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Leveraging Changes in Engineering and Computer Science Curricula to Engender Inclusive Professional Identities in Students

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Conference

2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access

Location

Virtual Conference

Publication Date

July 26, 2021

Start Date

July 26, 2021

End Date

July 19, 2022

Conference Session

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Tagged Topics

Diversity and NSF Grantees Poster Session

Page Count

13

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/37454

Download Count

18

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Paper Authors

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Blaine Austin Pedersen Texas A&M University

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Blaine is currently a graduate student earning his Ph.D. in Educational Psychology with an emphasis in Research, Measurement, and Statistics at Texas A&M. His research is primarily focused on issues of equity in STEM education.

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Robin A.M. Hensel West Virginia University

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Robin A. M. Hensel, Ed.D., is the Assistant Dean for Freshman Experience in the Benjamin M. Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources at West Virginia University. While her doctorate is in Curriculum and Instruction, focusing on higher education teaching of STEM fields, she also holds B.S. and M.A. degrees in Mathematics. Dr. Hensel has over seven years of experience working in engineering teams and in project management and administration as a Mathematician and Computer Systems Analyst for the U. S. Department of Energy as well as more than 25 years of experience teaching mathematics, statistics, computer science, and first-year engineering courses in higher education institutions. Currently, she leads a team of faculty who are dedicated to providing first-year engineering students with a high-quality, challenging, and engaging educational experience with the necessary advising, mentoring, and academic support to facilitate their transition to university life and to prepare them for success in their engineering majors and future careers.

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Sumaia Ali Raisa West Virginia University

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Sumaia Ali Raisa is a Ph.D. student in the Learning Sciences and Human Development Program, and a graduate assistant at PERC, in the College of Education and Human Services at West Virginia University. Her research interest includes Cognition and instruction, measurement, and program evaluation.

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Rebecca A. Atadero Colorado State University

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Rebecca Atadero is an associate professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Colorado State University, specializing in structural engineering. She conducts research on the inspection, management and renewal of existing structures, and on diversity, equity and diversity in engineering education.

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A.M. Aramati Casper Colorado State University

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Dr. Aramati Casper is a STEM education researcher and ecologist. She is currently a research scientist at Colorado State University doing research on diversity, inclusion, and social justice in undergraduate engineering classrooms.

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Ronald R. DeLyser University of Denver

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Ronald R. DeLyser is currently an Associate Professor Emeritus retired from the University of Denver where he was on the faculty from 1986 until 2019. He has received all of his degrees in Electrical Engineering: the B.S. degree from the University of Florida, Gainesville, in 1974; the M.S. degree from the University of New Mexico, in 1978; and the Ph.D. degree from the University of Colorado, Boulder in 1991. Dr. DeLyser, a member of the U.S. Air Force between 1965 and 1986, held a teaching position at the United States Air Force Academy, served as a development engineer at the Air Force Weapons Laboratory at Kirtland AFB in New Mexico and was the Requirements Officer for the Nellis AFB Ranges in Nevada. Prior to 2000, his research areas included pedagogy, outcomes based assessment, the study of periodic gratings used as antennas and in antenna systems, high power microwave interactions with large complex cavities, anechoic chambers, and anechoic chamber absorbing materials. Since 2000, he has been concentrating on engineering education pedagogy, engineering program accreditation, and outcomes based assessment for both engineering programs and general education, and inclusive excellence for engineering an computer science programs. In retirement he continues his research in inclusive excellence.

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Christopher D. Griffin West Virginia University Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0002-0724-4177

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Dr. Griffin is a Teaching Assistant Professor and has over 10 years of experimental and computational aerodynamics research experience. His primary area of expertise is unsteady aerodynamics, with a focus on active flow control techniques and UAS aerodynamics. Dr. Griffin has experience in both supersonic and subsonic wind tunnel testing using a variety of measurement techniques, including strain gage based force and moment quantification and Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV). He is also well versed in the use of computational fluid dynamics for aerodynamic analysis. While at West Virginia University Dr. Griffin has taught a variety of classes, including Fluid Mechanics, Thermodynamics, and Computational Fluid Mechanics.

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Scott T. Leutenegger University of Denver

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Melissa Lynn Morris University of Nevada - Las Vegas

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Melissa Morris is currently an Assistant Professor in Residence in the Mechanical Engineering Department at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. She previously served as a Teaching Associate Professor for the Freshman Engineering Program, in the Benjamin M. Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources at West Virginia University (WVU). She graduated Summa cum Laude with a BSME in 2006, earned a MSME in 2008, and completed her doctorate in mechanical engineering in 2011, all from WVU. At WVU, she has previously served as the Undergraduate and Outreach Advisor for the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering department and the Assistant Director of the Center for Building Energy Efficiency. She has previously taught courses such as Thermodynamics, Thermal Fluids Laboratory, and Guided Missiles Systems, as well as serving as a Senior Design Project Advisor for Mechanical Engineering Students. Her research interests include energy and thermodynamic related topics. Since 2007 she has been actively involved in recruiting and outreach for the Statler College, as part of this involvement Dr. Morris frequently makes presentations to groups of K-12 students.

Dr. Morris was selected as a the ASEE North Central Section Outstanding Teacher in 2018.

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Christina Paguyo University of Denver

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Christina H. Paguyo, PhD, is the Director of Academic Assessment at the University of Denver. Her research interests focus on designing and examining educational environments grounded in research, theory, and equity.

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Jody Paul Metropolitan State University of Denver Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0003-2874-9542

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Dr. Jody Paul is a Professor of Computer Science at Metropolitan State University of Denver, an open-enrollment institution located in downtown Denver, Colorado. Professional experiences also include: performance musician and orchestrator (AFM Local 47 Lifetime Member); educator; sailing and fitness instructor; software engineer; computer scientist; locksmith/security consultant; software development manager; notary public.

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Seoyeon Park Texas A&M University

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a Ph.D. student at Texas A&M University and a research assistant in Partnership for Equity (P4E) project

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Karen E. Rambo-Hernandez Texas A&M University Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0001-8107-2898

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Karen E. Rambo-Hernandez is an associate professor at Texas A & M University in the College of Education and Human Development in the department of Teaching, Learning, and Culture. In her research, she is interested in the assessing STEM interventions on student outcomes, measuring academic growth, and evaluating the impact of curricular change.

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Breigh Nonte Roszelle University of Denver

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Dr. Breigh Roszelle currently serves as the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies in the Ritchie School of Engineering and Computer Science and a Teaching Associate Professor in the Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering at the University of Denver. She currently teaches courses in the fields of thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, heat transfer, and introduction to engineering, including computer aided design. Her educational research interests include first-year engineering experiences, assessment, inclusive excellence, and active learning pedagogy, including project-based learning.

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Abstract

Broadening the STEM workforce is imperative if the persistent and complex problems facing the US and the world are going to be effectively addressed. The culture in engineering and computer science, however, is often cold toward those with diverse backgrounds. The ultimate purpose of our 5 year multi-institutional NSF IUSE (Improving Undergraduate STEM Education) funded program, (redacted for blind review), is to change the culture of engineering and computer science by developing, implementing, and evaluating curricular changes intended to engender inclusive professional identities in engineering and computer science students. Students with inclusive professional identities will have: “(1) the necessary technical knowledge, skills, and abilities to work in their chosen field; (2) an appreciation for how all kinds of diversity strengthen engineering and computer science as disciplines; and (3) knowledge of how to act in inclusive ways and create inclusive environments within their fields” (redacted for blind review). Notably, the project approaches diversity from a holistic perspective that includes different life experiences, demographic characteristics, problem-solving approaches, and personalities, while also emphasizing the experience of populations historically underrepresented in engineering and computer science.

The intervention activities created are customizable and able to fit in existing course scaffolds, teaching modalities, and campuses, and have been created and tested on the unique campuses involved in the project, each serving students from different backgrounds. These activities were created to address our specific aims to teach students to (a) appreciate diversity, (b) work in diverse teams, and (c) serve diverse populations, all while fitting the needs of many classrooms. Some intervention activities are specific to course technical content, but the majority are more general and could be used in just about any course.

Examples of intervention activities that can be used with different academic levels include the Interactive Theatre Sketch and Using Diversity to Drive Innovation. The Interactive Theatre Sketch teaches first-year students to work on diverse teams by allowing students to mediate a conflict in a dysfunctional team depicted by trained actors followed by a facilitated discussion. The Using Diversity to Drive Innovation activity emphasizing how engineers with diverse backgrounds bring valuable perspectives to the design process by having upper-level students consider how diversity impacts a company’s innovation and productivity after listening to a TEDTalk.

Other intervention activities are tailored to specific academic areas. In biomedical engineering, for example, a TEDTalk is used as a foundation for students to reflect on why building a diverse team is critical to help ensure health issues faced by all ethnicities, races, genders, and economic statuses are addressed. All of the project’s objectives are addressed with mechanical engineering students by challenging them to redesign a hand or power tool to be more accessible for someone with a physical disability in the Veteran’s Tool Project.

The paper and poster will highlight a subset of the nearly 40 unique curricular intervention activities created and, where applicable, describe the modifications used for implementation across campuses. Educators can find activities suitable for various academic levels and disciplines of interest from the plethora of intervention activities produced by this project.

Pedersen, B. A., & Hensel, R. A., & Raisa, S. A., & Atadero, R. A., & Casper, A. A., & DeLyser, R. R., & Griffin, C. D., & Leutenegger, S. T., & Morris, M. L., & Paguyo, C., & Paul, J., & Park, S., & Rambo-Hernandez, K. E., & Roszelle, B. N. (2021, July), Leveraging Changes in Engineering and Computer Science Curricula to Engender Inclusive Professional Identities in Students Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. https://peer.asee.org/37454

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