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PRESENTATION: Transforming Engineering Culture to Advance Inclusion and Diversity (TECAID) Project

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2018 CoNECD - The Collaborative Network for Engineering and Computing Diversity Conference


Crystal City, Virginia

Publication Date

April 29, 2018

Start Date

April 29, 2018

End Date

May 2, 2018

Conference Session

Faculty Track - Technical Session III

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Paper Authors


Gretalyn (Gretal) Leibnitz Women in Engineering ProActive Network (WEPAN)

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Gretal Leibnitz has a M.S. in Counseling, a Ph.D. in Experimental Psychologist, and is a Certified Associate in Project Management. She founded and acts as the Executive Director of Pro Actualize Consulting, and serves as research and grants consultant to the Women in Engineering ProActive Network (WEPAN). She is dedicated to identifying and facilitating professional and organizational transformation using evidence-based strategies. Leibnitz is an experienced change leader, having served as co-Principal Investigator and Assistant Program Director for the NSF-funded ADVANCE at Washington State University; founder and leader of the ADVANCE Implementation Mentors (AIM) Network, a national community of practice of more than 100 change leaders representing more than 70 NSF ADVANCE-funded institutions nationally; co-PI and Project Director for WEPAN’s innovative Engineering Inclusive Teaching (EIT): Faculty Professional Development project; and, current leadership as PI for WEPAN’s Transforming Engineering Culture to Advance Inclusion and Diversity (TECAID) project.

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The Transforming Engineering Culture to Advance Inclusion and Diversity (TECAID) project was funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), and led by the Women in Engineering Proactive Network (WEPAN), the American Society for Mechanical Engineers (ASME), and Purdue University's College of Engineering, collectively referred to as the TECAID Leadership Team. The goal of the TECAID project iss to advance diversity and build inclusive Mechanical Engineering (ME) environments for students, faculty, and staff. TECAID's objective is to create a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive (DEI) academic engineering culture by providing ME faculty-centric department teams with professional development and resources to effect planned DEI culture change. Over a 2 Year period (Phase 1), TECAID subject matter experts, the Kardia Group, and the TECAID Leadership Team provided information and tools to support five selected U.S. ME department teams in creating, refining, and sustaining institution-specific DEI culture change goals. TECAID project evaluation, led by University of Washington's Center for Evaluation & Research for STEM Equity (CERSE), found TECAID Phase 1 project a success as indicated by significant positive differences in participant engineers' knowledge, awareness, and actions, individually and collectively, to influence DEI culture change. Subsequent work (Phase 2) resulted in products and resources to scale Phase 1 project outcomes for application beyond the five original TECAID participant teams.

In this paper, and as part of an interactive presentation, we share the latest outcomes of the TECAID project (project finalization date, July 2018), and tools and resources developed to help broadly scale the work. These project products include the TECAID website on which all resources intended to facilitate application can be found. Application resources include: TECAID Model for Leading Engineering Department Culture Change in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, which incorporates both TECAID-specific and external links/resources; illustrative Case Studies; and five planned live webinars to be recorded as "cornerstones" to Learning Modules.

As part of an interactive workshop, we guide participants through an academic engineering department diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) culture change process as outlined in the TECAID Model using participants' own change suggestions. Participants will work collectively to hone rudimentary change ideas; anticipate potential barriers, resistance, and conflict; and practice addressing barrier, resistance and/or conflict identified. Participants will leave with "next steps" identified and a strategy for effecting DEI culture change within their engineering departments.

In sharing the TECAID project results and resources we span the continuum from providing evidence-based promising practice results to application model, strategies, and resources. Current evidence indicates that the TECAID model is widely applicable and scale-able to a variety of academic contexts.

Leibnitz, G. G. (2018, April), PRESENTATION: Transforming Engineering Culture to Advance Inclusion and Diversity (TECAID) Project Paper presented at 2018 CoNECD - The Collaborative Network for Engineering and Computing Diversity Conference, Crystal City, Virginia.

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