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Enculturation of Diverse Students to the Engineering Practices through First-Year Engineering Experiences

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2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Columbus, Ohio

Publication Date

June 24, 2017

Start Date

June 24, 2017

End Date

June 28, 2017

Conference Session

Minorities in Engineering Division Technical Session 7

Tagged Division

Minorities in Engineering

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Paper Authors


Jacques C. Richard Texas A&M University Orcid 16x16

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Dr. Richard got his Ph. D. at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, 1989 & a B. S. at Boston University, 1984. He was at NASA Glenn, 1989-1995, taught at Northwestern for Fall 1995, worked at Argonne National Lab, 1996-1997, Chicago State, 1997-2002. Dr. Richard is a Sr. Lecturer & Research Associate in Aerospace Engineering @ Texas A&M since 1/03. His research is focused on computational plasma modeling using spectral and lattice Boltzmann methods for studying plasma turbulence and plasma jets. His research has also included fluid physics and electric propulsion using Lattice-Boltzmann methods, spectral element methods, Weighted Essentially Non-Oscillatory (WENO), etc.
Past research includes modeling single and multi-species plasma flows through ion thruster optics and the discharge cathode assembly; computer simulations of blood flow interacting with blood vessels; modeling ocean-air interaction; reacting flow systems; modeling jet engine turbomachinery going unstable at NASA for 6 years (received NASA Performance Cash awards). Dr. Richard is involved in many outreach activities: e.g., tutoring, mentoring, directing related grants (for example, a grant for an NSF REU site). Dr, Richard is active in professional societies (American Physical Society (APS), American Institute for Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), etc.), ASEE, ASME. Dr. Richard has authored or co-authored about 30 technical articles (21 of which are refereed publications). Dr. Richard teaches courses ranging from first-year introductory engineering design, fluid mechanics, to space plasma propulsion.

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So Yoon Yoon Texas A&M University Orcid 16x16

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So Yoon Yoon, Ph.D., is an assistant research scientist at Institute for Engineering Education and Innovation (IEEI) within the Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station (TEES) and Texas A&M University. She received her Ph.D. and Educational Psychology with the specialties in Gifted Education and Research Methods & Measurement, respectively from Purdue University. Her work centers on P-16 engineering education research, as a psychometrician, program evaluator, and institutional data analyst. She has authored/co-authored more than 30 journal articles and conference proceedings and served as a reviewer of journals in engineering education, STEM education, and educational psychology, as well as an external evaluator and an advisory board member on several NSF-funded projects.

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Noemi V. Mendoza Diaz Texas A&M University Orcid 16x16

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Dr. Mendoza Diaz is Instructional Assistant Professor at the Dwight College of Engineering at Texas A&M University. She obtained her Ph.D. from Texas A&M University in Educational Administration and Human Resource Development and worked as a Postdoctoral Researcher with the Institute for P-12 Engineering Research and Learning-INSPIRE at the School of Engineering Education-Purdue University. She was a recipient of the Apprentice Faculty Grant from the Educational Research Methods ASEE Division in 2009. She also has been an Electrical Engineering Professor for two Mexican universities. Dr. Mendoza is interested in Pre-college and College Engineering Readiness, Socioeconomically Disadvantaged Engineering Students, Latino Studies in Engineering and Computer Aided/Instructional Technology in Engineering.

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Tanya Dugat Wickliff Texas A&M University

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Delivering significant results in pivotal roles such as Sr. Consultant to high-profile clients, Sr. Project Manager directing teams, and Executive Leader of initiatives and programs that boost organizational effectiveness and optimize operations have been hallmarks of Dr. Wickliff’s career spanning more than 24 years with leaders in the oil & gas and semiconductor industries.

As an expert in the areas of Executive Leadership and Team Development, Strategy Design & Execution, Supply Chain Optimization, Change Management, System Integration and LEAN Process Improvement (technical and business), Dr. Wickliff is passionate about Organizational Wellness and the Holistic Wellness of individuals. She is also a professional Facilitator and Motivational Speaker.

Dr. Wickliff earned a PhD in Interdisciplinary Engineering from Texas A&M University where she combined Industrial Engineering and Organizational Development to conduct research in the area of talent management and organizational effectiveness. She also completed an executive MBA from the University of Texas-Dallas and a BS in mechanical engineering from the University of Houston. She is founder of a nationally recognized pre-college initiative program, FreshStart, which has served more than 2000 students since its inception.

Dr. Wickliff is blessed to work daily in the area of her passion – developing young professionals – in her role at Texas A&M University. She is the Director of the College of Engineering’s, Zachry Leadership Program and a Professor of Engineering Practice. At Texas A&M University, she has taught Capstone Senior Design and Foundations of Engineering courses, but now teaches Engineering Leadership Development courses. She has also taught Project Management and Risk Management courses for the University of Phoenix.

Dr. Wickliff has been honored with University of Houston’s Distinguished Young Engineering Alumni Award, the Black Engineer of the Year Career Achievement Award for New Emerging Leaders and featured in several publications. She has presented keynote addresses, facilitated workshops and given motivational presentations at numerous civic and corporate forums domestically and internationally. She is a contributing author to Tavis Smiley’s book, “Keeping the Faith”, with her inspiring life story. She believes that her life’s calling and thus career quest is to be a catalyst of significant, positive change and growth for individuals and entities. However, through it all, Dr. Wickliff gives top priority to her relationship with God, her husband Oscar Smith and her three sons – Jamar Dugat, Raymond Wickliff and Cortlan Wickliff.

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This paper presents the analysis of engineering enculturation constructs in the way that diverse groups are assimilated into engineering practices. The studies of socialization processes investigate the relationship of behavior, such as enactment-externalization to engineers eventually adopting proper work practices that are contrary to their pre-conceived notions of successful engineers. Therefore, studies of socialization processes, by which engineering students come into engineering practices, can provide impetus for further study about enculturation.

For example, in the workplace, communication and teamwork are highly valued. Yet many engineering students value individual accomplishment and competitiveness as the tactic to succeed. In this study, we gathered information about student expectations for the process to become an engineer, by learning engineering culture (knowledge, practice, and values) through the engineering foundational course, interaction with faculty, teaching assistants, and peers, and the other activities at the university.

We listed the foundational engineering course outcomes, that are identified by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) and are also common to most of the engineering programs at most universities. Those can also be called engineering enculturation outcomes because students should exhibit characteristics of these outcomes at the end of the engineering program on their way to becoming a professional engineer. The study seeks to help understand how enculturation may contribute to the development of engineering students, who may particularly be from diverse backgrounds, adopting behavior and engineering practices favorable to their eventual success in the workplace.

Richard, J. C., & Yoon, S. Y., & Mendoza Diaz, N. V., & Wickliff, T. D. (2017, June), Enculturation of Diverse Students to the Engineering Practices through First-Year Engineering Experiences Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. 10.18260/1-2--28223

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