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Empowering Male Students as Allies for Gender Equity Within an Engineering College

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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 - Understanding and Changing Engineering Culture

Tagged Division

Women in Engineering

Tagged Topics

Diversity and ASEE Diversity Committee

Page Count

12

DOI

10.18260/p.26945

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/26945

Download Count

195

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Paper Authors

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Lisa Abrams Ohio State University

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Dr. Lisa Abrams is currently the Associate Chair for the Department of Engineering Education at The Ohio State University (OSU). She received her Bachelor's and Master's Degrees in Mechanical Engineering and PhD degree in Industrial Engineering from Ohio State. She has seven years of industry experience in the areas of Design and Consulting. Her research focuses on the recruitment, retention, and success of undergraduate students, especially those populations who are under-represented in engineering. She has developed and taught a wide variety of engineering courses in First Year Engineering and Mechanical Engineering at Ohio State. She has received four teaching awards in the last three years at both the College and the Departmental level at OSU.

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Suzanne Grassel Shoger The Ohio State University

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Suzanne Shoger, M.A., is a Ph.D. student in Higher Education and Student Affairs at The Ohio State University. Her areas of expertise include strategic planning, gender equity and women’s leadership development, and social justice education. Her research focus is centered on gender equity among undergraduate and graduate engineering students, specifically related to ways men as a majority population can be engaged as advocates and allies for equity in academic settings.

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Lauren Corrigan Ohio State University

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Lauren Corrigan is a lecturer for the Engineering Education and Innovation Center at The Ohio State University. She earned both her Bachelor’s and Master’s in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Ohio State. She has two years of industry experience as an environmental engineering consultant. Her responsibilities included solid waste design, construction quality assurance, and computer aided design in support of various environmental projects. Lauren currently engages in teaching and curriculum development within the First-Year Engineering Program. Her research interests include the retention and success of students in STEM fields, with a particular focus on under-represented populations.

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Steven Y. Nozaki Ohio State University Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0003-4733-246X

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PhD Candidate in Engineering Education; MS, BS in Civil Engineering - The Ohio State University

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Mitsu Narui The Ohio State University Multicultural Center

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Dr. Mitsu Narui currently serves as the Associate Director for Institutional Effectiveness at Capital University. Dr. Narui received her Ph.D. in 2010 in Higher Education Administration from Ohio State. She is also received her MA in College Student Personnel from Bowling Green in 2003 and BS in Physical Therapy in 2000 from Ohio State. Most recently, Dr. Narui served as the Assistant Director for Academic Initiatives and Assessment at the Multicultural Center at The Ohio State University and before that Associate Director for Statewide Secondary Career Technical Articulation Agreements within the Ohio Board of Regents. In addition, Dr. Narui currently serves on the editorial board for the Journal for LGBT Youth and Journal for Diversity in Higher Education and has been actively presenting her research on Asian and Asian American lesbian, gay, and bisexual college students. She has been published in the Journal of Homosexuality as well as presented her research at the Association for the Study of Higher Education and American Educational Research Association national conferences.

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Adithya Jayakumar The Ohio State University

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Adithya Jayakumar is currently a Ph.D. student in the department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at The Ohio State University. He does his research on Optimizing Fuel Economy using Model based approaches at the Center for Automotive Research. Adithya was a Graduate Teaching Associate with the First Engineering Program for 3 years and has taught classes teaching design programming, etc. He was also a Graduate Administrative Associate with the Humanitarian Engineering Scholars program for 2 years. Additionally, he also has an extensive experience in curriculum development. He has a passion for Humanitarian Engineering and Engineering Education and has been involved with various projects dealing with both. He won the Outstanding Graduate/Professional Student Award in 2016.

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Abstract

Women comprise more than 50% of those who attend college (Lopez & Gonzalez-Barrera, 2014). In spite of this, much has been made of the "chilly climate" or unwelcoming environment for women in higher education (Crawford & LacLeod, 1990; Hall & Sandler, 1982; Morris & Daniel, 2008; Whitt, 1999). Elements of this chilly climate include both overt and covert behaviors by faculty, administrators, and students (e.g., sexist humor, stereotypical comments of women's abilities) as well as institutional policies and practices. Studies have shown that a chilly climate can have a negative impact on cognitive development (Whitt, 1999) and can also influence women’s desire to stay and persist within a science, technology, engineering, or math (STEM) field (Shapiro & Sax, 2011). For women in traditionally male-dominated academic programs such as engineering, the issues of a chilly campus climate are particularly salient as the female population they affect is often a significant minority. At X University College of Engineering (COE), women are currently 20 percent of the overall undergraduate student population within the college.

Improving women’s retention in engineering fields requires a multifaceted approach. Both direct support for women, along with the development of allies, are crucial to promoting a long-lasting, positive climate for women studying in this field. With the help/aid of allies to promote a positive environment, women within the COE can achieve a sense of belonging and connection to their field and thus they are more likely to be retained and matriculate to graduation. Allies for Women Engineers (AWE) at X University is a pilot cohort of 12 male undergraduate and graduate engineering students who are being trained as allies for women in the COE. While going through a one-year program focusing on gender equity, implicit bias, microaggressions, and sociocultural conversations, these individuals will become equipped to act as allies specifically for women in the COE, but also for other underrepresented groups, as they move from academe into the professional arena.

While improved retention of students, especially women students, in the X University COE would inevitably indicate immediate success of this initiative, the overall significance of this program goes beyond retention numbers. AWE will provide support for women while also providing opportunities for personal and professional growth for cohort members as well as classmates and colleagues who participate in outreach activities sponsored by AWE. The assessment and evaluation of this program will be multifaceted and will include the impact of the program on men within the cohort, and both men and women who attend the outreach/programming throughout the year. This paper will highlight details and logistics of the training program and highlight the first phase of assessment.

Abrams, L., & Shoger, S. G., & Corrigan, L., & Nozaki, S. Y., & Narui, M., & Jayakumar, A. (2016, June), Empowering Male Students as Allies for Gender Equity Within an Engineering College Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.26945

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