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Understanding the Impact of a Diversity and Inclusion Oriented Curriculum in Short-Term Study Abroad Programs for Undergraduate Engineering Students

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2021 CoNECD


Virtual - 1pm to 5pm Eastern Time Each Day

Publication Date

January 24, 2021

Start Date

January 24, 2021

End Date

January 28, 2021

Conference Session

CoNECD Session : Day 1 Slot 5 Technical Session 2

Tagged Topics

Diversity and CoNECD Paper Submissions

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Paper Authors


Tojan Rahhal University of Missouri Orcid 16x16

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Dr. Tojan Rahhal is an Adjunct Professor in the Biomedical, Biological, and Chemical Engineering Department and the Assistant Dean for Inclusive Excellence and Strategic Initiatives at the University of Missouri-Columbia in the College of Engineering. Rahhal graduated from North Carolina State University with a BS in Biomedical Engineering. She went on to pursue a PhD in Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC-Ch), working in the lab of Dr. Joseph M. DeSimone. Outside of her research efforts, she demonstrated commitment to service and leadership in the academic community, promoting awareness of issues regarding equality in science. She currently owns Alliance Professional Development ( where she works on providing customized workshops focusing on leadership, soft skills, and cultural awareness for companies and organizations. At MU she focuses on facilitating outreach, recruitment, retention, and overall success for all members of our community, especially those from backgrounds traditionally underrepresented in engineering.

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Miguel Elias Ayllon University of Missouri

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Miguel Ayllon, Ph.D., is the Director of Study Abroad at the University of Missouri (MU). Ayllon holds a doctorate in Educational Leadership & Policy Analysis from MU. Dr. Ayllon formerly served as Director of International Engineering and STEM programs, a position shared by the MU College of Engineering and the MU International Center. During Dr. Ayllon's tenure, the College of Engineering reached record study abroad enrollment and the college's first academic collaborations with Latin America were developed. In his current position as Director of Study Abroad, Dr. Ayllon provides vision, leadership, and management to design transformative global experiential learning opportunities for MU students.
A native of Lima, Peru, Miguel came to the United States in 1999 as an international student.

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The purpose of this study is to describe the impact of the Engineering, Diversity, Global Engineering and Service (EDGES) program in the intercultural development of undergraduate engineering students at the University of Missouri (MU). Using a mixed methods inquiry approach, the central question of this study is: how do intensive and affordable short-term study abroad programs (such as EDGES) impact the cultural awareness and competence of undergraduate engineering students? Thus, this research study uses the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI), and personal reflections and discussions (on-line and in person) as instruments to measure the cross-cultural growth of EDGES participants and describes their experiential learning journeys. Overall, the EDGES program resulted in attracting increased participation by women and students traditionally underrepresented in engineering, accelerating cultural competency development and increasing students’ self-confidence in discussing diversity and inclusion topics.

Rahhal, T., & Ayllon, M. E. (2021, January), Understanding the Impact of a Diversity and Inclusion Oriented Curriculum in Short-Term Study Abroad Programs for Undergraduate Engineering Students Paper presented at 2021 CoNECD, Virtual - 1pm to 5pm Eastern Time Each Day . 10.18260/1-2--36133

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