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Exploring Narratives of LGBTQ Student Veterans in Engineering

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Conference

2019 CoNECD - The Collaborative Network for Engineering and Computing Diversity

Location

Crystal City, Virginia

Publication Date

April 14, 2019

Start Date

April 14, 2019

End Date

April 22, 2019

Conference Session

Track: Collegiate - Technical Session 12

Tagged Topics

Diversity and Collegiate

Page Count

25

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/31760

Download Count

10

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Paper Authors

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Susan M. Lord University of San Diego

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Susan M. Lord received a B.S. from Cornell University and the M.S. and Ph.D. from Stanford University. She is currently Professor and Chair of Integrated Engineering at the University of San Diego. Her teaching and research interests include inclusive pedagogies, electronics, optoelectronics, materials science, first year engineering courses, feminist and liberative pedagogies, engineering student persistence, and student autonomy. Her research has been sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF). Dr. Lord is a fellow of the ASEE and IEEE and is active in the engineering education community including serving as General Co-Chair of the 2006 Frontiers in Education (FIE) Conference, on the FIE Steering Committee, and as President of the IEEE Education Society for 2009-2010. She is an Associate Editor of the IEEE Transactions on Education. She and her coauthors were awarded the 2011 Wickenden Award for the best paper in the Journal of Engineering Education and the 2011 and 2015 Best Paper Awards for the IEEE Transactions on Education. In Spring 2012, Dr. Lord spent a sabbatical at Southeast University in Nanjing, China teaching and doing research.

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Michelle M. Camacho University of San Diego

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Michelle M. Camacho is Professor of Sociology at the University of San Diego. She began her career at UC San Diego in 1999 as a postdoctoral fellow at the Center for US Mexican Studies, and later as a UC Faculty Fellow in Ethnic Studies. In 2015-16, she returned to UC San Diego as a fellow of the American Council on Education. As a bilingual/bicultural Latina, Camacho has 30 years of experience in higher education advocating for underrepresented groups and first generation college students. For over a decade, her work on institutional transformation has received funding from the National Science Foundation to examine and address inequities in higher education, specifically as they relate to Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). She served the NSF ADVANCE grant initiatives as a co-Principal Investigator, working to improve practices to recruit and retain women of color in STEM and enhance institutional climate at USD. Other current research grants support pathways for veterans in higher education, and the NSF program called, “Revolutionizing Engineering & Computer Science Departments.” Her co-authored books include The Borderlands of Education (with Susan Lord), Mentoring Faculty of Color, and Beginning a Career in Academia: A Guide for Graduate Students of Color. She is past-Vice President (2017) of the Pacific Sociological Association, and an appointed consultant to the American Sociological Association’s Departmental Resources Group. Fluent in both quantitative and qualitative research methodologies, her research uses theories from interdisciplinary sources including cultural studies, critical race, gender and feminist theories. Central to her work are questions of culture, power and inequality. She is affiliated faculty with the Department of Ethnic Studies, Women’s and Gender Studies, and Latin American Studies.

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Catherine Mobley Clemson University

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Catherine Mobley, Ph.D., is a Professor of Sociology at Clemson University. She has over 30 years experience in project and program evaluation and has worked for a variety of consulting firms, non-profit agencies, and government organizations, including the Rand Corporation, the American Association of Retired Persons, the U.S. Department of Education, and the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research. Since 2004, she been a member of the NSF-funded MIDFIELD research project on engineering education; she has served as a Co-PI on three research projects, including one on transfer students and another on student veterans in engineering.

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Catherine E. Brawner Research Triangle Educational Consultants

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Catherine E. Brawner is President of Research Triangle Educational Consultants. She received her Ph.D.in Educational Research and Policy Analysis from NC State University in 1996. She also has an MBA from Indiana University (Bloomington) and a bachelor’s degree from Duke University. She specializes in
evaluation and research in engineering education, computer science education, and technology education. Dr. Brawner is a founding member and former treasurer of Research Triangle Park Evaluators, an American Evaluation Association affiliate organization and is a member of the American Educational Research Association and American Evaluation Association, in addition to ASEE. Dr. Brawner is also an Extension Services Consultant for the National Center for Women in Information Technology (NCWIT) and, in that role, advises computer science and engineering departments on diversifying their undergraduate student population. She remains an active researcher, including studying academic policies, gender and ethnicity issues, transfers, and matriculation models with MIDFIELD as well as student veterans in engineering. Her evaluation work includes evaluating teamwork models, broadening participation initiatives, and S-STEM and LSAMP programs.

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Joyce B. Main Purdue University, West Lafayette

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Joyce B. Main is Assistant Professor of Engineering Education at Purdue University. She holds a Ph.D. in Learning, Teaching, and Social Policy from Cornell University, and an Ed.M. in Administration, Planning, and Social Policy from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

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Abstract

Keywords: Veterans, LGBTQIA+, Engineering, Undergraduate

Despite important contributions to the literature on intersectionality, and a few excellent exceptions on LGBT experiences in engineering education, there continues to be a dearth of research on military student veterans who identify as LGBTQ. This research presentation brings an exploratory research focus to this subject. An inductive approach was applied to a broad study of student veteran experiences in engineering education at four universities in the U.S. The theme of sexuality was not central to the research design, rather emerged authentically from a few of the respondents. Drawing on the sociology of transgender studies as a conceptual framework, this preliminary work explores the experiences of a few cisgender men in undergraduate engineering programs who are military veterans and identify as gay, using in depth, semi-structured interviews as the source of data.

This research makes an important preliminary contribution to the research frameworks of sexuality studies. In the past, themes of “deviance” and the “underworld” of sexual lives characterized social science studies of sexuality in the 1950s and early 1960s, casting a pejorative moral perspective on gay life. Foci began to change among social science researchers in the 1970s and 80s as researchers shifted analysis away from the individual-level of analysis toward communities, social life, and social movements among LGBT groups. In the 1980s and 90s, social constructionist frameworks offered a wider lens to gender and sexuality studies, and queer theory emerged as a challenge to heteronormativity, contributing to studies of intersectional identities. It is within this latter paradigm that our study is framed.

In this research presentation, we draw from research on transgender studies to highlight two perspectives that offer explanatory dimension to our respondents’ narratives: 1) perceptions of their Identities and Social Locations and 2) the Institutional and Organizational Contexts within which they make meaning.

Lord, S. M., & Camacho, M. M., & Mobley, C., & Brawner, C. E., & Main, J. B. (2019, April), Exploring Narratives of LGBTQ Student Veterans in Engineering Paper presented at 2019 CoNECD - The Collaborative Network for Engineering and Computing Diversity , Crystal City, Virginia. https://peer.asee.org/31760

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