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Empathy and Gender Inequity in Engineering Disciplines

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Conference

2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

New Orleans, Louisiana

Publication Date

June 26, 2016

Start Date

June 26, 2016

End Date

August 28, 2016

ISBN

978-0-692-68565-5

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Women in Engineering Division Technical Session - Strategies Beyond the Classroom to Tackle Gender Issues

Tagged Division

Women in Engineering

Tagged Topic

Diversity

Page Count

12

DOI

10.18260/p.26936

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/26936

Download Count

491

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Paper Authors

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Eddie L Jacobs University of Memphis

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Eddie L. Jacobs holds a B.S.E.E. (1986) and M.S.E.E. (1988) degree from the University of Arkansas, and a D.Sc. degree in Electro-physics from the George Washington University (2001). Dr. Jacobs is a licensed professional engineer in the state of Tennessee. Dr. Jacobs began teaching in 2006 after a 17 year career as a US Department of Defense researcher. He currently serves as the Undergraduate Coordinator for the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department of the University of Memphis. He is actively involved in curriculum development and in efforts to form the professional identity of students. He serves as the faculty sponsor for IEEE-HKN honor society and a faculty advisor for IEEE. He provides numerous research experiences for undergraduates, primarily in the fields of optics and imaging which are his major areas of research. Dr. Jacobs is fellow of SPIE and a senior member of IEEE.

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Amy L de Jongh Curry University of Memphis

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Amy L. de Jongh Curry, PhD, is an Associate Professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at University of Memphis (UM) with secondary appointment in the Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering. She also holds an adjunct position in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and Biomedical Engineering at University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) through the Joint Graduate Program in Biomedical Engineering at UM/UTHSC. Dr. Curry received B.S. and M.S. degrees in electrical engineering and Ph.D. in biomedical engineering from the University of Memphis.

Her current research interests include cardiac and neural electrophysiology with applications in cardio- and neuro-modulation via implantable electrostimulation devices, computational modeling and visualization, and best practices in undergraduate engineering education. These efforts have been funded by the National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, and American Heart Association. Dr. Curry is a member of Tau Beta Pi, American Society for Engineering Education, Society of Women Engineers, and a Senior Member of IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society.

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Russell J. Deaton University of Memphis

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Dr. Russell Deaton is currently Kanuri Professor of Engineering and Department Chair of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Memphis. He is also Interim Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Administration in the Herff College of Engineering. From 2000-2012, he was a professor in the Computer Science and Computer Engineering Department of the University of Arkansas, and from 1992-2000, was on faculty in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department of the University of Memphis. He has a Ph.D. and M.S. in Electrical Engineering from Duke University, a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Memphis, and a B.A. in English from the University of North Carolina. In addition, he held engineering positions at UTC-Mostek and General Electric. He has published extensively in the area of DNA Computing and Molecular Programming, including DNA-guided self-assembly of nanostructures. He was organizing and program chair for 15th International Conference for DNA Computing and Molecular Programming (DNA15), and co-editor of a Springer volume of Lecture Notes in Computer Science with selected conference papers.

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Carmen Astorne-Figari University of Memphis

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Assistant Professor of Economics, Fogelman College of Business and Economics, University of Memphis

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Douglas Clark Strohmer University of Memphis

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Dr. Strohmer is former Chair of the Department of Counseling, Educational Psychology and Research. He holds fellow status in the American Psychological Association. His interests include: clinical judgment and decision-making, medical decision-making and the Internet, personality assessment, counseling process, professional identity, men in counseling, and disability issues. He has published over 70 articles in major counseling and psychology journals. In addition, he had authored several commercially available assessment instruments for use with lower intelligence individuals. He has been awarded the American Rehabilitation Counseling Association (ARCA) research award three times, the National Council on Rehabilitation Education (NCRE) research and career educator awardS, the ARCA career research award, and the Pfizer Excellence in Research Award. Dr. Strohmer’s work has also been recognized in other areas of counseling. For example, Dr. Strohmer was in the top 20 of individuals publishing in Journal of Counseling Psychology over a 25-year period. He has co-edited three journals (Rehabilitation Education, Assessment in Rehabilitation and Exceptionality, and The Journal of Forensic Vocational Assessment) and is current editor of the Rehabilitation Counseling Bulletin. He also served as team leader for the University of Memphis Professional Identity Research Team, which investigated the interplay between professional identity and work environment in the area of rehabilitation counseling.

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Abstract

Based on analysis of published studies, we posit that the current owned identity of many engineering disciplines lacks empathy as a core element and that this can be a barrier to entry for women, especially in disciplines that are perceived as having little concern for the welfare of others. Moreover, as a consequence of this lack of empathy, the actual identity of engineering as embodied in faculty and academic programs may be in conflict with those human-centered values expressed by it’s professional organizations. Therefore, to increase enrollment of women in engineering programs, a reformulation of the engineering identity to consciously incorporate empathy may be required. Our overall research efforts are centered on first characterizing the empathetic aspects of this owned identity within some of the sub-disciplines of engineering, identifying the degree to which a perceived lack of empathy forms a barrier for women pursuing engineering as a field of study, and finally, formulation of ways of transforming faculty and student attitudes in ways that will lead to the formation of an engineering identity that is more open to the concerns of women and more consistent with the values defined in the professional codes and creeds. This paper will report on our progress to date and our plans for future studies.

Jacobs, E. L., & de Jongh Curry, A. L., & Deaton, R. J., & Astorne-Figari, C., & Strohmer, D. C. (2016, June), Empathy and Gender Inequity in Engineering Disciplines Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.26936

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2016 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015