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Mentoring Among African-American Women in the Engineering Academy

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2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


Virtual On line

Publication Date

June 22, 2020

Start Date

June 22, 2020

End Date

June 26, 2021

Conference Session

Women in Engineering Division Technical Session 8

Tagged Division

Women in Engineering

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Paper Authors


Jocelyn LaChelle Jackson University of Michigan

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Jocelyn Jackson is a doctoral student in engineering education research at the University of Michigan and national chair of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE). Her major work includes research in entrepreneurship, organizational leadership and behavior, and strategic planning for NSBE.

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Jeremi S London Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

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Dr. Jeremi London is an Assistant Professor in the Engineering Education Department at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. London is a mixed methods researcher with interests in research impact, cyberlearning, and instructional change in STEM Education. Prior to being a faculty member, London worked at the National Science Foundation, GE Healthcare, and Anheuser-Busch. She earned B.S. and M.S. degrees in Industrial Engineering, and a Ph.D. in Engineering Education from Purdue University.

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Joi-lynn Mondisa University of Michigan Orcid 16x16

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Joi Mondisa is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Industrial and Operations Engineering and an Engineering Education Faculty Member at the University of Michigan–Ann Arbor. Dr. Mondisa holds a PhD in Engineering Education, an MS in Industrial Engineering, an MBA, and a BS in General Engineering. She researches STEM mentoring experiences and mentoring intervention programs in higher education.

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Stephanie G. Adams University of Texas at Dallas

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Dr. Stephanie G. Adams is the 5th Dean of the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science at the University of Texas, Dallas and President of the American Society of Engineering Education (ASEE). Dr. Adams has held administrative and faculty positions at Old Dominion University, Virginia Tech, Virginia Commonwealth University and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Dr. Adams is an honor graduate of North Carolina A&T State University, where she earned her BS in Mechanical Engineering. She was awarded the Master of Engineering degree in Systems Engineering from the University of Virginia and she received her Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Engineering from Texas A&M University, where she concentrated on Industrial Engineering and Management.

Her research interests include: Broadening Participation, Faculty and Graduate Student Development, International/Global Education, Teamwork and Team Effectiveness, and Quality Control and Management. In 2003, she received the CAREER award from the Engineering Education and Centers Division of the National Science Foundation. Dr. Adams is a leader in the advancement and inclusion of all in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education. She has worked with numerous of colleges and universities, government agencies and non-profit organizations on topics related to graduate education, mentoring, faculty development and diversifying STEM.

Adams is the recipient of numerous awards, including: the 2017 WEPAN Founders Award; the 2016 ASEE Engineering Management Bernie Sarchet Lifetime Award; the 2013 Alumni Achievement Award North Carolina A&T State University; and the Holling Teaching/Advising/Mentoring Award and Henry Y. Kleinkauf Outstanding Assistant Professor Teaching Award from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. In 2005, she was selected as an AAAS/NSF Science and Engineering Policy Fellow and in 2013, she was selected as a fellow of ASEE.

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African American women are the least represented population among engineering faculty, and a demographic that faces unique challenges affecting their retention in the academy. This fact was the impetus for an NSF-funded workshop and research project focused on their unique challenges and strategies that enable them to survive and thrive in the engineering academy. This paper summarizes the outcomes of the Intergenerational Mentoring Workshop held Summer 2019, and aims to equip the broader engineering education community with insights for supporting this endangered demographic.

The workshop was attended by 24 African American women engineering faculty (roughly 17% of all African American Women engineering faculty in the U.S.) who represented a wide range of roles in the academy. The day-long workshop consisted of multiple sessions in which participants shared their insights, challenges, and promising solutions. We will share the results of qualitative and quantitative data collected from a focus group with a subset of participants, observations made by an external evaluator, and post-workshop surveys. Preliminary data suggests that all participants (100%) agreed that the workshop met their expectations and encouraged them as a professional. In addition, 95% agreed that the workshop was appropriate for what they needed at this point in their careers and that the overall workshop had an appropriate balance of interactive activities to keep them engaged. Finally, 80% of the participants indicated they had clarity as to how to address challenges African American women face.

The larger study surrounding this workshop includes a synthesis of factors that promote and impede success among African American women across all ranks of engineering faculty. It will result in a blueprint for creating a research agenda focused on broadening participation and ensuring successful advancement of African American women faculty in engineering. Highlights of these research efforts will also be discussed.

Jackson, J. L., & London, J. S., & Mondisa, J., & Adams, S. G. (2020, June), Mentoring Among African-American Women in the Engineering Academy Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--34967

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