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The RED Teams as Institutional Mentors: Advice from the First Year of the "Revolution"

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2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Columbus, Ohio

Publication Date

June 24, 2017

Start Date

June 24, 2017

End Date

June 28, 2017

Conference Session

Revolutionizing Engineering Departments (RED)

Tagged Division

Educational Research and Methods

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Paper Authors


Jeremi S. London Arizona State University, Polytechnic campus

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Dr. Jeremi London is an Assistant Professor of Engineering at Arizona State University. She holds B.S. and M.S. degrees in Industrial Engineering and a Ph.D. in Engineering Education, all from Purdue University. Prior to her PhD, she worked in quality assurance and logistics roles at Anheuser-Busch and GE Healthcare, where she was responsible for ensuring consistency across processes and compliance with federal regulations. For four consecutive summers (2011-2014), she worked in the National Science Foundation’s Division of Undergraduate Education on research and evaluation projects related to the use of technology in STEM education. Dr. London masters mixed methods and computational tools to address complex problems, including: science policy issues surrounding STEM learning in cyberlearning environments; evaluation and impact analysis of federal investments in R&D; and applications of simulation & modeling tools to evaluate programs.

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Edward J. Berger Purdue University, West Lafayette (College of Engineering) Orcid 16x16

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Edward Berger is an Associate Professor of Engineering Education and Mechanical Engineering at Purdue University, joining Purdue in August 2014. He has been teaching mechanics for nearly 20 years, and has worked extensively on the integration and assessment of specific technology interventions in mechanics classes. He was one of the co-leaders in 2013-2014 of the ASEE Virtual Community of Practice (VCP) for mechanics educators across the country. His current research focuses on student problem-solving processes and use of worked examples, change models and evidence-based teaching practices in engineering curricula, and the role of non-cognitive and affective factors in student academic outcomes and overall success.

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Cara Margherio University of Washington

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Cara Margherio is the Senior Research Associate at the UW Center for Evaluation & Research for STEM Equity (CERSE). Cara serves as project manager for program evaluation on several NSF- and NIH-funded projects. Her research interests include community cultural wealth, counterspaces, peer mentoring, and institutional change.

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Elizabeth Litzler University of Washington

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Elizabeth Litzler, Ph.D., is the director of the University of Washington Center for Evaluation & Research for STEM Equity and an affiliate assistant professor of sociology. She directs research and evaluation projects from conceptualization, methodological design, and collection of data and analysis to dissemination of findings. Dr. Litzler is a member of ASEE and a former board member of the Women in Engineering ProActive Network (WEPAN). Her research interests include the educational climate for students in science and engineering, and gender and race stratification in education and the workforce.

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Jennifer Branstad University of Washington

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Engineering and computer science departments funded by the National Science Foundation’s Revolutionizing Engineering Departments (RED) program are charged with taking a revolutionary approach to addressing a local need and with becoming national models for enacting systemic change. While the differences between geographically-dispersed RED teams and the schools in which they are embedded are palpable, there are parallels in the experiences that illuminate valuable lessons that can be shared across teams and with other departments. By sharing information and experiences across organizational boundaries, RED teams collaboratively problem-solve common issues and become mentors for others interested in embarking on a revolution. In this paper, we examine the first cohort of six RED teams as an example of “institutional mentoring.” We define institutional mentoring as a type of peer mentoring among groups in which knowledge exchange is highly reciprocal, and institutional contexts and local challenges are explicitly considered when problem-solving. Observation notes taken during annual RED Principal Investigators meetings and focus group discussions among RED teams were qualitatively analyzed for themes. This analysis highlighted four broad categories of advice that are transferable across organizational boundaries: forming strategic partnerships, establishing a successful team, managing the project while maintaining flexibility, and working within organizational and academic constraints. Such insights are valuable for perspective RED teams and other interested in revolutionizing their engineering and computer science department.

London, J. S., & Berger, E. J., & Margherio, C., & Litzler, E., & Branstad, J. (2017, June), The RED Teams as Institutional Mentors: Advice from the First Year of the "Revolution" Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. 10.18260/1-2--28997

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