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Special Session: Comprehensive Diversity Student Support Program Discussion

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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

Race/Ethnicity Track - Technical Session II

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Paper Authors


Bryan Hill University of Arkansas

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Bryan Hill, native of Louisiana, earned a B.S. and M.S. in Industrial Engineering and a Ph.D. in Public Policy from the University of Arkansas.  Currently, Bryan is the Assistant Dean for Student Recruitment and Diversity, Honors and International Programs at the University of Arkansas College of Engineering.  He is also director of UAteach, a secondary math and science teacher education program.  Bryan has more than 15 years of experience in engineering student recruitment, retention, diversity initiatives, and K-12 outreach programs.  Since becoming assistant dean in 2009, the College’s undergraduate enrollment has increased 92%, female enrollment has increased 157% and minority enrollment 152%.  HONORS ENROLLMENT HERE. In addition, he was instrumental in starting the PAPSS program for low-income, rural Panamanian students. Bryan is PI on STEM educational and outreach grants totaling $6.6m.  He received recognition as one of the Top 15 Researchers in 2015 on the UA campus, as well as a recipient of 2017 Collis R. Geren Award for Excellence in Graduate Education and a finalist for the Global Engineering Deans Council Airbus Diversity Award in 2014.  

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Eric Specking University of Arkansas Orcid 16x16

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Eric Specking serves as the Director of Undergraduate Recruitment for the College of Engineering at the University of Arkansas. He directs the engineering recruitment office, most of the College of Engineering’s K-12 outreach programs, and the college's summer programs. Specking is actively involved in the Industrial Engineering and Engineering Management divisions and is the current Chair of the ASEE Diversity Committee. Specking received a B.S. in Computer Engineering and a M.S. in Industrial Engineering from the University of Arkansas and is currently working on a PhD in Industrial Engineering at the University of Arkansas.

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Institutions of higher learning throughout the United States want to recruit, retain, and graduate more underrepresented engineering students and become a more inclusive campus. The University of Arkansas created the Engineering Career Awareness Program (ECAP), a recruitment to graduation program for underrepresented engineering students, in 2007. This panel session will discuss this successful program, the 2011 publication by the National Academies Press, Expanding Underrepresented Minority Participation: America’s Science and Technology Talent at the Crossroads, and the next phase of ECAP, ECAP 2.0. ECAP is a proven example that applying the best practices outlined in the publication can effectively increase the success of underrepresented engineering students. Participants will learn and discuss successful practices, learn about the program, and discussion tangible outcomes to take back to their home institutions.

Hill, B., & Specking, E. (2018, April), Special Session: Comprehensive Diversity Student Support Program Discussion Paper presented at 2018 CoNECD - The Collaborative Network for Engineering and Computing Diversity Conference, Crystal City, Virginia.

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