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Understanding the Participation, Perceptions, and Impacts of Engineering Faculty Learning Communities: A Mixed Method Approach

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2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


New Orleans, Louisiana

Publication Date

June 26, 2016

Start Date

June 26, 2016

End Date

August 28, 2016





Conference Session

Diversity in Community Engagement Implementation II

Tagged Division

Community Engagement Division

Tagged Topic


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Paper Authors


Ziyu Long Colorado State University

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Ziyu Long is an assistant professor in organizational communication at Colorado State University.

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Sean Eddington Purdue University

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Jessica Pauly


Linda Hughes-Kirchubel Purdue University

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Linda Hughes-Kirchubel received her master's in organizational communication from Purdue University, where she works in the College of Health and Human Sciences. A former journalist, she has earned national recognition for her work. She is pursuing her Ph.D. at Purdue using mixed methods to study intersections among media, marginalized populations and disenfranchised grief. In addition, she has co-authored chapters in a Springer book series called "Risk and Resilience in Military and Veteran Families" and is an adjunct professor of communication studies at Ivy Tech Community College.

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Klod Kokini Purdue University, West Lafayette

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Klod Kokini, Ph.D. is a Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Purdue University and the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs in the College of Engineering. He received his B.S.M.E. from Bogazici University in Istanbul, Turkey; his M.S.M.E. and Ph.D. degrees from Syracuse University in Syracuse, New York.

Professor Kokini’s research activities include the study of failure mechanisms and design of high-temperature advanced materials such as functionally graded and composite ceramic thermal barrier coatings. He also works on interdisciplinary research related to the biomicromechanics of ECM-cell interactions.

He is an ASME Fellow (2002) and a Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (2008) as well as a member of the ASME Diversity and Inclusion Strategy Committee. He was on the Board of Directors of WEPAN / Women in Engineering ProActive Network between 2011-2014. He was a co-PI on Purdue’s NSF ADVANCE grant for Institutional Transformation (2008-2013). He was the recipient of the Dreamer Award, Purdue University’s highest award which recognizes contributions to diversity activities and named in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. (2005). He was the first male recipient of the Violet Haas Award given by the Council on the Status of Women at Purdue in recognition of outstanding efforts on behalf of women (2007). In 2008, he received the ASME Johnson and Johnson Consumer Companies Medal, for his “unwavering commitment to diversity”.

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Patrice Marie Buzzanell Purdue University, West Lafayette Orcid 16x16

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Patrice M. Buzzanell is a Distinguished Professor in the Brian Lamb School of Communication and the School of Engineering Education (courtesy) at Purdue University. She is the Butler Chair and Director of the Susan Bulkeley Butler Center for Leadership Excellence. Editor of three books and author of over 160 journal articles and chapters, her research centers on the intersections of career, gender communication, leadership, and resilience. Fellow and past president of the International Communication Association, she has received numerous awards for her research, teaching/mentoring, and engagement. She is working on Purdue-ADVANCE initiatives for institutional change, the Transforming Lives Building Global Communities (TLBGC) team in Ghana through EPICS, and individual engineering ethical development and team ethical climate scales as well as everyday negotiations of ethics in design through NSF funding as Co-PI. [Email:]

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As important community assets for sustainable development of engineering education, faculty Learning Communities (FLCs) play an important role in facilitating faculty development and career transitions. Viewing FLCs as community-based programs with great diversity, the current research argues that engaging with new/junior engineering faculty as a learning community has important impacts to engineering education for students, institutions, and the communities that we work with and live in (Cox 2004). Specifically, guided by theories about communities of practice and socialization, we investigate the participation, outcomes, and perceptions of a New Faculty Learning Community (NFLC) program in the College of Engineering of a large Midwestern research university and discuss lessons learned from the design of these programs. The research followed a two-phase sequential mixed methods design that employed a survey and follow-up interviews. Survey results indicated that the most highly ranked benefits of NFLC included providing opportunities to connect with other new faculty, fostering a sense of community, and learning professional development strategies. Interviews further revealed NFLC offered a welcoming space for advice seeking, networking, informal mentoring, and served as a symbol of leadership support for faculty success. However, quantitative analyses indicated that proactive personality, rather than NFLC participation itself, was a statistically significant predictor of faculty members’ feelings of identification, acculturation, involvement with their department/college, and their overall feelings of meaningfulness of and happiness in life, offering important insights for designing community-based educational initiatives to fostering proactive mindset and behaviors of faculty. The findings reinforce the positive impact of FLCs in faculty learning and pose suggestions for FLCs to encourage and foster proactive behaviors for the success and wellbeing of the community of engineering faculty.

Long, Z., & Eddington, S., & Pauly, J., & Hughes-Kirchubel, L., & Kokini, K., & Buzzanell, P. M. (2016, June), Understanding the Participation, Perceptions, and Impacts of Engineering Faculty Learning Communities: A Mixed Method Approach Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.27104

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