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Victim Of Success: The Changing Mission Of An Asee Student Chapter

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2006 Annual Conference & Exposition


Chicago, Illinois

Publication Date

June 18, 2006

Start Date

June 18, 2006

End Date

June 21, 2006



Conference Session

Graduate Student Experiences

Tagged Division

Graduate Studies

Page Count


Page Numbers

11.1429.1 - 11.1429.6



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Paper Authors


John Norton University of Michigan

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Norton is a doctoral candidate in civil and environmental engineering at the University of Michigan. His research concerns infrastructure systems design, with a focus on distributed drinking water treatment systems. He won the ASEE Outstanding Student Instructor Award in 2002 and is currently pursuing an academic position.

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Reginald Rogers University of Michigan

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Rogers is a doctoral candidate in Chemical Engineering at the University of Michigan. His research concerns pair interaction potentials of colloids for self-assembly of colloidal structures. He won both the College of Engineering and the University-wide "Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award" while pursuing his M.S. at Northeastern University in Boston, MA.

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Victims of Success: The Changing Mission of an ASEE Student Chapter Abstract

This paper discusses the year-long effort by the members of the University of Michigan ASEE student chapter to redefine their mission and purpose in response to changing priorities within their College of Engineering (CoE). For several years, the ASEE student chapter has existed primarily as a service organization within the CoE, planning, organizing, and staffing various activities and events throughout the year. These activities and events generally centered on engineering and higher education but covered a very broad spectrum, ranging from hosting panels such as “Getting into Graduate School” and “Applying for an Academic Position,” organizing a multicultural fair: “The Martin Luther King Celebration,” managing a summer long research seminar series. This approach was driven by the lack of alternative sponsors within the CoE and the interest of the student members. Over the years this led to recognized success in the form of winning - two years in a row - the University of Michigan Elaine Harden Award, awarded to the Michigan Engineering student society that best exemplifies leadership and service.

Recently however, in the Fall of 2005, the CoE made the decision to internalize the management, and thus funding, of a large number of these events previously sponsored by the ASEE student chapter and to plan and organize these events themselves. These events were the “glue” holding the chapter together and as a result the students were forced to examine the mission and purpose of their organization. This paper discusses the implications of this changing dynamic and the results and outcomes of a year-long effort to reorganize the ASEE student chapter at the University of Michigan.

Transitioning from ASEE to the College of Engineering

Over the course of the past two years, the University of Michigan ASEE student chapter (“student chapter”) has noticed a slow transitioning of the programs originally run by the student chapter of ASEE as student chapter activities towards integration and then envelopment with College of Engineering (CoE) activities. These programs, primarily focusing on issues of faculty preparation such as teaching and pedagogy, were widely attended by the CoE graduate student population and were funded in large part from the CoE administration as part of it’s annual funding of student groups and societies within engineering.

As these programs moved towards control by CoE personnel, interest in the original ASEE student chapter programs , as well as associated funding from the COE, has slowly decreased. For example, a series of programs collected under the moniker “Future Faculty Series” was originally created by student chapter members and has been offered by the student chapter since mid 1990’s. Recently the CoE instituted a program of their own, called Academic Careers in Engineering and Sciences (ACES) with very similar objectives and structure. The described objective of ACES is to prepare senior graduate students for careers at research-oriented universities and institutes. The student chapter found that ACES directly mirrored three of the four Future Faculty Series sessions offered by ASEE. The student chapter was even approached by the Dean of Graduate Students and asked not to offer our program without first speaking to

Norton, J., & Rogers, R. (2006, June), Victim Of Success: The Changing Mission Of An Asee Student Chapter Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. 10.18260/1-2--301

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2006 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015