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Expanding The Use Of Emerson Circles To Model Personal Growth In Science And Technology

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2006 Annual Conference & Exposition


Chicago, Illinois

Publication Date

June 18, 2006

Start Date

June 18, 2006

End Date

June 21, 2006



Conference Session

Emerging Trends in Engineering Education Poster Session

Page Count


Page Numbers

11.612.1 - 11.612.7



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Paper Authors


Saeed Khan Kansas State University-Salina

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SAEED KHAN is an Associate Professor with the Electronic and Computer Engineering Technology program at Kansas State University at Salina. Dr. Khan received his Ph.D. and M.S. degrees in Electrical Engineering from the University of Connecticut, in 1989 and 1994 respectively. He received his B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology, Dhaka, Bangladesh in 1984. Khan, who joined KSU in 1998, teaches courses in telecommunications and digital systems. His research interests and areas of expertise include antennas and propagation, novel materials for microwave application, and electromagnetic scattering. Dr. Khan is a member diversity committee at the College of Technology and Aviation, and also serves as a member of Tilford Group, a research and development group charged with creating a multicultural curriculum model.

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Beverlee Kissick Kansas State University-Salina

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BEVERLEE KISSICK earned three degrees from Kansas State University at Manhattan, Kansas: a B.S. in Sociology, MS in Curriculum and Instruction, and a Ph.D. in Educational Technology Library/Media. Beverlee is a Professor and Director of Libraries at Kansas State University at Salina where she has taught sociology. Beverlee taught at Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Virginia, Fort Hays State University, Hays, Kansas, and in Kansas public schools. Kissick chaired the diversity committee at KSU at Salina for three years and has served on the President?s Council on Multicultural Affairs and the Tilford Group at Kansas State University at Manhattan. Beverlee is known for her presentations on Practical Humanities.

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Expanding the use of Emerson Circles to model Personal Growth in Science and Technology


In March 2004, the then Federal Reserve Chairman, Allan Greenspan speaking to the Boston College Finance Conference, said the key to preserving US jobs was not protectionism but education and training to ensure Americans thrive in a global economy. "As history clearly shows, our economy is best served by full and vigorous engagement in the global economy," Greenspan said. "Consequently, we need to increase our efforts to ensure that as many of our citizens as possible have the opportunity to capture the benefits that flow from that engagement."1

While there are many drivers for teaching diversity competencies ranging from social equity and justice to global competition, there seems to be a broad agreement on the importance of this objective. The authors have had an abiding interest and concern in teaching diversity and developing and assessing diversity skills2. Even those who understand the great benefits of diversity and passionately promote it will accede to the difficulty of moving forward with diversity issues.

Traditionally, students majoring in technical areas learn about human diversity from courses in the humanities and the social sciences. While perspectives gained in these courses are valuable, it is mostly presented without a technologically relevant perspective. Technology educators themselves need to address why the knowledge of contemporary societal and global issues are relevant to the professional development and future success of technology students. K-State at Salina faculty has begun to demonstrate their commitment to diversity by sponsoring and/or participating in events such as multicultural movies, panel discussions and external speakers3. There is a need to go beyond simply raising awareness. It is time to begin to help students develop a sense of identity as “technologist” or “scientist” that encompasses the principles of diversity and multiculturalism. Sherra Kearns, a former ASEE president, has referred to the technology professional who has gained such a sense of identity as a “socially effective whole brained global engineer4.” Industry demands a diversity competent employee. ABET requires students be culturally competent and be prepared to deal with globalization.

The authors have used a system of concentric circles, to construct a model of how personal and professional growth can be achieved. The authors refer to this tool as the Emerson Circle model. In 1840, Emerson wrote an essay called “Circles5.” In the essay, Emerson creates an image for the way growth takes place in people. He uses circles as an image of both expansion and confinement. “The life of man,” he writes, “is a self-evolving circle, which forms a ring imperceptibly small, rushes on all sides outwards to new and larger circles and that without end6.” His idea is a picture of life long human expansion in relationships with people of different

Khan, S., & Kissick, B. (2006, June), Expanding The Use Of Emerson Circles To Model Personal Growth In Science And Technology Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. 10.18260/1-2--82

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