Asee peer logo

Investigating Engineering Culture During COVID-19

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

Engineering Education Culture: Mental Health, Inclusion, and the Soul of Our Community

Tagged Division

Liberal Education/Engineering & Society

Tagged Topic


Page Count




Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


Jessica R. Deters Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University Orcid 16x16

visit author page

Jessica Deters is a PhD candidate at Virginia Tech in the Department of Engineering Education. She holds a B.S. in Applied Mathematics and Statistics and a minor in the McBride Honors Program in Public Affairs from the Colorado School of Mines.

visit author page


Marie C. Paretti Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University Orcid 16x16

visit author page

Marie C. Paretti is a Professor of Engineering Education at Virginia Tech, where she directs the Virginia Tech Engineering Communications Center (VTECC). Her research focuses on communication in engineering design, interdisciplinary communication and collaboration, design education, and gender in engineering. She was awarded a CAREER grant from the National Science Foundation to study expert teaching in capstone design courses, and is co-PI on numerous NSF grants exploring communication, design, and identity in engineering. Drawing on theories of situated learning and identity development, her work includes studies on the teaching and learning of communication, effective teaching practices in design education, the effects of differing design pedagogies on retention and motivation, the dynamics of cross-disciplinary collaboration in both academic and industry design environments, and gender and identity in engineering.

visit author page

Download Paper |


Research on engineering culture often aims, either explicitly or implicitly, to understand why engineering in the U.S. remains largely white and largely male. However, while increasing diversity in engineering has been a major focus in the U.S. for decades, the percentages for women and people of color have stayed relatively stagnant. Recently, however, the COVID-19 pandemic caused rapid changes in education and exacerbated challenges around diversity and inclusion in engineering. It also provides a unique opportunity to investigate engineering culture during a time of crisis to examine possibilities for cultural change from a new lens. To that end, this study investigates three U.S. mechanical engineering student’s perspective on their department’s response to COVID-19 in order to understand the extent to which various dimensions of engineering culture [1] impacted the response. This study aims to understand how students’ reported experiences map onto the dimensions of engineering culture as well as to assess the fit of the theoretical framework and inform codebook development for a larger research study.

Deters, J. R., & Paretti, M. C. (2021, July), Investigating Engineering Culture During COVID-19 Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. 10.18260/1-2--37391

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