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Panel Discussion: Understanding Students’ Narratives of Grand Challenges Scholars Program as a Nexus between Liberal and STEM Education

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Conference

2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Tampa, Florida

Publication Date

June 15, 2019

Start Date

June 15, 2019

End Date

June 19, 2019

Conference Session

Understanding Students' Narratives of Grand Challenges Scholars Program as a Nexus Between Liberal and STEM Education

Tagged Division

Liberal Education/Engineering & Society

Tagged Topic

Diversity

Page Count

25

DOI

10.18260/1-2--33152

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/33152

Download Count

155

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Paper Authors

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Yevgeniya V. Zastavker Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering

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Yevgeniya V. Zastavker, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor of Physics at Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering and a recent Director of the Research Institute for Experiential Learning Science at Northeastern University. She earned her B.S. degree in Physics from Yale University in 1995 and her Ph. D. degree in Biological Physics from MIT in 2001. Dr. Zastavker's research interests lie in the field of STEM education with specific emphasis on innovative pedagogical and curricular practices at the intersection with the issues of gender and diversity. With the goal of improving learning opportunities for all students and equipping faculty with the knowledge and skills necessary to create such opportunities, Dr. Zastavker's recent work involves questions pertaining to students’ motivational attitudes and their learning journeys in a variety of educational environments. One of the founding faculty at Olin College, Dr. Zastavker has been engaged in development and implementation of project-based experiences in fields ranging from science to engineering and design to social sciences (e.g., Critical Reflective Writing; Teaching and Learning in Undergraduate Science and Engineering, etc.) All of these activities share a common goal of creating curricular and pedagogical structures as well as academic cultures that facilitate students' interests, motivation, and desire to persist in engineering. Through this work, outreach, and involvement in the community, Dr. Zastavker continues to focus on the issues of women and minorities in science/engineering.

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Abigail M Fry Olin College of Engineering

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Abby Fry is a second-year student at Olin College of Engineering majoring in Electrical and Computer Engineering.

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Holly Nguyen

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Holly Nguyen is a Master's student at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI), studying Computer Science. She completed her Bachelor's at WPI with a major in Computer Science and a minor in Business.

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Gretchen Rice Olin College

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Gretchen is originally from Maine and plans to graduate from Olin College in May 2020. Outside of classes and GCSP, Gretchen is president of Olin's A Capella group and works as a Resident Resource, a teacher's assistant, and a tour guide.

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Sydney Ross Lawrence Technological University

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Sydney Ross is a first-year student at Lawrence Technological University (LTU). She is majoring in Computer Science with a concentration in Scientific Software Development.

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Sebastien Zenzo Selarque Rochester Institute of Technology (CET)

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Sebastien Selarque is a fifth-year Electrical Mechanical Engineering Technology student at the Rochester Institute of Technology. He also works for Engineers for a Sustainable World, a not-for-profit organization, in order to effect social and environmental betterment through technology.

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Bridgit Spies

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Bridgit Spies is a second year student at RIT majoring in chemical engineering and minoring in environmental studies.

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Margarite Vaccaro

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Margarite Vaccaro graduated from Worcester Polytechnic Institute in May, 2018 with a degree in biomedical engineering and a minor in business. She currently works as an engineer in the medical device industry in the greater Boston area and absolutely loves it!

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Jason Barrett Lawrence Technological University

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Assoc Prof of History and Humanities Dept Chair; Grand Challenge Scholars Program Director

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Sarah Aileen Brownell Rochester Institute of Technology

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Sarah Brownell is the Director of the Grand Challenges Scholars Program and a Lecturer in Design, Development and Manufacturing for the Kate Gleason College of Engineering at the Rochester Institute of Technology. She works extensively with students in the multidisciplinary engineering capstone design course and other project based elective courses, incorporating human centered design, participatory development, and design for development themes. She was a co-founder of the non-profit Sustainable Organic Integrated Livelihoods (SOIL) which promotes ecological sanitation in Haiti.

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Matthew Marshall Rochester Institute of Technology (COE)

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Matthew Marshall is Associate Dean and Associate Professor in the Kate Gleason College of Engineering at Rochester Institute of Technology. He received a Ph.D. in Industrial and Operations Engineering from the University of Michigan in 2002. He is director of the Human Performance Laboratory at RIT and his research interests include the biomechanics of sign language interpreting and the ergonomic design of consumer products.

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Karen Kashmanian Oates Worcester Polytechnic Institute

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Karen Kashmanian Oates
A nationally recognized consultant, scientist, science educator, and higher education leader, Dr. Oates joined WPI from the National Science Foundation, where she had been serving as deputy director of the Division of Undergraduate Education. At the NSF, Karen managed a budget of over $380 million and a staff of more than 35 charged with supporting innovative programs to strengthen undergraduate and graduate education and helped revitalize American entrepreneurship and competitiveness.
As the inaugural Dean of Arts and Sciences, Karen brought a variety of perspectives on faculty development, career and executive counseling, leading change and setting a collaborative culture as well as service learning and business-higher education partnerships. She is now a partner in Success 4 Higher Education (www.s4he.com). Among the honors she has received are the Bruce Albert’s Award, presented by the American Society to Cell Biology for excellence in science education reform, and the Distinguished Public Service Award, the highest civilian honor presented by the City of Harrisburg Pennsylvania. In 2012, she was inducted as a fellow into the prestigious American Association for the Advancement as Science Education fellow, and in 2016 a Sigma Xi distinguished lecturer. She now leads the University efforts for National Academy of Engineers – Global Grand Challenge Scholar program.
After receiving her Ph.D. at George Washington University Medical Center in Biochemistry, she worked as a visiting scientist at the National Institutes of Health, National Cancer Institute Oncology and Hematology Division. She began her academic career at George Mason University, where, as associate dean for the newly established College of Integrated and Interdisciplinary Studies, she helped create George Mason’s New American College environment. She later served as inaugural provost for the Harrisburg University of Science and Technology, where she established the National Center for Science and Civic Engagement and helped secure NSF funds for Science Education for New Civic Engagement and Responsibilities, SENCER which works to improve undergraduate STEM/STEAM education by connecting learning to critical civic questions.
After 7 years as dean, Karen has returned to the faculty at WPI and mamages Success 4 Higher Education (www.s4he.com).

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David I. Spanagel Worcester Polytechnic Institute

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David Spanagel is an Associate Professor of History in the Department of Humanities and Arts at the Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Worcester, Mass. He has been active as an innovator in curriculum and instructional approaches. He co-developed the Power the World course (one of the first Great Problems Seminar themes offered as part of WPI's First Year Experience) back in 2007. He has pioneered collaborative learning approaches in the history capstone projects that he advises for students completing the Humanities and Arts requirement. He worked with colleagues to overhaul and update WPI’s history of science and technology course offerings in 2009, and again in 2017. Prior to acquiring a Ph.D. in the history of science at Harvard (1996), David's first graduate degree (an M.S. Ed.) involved academic research into mathematical problem solving techniques and pedagogy. Thus, his very first publication was an article on "Solving Extreme Value Problems Without Calculus," published in The Mathematics Teacher (1988).

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James J. Winebrake Rochester Institute of Technology Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0003-4520-1642

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Dr. James Winebrake currently serves as the dean of the College of Liberal Arts at RIT. He works with the college’s faculty, staff and students to advance education and scholarship in the social sciences, humanities, and performing arts, while also promoting interdisciplinary initiatives across RIT’s nine colleges. One of his key initiatives is the integration of liberal arts and technology/engineering curricula at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.

Dr. Winebrake previously served as chair of RIT’s Department of Science, Technology and Society/Public Policy and has earned international recognition for his research on issues related to the environmental impacts of transportation, including health risk assessments, life-cycle analysis of alternative fuels, and analysis of policies aimed at reducing emissions in the transportation sector. He serves or has served on several National Academies of Science committees, the New York State Energy Planning Board, and other professional boards related to energy and environmental technology and policy.

In 2010 Dr. Winebrake was awarded the RIT Trustees Scholar Award in recognition of his scholarly contributions in the energy and environmental fields. He has also received numerous other research and teaching awards during his career, including the Madison Scholar Award and the Outstanding Teacher Award while serving as a faculty member at James Madison University in Virginia.

Dr. Winebrake received his PhD in Energy Management and Policy from the University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, PA). He also holds a B.S. in Physics from Lafayette College (Easton, PA) and a M.S. in Technology and Policy from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Cambridge, MA).

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Alison Wood Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering

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Dr. Alison Wood is an assistant professor of Environmental Engineering at Olin College of Engineering. She is a distinguished researcher in the fields of both water and sanitation, as well as a researcher and practitioner in using interdisciplinary thinking and approaches to solving environmental and sustainability problems. Dr. Wood is also pursuing her interests in the areas of equity and justice through education and engagement with context and values.

In addition to her teaching and advising duties at Olin, Dr. Wood serves as the Director of the Babson-Olin-Wellesley Three College Sustainability Certificate Program, the Director of Olin’s Grand Challenge Scholars Program, on the Catalyst Board of the open source journal Murmurations, as a member of Olin’s Sustainability Steering Committee, and as a member of Olin’s Context and Ethics in Engineering Education Working Group.

After graduating from Harvard University with a B.A. in Dramatic Literature, Dr. Wood worked professionally in theater and wrote and recorded two musical albums. She then returned to school to study engineering, earning a B.S. in Civil Engineering from Rutgers University. Dr. Wood then went on to earn a Master of Science in Engineering in Environmental and Water Resources Engineering and a Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from The University of Texas at Austin, while working with the Austin chapter of Engineers Without Borders as a volunteer and project lead for a project in Peru.

She has published and presented on incentivizing decentralized sanitation and wastewater treatment, on sustainability of coastal community water and sanitation service options, as well as on integrating liberal arts and STEM education, currently through the vehicle of the Grand Challenges Scholars Program. She has co-designed workshops oriented toward educational change for Olin’s Summer Institute and the joint Olin College-Emerson College event: Remaking Education.

Her love of learning was first fostered by an unusual elementary school education that was deeply interdisciplinary with a substantial arts curriculum, which has informed all her subsequent thinking about the potential for education to transcend conventional models.

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Abstract

In 2008, the National Academy of Engineering (NAE), in collaboration with leading international technological scholars, produced a report with a radically new vision for engineering in the 21st century. Calling for “continuation of life on the planet, making our world more sustainable, secure, healthy, and joyful,” this document inspired a global movement urging interdisciplinary thinkers, policymakers, and the general public around the world to come together to address challenges facing humanity. As a part of this global movement, academic institutions responded by creating a Grand Challenges Scholars Program (GCSP), an initiative that complements and extends engineering education to include knowledge, skills, attitudes, and behaviors necessary to solve grand challenges outlined in NAE’s report. The GCSP is a framework that defines five competencies (Talent, Multicultural, Multidisciplinary, Entrepreneurship, and Social Consciousness), development of which serves to prepare a student to address NAE’s Grand Challenges. These five competencies necessitate a holistic approach to educating next generation global citizens, not just next generation engineers. As the program continues to grow, increasing numbers of scholars delve into the questions pertaining to the effectiveness of GCSP on improving students’ learning outcomes. However, not much is yet known about the ways in which students, both engineering and non-engineering, make sense of the ways in which GCSP supports their holistic growth and development into global citizens of tomorrow. Through this panel discussion and paper, we bring together GCSP Scholars from four different institutions funded by the Teagle Foundation to explicitly bridge liberal arts and STEM education through GCSP. The participating institutions - Olin College of Engineering (Olin), Lawrence Technological University (LTU), Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), and Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) - represent diverse academic and institutional cultures and are at different stages of GCSP development, with Olin being one of the founding GCSP schools and LTU being the newest addition to the national program. The panelists, both engineering and non-engineering majors as well as those early in their GCSP career and GCSP alumni, share their stories and critically reflect on the pathways which GCSP presented for them. Through their critical narratives, we show how the explicit bridging between liberal arts and STEM education within the four GCSPs enables Scholars to interrogate their personal selves and lead the way in engineering education by engaging in the hard work of thinking about what it means to be human.

Zastavker, Y. V., & Fry, A. M., & Nguyen, H., & Rice, G., & Ross, S., & Selarque, S. Z., & Spies, B., & Vaccaro, M., & Barrett, J., & Brownell, S. A., & Marshall, M., & Oates, K. K., & Spanagel, D. I., & Winebrake, J. J., & Wood, A. (2019, June), Panel Discussion: Understanding Students’ Narratives of Grand Challenges Scholars Program as a Nexus between Liberal and STEM Education Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. 10.18260/1-2--33152

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: © 2019 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