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Increasing Graduate School Enrollment of Female Industrial Engineers through CUREs

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2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Tampa, Florida

Publication Date

June 15, 2019

Start Date

June 15, 2019

End Date

October 19, 2019

Conference Session

Women in Engineering Division Technical Session 3

Tagged Division

Women in Engineering

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Paper Authors


Leslie Potter Iowa State University

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Leslie Potter is a Senior Lecturer in the Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering Department at Iowa State University. She served as Co-Chair of the IMSE Undergraduate Research Program for six years. She currently teaches courses on information engineering, programming, and process improvements. Her research interests include the impact of undergraduate research, engineering and professional skill integration, and teaching effectiveness.

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Richard Stone Iowa State University

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Richard T. Stone PhD is an Associate Professor in the Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering at Iowa State University. He received his Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering from the State University of New York at Buffalo in 2008. He also has an MS in Information Technology, a BS in Management Information Systems as well as university certificates in Robotics and Environmental Management Science. His current research focuses primarily in the area of human performance engineering, particularly applied biomedical, biomechanical and cognitive engineering. Dr. Stone focuses on the human aspect of work across a wide range of domains (from welding to surgical operations and many things in between). Dr. Stone has worked extensively in the domain of welding, specifically in the area of welding technology and training. He has a deep appreciation for the importance of the welding field and plan to continue pursuing research projects that benefit the welding community.

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Devna Fay Popejoy-Sheriff Iowa State University

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Devna Popejoy-Sheriff is the Student Success and Services program Coordinator and Co-Chair of the Undergraduate Research Program in the Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering Department at Iowa State University. She earned her M. Ed. in Higher Education from Iowa State University and has worked for the IMSE Department for more than 15 years. She has been recognized with multiple advising and learning community awards from the ISU community. Her interested are in student development, retention and success in engineering education.

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This is a Work in Progress paper. Decades after recognizing the need for more women engineers, increasing the number of women enrolling in engineering graduate schools still remains a challenge. From ASEE data published for 2017, record percentages of engineering degrees were awarded to women for Bachelors, Masters, and PhDs at 21.3%, 25.7%, and 23.5% respectively. Per the US Census Bureau, women comprise 50.8% of the American population; therefore, we must ask, “why aren’t 50% of engineering degrees awarded to women?” Within the industrial, manufacturing, and systems engineering professions, a higher percentage of women earn degrees (32.7% BS; 25.5% MS; 26.6% PhD) than for all engineering disciplines combined, but these numbers still don’t approach 50% of the population. To increase the percentage of female industrial engineers pursuing graduate school in the [placeholder department at placeholder institution], we have implemented a Course-Based Undergraduate Research Experience (CURE) into a second-year human factors course. It is hypothesized that having this experience will encourage more women to continue their industrial engineering education beyond their bachelor’s degrees. A preliminary trial was run in the Spring 2018 semester, and a follow-up trial is being run in the Spring 2019 semester. Eighty-nine students (male and female) who experience the CURE pedagogy will be tracked longitudinally and compared to students who learn the same material through traditional lecture pedagogy. This paper describes the process, initial results from the Spring 2018 semester, and changes for the Spring 2019 semester, along with lessons learned about using a CURE pedagogy, measuring retention, and tracking graduate enrollments.

Potter, L., & Stone, R., & Popejoy-Sheriff, D. F. (2019, June), Increasing Graduate School Enrollment of Female Industrial Engineers through CUREs Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. 10.18260/1-2--32960

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