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Oral Histories of Distinguished Female Leaders: Inspiring the Next Generation of Young People in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM)

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Conference

2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Indianapolis, Indiana

Publication Date

June 15, 2014

Start Date

June 15, 2014

End Date

June 18, 2014

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

WIED: Strategies Beyond the Classroom

Tagged Division

Women in Engineering

Page Count

17

Page Numbers

24.962.1 - 24.962.17

DOI

10.18260/1-2--22895

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/22895

Download Count

149

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Paper Authors

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Kelsey Morgan Irvin Washington University in St. Louis

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Kelsey Irvin is a sophomore at Washington University in St. Louis majoring in the cognitive neuroscience track of philosophy-neuroscience-psychology and hopes to pursue a career in social work or a related psychological field. She is currently working in a cognition and development Lab at the university, studying child preferences.

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Elizabeth Hiteshue University of Pennsylvania

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Elizabeth Hiteshue is a junior at the University of Pennsylvania studying systems science and engineering and nutrition. Originally from Medina, Ohio, she worked at the Air Force Institute of Technology under Dr. Lanzerotti as a summer research intern in 2013.

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Mary Yvonne Lanzerotti Air Force Institute of Technology Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0001-7802-1117

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Dr. Lanzerotti is an associate professor of computer engineering at the Air Force Institute of Technology.

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Sheldon Hochheiser IEEE History Center

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Dr. Sheldon Hochheiser is Archivist and Institutional Historian at the IEEE History Center in New Brunswick, New Jersey and Adjunct Professor of History at Rutgers University. Prior to joining IEEE, he spent sixteen years as corporate historian for AT&T, acting as both subject matter expert on AT&T history and manager of the corporate archives. While at AT&T, Dr. Hochheiser curated historical exhibits, completed oral histories with company executives, and studied every aspect of the history of the telephone in the United States. He has been conducting oral histories for over thirty years. Hochheiser earned a Ph.D. in the History of Science at the University of Wisconsin--Madison, and a B.A. in Chemistry-History at Reed College.

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Michael Geselowitz Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey

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Michael N. Geselowitz is the senior director of the IEEE History Center, a joint program of IEEE Inc. and Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey. Through this arrangement, he is also an adjunct professor of the history of technology and of science, technology, and society at Rutgers.

Geselowitz holds B.S. degrees in electrical engineering and in anthropology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in anthropology from Harvard University. His focus has been on the role of history and social relations of engineering and technology at all levels. He has worked as an electronics engineer for the Department of Defense and held teaching and research positions relating to the social study of technology at M.I.T., Harvard, and Yale University, including a stint as assistant collections manager/curator at Harvard's Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology. Immediately prior to joining IEEE in 1997, Geselowitz was group manager at Eric Marder Associates, a New York market research firm, where he supervised Ph.D. scientists and social scientists undertaking market analyses for Fortune 500 high-tech companies. He is also a registered Patent Agent.

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Abstract

Oral Histories of Distinguished Female Leaders: Inspiring the Next Generation of Young People in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM)AbstractThis paper describes a new collaboration between a DOD government institution of highereducation in the United States and the History Center of the IEEE, the world’s largest technologyorganization for the advancement of technology, to create a workforce development and one-on-one career-building and life-changing mentorship program for female undergraduate students inscience, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). This project provides the studentswith hands-on STEM research in the government institution and one-on-one exposure to some ofthe world’s leading female science and engineering pioneers. In this project, participating femaleundergraduate students pursue leading-edge STEM research. At the same time, the studentsidentify, select, contact, interview, and transcribe a new oral history for the entire career of femaledistinguished leaders, whose research and career align with the students’ goals. Through thisprocess, the students are simultaneously participating actively as researchers in a governmentinstitution, receiving one-on-one mentorship with distinguished female leaders, and preserving acritical part of the historic record (the oral histories) at IEEE. One desired outcome is that thestudents are motivated by these experiences to graduate with STEM degrees, which therebyincreases the retention of women professionals with STEM degrees. A second outcome is that theoral history transcripts of the distinguished female leaders will be archived in perpetuity at theIEEE. To date, students have identified leaders who are CEOs at science and technologycompanies and members of the National Academy of Engineering and National Academy ofSciences. Four full-length, two-hour, oral history interviews have been researched and conductedfor these individuals, and three additional interviews are being scheduled.This paper presents key factors in the career development of the distinguished female leaders thatled to their success. Common themes that might explain the reasons that the distinguished femaleleaders have been successful will also be presented. Second, this paper will present first-handdescriptions of the impact on the career outlooks of the participating undergraduates who areconducting all aspects of the project. Participating students are U.S. citizens, which is a desireddemographic and can help increase the STEM workforce nationally. Training in oral historytechnique is provided by the IEEE History Center.Oral history is the methodology selected in this project because oral history is a recognized “fieldof study and a method of gathering, preserving, and interpreting the voices and memories of 1|Pa gepeople, communities, and participants in past events.” Oral history is the oldest type of historicalinquiry, predating the written word, and is also the most modern, initiated with tape recorders inthe 1940s and now implemented with 21 st century technologies. The IEEE History Center willpost the oral history transcripts in perpetuity on the IEEE Global History Network. The projectdraws on best practices from other oral history projects, such as those collected in 2001-2003through the “Oral History of Women in Computing Project” of Dr. Janet Abbate, who is AssociateProfessor of Science and Technology in Society, at the Northern Virginia campus of Virginia TechUniversity. Her work became a major source for her book entitled, “Recoding Gender: Women’sChanging Participation in Computing.” (MIT Press, 2012) and 52 oral histories that are nowavailable on the IEEE Global history Network (http://www.ieeeghn.org/wiki/index.php/Oral-History:Women_in_Computing). The transcripts of these interviews are housed by the IEEEHistory Center on its IEEE Global History Network site (http://www.ieeeghn.org) as part of itsbroader, important oral history collection which contains over 575 interviews, approximately 55 ofwhose subjects are female. 2|Pa ge

Irvin, K. M., & Hiteshue, E., & Lanzerotti, M. Y., & Hochheiser, S., & Geselowitz, M. (2014, June), Oral Histories of Distinguished Female Leaders: Inspiring the Next Generation of Young People in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. 10.18260/1-2--22895

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