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Towards a Global Virtual Community of Female Engineering Students and Professionals: I. Impacts of Grassroots International Partnerships of Student Organizations on U.S. Engineering Undergraduate Cultural Competency

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Conference

2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

New Orleans, Louisiana

Publication Date

June 26, 2016

Start Date

June 26, 2016

End Date

June 29, 2016

ISBN

978-0-692-68565-5

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

International Division Technical Session 6

Tagged Division

International

Tagged Topic

Diversity

Page Count

15

DOI

10.18260/p.27061

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/27061

Download Count

539

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Paper Authors

biography

Sahithya Reddivari University of Michigan

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Sahithya is a Ph.D. candidate in environmental Engineering at the University of Michigan. Sahithya’s research focuses on modelling chemical reactions that cause capacity loss in lithium ion batteries. Sahithya graduated from Manipal University, India in 2010 and received her master’s degree from the University of Michigan in 2012. Outside of research, she enjoys teaching, traveling and desserts. She has been teaching the fluid mechanics lab for the past year and loves working in the lab, troubleshooting experiments and working with students. Sahithya is also working as an Engineering Teaching Consultant for CRLT Engin. She is an active member of GradSWE and has developed a number of STEM outreach programs in elementary schools around Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti, as a member of the GradSWE officer board.
Sahithya presently works with female engineering students in Liberia, helping them start a Society of Women Engineers student chapter in Liberia, West Africa (Blog). She is developing a leadership camp for female engineering students from the University of Liberia and the University of Michigan in collaboration with the Society of Women Engineers and the University of Michigan. She is also working on an engineering education research project – Towards a global network of women engineers, as part of her endeavors in Liberia.

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biography

Elizabeth Frances Cloos Dreyer University of Michigan

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Elizabeth Dreyer is a 4th year Electrical Engineering – Optics doctoral student at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, MI. She graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering in 2012 from Michigan Technological University in Houghton, MI. She is particularly interested in Optics & Photonics and the expanding applications of such in industry. In general, she wishes to change the world through thoughtful application of photonic technology and human connection. Her current goals include obtaining a PhD in the optics field, traveling the world, and helping optics become a core industry of the State of Michigan.

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Sara P Rimer University of Michigan

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Sara P. Rimer is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Michigan. She works with Professor Nikolaos Katopodes in the area of computational modeling and control of fluid flow in civil infrastructure systems. She is also pursuing a Certificate in Engineering Education Research and a Certificate in Computational Discovery and Engineering from the University of Michigan Rackham Graduate School. She received her B.S. in mechanical engineering and mathematics from Central Michigan University in 2010. She is supported by a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, a University of Michigan Rackham Merit Fellowship, and a Michigan Institute for Computational Discovery and Engineering Fellowship.

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Aline Cotel University of Michigan

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Abstract

While international experiences in engineering have been recognized as a necessary component of undergraduate education, the current programs are limited in their ability to provide peer-to-peer collaborations across cultures. This study investigates how international student organizations can be used to fulfill the need for cross-cultural peer-to-peer experiences. In August 2015, five undergraduate female engineering students from the U.S. participated in a two-week engineering leadership camp alongside 30 Liberian undergraduate female engineering students. The camp was held in Liberia, West Africa and carried out by 5 U.S. graduate students. One goal of the leadership camp was to engage undergraduate students from both countries in grassroots cross-cultural collaborations. Ultimately the relationships built between these two group of students is part of a broader partnership developed between the Society of Women Engineers student chapters in the two countries.

Qualitative engineering education research has been carried measuring the impact of such a grassroots programmatic collaboration on the cultural outlook of the participants. Semi-structured interviews and focus groups were carried out with the U.S. undergraduate participants. Results were analyzed using a combination of psychological sense of community and global competence frameworks.

In the future, longitudinal data will continue to be collected to further study the impacts of this program on job prospects and professional perspectives of participants.

Reddivari, S., & Dreyer, E. F. C., & Rimer, S. P., & Cotel, A. (2016, June), Towards a Global Virtual Community of Female Engineering Students and Professionals: I. Impacts of Grassroots International Partnerships of Student Organizations on U.S. Engineering Undergraduate Cultural Competency Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.27061

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