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Promoting Engagement through Innovative and Pragmatic Programs

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2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


New Orleans, Louisiana

Publication Date

June 26, 2016

Start Date

June 26, 2016

End Date

August 28, 2016





Conference Session

Dissecting the Nuances that Hinder Broad Participation in Engineering

Tagged Division

Minorities in Engineering

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Paper Authors


Ronald W. Welch The Citadel

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Ron Welch (P.E.) received his B.S. degree in Engineering Mechanics from the United States Military Academy in 1982. He received his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Civil Engineering from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana in 1990 and 1999, respectively. He became the Dean of Engineering at The Citadel on 1 July 2011. Prior to his current position, he was the Department Head of Civil Engineering at The University of Texas at Tyler from Jan 2007 to June 2011 as well as served in the Corps of Engineers for over 24 years including eleven years on the faculty at the United States Military Academy.

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Ally Kindel Martin The Citadel

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Ally Kindel Martin is a Student Services Program Coordinator in the School of Engineering at The Citadel. She holds a M.Ed. in Higher Education and Student Affairs from the University of South Carolina. Currently, she has focused on retention in STEM majors by creating a Freshmen Outreach program, STEM Lab, and redesigning the Supplemental Instruction Program. Before arriving at The Citadel, she worked as a Student Success Adviser and focused on early intervention initiatives. She has taught courses including First Year Seminar, Keys to Student Success and University 101.

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Kevin C Bower P.E. The Citadel

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Dr. Kevin Bower is a Professor and Head of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at The Citadel, Charleston, South Carolina. Dr. Bower’s teaching research interests are in improving active learning environments and the development of classroom pedagogy to improve moral development in engineering students.

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Robert J. Rabb P.E. The Citadel

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Robert Rabb is an associate professor and the Mechanical Engineering Program Director at The Citadel. He previously taught mechanical engineering at the United States Military Academy at West Point. He received his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the United States Military Academy and his M.S.E. and PhD in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin. His research and teaching interests are in mechatronics, regenerative power, and multidisciplinary engineering.

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Change within any organization is difficult at best, but can be difficult when competing against better funded organizations, organizational history, and lack of funding. This is especially true when desiring to enhance the diversity of the engineering student body and ensure all students whether within full-time day and full-time evening programs feel a part of the department culture. This paper will present current programs and results of both externally and internally funded activities initiated to enhance inclusivity and diversity, and to enhance retention of diverse students through building community. These programs were supported by NSF grants, corporate funds, operational funds, discretionary funds, and sheer will power and vision.

Welch, R. W., & Martin, A. K., & Bower, K. C., & Rabb, R. J. (2016, June), Promoting Engagement through Innovative and Pragmatic Programs Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.25988

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