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Helping Engineering Student Organization Members "Break the Bias Habit"

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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: Special Topic - Student Organizations Technical Session 14

Tagged Topics

Diversity and Special Topic: Student Organizations

Page Count

50

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/31767

Download Count

11

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Paper Authors

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Jennifer Sheridan University of Wisconsin, Madison

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Dr. Sheridan is the Executive and Research Director of the Women in Science & Engineering Leadership Institute (WISELI) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

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Manuela Romero University of Wisconsin, Madison

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Dr. Manuela Romero is the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Affairs in the College of Engineering at UW-Madison. Dr. Romero oversees undergraduate student services, including student services centers (advising), engineering student development (career services, cooperative education, and study abroad), undergraduate learning center (academic enhancement and tutoring) and diversity affairs (K-12 outreach, recruitment, retention of underrepresented populations in engineering). She also serves as the Principal Investigator for the Pre-Engineering Education Collaborative, which is a partnership with the College of Menominee Nation; and Co-Principal Investigator of Wisconsin Alliance for Minority Participation. Romero serves on numerous boards and chairs or co-chairs various campus-wide committees.

Dr. Romero is an applied organizational sociologist with expertise in quantitative and qualitative methods. Her academic expertise focuses on guiding organizational policies and practices to help all students succeed. She has extensive experience in research design, design and implementation of support activities and programs, program evaluation, and with manipulating large data sets. Romero earned her bachelor’s degree in social science from San Diego State University and master’s and doctoral degrees in Sociology from Stanford University.

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Mary E. Fitzpatrick University of Wisconsin, Madison

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Mary Fitzpatrick, Ph.D. is an educational psychology researcher and former engineer. She directs the student programs and initiatives offered by the Diversity Affairs Office, evaluates program outcomes for diversity initiatives and conducts original research in the area of underrepresented individuals and organizational climate in engineering education and the workplace. Dr. Fitzpatrick holds an undergraduate degree in Biomedical Engineering, a master’s degree in Electrical Engineering and was a practicing engineer for GE, Microsoft and other leading companies before earning her Ph.D. in educational psychology.

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Christine Fabian Bell University of Wisconsin-Madison

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Eve Fine University of Wisconsin, Madison

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Eve Fine implements and conducts research on interventions and educational modules designed to increase the diversity of faculty and leaders in academic STEMM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Medicine.

Dr. Fine received her Ph.D. from the History of Science Department at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. She relies on her historical background and training to identify and analyze research from a broad array of disciplines that pertains to contemporary women and underrepresented minorities in STEMM, to participate in WISELI's ongoing research projects, and to disseminate current research to academic communities.

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Carmen Juniper Neimeko

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Katherine Fallon University of Wisconsin, Madison

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Abstract

The College of Engineering (CoE) at UW-Madison, in collaboration with the Women in Science & Engineering Leadership Institute (WISELI), has developed a voluntary three-hour implicit bias workshop for undergraduate Engineering students who participate in Engineering student organizations (ESO). Previous climate surveys in the CoE demonstrated that underrepresented students (women of all races, nonwhite men, students with disabilities) report harassment and an unwelcoming environment in these student spaces more often than they do in other spaces within the CoE (e.g., classrooms). In this paper, we will describe the content of this workshop and some preliminary outcome data. The workshop curriculum defines implicit bias and helps students understand how these biases impact their student organizations through recruitment practices, selection of members for positions as officers in the organization and for other more informal roles, and interpersonal interactions between students in the organization. More importantly, we provide strategies students can use to interrupt this bias. We use engaging, interactive exercises to involve the students in the topics and we collect student ideas for enacting changes that will help make their organizations inclusive and diverse places where all Engineering students feel welcome. After compiling these ideas, we return them directly back to the individual student organizations to guide their efforts to implement changes.

To date, 291 CoE students have participated in these workshops. Preliminary analyses of evaluation data show that 99% of the students find the workshop very or somewhat valuable, with the section on “recruitment and messaging” being the most highly rated. Over 93% of the participants reported being somewhat or very motivated to engage in specific bias-reducing activities in their organization. Future analyses will include tracking demographic data from student organization membership and leadership lists, as well as climate survey results.

Sheridan, J., & Romero, M., & Fitzpatrick, M. E., & Bell, C. F., & Fine, E., & Juniper Neimeko, C., & Fallon, K. (2019, April), Helping Engineering Student Organization Members "Break the Bias Habit" Paper presented at 2019 CoNECD - The Collaborative Network for Engineering and Computing Diversity , Crystal City, Virginia. https://peer.asee.org/31767

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