Asee peer logo

Making the Invisible Visible: Exploring Cultural Differences of Faculty Working on a Multicultural Team

Download Paper |


2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Columbus, Ohio

Publication Date

June 24, 2017

Start Date

June 24, 2017

End Date

June 28, 2017

Conference Session

Action on Diversity - Engineering Workforce & Faculty Training

Tagged Topics

Diversity and ASEE Diversity Committee

Page Count




Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


Sevinj Iskandarova James Madison University Orcid 16x16

visit author page

Sevinj Iskandarova is a Ph.D. student at James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA, USA. She received her MS.Ed. in Adult Education/Human Resource Development from James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA, USA in May 2016. Her main research interests include Human-Computer Interface, Information Technology, International Education, Leadership, Learner-centered Education and Multicultural Education. In 2016, she was awarded a prize for Outstanding Thesis Award in Education, Social Sciences, and Humanities at the Graduate School, James Madison University. She has advanced experience on the educational system in Caucasus and Central Asia regions. She has presented at more than 30 international conferences, and seminars thought USA, Europe, and Asia.

visit author page


Oris Griffin James Madison University

visit author page

I am a professor in the Adult Education/Human Resource Development (AHRD) Program in the Learning Technology and Leadership Education Department at James Madison University.
I have been on the faculty for over 26 years. My areas of interest are Diversity, Leadership and Adult Learning. My commitment to student learning is exemplified by my long-term involvement with community service-learning, having served as faculty liason and a Professor in Residence (PIR) for several inner city schools in Richmond, VA for over six years, I also served as the Director of the PIR Program for three years.

visit author page

Download Paper |


In an educational environment, where many cultures are represented, it is essential that the environment is inclusive and every culture is embraced. Training programs for faculty members on how to cope in a new diverse environment in ways that develop strong, culturally relevant interpersonal skills have been missing in many educational institutions. The purpose of this mixed method study was two- fold. First, the researchers examined faculty member’s reactions to working in a culturally diverse environment. Secondly, the researchers wanted to uncover best practices or strategies that might improve cultural awareness in workforce development in terms of navigating daily life within an educational institution.

This study delved into the experiences faculty members reported having in their workplace. The study involved 224 faculty members across various departments and career statuses working at a public coeducational research institution in the United States of America. The survey and interview responses to a predetermined set of questions were analyzed in order to draw out commonalities and to address the research questions.

The results of the study revealed that an intensive cultural orientation training program is needed to help faculty members develop effective communication skills in order to work more collaboratively in an educational institution.

Iskandarova, S., & Griffin, O. (2017, June), Making the Invisible Visible: Exploring Cultural Differences of Faculty Working on a Multicultural Team Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. 10.18260/1-2--28645

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: © 2017 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