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Developing Humanitarian Engineering Perspectives Among Underrepresented Scholars Through Engagement with the Sustainable Development Goals in Global Contexts

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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

Humanitarian and Sustainability in a Global Engineering Context

Tagged Division

International

Tagged Topic

Diversity

Page Count

18

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/30307

Download Count

20

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Paper Authors

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Renetta G. Tull University of Maryland, Baltimore County

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Dr. Renetta Garrison Tull is Associate Vice Provost for Strategic Initiatives at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC: An Honors University in Maryland). She serves Professor of the Practice for the College of Engineering and Information Technology, and is part of the Engagement Team. She is also on detail with the University System of Maryland (USM), where she is Special Assistant to the Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, and Director of Pipeline Professional Programs for the system’s 12 academic institutions. She is the Co-PI and Founding Director for the National Science Foundation’s PROMISE: Maryland’s Alliance for Graduate Education and the Professoriate (AGEP), and Co-PI for the Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP) and Bridge to the Doctorate programs for the USM. Dr. Tull serves on a number of boards for women and diversity in STEM initiatives throughout the US and in Latin America. She is Vice President of Initiatives for the Latin and Caribbean Consortium of Engineering Institutions (LACCEI), and co-leads the "Women in STEM" initiatives for the organization. As a former professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, her engineering and speech science research covered topics of accessibility. Her current research in Maryland looks at intersections of social science theories, STEM equity, and physics. She was a “Cover Girl” for O’Reilly Media’s “Women in Data” issue in 2015, a finalist for the 2015 Global Engineering Deans Council/Airbus Diversity Award, Sci Chic/Medium.com 35 “Women STEM on Social Media Stars” (July 1, 2016), and 2016 winner of the Claire Felbinger Award for Diversity from ABET. She is a Tau Beta Pi “Eminent Engineer,” and can be found online @Renetta_Tull and https://renettatull.wordpress.com/.

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Shawnisha Hester University of Maryland, Baltimore County

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Shawnisha S. Hester is an Evaluation and Assessment Coordinator. She earned both her BA in Psychology and MA in Applied Sociology from University of Maryland, Baltimore County. She went on to complete her MSW from University of Maryland School of Social Work. Her research interests focus on using qualitative research methods that measure various phenomena and making connections via an interdisciplinary approach; qualitative evaluation and assessment measurements; increasing the number of minorities in STEM fields, and program development at the graduate level. She has had the opportunity to present at a regional and national conference and she has conducted research internationally. In addition, Ms. Hester is a licensed graduate social worker (LGSW) in the state of Maryland and provides outpatient mental health treatment to members in underserved communities. Contact information: shawnisha@gmail.com

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Yarazeth Medina University of Maryland, Baltimore County

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Accountant with multidisciplinary research interests aimed to diversify and increment access to higher education. Research interests focus on bringing the disparity of availability of information that improves programs that enforce participation in science, technology, engineering, and math fields (STEM), especially of underrepresented students in higher education. Technical interest in work related with federal funding, auditing, and programs to improve quality of life. Experience with financial auditing for state Congress, government projects, and universities in the U.S. demonstrate diverse work and skills. Mission: Global diversity and inclusion in STEM fields. Presence: U.S., Latin America, Caribbean and Asia.

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Denise Nicole Williams University of Maryland, Baltimore County Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0002-6314-2052

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Denise N. Williams is a third year Chemistry PhD candidate at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) as a member of Dr. Zeev Rosenzweig’s nanomaterials research group. She is currently a National Science Foundation AGEP Fellow, a Meyerhoff Graduate Fellow, and a research associate of the Center for Sustainable Nanotechnology. Prior to her time at UMBC, Denise earned a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry and a Bachelor of Science in Forensic Science from the University of New Haven in West Haven, Connecticut in May 2015. More information on her and her research can be found at denisenw.wordpress.com.

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Hector Medina University of Maryland, Baltimore County

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Erika T. Aparaka University of Maryland College Park

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Erika Aparaka is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Maryland College Park.

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Abstract

Opportunities to participate in international engagement experiences broaden students’ perspectives and perceptions of real world problems. A strong sense of “global engineering identity” can emerge when students are part of international teams that consider solutions to humanitarian challenges. To encourage retention in engineering among undergraduate and graduate students from underrepresented groups, a multi-campus team of faculty and administrators developed a plan expose students to humanitarian engineering perspectives within global contexts. Through a federally-funded program, the leaders took students to international conferences that fostered global team-based approaches to the National Academy of Engineering’s (NAE) 14 Grand Challenges, and the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Students attended international conferences on three continents in 2016 and 2017. The conferences introduced students to the NAE’s Grand Challenges in plenary sessions, and the SDGs in smaller group sessions, with a charge to transform the world. Students from across the globe developed action plans to potentially address problems within their communities. Students were encouraged to consider real-life scenarios of their choice that could be further refined and potentially implemented upon return to their home countries. The structure of the small group sessions allowed students to be members of an international team, agree upon a problem to tackle, conduct early research, and propose a concrete path toward addressing one of the SDGs. Data for this project was collected through crowd-sourcing, using online student reflections. Students blogged throughout a one-week period for each of three conferences. There were 28 respondents, across the three events. Content analysis was used to disaggregate data and group similarities. Data showed that the students from the federally-funded delegation demonstrated a clear need to assist the global community. They were particularly interested in working on problems related to industry innovation, infrastructure, gender equality, sustainable cities, and communities. Students realized that approaches to solutions could not be centralized to their own country, and that their proposals had to be feasible and logical for other parts of the world. As an example, challenges with bringing clean water to remote regions and approaches to sanitation required a need to take time to learn from peers from other countries. Students were asked to provide ubiquitous solutions to the problems. They were asked to consider themselves as part of the respective communities as a means of assessing the practicality of potential approaches. Students’ perspectives changed throughout the course of the conference, as they reflected on their ability to bring global contexts to their research. After participating in these conferences, students experienced a greater awareness of sustainability. They were also inspired to experience different cultures, cultivating greater appreciation for the need to engage with the international community when sharing research. The exposure to humanitarian engineering perspectives influenced global STEM identity, while appreciating disciplines outside of engineering, e.g, psychology, social behaviors. Further, students learned that strides can be made toward solving global problems when collaborations and relationships are formed and fostered.

Tull, R. G., & Hester, S., & Medina, Y., & Williams, D. N., & Medina, H., & Aparaka, E. T. (2018, June), Developing Humanitarian Engineering Perspectives Among Underrepresented Scholars Through Engagement with the Sustainable Development Goals in Global Contexts Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. https://peer.asee.org/30307

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