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Keeping Current: An Update on the Structure and Evaluation of a Program for Graduate Women Interested in Engineering Academia

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Conference

2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Columbus, Ohio

Publication Date

June 24, 2017

Start Date

June 24, 2017

End Date

June 28, 2017

Conference Session

Minorities in Engineering Division Technical Session 5

Tagged Division

Minorities in Engineering

Page Count

14

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/28598

Download Count

86

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Paper Authors

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Nicole D. Jackson University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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Nicole D. Jackson is a third-year PhD student in the Civil and Environmental Engineering department at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), and is a member of Megan Konar's group. Her research focuses on applying big data to understand the food-water nexus to promote food security. Also, she is currently a co-coordinator for the Illinois Female Engineers in Academia Training program as well as the Girls’ Adventures in Mathematics, Engineering, and Science camp for environmental engineering and sustainability.

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Kaitlin I. Tyler University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/https://0000-0002-5052-4262

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Kaitlin received her BS in Materials Science and Engineering with a concentration in biomaterials from Michigan State University in 2012. She is currently working on her PhD at the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign under Professor Paul Braun. Her research focuses on manipulating eutectic material microstructures for optical applications. She is also one of the co-coordinators for Girls Learning About Materials (GLAM), a summer camp for high school girls interested in engineering.

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Yanfen Li University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

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Yanfen Li is a Ph.D student in the Department of Bioengineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign working under Dr. Kris Kilian. Her research focus is on biomaterials and tissue engineering.

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Wan-Ting Chen University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign

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Wan-Ting Chen obtains her Ph.D. from the Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Wan-Ting received her B.Sc in Chemical Engineering from the National Taiwan University and M.S. in Agricultural and Biological Engineering from the University of Illinois. Wan-Ting’s research work has been in the context of developing a synergistically integrated waste-to-energy system, Environment-Enhancing Energy (E2-Energy), that simultaneously produces biofuel, treats wet biowaste and captures carbon dioxide via algae growing and hydrothermal liquefaction (HTL). Wan-Ting’s ongoing work focuses on upgrading of the HTL biocrude oil converted from wet biowaste into transportation fuels by distillation, esterification, thermal cracking, and hydroprocessing with catalysts. Wan-Ting has been a SWE member since 2012 and is aiming for a future career in academia.

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Chaoyang Liu University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

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Rohit Bhargava University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

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Rohit Bhargava is Founder Professor of Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with affiliations across several departments (Primary – Bioengineering: Affiliated - Electrical and Computer Engineering, Mechanical Science and Engineering, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and Chemistry) as well as the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology. Rohit received dual B.Tech. degrees (in Chemical Engineering and Polymer Science and Engineering) from the Indian Institute of Technology, New Delhi in 1996 and his doctoral thesis work at Case Western Reserve University (Department of Macromolecular Science and Engineering) was in the area of polymer spectroscopy. He then worked as a Research Fellow at the National Institutes of Health (2000-2005) in the area of biomedical vibrational spectroscopy. Rohit has been at Illinois since as Assistant Professor (2005-2011), Associate Professor (2011-2012) and Professor (2012-). Rohit was the first assistant professor hired into the new Bioengineering department and played a key role in the development of its curriculum and activities. He later founded and serves as the coordinator of the Cancer Community@Illinois, which is slated to become the first technology-focused cancer center in the nation. Research in the Bhargava laboratories focuses on fundamental theory and simulation for vibrational spectroscopic imaging, developing new instrumentation and developing chemical imaging for molecular pathology. Using 3D printing and engineered tumor models, recent research seeks to elucidate hetero-cellular interactions in cancer progression. Rohit’s work has been recognized with several research awards nationally. Among recent honors are the Agilent Thought Leader award (2016, election as Fellow of the AIMBE and SAS (2015), Meggers Award (Society for applied spectroscopy, 2014), Craver Award (Coblentz Society, 2013) and the FACSS Innovation Award (2012). Rohit has also been recognized for his dedication to teaching in the College of Engineering (Rose and Everitt awards) and he is routinely nominated to the list of teachers ranked excellent at Illinois.

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Abstract

According to data from the ASEE, women were awarded 23.1% of doctoral degrees and held 15.7% of tenured/tenure-track faculty faculty positions in 2015 versus 21.3% and 12.7% in 2009, respectively [1, 2]. While promising, the “leaky pipeline” remains a persistent problem in the recruitment of underrepresented people into tenure track positions. To help overcome this barrier, we have created a program to improve the competitiveness of underrepresented applicants in the tenure-track faculty recruitment process at a large public university. The program activities are two-fold. First, seminars and panel discussions led by faculty representing different engineering disciplines cover a variety of topics related to the job search process. Second, peer review sessions over the course of several months allow students to develop their own application materials. Since its founding in 2014, the program has been evaluated by considering four elements: content, format, pace, and climate. The evaluations in the first two years were based on conducting pre-, mid-, and post-surveys as well as voluntary one-on-one exit interviews. For the program’s third year, we made significant changes based on past participant feedback. Specific topics were expanded to increase understanding and improve familiarity with the application process. The evaluation structure was revised to increase immediate feedback. In this paper, we discuss how the program has evolved over the three years as well as how our methods for program monitoring have been revised. By incorporating these changes, we aim to continue to prepare high quality female faculty candidates, thereby diminishing the gender gap in engineering academia.

References:

[1] Yoder, B.L. (2016). Engineering by the numbers. American Society for Engineering Education.

[2] Gibbons, M.T. (2009). Engineering by the numbers. American Society for Engineering Education.

Jackson, N. D., & Tyler, K. I., & Li, Y., & Chen, W., & Liu, C., & Bhargava, R. (2017, June), Keeping Current: An Update on the Structure and Evaluation of a Program for Graduate Women Interested in Engineering Academia Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. https://peer.asee.org/28598

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