Crystal City, Virginia
April 14, 2019
April 14, 2019
April 22, 2019
Diversity and Special Topic: Student Organizations
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://strategy.asee.org/31767
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