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Uncovering Latent Diversity: Steps Towards Understanding 'What Counts' and 'Who Belongs' in Engineering Culture

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Conference

2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 23, 2018

Start Date

June 23, 2018

End Date

July 27, 2018

Conference Session

Expanding Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Engineering Cultures from a Theoretical Perspective

Tagged Topics

Diversity and ASEE Diversity Committee

Page Count

16

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/31164

Download Count

26

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Paper Authors

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Brianna Shani Benedict Purdue University, West Lafayette

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Brianna Benedict is a Graduate Research Assistant in the School of Engineering Education at Purdue University. She completed her Bachelor's and Master's of Science in Industrial and Systems Engineering at North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University. Her research interest focuses on interdisciplinary students' identity development, belongingness in engineering, and recognition.

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Dina Verdín Purdue University, West Lafayette

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Dina Verdín is a Ph.D. Candidate in Engineering Education and M.S. student in Industrial Engineering at Purdue University. She completed her undergraduate degree in Industrial and Systems Engineering at San José State University. Dina is a 2016 National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow and a 2016 Ford Foundation Honorable Mention. Her research interest focuses on first-generation college students focusing on engineering identity development, negotiating multiple identities, and ultimately changing deficit base paradigms by providing asset base perspectives for understanding this community.

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Rachel Ann Baker

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Allison Godwin Purdue University, West Lafayette Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0002-0741-3356

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Allison Godwin, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor of Engineering Education at Purdue University. Her research focuses what factors influence diverse students to choose engineering and stay in engineering through their careers and how different experiences within the practice and culture of engineering foster or hinder belongingness and identity development. Dr. Godwin graduated from Clemson University with a B.S. in Chemical Engineering and Ph.D. in Engineering and Science Education. Her research earned her a National Science Foundation CAREER Award focused on characterizing latent diversity, which includes diverse attitudes, mindsets, and approaches to learning, to understand engineering students’ identity development. She is the recipient of a 2014 American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) Educational Research and Methods Division Apprentice Faculty Grant. She has also been recognized for the synergy of research and teaching as an invited participant of the 2016 National Academy of Engineering Frontiers of Engineering Education Symposium and 2016 New Faculty Fellow for the Frontiers in Engineering Education Annual Conference. She also was an NSF Graduate Research Fellow for her work on female empowerment in engineering which won the National Association for Research in Science Teaching 2015 Outstanding Doctoral Research Award.

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Thaddeus Milton

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Thaddeus is a junior majoring in Civil Engineering with a concentration in Transportation at Purdue University. He works with Dr. Godwin and her team in the UPRISE Research Department analyzing code and interview transcript, creating academic posters, and providing valuable insight to research papers. Thaddeus is also an executive board member to both the Black Student Union and National Pan-Hellenic Council here at Purdue.

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Abstract

Curricular expectations for engineering students are steadily expanding to encompass a diverse set of competencies and skills that ensure students are prepared to address the global challenges of engineering. This expansion highlights a need for educators to not only rethink how they educate the next generation of engineers, but also a need to cultivate “diversity of thought” within the culture of engineering. Earlier studies about diversity have focused on understanding how to increase the number of underrepresented students (i.e., women, students of color, and first-generation college students) who persist in STEM fields. However, there is a shift in how we (i.e., society, industry, and academia) define what it means to be diverse. In this paper, we examined how 12 diverse first-year engineering students described how their peers enact different ways of thinking and being in engineering, as well as how those differences influence whether their peers are perceived as someone who belongs in engineering. The participants acknowledged the cultural and gender differences among their peers; however, they primarily described how their peers were different based on their skill-set (i.e., technical, creative, and interpersonal), ways of thinking, and interests. These findings begin to help us understand how students define normative attitudes in engineering and the perception of what it means to be an engineer.

Benedict, B. S., & Verdín, D., & Baker, R. A., & Godwin, A., & Milton, T. (2018, June), Uncovering Latent Diversity: Steps Towards Understanding 'What Counts' and 'Who Belongs' in Engineering Culture Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. https://peer.asee.org/31164

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