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Experiential Learning during COVID-19: A Systemic Approach for Increasing Diversity in Engineering & Engineering Technology

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2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


Virtual Conference

Publication Date

July 26, 2021

Start Date

July 26, 2021

End Date

July 19, 2022

Conference Session

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Tagged Topics

Diversity and NSF Grantees Poster Session

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Paper Authors


Rose-Margaret Ekeng-Itua Ohlone College

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Rose-Margaret Ekeng-Itua is a Professor of Engineering, and Coordinator of the Smart Manufacturing Technology Program at Ohlone College, California She has over 15 years of experience in Higher Education globally. Before moving to the USA she was the Chair of Engineering and Senior Lecturer at the University of West London, London, UK .She graduated from the Federal University of Technology Owerri, Nigeria with a B.Eng. (Hons) in Electrical/Electronic Engineering majoring in Telecommunications. She gained an MSc. in Mobile and Satellite Communication from the University of Surrey, Guildford, UK and her Doctorate in Cybernetics at the University of Reading, UK .
She has been internationally recognized for her contributions towards youth empowerment and campaigning for equity for African Americans and Females in STEM education and Career.
She has research interests in the Internet of Things, Wireless Sensor Networks, Sustainable Energy and Appropriate Technologies for Emerging Economies and bridging gender and race divides in STEM education and careers. Rose-Margaret has implemented various initiatives to increase access and retention of underrepresented students in STEM education and careers.

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Gabe Hanzel-Sello Growth Sector

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Gabe Hanzel-Sello currently serves as National STEM Director for Growth Sector- managing all aspects of the organization's programs across 30 community colleges in six states. Gabe been instrumental in the Growth Sector's exponential scaling from his start with Growth Sector in 2012 when he managed one of the organization's three STEM Core cohorts. Prior to joining Growth Sector, Gabe Hanzel-Sello has worked for multiple nonprofit organizations providing services to Bay Area constituents in the areas of afterschool programming, youth leadership, college counseling and youth workforce development. Through these varied experiences, Gabe has gained significant appreciation for the importance of clearly-defined, structured, and supported pathways for program participants. Gabe has a Bachelor's degree from San Francisco State University in English; Creative Writing. He lives in the East Bay and enjoys exploring new rivers, lakes, and beaches in the area.

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David Gruber Growth Sector

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Experiential Learning is a key component in Engineering and Engineering Technology Education. However, the current engineering an engineering technology education curriculum in the USA is deficient in providing students with Experiential Learning opportunities. Internships provide students with the much needed experiential and project-based learning opportunities, and has helped historically underrepresented and underserved students overcome the “imposter syndrome” that oftentimes is a barrier to pursuing engineering and other STEM careers. The NS-ATE Grant(#1902339) for Smart Advanced Manufacturing Education in the Silicon Valley awarded to Ohlone College ensures that this gap in experiential learning opportunity is closed. This paper highlights the innovative implementation of Remote and In-person Internships during COVID-19, the impact on participating students’ sense of belonging, retention and success rates of underrepresented students in Engineering and Engineering Technology. This paper also highlights the implementation strategy that would ensure the creation of a diverse Engineering and Engineering Technology Workforce through internships.

Ekeng-Itua, R., & Hanzel-Sello, G., & Gruber, D. (2021, July), Experiential Learning during COVID-19: A Systemic Approach for Increasing Diversity in Engineering & Engineering Technology Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. 10.18260/1-2--37134

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