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The Disconnect Between Engineering Students’ Desire to Discuss Racial Injustice in the Classroom and Faculty Anxieties

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Conference

2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access

Location

Virtual Conference

Publication Date

July 26, 2021

Start Date

July 26, 2021

End Date

July 19, 2022

Conference Session

Bridging Content and Context in the Classroom

Tagged Divisions

Equity and Culture & Social Justice in Education

Tagged Topic

Diversity

Page Count

23

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/37850

Download Count

128

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Paper Authors

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Tracy Anne Hammond Texas A&M University Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0001-7272-0507

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Dr. Hammond is Director of the Texas A&M University Institute for Engineering Education & Innovation and also the chair of the Engineering Education Faculty. She is also Director of the Sketch Recognition Lab and Professor in the Department of Computer Science & Engineering. She is a member of the Center for Population and Aging, the Center for Remote Health Technologies & Systems as well as the Institute for Data Science. Hammond is a PI for over 13 million in funded research, from NSF, DARPA, Google, Microsoft, and others. Hammond holds a Ph.D. in Computer Science and FTO (Finance Technology Option) from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and four degrees from Columbia University: an M.S in Anthropology, an M.S. in Computer Science, a B.A. in Mathematics, and a B.S. in Applied Mathematics and Physics. Hammond advised 17 UG theses, 29 MS theses, and 10 Ph.D. dissertations. Hammond is the 2020 recipient of the TEES Faculty Fellows Award and the 2011 recipient of the Charles H. Barclay, Jr. '45 Faculty Fellow Award. Hammond has been featured on the Discovery Channel and other news sources. Hammond is dedicated to diversity and equity, which is reflected in her publications, research, teaching, service, and mentoring. More at http://srl.tamu.edu and http://ieei.tamu.edu.

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Samantha Ray Texas A&M University Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0003-3189-8899

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Samantha Ray is a Computer Engineering PhD student at Texas A&M University. Her research focuses on creating intelligent systems for tasks that require human-like levels of understanding. She has previously worked on human activity recognition (HAR) systems for promoting healthy habits and educational tools using sketch recognition and eye tracking.

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Paul Taele Texas A&M University Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0001-8950-0914

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Paul Taele, PhD, is an Instructional Assistant Professor in the College of Engineering's Department of Computer Science and Engineering at Texas A&M University. He is also the Assistant Lab Director at the Sketch Recognition Lab.

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Shawna Thomas Texas A&M University Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0002-9967-2493

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Dr. Thomas is an Instructional Assistant Professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at Texas A&M University. She is a member of the Engineering Education Faculty in the Institute for Engineering Education & Innovation at Texas A&M. She enjoys project-based learning and incorporating active learning techniques in all her courses. She received her Ph.D. from Texas A&M University in 2010, focusing on developing robotic motion planning algorithms and applying them to computational biology problems including protein folding. She continued this work as a Postdoctoral Research Associate and then as an Assistant Research Scientist until transitioning to teaching. She has also worked as an algorithmic consultant in digital oral care, leveraging her research experience in modeling motion.

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Karan Watson P.E. Texas A&M University

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Karan L. Watson, Ph.D., P.E., is currently a Regents Senior Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, having joined the faculty at Texas A&M University in 1983 as an Assistant Professor. She is also serving as the C0-Director of the Institute for Engineering Education and Innovation. She has served in numerous roles at Texas A&M University, including: Provost and Executive Vice President(2009-2017), Vice Provost (2009), Dean of Faculties and Associate Provost (2002-2009), Interim VP for Diversity (2009 & 2005-2006), Associate Dean of Engineering (1996-2001), and Assistant Dean of Engineering (1991-2006).
Dr. Watson is a fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE), the American Society for Engineering Education, and the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET). Her awards and recognitions include the U.S. President's Award for Mentoring Minorities and Women in Science and Technology, the American Association for the Advancement of Science mentoring award, the IEEE International Undergraduate Teaching Medal, the WEPAN Bevlee Watford Award, the College of Engineering Crawford Teaching Award, and two University-level Distinguished Achievement Awards from The Texas A&M University Association of Former Students—one in Student Relations in 1992 and in Administration in 2010, and the Texas Tech College of Engineering Distinguished Alumni. In 2003–2004, she served as a Senior Fellow of the National Academy of Engineering Center for the Advancement of Scholarship in Engineering Education. Since 1991, she has served as an accreditation evaluator, commissioner, Board of Director, then President of ABET, and is currently Secretary/Treasurer of the ABET Foundation Board of Directors. She has also served as a program evaluator for J.D. programs for the ABA, for universities’ regional accreditation for SACSCOC, and for Business Schools for AACSB. She also has served as the Chair of the ECE division of ASEE, the President of the Education Society of IEEE, and the chair of the Women in Engineering of IEEE. She served as the Treasurer and a Board of Directors member for WEPAN.

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Christine A. Stanley Texas A&M University

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Christine A. Stanley is professor of higher education, holder of the Ruth Harrington Endowed Chair, and vice president and associate provost for diversity emerita in the College of Education and Human Development at Texas A&M University. A past president of the Professional and Organizational Development (POD) Network in Higher Education, she is a recipient of numerous university and national awards including the Outstanding Staff Award from The Ohio State University, TAMU Women’s Faculty Network (WFN) Award for Mentoring, the Outstanding New Faculty Award from the College of Education Development Council, the Mildred Garcia Award for Exemplary Scholarship for a Senior-Practitioner Scholar from the Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE), and two awards from the Professional and Organizational Development Network in Higher Education–the Robert Pierleoni Spirit of POD Award for leadership efforts in diversity and, the named Christine A. Stanley Award for Diversity and Inclusion Research in Educational Development. Dr. Stanley has edited 5 books, over 70 peer-reviewed publications, and her research focuses on faculty professional development, administrator development, and the experiences of minoritized faculty in predominantly White colleges and universities.

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Seth Polsley Texas A&M University

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Seth Polsley is a PhD student at Texas A and M University in the Sketch Recognition Lab under Director Tracy Hammond. His research interests may be broadly classified as “intelligent systems," with an emphasis on studying and building interactions that merge the capabilities of computers with the intuitive behaviors of humans. He holds a Masters and Bachelors in Computer Engineering from Texas A and M and University of Kansas, respectively, and has previously worked at Lexmark International and MIT Lincoln Lab.

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Abstract

Protests against racial injustice have been increasing in the United States. Universities often rapidly respond to acts of injustice through public statements about their position to uphold the equality of all people. To gauge the desires and concerns around discussing events causing social unrest in engineering classrooms specifically, the engineering education faculty chair of a large university conducted discussions with both students and faculty regarding its place in their classrooms. This paper describes the emerging themes from survey responses using coding and grounded theory. Reactions from students and faculty were decidedly different. Most students stressed the importance of discussing such topics in class with their engineering faculty, while most faculty emphasized their concerns with doing so due to their lack of training to effectively handle such topics. This paper describes the evaluation of student and faculty responses and its implications for supporting diversity and inclusion in the engineering classroom.

Hammond, T. A., & Ray, S., & Taele, P., & Thomas, S., & Watson, K., & Stanley, C. A., & Polsley, S. (2021, July), The Disconnect Between Engineering Students’ Desire to Discuss Racial Injustice in the Classroom and Faculty Anxieties Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. https://peer.asee.org/37850

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