Asee peer logo

Increasing Faculty Participation in Pedagogical Diversity and Inclusion Activities

Download Paper |


2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


Virtual Conference

Publication Date

July 26, 2021

Start Date

July 26, 2021

End Date

July 19, 2022

Conference Session

Faculty Development Lightning Talk Session 2

Tagged Division

Faculty Development Division

Tagged Topic


Page Count


Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


Adithya Jayakumar Ohio State University Orcid 16x16

visit author page

Dr. Adithya Jayakumar is currently a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Engineering Education at The Ohio State University (OSU). He received his Master’s and PhD in Electrical and Computer Engineering from OSU. His engineering education research focusses on improving the climate for women and other minoritised students in engineering.

visit author page


Lisa Abrams Ohio State University

visit author page

Dr. Lisa Abrams is currently the Associate Chair for the Department of Engineering Education at The Ohio State University (OSU). She received her Bachelor's and Master's Degrees in Mechanical Engineering and PhD degree in Industrial Engineering from Ohio State. She has seven years of industry experience in the areas of Design and Consulting. Her research focuses on the recruitment, retention, and success of undergraduate students, especially those populations who are under-represented in engineering. She has developed and taught a wide variety of engineering courses in First Year Engineering and Mechanical Engineering at Ohio State. She has received numerous teaching awards in the last five years at both the College and the Departmental level at OSU.

visit author page


Lucille Sheppard Ohio State University

visit author page

Lucy Sheppard is a third year student studying Industrial and Systems Engineering at The Ohio State University. In addition to working on undergraduate research in the Department of Engineering Education she is an Undergraduate Teaching Assistant for the Fundamentals of Engineering program for first-year engineering students.

visit author page


Shadia Siliman Ohio State University

visit author page

Shadia Siliman is an Instructional Consultant focused on Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice (DEIJ) at the Drake Institute for Teaching and Learning at The Ohio State University. She helps instructors improve inclusivity in their teaching. She earned her doctorate in Gender Studies from Indiana University, Bloomington.

visit author page

author page

Toni M. Calbert Ohio State University

Download Paper |


This is a Work in Progress (WIP) paper. An inclusive classroom environment is one in which all aspects of the classroom, such as the curriculum, faculty to student interactions, student to student interactions, etc. are purposefully designed to promote the intellectual, social, emotional and physical growth of all students [9]. While inclusive teaching practices improve the learning experience of women and under-represented minorities (URM), it can be beneficial for all students. It has been well-documented that women and other minority groups continue to be underrepresented in engineering majors in the undergraduate level [1]. A National Science Foundation (NSF) report observed that “there is the possibility that the curriculum itself is a barrier to underrepresented groups” [5]. Increasing the participation and success of all students is critical to the field of engineering for several reasons [6]:

○ Maintaining the current engineering workforce will become more difficult if all segments of the population are not invited to participate and persist in engineering.

○ A team of problem solvers with cognitively diverse approaches to solve a problem will outperform a team of the cognitively best (but homogeneous) problem solvers [4].

○ Diversity and inclusion brings increased creativity, better problem-solving abilities, and thus better products. This can result in increased profitability.

Targeted programs such as Women in Engineering (WiE) and Minority Engineering Programs (MEP) may foster a supportive environment but do not directly influence the college culture and institutional structure as a whole. Additionally, students may still face difficult or disparate environments in classroom settings and beyond where they interact with majority students [2].

While many programs and initiatives exist to educate faculty about the importance of creating an inclusive classroom environment, data collected at The Ohio State University (OSU) shows that engineering faculty participation in diversity and inclusion activities focusing on pedagogy is limited thereby leading to limited impact.

At OSU, an initiative was undertaken to increase faculty participation in pedagogical diversity and inclusion activities. A multi-pronged approach developed under the aegis of a centralized teaching and learning center (TLC) was undertaken to meet these objectives:

1. Creation of a detailed cited resource with information on how to make the classroom a more inclusive environment. 2. Implementation of a workshop for faculty in the College of Engineering (COE) during regular faculty meetings. 3. Discussion sessions with engineering faculty teaching project-based courses. 4. Implementation of informal lunch sessions to encourage sharing of strategies that work.

This paper documents the work that has been done thus far as part of this initiative and the plans for the future. This paper will be presented as a lightning talk.

Jayakumar, A., & Abrams, L., & Sheppard, L., & Siliman, S., & Calbert, T. M. (2021, July), Increasing Faculty Participation in Pedagogical Diversity and Inclusion Activities Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference.

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2021 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015