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Positionality: The Stories of Self that Impact Others

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2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Tampa, Florida

Publication Date

June 15, 2019

Start Date

June 15, 2019

End Date

June 19, 2019

Conference Session

Liberal Education/Engineering & Society Division Technical Session 6

Tagged Division

Liberal Education/Engineering & Society

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Paper Authors


Cynthia Hampton Virginia Tech

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ynthia Hampton is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Engineering Education at Virginia Tech. She also serves as program and student support for the Center for the Enhancement of Engineering Diversity (CEED). While at Virginia Tech, Cynthia has directed summer bridge programs, led peer support initiatives for underrepresented groups, and served on various commissions, committees, and research groups focused on student support, organizational change, graduate student policy, and culturally responsive evaluation. Her research interests include organizational behavior and change as it pertains to engineering education and broadening participation, faculty change agents, and complex system dynamics. Her research investigates narrative inquiry of faculty who use their agency to engage in broadening participation in engineering activities. Cynthia received her B.S. in Biological Systems Engineering from Kansas State University and will receive her M.S. in Management Systems Engineering from Virginia Tech in 2019.

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David Reeping Virginia Tech Orcid 16x16

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David Reeping is a doctoral candidate in Engineering Education at Virginia Tech and is an NSF Graduate Research Fellow. He received his B.S. in Engineering Education with a Mathematics minor from Ohio Northern University. He was a Choose Ohio First scholar inducted during the 2012-2013 school year as a promising teacher candidate in STEM. David was the recipient of the Remsburg Creativity Award for 2013 and the DeBow Freed Award for outstanding leadership as an undergraduate student (sophomore) in 2014. He is also a member of the mathematics, education, and engineering honor societies: Kappa Mu Epsilon, Kappa Delta Pi, and Tau Beta Pi respectively. He has extensive experience in curriculum development in K-12 and creates material for the Technology Student Association's annual TEAMS competition. David has co-authored two texts related to engineering, Principles of Applied Engineering for Pearson-Prentice Hall and Introductory Engineering Mathematics for Momentum Press.

His research interests include: model/method transferability, threshold concepts to inform curriculum development, information asymmetry in higher education processes (e.g., course articulation), and issues in first year engineering.

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This initial work in progress paper explores a discussion of positionality from two doctoral candidate researchers in engineering education. Initiated and guided by Culture, and Researcher Positionality: Working Through Dangers Seen, Unseen, and Unforeseen (Milner, 2007), this paper will present a starting point of dialogue and self-exploration from both qualitative and quantitative research perspectives. Engineering education researchers task themselves with being innovative towards the production of knowledge that is intended to improve and serve current practices and other ways of thinking, knowing, and doing. However, what can be said of the internal conversation that either does or does not occur within and outside of the bounds of reflexivity in research? This work in progress paper will provide an initial and non-exhaustive presentation of literature related to qualitative and quantitative considerations in positionality, describe the initial process and thoughts of two researcher's conversation of key incidents related to positionality over time in their graduate careers, barriers and supports to exploring positionality, and how this exploration influences their respective research. The personal exploration presented here is intended to serve as a starting point to ongoing reflexive work for each graduate researcher as a means of continuous development and meant to enhance research practices.

Hampton, C., & Reeping, D. (2019, June), Positionality: The Stories of Self that Impact Others Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. 10.18260/1-2--33177

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