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Overcome Gender Discrimination in STEM Using the Case Study Method

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2022 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Minneapolis, MN

Publication Date

August 23, 2022

Start Date

June 26, 2022

End Date

June 29, 2022

Conference Session

WIED: Analysis, Challenges, Success, and Impacts

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Paper Authors


Coleen Carrigan California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo

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Coleen Carrigan is an Associate Professor of Anthropology and Science, Technology and Society (STS) at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. Using ethnography, she investigates the cultural dimensions of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), with a particular emphasis on Computer Science and Engineering, and why these high-status fields appear impervious to desegregation. Professor Carrigan shares the findings from her research to foster welcoming environments in STEM and help strengthen alliances between liberal arts scholars, engineers and scientists to enhance civic engagement and combat social injustices. She is a recipient of a five-year Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award for her research into the intersections of gender, race and social values in computing.

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Liesl Folks The University of Arizona

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Dr. Liesl Folks serves as Provost at the University of Arizona, as well as a professor in the Dept. of Electrical and Computer Engineering. She holds a PhD degree in Physics from the University of Western Australia and an MBA from Cornell University. Prior to joining UA, she served as dean of Engineering at the University at Buffalo for 6.5 years. During her time at UB, she was the architect of a strategic growth plan for engineering. Previously, she performed research and development on nanoscale magnetic materials and devices in support of the data storage industry for 16 years in Silicon Valley. Dr. Folks has co-authored more than 60 archival peer reviewed journal articles and 14 US patents, resulting in more than 12,400 citations. She served as President of the IEEE Magnetics Society from 2013-2014 - the first female president. She also served as chair of the congressionally-mandated National Academies panel which delivered the “2020 Quadrennial Review of the National Nanotechnology Initiative” report. Dr. Folks has long been a champion for women and underrepresented minorities in STEM degree programs.

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LAURENE TUMIEL BERHALTER University at Buffalo, The State University of New York

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Nancy Schiller University at Buffalo, The State University of New York

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In 2019, women made up about half of the U.S. workforce but only 27% of the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) workforce, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Women pursuing careers in STEM workforces often face gender bias, discrimination, and harassment, yet seldom receive instruction on how to best handle such issues. The National Science Foundation-funded NAVIGATE Project aims to address this situation by providing women STEM graduate students with educational materials on how to recognize and confront discrimination, both interpersonally and organizationally. The skills-based program uses a case study approach, which promotes the internalization of learning and the development of analytical and decision-making skills, as well as proficiency in oral communication and teamwork. Each case study is coupled with discussion questions for individual and group reflection, as well as a complete facilitation guide with possible answers for those leading the training, to promote meaningful engagement with the material. The NAVIGATE facilitators will lead workshop participants through this novel case study approach to supporting the career persistence by women in STEM. The session will include research on the role change agents play in retaining women in STEM. It will also give participants opportunities to work collectively to strategize on how to impart graduate students with the skills necessary to (1) recognize gender bias, harassment and discrimination when encountered, and (2) act to overcome career adversity created by gender bias, harassment, and discrimination to persist in their STEM careers and become transformational leaders in their fields.

Carrigan, C., & Folks, L., & TUMIEL BERHALTER, L., & Schiller, N. (2022, August), Overcome Gender Discrimination in STEM Using the Case Study Method Paper presented at 2022 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Minneapolis, MN. 10.18260/1-2--41416

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