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Diversity and Inclusion within the Context of the Professional Formation of Engineers: Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic and Increased Attention on Racial Disparities

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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

7

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/36987

Download Count

13

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Paper Authors

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Memoria Matters Purdue University at West Lafayette (COE)

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Memoria Matters is a PhD student in the School of Engineering Education at Purdue University. She is also pursuing a Master's degree at the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering for computer engineering, in which she obtained her BSE from the University of Pennsylvania. Her research interest is in increasing the diversity of engineering by improving the inclusivity of engineering higher education through teaching methods, policies, and culture change.

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Andrew O. Brightman Purdue University at West Lafayette (COE)

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Andrew O. Brightman serves as Assistant Head for Academic Affairs and Associate Professor of Engineering Practice in the Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering. His research background is in cellular biochemistry, tissue engineering, and engineering ethics. He is committed to developing effective pedagogies for ethical reasoning and engineering design and for increasing the diversity and inclusion of engineering education.

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Patrice Marie Buzzanell Purdue University at West Lafayette (COE) Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0003-0058-7676

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Patrice M. Buzzanell is Professor and Chair of the Department of Communication at the University of South Florida and Endowed Visiting Professor for the School of Media and Design at Shanghai Jiaotong University. Fellow and Past President of the International Communication Association (ICA), she served as President of the Council of Communication Associations and the Organization for the Study of Communication, Language and Gender. She is a Distinguished Scholar of the National Communication Association. Her research focuses on career, work-life policy, resilience, gender, and engineering design. She received ICA’s Mentorship Award and the Provost Outstanding Mentor Award at Purdue, where she was University Distinguished Professor and Endowed Chair and Director of the Susan Bulkeley Butler Center for Leadership Excellence. She has worked with Purdue-ADVANCE initiatives for institutional change, four EPICS teams including Transforming Lives Building Global Communities (TLBGC) in Ghana, and individual engineering ethical development and team ethical climate scales as well as everyday negotiations of ethics in design and professional formation of engineers through NSF funding. [Email: pmbuzzanell@usf.edu; buzzanel@purdue.edu]

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Carla B. Zoltowski Purdue University at West Lafayette (COE)

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Carla B. Zoltowski is an assistant professor of engineering practice in the Schools of Electrical and Computer Engineering and (by courtesy) Engineering Education, and Director of the Vertically Integrated Projects (VIP) Program within the College of Engineering at Purdue. Prior to her appointment in ECE, Dr. Zoltowski was Co-Director of the EPICS Program. She holds a B.S.E.E., M.S.E.E., and Ph.D. in Engineering Education, all from Purdue. Her research interests include the professional formation of engineers, diversity, inclusion, and equity in engineering, human-centered design, engineering ethics, and leadership.

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Abstract

In our NSF RFE sponsored research project, we have been investigating the intersection of three goals in engineering education: professional formation of students, an integrated sociotechnical perception of engineering, and increased diversity and inclusion. We approached this investigation into possible social change with design thinking. We engaged with faculty, staff, and students in a collaborative design process as part of a comparative study of two engineering departments – the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) and Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering (BME) – at Purdue University. Our project has been organized around the three phases of the design process (inspiration, ideation, and implementation), and embedded within the design process is a longitudinal, multiphase, mixed-methods study. During this third phase of the project, implementation, we have been both challenged and enabled by events and shifting conversations around the viral pandemic of disease and the widespread activism around racial injustice. In this paper, we provide an overview of the larger project’s previous analyses of the surveys and interview data from faculty, staff, administrators, students, and alumni in both ECE and BME which we have conducted. These analyses will provide insight on the indirect and/or longer-term impact on the school’s cultures and on aspects that are more embedded in the schools and disciplines, as well as those that are more amenable to change. In addition, we describe how design processes and mindsets have and can be used to address complex issues in engineering education, and how this approach facilitated the working groups/committees that emerged in both BME and ECE as part of this project. We also describe the data we are collecting in the final year of the project to understand the impacts of this project, as well as the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the attention to racial disparities on our research questions.

Matters, M., & Brightman, A. O., & Buzzanell, P. M., & Zoltowski, C. B. (2021, July), Diversity and Inclusion within the Context of the Professional Formation of Engineers: Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic and Increased Attention on Racial Disparities Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. https://peer.asee.org/36987

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