Asee peer logo

Recruiting More U.S, Women into Engineering Based on Stories from Morocco

Download Paper |


2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


Virtual On line

Publication Date

June 22, 2020

Start Date

June 22, 2020

End Date

June 26, 2021

Conference Session

NSF Grantees: Diversity 1

Tagged Topics

Diversity and NSF Grantees Poster Session

Page Count




Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


Rani W. Sullivan Mississippi State University

visit author page

Dr. Rani Warsi Sullivan is a Professor of Aerospace Engineering at Mississippi State University (MSU) and the holder of the Richard H. Johnson Endowed Chair. Dr. Sullivan has teaching and research interests in the area of solid mechanics, aircraft materials and structures, and engineering education. Her research spans structural health monitoring, optical sensors, composite manufacturing and rapid prototyping, and mechanical and non-destructive testing of polymer matrix composites and large scale structures for aerospace applications. She is the founder and adviser for the Women of Aerospace student organization at MSU. Dr. Sullivan is an Associate Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. She is the recipient of the 2019 Hermann Oberth Award and the 2014 SAE International Ralph R. Teetor Educational Award. Dr. Sullivan is a member of the MSU Bagley College of Engineering Academy of Distinguished Teachers.

visit author page


Soundouss Sassi Mississippi State University

visit author page

Soundouss Sassi is a Ph.D. student in Engineering Education at Mississippi State University. Her advisor is Dr. Jean Mohammadi Aragh. In 2016 she earned a Master in Aerospace Engineering from the same university. Prior to that, she earned a Bachelor in Aerospace Engineering from the International University of Rabat (UIR)

visit author page


Mahnas Jean Mohammadi-Aragh Mississippi State University Orcid 16x16

visit author page

Dr. Jean Mohammadi-Aragh is an assistant professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Mississippi State University. Dr. Mohammadi-Aragh investigates the use of digital systems to measure and support engineering education, specifically through learning analytics and the pedagogical uses of digital systems. She also investigates fundamental questions critical to improving undergraduate engineering degree pathways. . She earned her Ph.D. in Engineering Education from Virginia Tech. In 2013, Dr. Mohammadi-Aragh was honored as a promising new engineering education researcher when she was selected as an ASEE Educational Research and Methods Division Apprentice Faculty.

visit author page

Download Paper |


The objective of this project is to examine the differences between Moroccan and American cultures with regards to prevalent messaging about engineering. This examination will help us determine the factors that contribute to women's decisions to pursue engineering degrees at higher rates in Morocco and similar non-western cultures. According to a report entitled "Is U.S. Science and Technology Adrift?" released by the Commission on Professionals in Science and Technology (CPST), the United States’ engineering workforce is growing but still lagging behind the overall growth of the country. The U.S. World News/ Raytheon STEM report shows that the U.S. continues to have a shortage of STEM workers and, furthermore, that the increase in 2016 STEM degrees was primarily awarded to foreigners with temporary visas. These findings indicate that the U.S. will rely on foreign workers to fill future STEM jobs. One way to address this shortage is increased participation in engineering of minorities and other underrepresented groups. This project is an exploratory qualitative case study with three different phases. In phase 1, we sent recruitment surveys to Mechanical and Aerospace engineering seniors and graduate students. Participants will be recruited for interviews based on the answers provided in the survey. Phases 2 and 3 involve conducting interviews and member checking for clarity purposes. The interviews will help us to understand the students’ intentions and their distinct cultural influences that led them to major in engineering. We will examine the data using two theoretical frameworks: Eccels’ Expectancy Value theory and Hoftsedes’ Cultural Dimensions. This executive summary serves as a description of this project with a focus on the preliminary data analysis. The goal of this study is to generate knowledge from a different culture, which can be used to increase the number of American women pursuing careers in engineering fields to meet the U.S. workforce needs.

Sullivan, R. W., & Sassi, S., & Mohammadi-Aragh, M. J. (2020, June), Recruiting More U.S, Women into Engineering Based on Stories from Morocco Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--35124

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: © 2020 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