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Engaging Engineers in Inclusive Cultural Change Through a New Method, Articulating a Succinct Description

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Conference

2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Columbus, Ohio

Publication Date

June 24, 2017

Start Date

June 24, 2017

End Date

June 28, 2017

Conference Session

Diversity and Inclusion

Tagged Division

Educational Research and Methods

Tagged Topic

Diversity

Page Count

15

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/28244

Download Count

156

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Paper Authors

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Emily E. Liptow California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo

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Emily Liptow is an AmeriCorps VISTA member at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo. She is involved with a variety of diversity and inclusion efforts in the College of Engineering ranging from student support programs, faculty bias awareness trainings, and inclusive cultural change. She is a recent Industrial and Systems Engineering graduate from Ohio State University, where she was also very involved with social justice initiatives.

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Michelle H. Bardini California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo

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Michelle Bardini is a fourth year English major, Gender, Race, Culture, Science, and Technology minor at California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo. She served as an AmeriCorps CSU STEM VISTA summer associate and currently is a research assistant, teaching assistant, and lab manager for Advancing Cultural Change. She is involved in social justice initiatives, specifically researching epistemic bias, its connection to neoliberalism, and its production of gendered and socioeconomic inequalities.

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Noah Robert Krigel California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo

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Noah Krigel is a second year Sociology major at California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo. He is a Resident Advisor for University Housing’s Gender Inclusive building and is a research assistant for Advancing Cultural Change. He researches cultural differences between different majors on campus, especially in regards to racial, gender, and sexuality.

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Monica Lauren Singer California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo

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Monica Singer is a fourth year Psychology major, minoring in Child Development and Gender, Race, Culture, Science and Technology at California Polytechnic State University. She is currently a research assistant for Advancing Cultural Change. Her research interests include how stereotype threat and implicit bias functions in an academic setting (specifically in the STEM fields).

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Coleen Carrigan California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo

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Professor Coleen Carrigan is a feminist anthropologist and an Assistant Professor of Science, Technology and Society (STS) at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. She investigates the historical and cultural dimensions of underrepresented groups' participation in science, technology and engineering and the reasons why white males still dominate these fields.

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Abstract

In this Research Paper, we describe Advancing Cultural Change (ACC), an action-oriented research initiative that engages undergraduates in ethnographic research to explore university culture and the lived experiences of its community members. Despite continued efforts to broaden participation in engineering programs across the country, there remains significant underrepresentation of racial minorities and women in these fields. This lack of diversity within engineering is due, in part, to exclusionary behaviors, such as bias and discrimination, that pervade the cultures of engineering. Drawing on critical theories including intersectionality, cultural capital, and critical methodologies in anthropology, ACC is aimed at making the experiences of underrepresented groups visible while strategizing collectively on ways to reduce cultural biases and to foster a more inclusive campus, specifically in engineering fields. We present preliminary data from a novel method developed during ACC research. The method, called Articulating a Succinct Description, uses ethnographic data to create case study interventions facilitated with undergraduate students to disseminate research findings; address problems presented in the case; and collect more data for further analysis. Emerging findings show how bias and discrimination shape the culture of engineering and how discussions around these incidents vary depending on the demographic makeup of the facilitation groups (race, gender, and major field of study). Preliminary analysis of data raises two critical questions: (1) how do students engage differently with case studies about racial and gender bias in homogenous and diverse group settings? and (2) how can the Articulating a Succinct Description method promote allyship and cultural change within engineering? We suggest that this innovative qualitative method, which serves both as a means of intervention and a means of inquiry, can provide underrepresented engineering students opportunities for their voices to be heard and to gain support from their peers. Further, it engages majority (white, male) students in efforts to create more inclusive cultures in engineering.

Liptow, E. E., & Bardini, M. H., & Krigel, N. R., & Singer, M. L., & Carrigan, C. (2017, June), Engaging Engineers in Inclusive Cultural Change Through a New Method, Articulating a Succinct Description Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. https://peer.asee.org/28244

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