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Learning from the Voices of Faculty: An Analysis of the Impact of Shelter-in-Place on Faculty at San Jose State University in Spring 2020

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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

Faculty Development 2: COVID-19 Impact on Faculty

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Faculty Development Division

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Paper Authors


Maria Chierichetti San Jose State University Orcid 16x16

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Maria Chierichetti joined the department of Aerospace Engineering as a full-time assistant professor in Fall 2019. Her interests lie in the field of aerospace structural design and vibrations, with particular emphasis on developing methodologies for combining finite element analysis and machine/deep learning for structural health monitoring and unmanned Structural inspections in the context of urban air mobility. Maria is also interested in investigating how students learning is affected by external factors, such as COVID-19 pandemic and community service. Before joining SJSU, she worked as a faculty member at Worcester Polytechnic Institute and at the University of Cincinnati. She earned her PhD at Georgia Tech in 2012 working on the monitoring and tracking of helicopter blade deformation. She earned a BS and MS from Politecnico di Milano (Italy) in 2004 and 2007 respectively, with majors in Aeronautical Engineering. She is an Amelia Earhart Fellow – Zonta International Foundation.

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Patricia R. Backer San Jose State University

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Dr. Backer been a faculty at SJSU since 1990 and held positions as an assistant professor, associate professor, professor, department chair, and director. Since coming to San Jose State University in 1990, I have been involved in the General Education program. Currently, Dr. Backer serves as the PI for two SJSU grants: the AANAPISI grant and the Title III Strengthening grant both from the U.S. Department of Education.

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Laura E. Sullivan-Green San Jose State University

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Dr. Laura Sullivan-Green is a Professor and Department Chair in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at San José State University. She obtained her BS from the University of Dayton (Dayton, OH) in 2002 and her MS (2005) and PhD (2008) from Northwestern University (Evanston, IL). She teaches in the areas of Geotechnical Engineering, Engineering Mechanics, and Forensic Engineering. Her research interests include forensic engineering education, STEM education pedagogy, and incorporating general education themes into engineering education. Laura serves on the SJSU Academic Senate as the chair of the Instruction and Student Affairs committee and a member of the Executive Committee. She is also a long-time participant in the Forensic Engineering Division of the American Society of Civil Engineers, where she is a member of the Executive Committee and the Education Committee. Laura is involved with a multi-campus California Learning Lab grant, centered around training faculty to utilize mastery learning and specifications grading concepts in the classroom at SJSU, Cal Poly Pomona, and University of California- Irvine. She was the PI for the Department of Education’s First in the World Grant awarded to San José State University, in partnership with Cal Poly Pomona and California State University- Los Angeles.

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Liat Rosenfeld San Jose State University

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This is a research paper based on an in-depth study conducted in Spring and Summer 2020 at San José State University College of Engineering that focuses on the students and faculty experiences during the shelter-in-place due to COVID-19. There were four parts to this study. In this paper, we focus on the interviews of 23 faculty members that taught in Spring 2021 (18 lecturers and five tenure-track and tenured faculty members). Seven women and 16 men were interviewed and they worked in almost every department in the College. The interviews were conducted via Zoom in Summer 2020. The faculty members had a variety of years teaching at SJSU: nine faculty members taught for 0-5 years, six faculty members taught from 6-10 years, two faculty members taught from 11-15 years, and six faculty members taught for more than 15 years. The interviews asked open-ended questions of the faculty members and used a thematic analysis approach to analyze the transcripts. The results of the interview analysis indicate that there were commonalities of experience in Spring 2020 after the unexpected shelter-in-place. Most of the faculty members had never taught online before and they struggled with switching to remote instruction. This paper gives a detailed analysis of the faculty voices about their experiences and present recommendations based on this analysis.

Chierichetti, M., & Backer, P. R., & Sullivan-Green, L. E., & Rosenfeld, L. (2021, July), Learning from the Voices of Faculty: An Analysis of the Impact of Shelter-in-Place on Faculty at San Jose State University in Spring 2020 Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference.

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