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Equity, Inclusion, and Ethics: Adapting a Mentoring Curriculum to Develop an Ethics Workshop for Engineering Students

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2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


Virtual On line

Publication Date

June 22, 2020

Start Date

June 22, 2020

End Date

June 26, 2021

Conference Session

Innovating Ethics Curriculum and Instruction

Tagged Division

Engineering Ethics

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Paper Authors


Katy Luchini-Colbry Michigan State University

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Katy Luchini-Colbry is the Assistant Dean for Graduate Student Services at the College of Engineering at Michigan State University, where she completed degrees in political theory and computer science. A recipient of a NSF Graduate Research Fellowship, she earned Ph.D. and M.S.E. in computer science and engineering from the University of Michigan. She has published more than two dozen peer-reviewed works related to her interests in educational technology and enhancing undergraduate education through hands-on learning. Luchini-Colbry is also the Director of the Engineering Futures Program of Tau Beta Pi, the Engineering Honor Society, which provides interactive seminars on interpersonal communications and problem solving skills for engineering students across the U.S.

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Melissa McDaniels Michigan State University

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Melissa McDaniels is Senior Advisor to the Dean for Research Mentoring at the Graduate School and Postdoc Office at Michigan State University where she has been working to support graduate students and postdocs at Michigan State as they develop their capacities as postsecondary instructors and mentors. She is also an Investigator with and part of the leadership team of the Center for the Improvement of Mentored Experiences in Research at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. In her role as CIMER Investigator, she is leading a project as a part of the APS’s NSF INCLUDES Inclusive Graduate Education Network (IGEN). From 2014-2019 she also served as Co-Director of the NIH-supported National Research Mentoring Network’s Master Facilitator Initiative. From 2008-2012, McDaniels served as Director of Michigan State University’s NSF ADVANCE Grant where she spearheaded the institution’s efforts to diversify the faculty in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) fields. In this role she was responsible for the development and implementation of MSU's new faculty mentoring policy. Prior to working at MSU, she held full time positions at Northeastern University, Boston College, and National Geographic Society. McDaniels has over twenty years of experience in graduate student and faculty development, undergraduate and graduate teaching and learning and organizational change. She has had the pleasure of doing research and consulting domestically and internationally.. McDaniels holds degrees from Michigan State University (Ph.D.), Boston College (M.A.), and University of Michigan (B.A.).

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Fifteen years ago, a team of scholars from the University of Wisconsin-Madison created the “Entering Mentoring” curriculum targeting doctoral students in the STEM fields. Since that time, with funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the National Science Foundation (NSF), and other agencies, this curriculum has been adapted for numerous disciplines and career stages and implemented nationwide through both the National Research Mentoring Network ( and the Center for the Improvement of Mentored Experiences in Research ( The initiatives associated with NRMN and CIMER now encompass multi-day training programs, hundreds of case studies, and several published guides for facilitators.

In 2017, an NRMN-trained “Master Facilitator” adapted (with permission) portions of curricula that focused on equity, inclusion and ethics. The result was a 3-4 hour interactive workshop for engineering students that: (1) introduces issues in equity, inclusion and ethics as they apply to engineering; (2) models approaches for establishing safe and inclusive learning spaces; and (3) engages participants in case studies and active learning experiences. As part of the workshop, participants examine the code of ethics of the National Society of Professional Engineers (or an appropriate ethical code from their area of engineering specialization). This paper describes the development of this workshop, including early pilot testing and training of facilitators from Tau Beta Pi, the Engineering Honor Society, by colleagues from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The workshop was revised based on these early experiences, and the final version was offered 20 times to 326 participants during 2018-19. We discuss results from surveys of these participants; share lessons learned; and offer recommendations for those interested in adopting (or adapting) this open-source curriculum.

Luchini-Colbry, K., & McDaniels, M. (2020, June), Equity, Inclusion, and Ethics: Adapting a Mentoring Curriculum to Develop an Ethics Workshop for Engineering Students Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--34583

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