Asee peer logo

Engagement in Practice: Increasing the Researcher/Inclusion Staff Collaboration Culture for Inspiration of Diverse Learners in Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)

Download Paper |


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 3

Tagged Division

Minorities in Engineering

Tagged Topic


Page Count




Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


Tonya L. Peeples University of Iowa Orcid 16x16

visit author page

Professor Tonya Peeples joined the department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering at the University of Iowa in 1995, and in her 20+ years at UI, has served to advance diversity and promote opportunities for all students to pursue education and careers in Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). As an individual researcher, an administrator and as a leader in the state and national community, Dr. Peeples has made an impact on improving the STEM pipeline through personal commitment, local partnerships, institutional leadership and effective collaboration.
Dr. Peeples has mentored a diverse group of high school, undergraduate and graduate students including three high school students, 64 undergraduate and 13 graduate students, and three postdoctoral fellows in her biochemical engineering laboratories. Five of her current and former doctoral students are underrepresented minority students who are also U. S. citizens, and four are U.S. women. Several of her graduate and undergraduate student researchers have won local, regional and national awards for their work.
As the first Associate Dean for Diversity and Outreach for the College of Engineering Dr. Peeples is influencing faculty and institutional leaders. She has implemented search committee training on implicit bias and best practices for recruiting diverse faculty. As a leader in the University Center for Exemplary Mentoring funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, she trains faculty in mentoring minority students. These activities are “game changers” for CoE which is seeing record enrollment growth and increasing numbers of women and minority students. She has established collaborations to extend a welcoming environment to all students. These efforts leverage Dr. Peeples’ experience as a longstanding director of programs and initiatives such as the Ethnic Inclusion Effort for Iowa Engineering and the Multi- Ethnic Engineering and Science Association tutoring program, providing g leadership and guidance for the MESA tutoring program since 2006 and establishing policies to ensure that all volunteers are trained and vetted for weekly homework sessions that are executed professionally by student, faculty and community volunteers. She also wrote and administers the University of Iowa, College of Engineering Graduate Assistantships in Areas of National Need (GAANN) training program, funded by the U.S. Department of Education.
Peeples is a member of the Advisory Board for the SE Regional STEM Hub and works within that board to increase STEM access and awareness in Eastern Iowa. She has received numerous awards for service to the local state and national STEM communities, including Outstanding Service Award from the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) Minority Affairs Committee, the Collegiate Service Award from the UI CoE, the Michael J. Brody Award for Faculty Excellence in Service, the UI Diversity Catalyst Award. In 2015 she was the recipient of the Pioneers of Diversity Award from AIChE. In 2016 she was a fellow of the Executive Leadership in Academic Technology and Engineering (ELATE) program.

visit author page

author page

Tracy R. Peterson The University of Iowa, College of Engineering

author page

Mary K. Nyaema

author page

Barbara Newhall University of Iowa, Health and Human Physiology

Download Paper |


Through the establishment of an Outreach, Admissions, Scholarship and Inclusion Services (OASIS) team the University of Iowa College of Engineering has greatly expanded the activities of faculty, staff and students to benefit the broader community. A key activity of the OASIS group is the connection of researchers, student organizations and academic programs, with programs that engage special populations to expand the reach of the academic community and to advance the broader impacts of research for the benefit of society. Partnerships with institutional programs such as Upward Bound, regional community organizations such as the Boys and Girls Clubs and the municipal partnerships with corporations and school districts have enabled innovative programs. Program assessments have revealed increased STEM learning and STEM interest among a variety of K-12 participants. Efforts to continue the collaboration culture of researchers, diversity professionals, corporations and community organizations continue. The result has been a community of scholars willing to “share their STEM stories” with diverse groups. These outreach and community engagement activities provide “cradle to career” service to students and their mentors; training for teachers who implement new practices in K-12 classes, and access to educational and career opportunities for learners across the state.

Peeples, T. L., & Peterson, T. R., & Nyaema, M. K., & Newhall, B. (2017, June), Engagement in Practice: Increasing the Researcher/Inclusion Staff Collaboration Culture for Inspiration of Diverse Learners in Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. 10.18260/1-2--28233

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: © 2017 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