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Impacting Engineering Students’ Global Perspectives: The Research Abroad Experiences of HBCU Undergraduates

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Conference

2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

San Antonio, Texas

Publication Date

June 10, 2012

Start Date

June 10, 2012

End Date

June 13, 2012

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

International Research Experience, Quality Improvement, and Programs/Curriculum Around the Globe

Tagged Division

International

Page Count

17

Page Numbers

25.720.1 - 25.720.17

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/21477

Download Count

24

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Paper Authors

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Lorraine N. Fleming Howard University

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Lorraine N. Fleming is a professor of civil engineering at Howard University and a Carnegie Scholar. She is the Director of the Howard University Science, Engineering, and Mathematics program and the Global Education, Awareness and Research Undergraduate Program (GEAR-UP). Fleming earned her Ph.D. in civil engineering from the University of California, Berkeley, and holds master's of science and bachelor's of science degrees in civil engineering from George Washington University and Howard University, respectively. Fleming’s research interest is concentrated on the reform of engineering education, broadening participation in engineering, and the scholarship of teaching and learning.

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Jennifer O. Burrell Howard University

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Jennifer O. Burrell is a Ph.D. student in developmental psychology at Howard University. Burrell is a Graduate Research Assistant with the Department of Civil Engineering at Howard University. Her dissertation research explores how using culturally relevant pedagogy can increase students’ motivation and create pathways to academic success, particularly in STEM. Through her research and evaluation of education programs and interventions, she hopes to improve the schooling experiences of public school students by promoting the use of evidence-based practice (and practice-based evidence).

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Wayne Patterson Howard University

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Wayne Patterson received the Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of Michigan in 1971, but has been professor of computer science at several universities, most recently at Howard University. He has published extensively in his research field of cryptology and computer security, and has also held various positions in university administration, including Vice President and Dean of the Graduate School at the College of Charleston, and President of the Conference of Southern Graduate Schools. He was also the first Program Manager for Developing Countries at the National Science Foundation from 2006-2009.

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Afiya C. Fredericks Howard University

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Afiya Fredericks is a Ph.D. student in Developmental Psychology at Howard University. There, she works as a graduate assistant with the Department of Civil Engineering. Her graduate research focus includes teacher expectations, implicit theories of intelligence, and the academic performance of minority students, specifically in STEM fields. Frederick’s research seeks to contribute to the extant literature and the field of education through the investigation of factors that promote academic persistence and strategies that instructors and policy makers can utilize to improve the quality of education for all students.

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Mohamed F. Chouikha Howard University

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Mohamed F. Chouikha received a Ph.D. degree in electrical engineering from The University of Colorado, Boulder, in 1988. Since 1988, he has been with the Department of Electrical Engineering at Howard University, where he is the Chair of the ECE Department. Chouikha's research interests include multimedia signal processing and communications, adaptive/learning control, and the scholarship of teaching and learning including enhancing the recruitment and retention of underrepresented minorities
in the STEM areas in general and engineering in particular.

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Abstract

As a global leader, the issue of globalization in engineering cannot be adequately addressed bythe United States without considering national population shifts. Considering the growingminority population in the United States, it is critical that these engineering students are wellprepared to navigate the new challenges that arise as a result of the changing dynamics in thegrowingly interconnected global community. However, it is this very minority population that isleast likely to gain experiences studying abroad. To address these concerns, this year, theHoward University College of Engineering executed the GEAR-UP Program, which immersedminority undergraduate engineering students in an international context to conduct appliedresearch in engineering.The GEAR-UP Program was designed to increase the preparedness of minority engineeringstudents to be globally engaged leaders upon graduation through the following three mainavenues: (1) Education, to expose students to international engineering issues through enhancedcourse offerings, (2) awareness, to enhance students knowledge of engineering in aninternational environment through seminar series, and (3) research, to provide the opportunity forminority engineering students to participate in an international research experience. Selectedstudents were engaged in active research abroad for four to six weeks at one of six new researchcollaborations formed in developing countries located in Southeast Asia, Africa or SouthAmerica at one of the following research sites: Universitas Indonesia (Indonesia); Ateneo deManila University (Philippines); Universidad Andres Bello (Chile); Bahir Dar University(Ethiopia); University of Nairobi (Kenya).This study seeks to address a range of questions about minority students’ experiences navigatinginternational cultural settings. In this paper, we describe participants’ travel abroad experiences,discuss their perspectives on researching internationally, and report quantitative and qualitativefindings related to their subsequent personal and intellectual development. Specific issuesdiscussed include students’ unexpected cultural experiences, the challenges and rewards ofinternational research, and ways to improve the preparation of future participants. In order forthe United States to remain competitive in the field of engineering, students must acquire a senseof commitment to helping others in a global world; this research can inform researchers andeducators on promising strategies that foster the development of this critical competency.

Fleming, L. N., & Burrell, J. O., & Patterson, W., & Fredericks, A. C., & Chouikha, M. F. (2012, June), Impacting Engineering Students’ Global Perspectives: The Research Abroad Experiences of HBCU Undergraduates Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. https://peer.asee.org/21477

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