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Integrating STEM and the Arts: A Call for Partnerships across Disciplines

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2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Atlanta, Georgia

Publication Date

June 23, 2013

Start Date

June 23, 2013

End Date

June 26, 2013



Conference Session

New Approaches in Engineering

Tagged Division

Minorities in Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

23.782.1 - 23.782.8



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Paper Authors


Ishbah Cox Purdue University

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Ishbah Cox, Assistant Professor of Bands at Purdue University, is Founder/Director of the Purdue University Brass Choir, Director of the Symphonic and Collegiate Bands, Director of the Boiler Box Band (Women's Volleyball), and Assistant Director of the “All-American” Marching Band (AAMB).
Cox holds professional memberships in the National Band Association (NBA), Indiana Bandmasters Association (IBA), Music Educators National Conference (MENC), American Society of Composers Authors and Publishers (ASCAP), Kappa Kappa Psi, and the Collegiate Band Directors National Association (CBDNA). He holds Honorary Memberships with both the Gamma Pi Chapter of Kappa Kappa Psi and Beta Sigma Chapter of Tau Beta Sigma (TBS) at Purdue University. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Lafayette Citizens Band, as faculty advisor of the Gamma Pi Purdue University Kappa Kappa Psi chapter, and as a member of the Committee on Ethnicity and Gender Issues with the CBDNA.

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Monica Farmer Cox Purdue University, West Lafayette

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Dr. Monica F. Cox is an Associate Professor in the School of Engineering Education at Purdue University and is the Inaugural Director of the Engineering Leadership Minor. She obtained a B.S. in mathematics from Spelman College, a M.S. in industrial engineering from the University of Alabama, and a Ph.D. in Leadership and Policy Studies from Peabody College of Vanderbilt University. Teaching interests relate to the professional development of graduate engineering students and to leadership, policy, and change in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education. Primary research projects explore the preparation of engineering doctoral students for careers in academia and industry and the development of engineering education assessment tools. She is a National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career (CAREER) award winner and is a recipient of a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE).

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Integrating STEM and the Arts: A Call for Partnerships across DisciplinesRecent data at a Midwestern University identify low numbers of underrepresented minoritystudents (URMs) enrolled in a top-ranked engineering program. These numbers match nationaltrends highlighting concerns about the absence of diverse students enrolled in science,technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) programs. An analysis of 2010-2011 STEMstudent data, however, highlighted that STEM students enrolled in band and orchestra at thisuniversity excel in numerous areas when compared to STEM students not enrolled in band andorchestra. STEM students also represent approximately 70% of all band and orchestra students.Band and orchestra students earned higher average GPAs (3.18 vs. 2.89), earned more credithours, reported higher SAT scores and retention rates, and completed their degrees in less timethan students not enrolled in band and orchestra. Despite the positive correlations betweenenrollment in both band and engineering, few URMs at this institution are involved in a musiccommunity during their undergraduate student experiences.In an effort to identify ways that URM engineering students might benefit from band andorchestra experiences and to engage STEM and non-STEM departments in a model to enhancethe experiences of undergraduate engineering students, this paper presents information about asmall group seminar designed to expose undergraduate engineering students to a community oflike-minded, well-rounded students. Within this seminar, students will engage in conversationswith professionals, will connect with other engineering students who have succeeded inengineering, and will engage in leadership opportunities early in their academic careers. Led byan underrepresented minority faculty in the band and orchestra department who served as aformer recruiter for engineering students, this seminar provides a unique opportunity for studentsto (1) demonstrate uses of campus resources to enable academic success, (2) acknowledge theimportance of music in society, (3) participate in service projects within the department, (4)connect to successful STEM alumni, (5) explore opportunities for participation in music-relatedstudent leadership positions, and (6) utilize the study tables provided by the departmental serviceorganizations in which many STEM students are members. Future work related to this modelalong with plans for engaging diverse students is presented along with suggestions for replicatingthis model on other campuses.

Cox, I., & Cox, M. F. (2013, June), Integrating STEM and the Arts: A Call for Partnerships across Disciplines Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. 10.18260/1-2--19796

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