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Strategies For Creating And Sustaining A Departmental Culture

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Conference

2010 Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Louisville, Kentucky

Publication Date

June 20, 2010

Start Date

June 20, 2010

End Date

June 23, 2010

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Chemical Engineering Education: Underclass Years

Tagged Division

Chemical Engineering

Page Count

21

Page Numbers

15.1096.1 - 15.1096.21

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/15767

Download Count

38

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Paper Authors

biography

Lisa Bullard North Carolina State University

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Dr. Lisa G. Bullard is a Teaching Associate Professor and Director of Undergraduate Studies in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at North Carolina State University. Her research interests lie in the areas of teaching and advising effectiveness, academic integrity, process design instruction, and the integration of writing, speaking, and computing within the curriculum. She has won numerous awards for both teaching and advising, including the John Wiley Premier Award for Engineering Education Courseware (2009), NCSU Faculty Advising Award (2008), NCSU Alumni Outstanding Teacher Award (2005), George H. Blessis Outstanding Undergraduate Advisor Award (2005), ASEE Southeastern Section New Teacher Award (2004), and ASEE-ERM Apprentice Faculty Grant Award (2003).

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Donald Visco Tennessee Technological University

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Don Visco is a Professor of Chemical Engineering at Tennessee Technological University, where he has been employed since 1999. Prior to that, he graduated with his Ph.D from the University at Buffalo, SUNY. His current research interests include experimental and computational thermodynamics as well as bioinformatics/drug design. He is an active and contributing member of ASEE at the local, regional and national level. He is the 2006 recipient of the Raymond W. Fahien Award for Outstanding Teaching Effectiveness and Educational Scholarship as well as the 2009 recipient of the National Outstanding Teaching Award from ASEE.

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David Silverstein University of Kentucky

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David L. Silverstein is the PJC Engineering Professor and an Associate Professor of Chemical & Materials Engineering at the University of Kentucky. He is assigned to the College of Engineering’s Extended Campus Programs at Paducah, Kentucky. Silverstein received his B.S.Ch.E. from the University of Alabama in 1992, his M.S. in Chemical Engineering from Vanderbilt University in 1994, and his Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from Vanderbilt in 1998. He is the 2007 recipient of the Raymond W. Fahien Award for Outstanding Teaching Effectiveness and Educational Scholarship.

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Jason Keith Michigan Technological University

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Jason Keith is an Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering at Michigan Technological University. He received his B.S.ChE from the University of Akron in 1995, and his Ph.D from the University of Notre Dame in 2001. He is the 2008 recipient of the Raymond W. Fahien Award for Outstanding Teaching Effectiveness and Educational Scholarship as well as a 2010 inductee into the Michigan Technological University Academy of Teaching Excellence. His current research interests include reactor stability, alternative energy, and engineering education. He is active within ASEE.

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Abstract
NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Creating and Sustaining a Departmental Culture: Ideas for Undergraduate Programs

Abstract

Each engineering department has a unique departmental culture based on its history, faculty makeup, geography, and a myriad of other factors. While some departments have a long history with a well-established culture and traditions, other departments that have been recently formed are faced with the challenge of creating a culture from scratch. The success of a department in creating and sustaining a desirable culture can have a significant impact on recruiting, retention, and general satisfaction of its undergraduate students. This paper reviews the engineering literature and describes different models and activities which departments have successfully used in this area, including freshman courses, professional societies, departmental traditions, professional development courses, and intentional interactions between faculty and students. These types of activities also serve to shape students’ expectations about what it means to enter the engineering profession and help new student identify themselves as engineers.

Introduction

The Obama Administration recently announced new freedom of information approaches in their Open Government Directive which has, as one of its themes, to “create and institutionalize a culture of open government.”1 College campuses across the country talk (and act) to “create a culture of sustainability”2, as evidenced by eco-based residential villages. W.L. Gore CEO Terri Kelly speaks of creating a culture of “innovation” by “[creating] the right environment where collaboration happens naturally.”3 While it is clear the phrase “creating a culture” is fairly ubiquitous in modern society across various platforms, a standard connotation of this phrase is much less so. Accordingly, we define the term culture in this work to mean “the relationships, interactions, activities, and events involving the department, its faculty, and its undergraduate students.”

As it relates to academia, culture within a department is experienced by the two major stakeholders: students and faculty. Both groups will engage this culture in different ways if exposed to the same event owing to the differences in interactions with the culture. Indeed, even the perspectives of the stakeholders for a specific interaction from a particular group will be different. Accordingly, one can define four main categories to explore this effect:

1. Student Perspective: Student interacting with the departmental culture 2. Student Perspective: Faculty interacting with the departmental culture 3. Faculty Perspective: Student interacting with the departmental culture 4. Faculty Perspective: Faculty interacting with the departmental culture

Note that separating the student and faculty perspective for the same interaction might lead to very different results. Such an approach was realized recently in a work by Budny et al.4 on student designed surveys. In that study, those researchers asked

Bullard, L., & Visco, D., & Silverstein, D., & Keith, J. (2010, June), Strategies For Creating And Sustaining A Departmental Culture Paper presented at 2010 Annual Conference & Exposition, Louisville, Kentucky. https://peer.asee.org/15767

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: © 2010 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