybrid spaces influence engineering students’ identity development, belonging, and agency in interdisciplinary engineering education. She co-leads the CDEI virtual workshop team focused on building a community of educators passionate about expanding their knowledge concerning diversity, equity, and inclusion in engineering education. Her most recent accomplishment was being recognized as one of seven AAC&U 2019 K. Patricia Cross Scholars based on her commitment to teaching and learning and civic engagement.

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Jacqueline Rohde Purdue University at West Lafayette (COE)

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Jacqueline Rohde is a PhD candidate at Purdue University and is the recipient of an NSF Graduate
Research Fellowship. Her research interests in engineering education include the development student identity and
attitudes, with a specific focus on the pre-professional identities of engineering undergraduates who join non-industry occupations upon graduation.

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Herman Ronald Clements III Purdue University at West Lafayette (COE)

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H. Ronald Clements is an Engineering Education Ph.D. student at Purdue University. He received his Bachelor of Science in Psychology at Harding University with honors, where he participated in the Beyond Professional Identity (BPI) research group, studying frustration in first- and second-year undergraduate engineering students. He also served as the BPI lab manager during 2017-2018. He is also a Society of Personality and Social Psychology Undergraduate Research Fellow, through which he studied in the Stereotypes, Identity, and Belonging Lab (SIBL) at the University of Washington during the summer of 2018.

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Heather Lee Perkins Purdue University at West Lafayette (PPI) Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0002-8757-0545

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Heather graduated from the Applied Social and Community Psychology program in the spring of 2021, after completing her Bachelor of Science in Psychology from the University of Cincinnati. She has participated in various research projects examining the interaction between stereotypes and science interest and confidence, their influence upon womens’ performance in school and the workplace, and their presence in the media and consequences for viewers. Her primary research interest is science identity, STEM education, and participation in online communities.

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Joana Marques Melo Purdue University at West Lafayette (COE) Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0002-8365-0636

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Joana Marques Melo, PhD is a Visiting Assistant Professor in Engineering Education at Purdue University. Dr. Marques Melo graduated from Penn State University with a Ph.D. in Architectural Engineering. She also earned her B.S. in Chemical Engineering from ISEP in Portugal, and her master's degree in Energy for Sustainable Development from UPC in Spain. Her research interests include quantitative and qualitative methods for engineering education research, diversity in engineering education, and technical communication in engineering.

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Andrea Lidia Castillo University of California, Irvine

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A.Lili Castillo is a third year undergraduate student at the University of California, Irvine. She is majoring in Mechanical Engineering and pursuing a minor in Biomedical Engineering. As a result of her heavy involvement in her collegiate section of the Society of Women Engineers, her research interests have evolved to encompass learning more about ways in which diversity and inclusion can be further implemented within undergraduate engineering communities. She currently works with Purdue University's STRIDE - CAREER research team to explore latent diversity within the identity development of undergraduate engineering communities as an undergraduate researcher.

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Abstract

This executive summary describes the progression of a research project focused on characterizing latent diversity in engineering through students’ narratives of their identity trajectories. Despite grandiose initiatives, the underlying nature of engineering culture continuously undermines national goals to address diversity, equity, and inclusion; recruit and retain diverse talent; and promote innovation in problem-solving approaches and engineering solutions. We hypothesize that the socialization process of engineering education leads to the homogenization of students’ ways of being, thinking, and knowing. Additionally, this process often alienates students who do not align with the cultural norms and practices in engineering. As a result, seemingly identical portrayals of what engineering is and who becomes an engineer have permeated engineering students’ and professionals’ stories for decades. This research provides a broader understanding of engineering inclusion by unpacking actionable ways to actualize latent diversity in engineering, which we will lead to a demonstrable change in engineering climate and culture. We used mixed methods to characterize latent diversity through a national survey of 3,711 first-year engineering students and longitudinal narrative interviews of 25 students to answer three research questions: 1) What kinds of diversity in attitudes, beliefs, and mindsets (i.e., latent diversity) are present in engineering students?; 2) How do undergraduate students with latent diversity form engineering identities within an engineering community of practice over time?; and 3) What support, both inside and outside of the classroom, can be provided to promote inclusion of students with latent diversity in engineering? We constructed first person narratives to inform our understanding of engineering climate and student experiences. At this point, we have conducted five rounds of interviews with students since Fall of 2018. Each interview used journey maps to elicit students’ identity trajectories and probed further into their short- and long-term goals and current educational environments. As we progress into the grant’s final year, we are continuing our data collection efforts and have begun to develop ways to translate our findings to inclusive classroom practices. We are facilitating a professional development workshop focused on equipping educators with tools to promote inclusion for latently diverse students. Also, we highlight how our work on latent diversity and person-centered analyses can amplify and center the voices of those traditionally marginalized in engineering, and can provide advances in the methodological approaches and positioning of engineering education research. Overall, this research aims to understand how students construct their identities over time in order to promote inclusive classrooms, and leverages the dynamic nature of mixed methods research to challenge the ways inclusion is defined and explored in engineering education.

Godwin, A., & Benedict, B. S., & Rohde, J., & Clements, H. R., & Perkins, H. L., & Marques Melo, J., & Castillo, A. L. (2021, July), CAREER: Learning from Students’ Identity Trajectories to Actualize Latent Diversity Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. 10.18260/1-2--36783

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