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Interactive Session: Exploring Scripts of Whiteness in Engineering

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Conference

2024 Collaborative Network for Engineering & Computing Diversity (CoNECD)

Location

Arlington, Virginia

Publication Date

February 25, 2024

Start Date

February 25, 2024

End Date

February 27, 2024

Conference Session

Track 5: Technical Session 8: Interactive Session: Exploring Scripts of Whiteness in Engineering

Tagged Topics

Diversity and CoNECD Paper Sessions

Page Count

24

DOI

10.18260/1-2--45457

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/45457

Download Count

34

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Paper Authors

biography

R. Jamaal Downey

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Dr. Downey is an Assistant Research Scientist at the University of San Diego. He received his Ph.D. in Language, Literacy, and Culture in Education from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. Dr. Downey focuses on critical qualitative inquiry with a discerning eye toward humanizing and culturally sustaining pedagogies. Currently, he is focused on uncovering and exposing scripts of whiteness within engineering education with an end goal to devise faculty development.

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Joel Alejandro Mejia The University of Texas at San Antonio Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0003-3908-9930

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Dr. Joel Alejandro (Alex) Mejia is an Associate Professor with joint appointment in the Department of Biomedical and Chemical Engineering and the Department of Bicultural-Bilingual Studies at The University of Texas at San Antonio. His research has contributed to the integration of critical theoretical frameworks in engineering education to investigate deficit ideologies and their impact on minoritized communities. His work seeks to analyze and describe the assets, tensions, contradictions, and cultural collisions many Latino/a/x students experience in engineering through testimonios. He is particularly interested in approaches that contribute to a more expansive understanding of engineering in sociocultural contexts, the impact of critical consciousness in engineering practice, and the development and implementation of culturally responsive pedagogies in engineering education.

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Diana A. Chen University of San Diego Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0003-3616-1538

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Diana A. Chen, PhD is an Associate Professor and one of the founding faculty members of Integrated Engineering at the University of San Diego. She earned her BS in Engineering from Harvey Mudd College, and MS and PhD in Civil Engineering from Clemson University. In collaboration with colleagues, Dr. Chen is designing a new engineering curriculum to educate changemakers who understand that engineering is an inherently socio-technical activity. Her passion is studying and encouraging culture change in engineering curricula and spaces to shift engineering to be a field more inclusive of diversity in all forms. Her scholarly interests include engineering education that contextualizes engineering sciences and design, exploring engineering boundaries for inclusive pedagogy, and sustainability and bio-inspired design in the built environment.

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Gordon D Hoople University of San Diego Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0002-2663-4664

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Dr. Gordon D. Hoople is an assistant professor and one of the founding faculty members of integrated engineering at the University of San Diego. He is passionate about creating engaging experiences for his students. His work is primarily focused on two ar

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Susan M Lord University of San Diego Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0002-2675-5626

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Susan Lord is Professor and Chair of Integrated Engineering at the University of San Diego. She received a BS from Cornell University in Materials Science and Electrical Engineering (EE) and MS and PhD in EE from Stanford University. Her research focuses on the study and promotion of equity in engineering including student pathways and inclusive teaching. She has won best paper awards from the Journal of Engineering Education, IEEE Transactions on Education, and Education Sciences. Dr. Lord is a Fellow of the IEEE and ASEE and received the 2018 IEEE Undergraduate Teaching Award. She is a coauthor of The Borderlands of Education: Latinas in Engineering. She is a co-Director of the National Effective Teaching Institute (NETI).

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Abstract

Session Overview: In this interactive session, we delve into the concept of whiteness in the field of engineering and exploring how it influences the experiences of minoritized populations. By exploring some scripts of whiteness in engineering spaces, we aim for this session to begin important discussions which can help to pave the way for greater racial equity within the profession. Through a series of activities, discussions, and group exercises, participants will co-construct knowledge to explore the concept of whiteness as it is manifested in engineering. This session will draw from our project funded by the NSF Racial Equity in STEM Education program. The intent for this session is to engage participants in developing their own racial literacy. That is, to identify that a racialized structure does exist, and discuss what it looks like in STEM in general and in engineering in particular.

Session Objectives: 1. Describe the concept of whiteness as a system of social control in engineering. 2. Discuss common scripts of whiteness prevalent in engineering spaces. 3. Explore the manifestations of these scripts and their impact on minoritized individuals. 4. Describe some ways in which scripts of whiteness contribute to systemic barriers in engineering education.

Tentative Session Agenda: I. Introduction (15 minutes) ● Welcome and icebreaker activity to set the stage for open dialogue and collaboration. II. Exploring Scripts of Whiteness in Engineering (15 minutes) ● Think/Pair/Share discussion regarding perceptions and notions of whiteness ● Facilitated presentation of the literature on ideology of whiteness and concept of scripts ● Group discussion on the impact of whiteness on underrepresented individuals in engineering. III. Group Activity: Identifying Scripts of Whiteness (45 minutes) ● Participants discuss and identify common scripts of whiteness in engineering spaces. ● Individual Jamboard reflexivity activity on scripts of whiteness. ● Group sharing and reflection on the identified scripts. IV. Conclusion and Next Steps (15 minutes) ● Summary of key takeaways from the workshop. ● Closing remarks and resources for further learning.

Note: This workshop is designed as a starting point for deeper engagement and ongoing efforts to challenge scripts of whiteness in engineering. It is recommended to follow up with additional sessions, training, or initiatives to foster long-term change and promote racial equity in the field.

Downey, R. J., & Mejia, J. A., & Chen, D. A., & Hoople, G. D., & Lord, S. M. (2024, February), Interactive Session: Exploring Scripts of Whiteness in Engineering Paper presented at 2024 Collaborative Network for Engineering & Computing Diversity (CoNECD), Arlington, Virginia. 10.18260/1-2--45457

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: © 2024 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