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Exploring the Relationship between Mindfulness and Innovation in Engineering Students

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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

Innovation and Reflection

Tagged Division

Liberal Education/Engineering & Society

Tagged Topic

Diversity

Page Count

20

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/28341

Download Count

323

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Paper Authors

biography

Beth Rieken Stanford University

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Beth Rieken is a PhD Candidate at Stanford University in the Mechanical Engineering Department. She is in the Designing Education Lab advised by Prof. Sheri Sheppard. Her work focuses on fostering mindfulness, empathy and curiosity in engineering students. Beth completed a BS in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Virginia in 2010 and a MS in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford in 2012.

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Mark Schar Stanford University

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The focus of Mark’s research can broadly be described as “pivot thinking,” the cognitive aptitudes and abilities that encourage innovation, and the tension between design engineering and business management cognitive styles. To encourage these thinking patterns in young engineers, Mark has developed a Scenario Based Learning curriculum that attempts to blend core engineering concepts with selected business ideas. Mark is also researches empathy and mindfulness and its impact on gender participation in engineering education. He is a Lecturer in the School of Engineering at Stanford University and teaches the course ME310x Product Management and ME305 Statistics for Design Researchers.

Mark has extensive background in consumer products management, having managed more than 50 consumer driven businesses over a 25-year career with The Procter & Gamble Company. In 2005, he joined Intuit, Inc. as Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer and initiated a number of consumer package goods marketing best practices, introduced the use of competitive response modeling and "on-the-fly" A|B testing program to qualify software improvements.

Mark is the Co-Founder and Managing Director of One Page Solutions, a consulting firm that uses the OGSP® process to help technology and branded product clients develop better strategic plans. Mark is a member of The Band of Angels, Silicon Valley's oldest organization dedicated exclusively to funding seed stage start-ups. In addition, he serves on the board of several technology start-up companies.

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Shauna Shapiro Santa Clara University

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Shauna Shapiro, PhD, is a professor, author, speaker and internationally recognized expert in mindfulness. Dr. Shapiro has published over 150 journal articles and chapters, and coauthored the critically acclaimed texts, The Art and Science of Mindfulness, and Mindful Discipline: A loving approach to setting limits and raising an emotionally intelligent child. Dr. Shapiro is the recipient of the American Council of Learned Societies teaching award, acknowledging her outstanding contributions to graduate education, as well as a Contemplative Practice Fellow of the Mind and Life Institute, co-founded by the Dalai Lama. Dr. Shapiro has been invited to present her work to the King of Thailand, the Danish government, and the World Council for Psychotherapy in Beijing, China, as well as to Fortune 100 Companies including Cisco Systems, Genentech and Google.

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Shannon Katherine Gilmartin Stanford University

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Shannon K. Gilmartin, Ph.D., is a Senior Research Scholar at the Michelle R. Clayman Institute for Gender Research and Adjunct Professor in Mechanical Engineering at Stanford University. She is also Managing Director of SKG Analysis, a research consulting firm. Her expertise and interests focus on education and workforce development in engineering and science fields. Previous and current clients include the American Chemical Society, the Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology, California Institute of Technology, the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics at California State University Fullerton, the Office of the Vice Provost for Graduate Education at Stanford University, the School of Medicine at Stanford University, and the School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks.

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Sheri Sheppard Stanford University

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Sheri D. Sheppard, Ph.D., P.E., is professor of Mechanical Engineering at Stanford University. Besides teaching both undergraduate and graduate design and education related classes at Stanford University, she conducts research on engineering education and work-practices, and applied finite element analysis. From 1999-2008 she served as a Senior Scholar at the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, leading the Foundation’s engineering study (as reported in Educating Engineers: Designing for the Future of the Field). In addition, in 2011 Dr. Sheppard was named as co-PI of a national NSF innovation center (Epicenter), and leads an NSF program at Stanford on summer research experiences for high school teachers. Her industry experiences includes engineering positions at Detroit's "Big Three:" Ford Motor Company, General Motors Corporation, and Chrysler Corporation.

At Stanford she has served a chair of the faculty senate, and recently served as Associate Vice Provost for Graduate Education.

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Abstract

An open, receptive, and curious (mindful) mindset is often cited as important in innovation. Yet, engineering education typically focuses on narrow analytical training at the expense of fostering expansive thinking. To specifically explore the relationship between a mindful attitude (open, receptive, curious) and innovation, we examined the relationship between dispositional mindfulness and innovation self-efficacy in a sample of 1,460 engineering students and recent graduates who completed the Engineering Majors Survey. Using social cognitive theory to frame our analysis, we found that a mindful attitude is correlated with innovation self-efficacy and that students with a highly mindful attitude tend to participate in learning experiences related to design and innovation. These results lay the groundwork for how mindfulness may promote foundational skills for successful entrepreneurship such as innovation, learning, and motivation.

Rieken, B., & Schar, M., & Shapiro, S., & Gilmartin, S. K., & Sheppard, S. (2017, June), Exploring the Relationship between Mindfulness and Innovation in Engineering Students Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. https://peer.asee.org/28341

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