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The implementation and assessment of a social media initiative to increase visibility of LGBTQIA+ individuals in STEM (Research)

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Conference

2022 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Minneapolis, MN

Publication Date

August 23, 2022

Start Date

June 26, 2022

End Date

June 29, 2022

Conference Session

Minorities in Engineering Division Technical Session 1

Page Count

18

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/41056

Download Count

83

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Paper Authors

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Sara Hopper

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Sara Hopper is a doctoral candidate and graduate student research assistant at the University of Michigan, where they are pursuing a PhD in Biomedical Engineering. They received a MSE in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Michigan and a BS in Bioengineering from Endicott College. Sara's research interests include computational blood flow modeling of the cardiovascular system to understand the structural and function changes that occur with disease. They are also interested in researched-based pedagogy, including project-based learning, community-based learning, and inclusive teaching. Furthermore, they are dedicated to improving the climate for under-represented students in engineering, including LGBTQIA+ individuals.

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Christopher Tossas-Betancourt University of Michigan

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Christopher Tossas-Betancourt is a doctoral candidate and graduate student research assistant at the University of Michigan. Christopher is currently pursuing a PhD in Biomedical Engineering. He received a M.S. in Biomedical Engineering at the University of Michigan, and a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering at Georgia Institute of Technology. His research interests include computational modeling of cardiovascular blood flow dynamics to aid in surgical planning and improving the understanding of pediatric cardiovascular diseases. He is also interested in improving the recruitment and retention students from marginalized communities in STEM, which has motivated him to contribute to initiatives such as STEM Pride at UM.

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biography

Peter Walczyk University of Michigan

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Peter Walczyk is a current Neuroimaging Data Analyst. He received his B.S.E in Biomedical Engineering at the University of Connecticut and his M.S in Biomedical Engineering at the University of Michigan. In the future, Peter would like to pursue a Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering to further develop understandings of the underlying mechanisms of consciousness and create models of consciousness. Peter also has made an effort in increasing visibility of LGBTQIA+ individuals in STEM fields in order to celebrate achievements, network, and work together with other LGBTQIA+ folks. In his free time, he enjoys art, cooking, reading, and playing Dungeons and Dragons with friends.

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Laura Hirshfield University of Michigan

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Abstract

Members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, asexual, or other gender and sexual minorities (LGBTQIA+) community face multiple challenges in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines. These challenges lead to a lower retention of LGBTQIA+ students in STEM, higher rates of masking/closeting and, and higher rates of mental health issues. To help with these issues, we founded an initiative called STEM Pride that aims to bring visibility and build community for LGBTQIA+ individuals studying and working in STEM at our university. The STEM Pride initiative runs an Instagram page that features self-identifying and self-nominated LGBTQIA+ people in STEM and hosts community building events centered around LGBTQIA+ topics. To gain an understanding of the belonging/community and identity of LGBTQIA+ individuals in STEM at our university and measure the impact of the STEM Pride initiative, we created and distributed a survey at two time points: the launch of STEM Pride (Fall 2021) and one semester later (Winter 2022). The overall response to the initiative was positive, where participants indicated the impact of our initiative. While there were no statistically significant differences in belonging/community and identity between timepoints, we found differences based on sub-populations. The results of the survey highlight the specific needs of LGBTQIA+ individuals in STEM at the university, which we plan to continue addressing with the STEM Pride initiative.

Hopper, S., & Tossas-Betancourt, C., & Walczyk, P., & Hirshfield, L. (2022, August), The implementation and assessment of a social media initiative to increase visibility of LGBTQIA+ individuals in STEM (Research) Paper presented at 2022 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Minneapolis, MN. https://peer.asee.org/41056

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