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Developing a Leadership and Diversity Course for an Engineering Management Program

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2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 23, 2018

Start Date

June 23, 2018

End Date

July 27, 2018

Conference Session

Curriculum and the Classroom

Tagged Division

Engineering Management

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Paper Authors


Sandra L. Furterer University of Dayton

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Dr. Sandy Furterer is an Associate Professor at the University of Dayton, in the Department of Engineering Management, Systems and Technology. She recently moved from industry as a VP of Process Transformation for Park National Bank in Columbus, Ohio.

Dr. Furterer received her Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering with a specialization in Quality Engineering from the University of Central Florida in 2004. She received an MBA from Xavier University, and a Bachelor and Master of Science in Industrial and Systems Engineering from The Ohio State University.

Dr. Furterer has over 25 years of experience in business process and quality improvements. She is an ASQ Certified Six Sigma Black Belt, a Certified Quality Engineer, an ASQ fellow, and a certified Master Black Belt.

Dr. Furterer is an author or co-author of 4 reference textbooks on Lean Six Sigma, Design for Six Sigma and Lean Systems, including her latest book: Lean Six Sigma Case Studies in the Healthcare Enterprise by Springer publishing in 2014.

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The purpose of this paper is to describe a new and innovative course in engineering management focusing on leadership and diversity. The paper provides the key learning objectives, instructional strategies, and the success of the course pilot in Spring 2017. The course was piloted with five graduate students in Spring 2017 and piloted again in Spring 2018 with 14 students, 3 undergraduates and 11 graduate students. Assessment of student learning was evaluated through the university’s student evaluation of teaching (SET) surveys, through two quiz questions, and through an instructor provided single question survey, asking the students, “How did this course change your life?” Some key findings from the student survey included: “This course creates a vision of our personal growth. It is a complete overall course on life, its characteristics, other managerial skills and last but not the least it encourages you to be a good leader. The most beneficial part that I learned from this course is that I understand how to organize my life and how to make a specific step-by-step plan to achieve my goals. I used to think I could never be a leader. I am not afraid to think about myself as a leader, I started to imagine that I could be a leader now.” The value of the course is to develop leaders to excel in a diverse workforce. It provides students with an awareness of the barriers, biases and challenges to diversity in engineering, and provides strategies that can be used to improve satisfaction in the engineering workplace and in academia.

Furterer, S. L. (2018, June), Developing a Leadership and Diversity Course for an Engineering Management Program Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--30290

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