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Wepan History And Current Update

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2007 Annual Conference & Exposition


Honolulu, Hawaii

Publication Date

June 24, 2007

Start Date

June 24, 2007

End Date

June 27, 2007



Conference Session

Poster Session

Tagged Division

Women in Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

12.1604.1 - 12.1604.9



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Paper Authors


C. Diane Matt WEPAN

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Diane Matt is Executive Director of Women in Engineering Programs & Advocates Network, Inc. (WEPAN). She was formerly the Director of Strategic Partnerships for the Geological Society of America, and also served as Executive Director of the Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado. She is a geoscientist with B.A. and M.S. degrees from Indiana University and The University of Calgary, respectively. Matt resides in Denver, Colorado.

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


INTRODUCTION Women in Engineering Programs & Advocates Network (WEPAN), the Women in Engineering Division of the American Society of Engineering Educators (WIED ASEE), the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) and all focus their work on women in engineering, and each offers different programs and activities to specific constituent groups. In addition, there is tangency, some overlap and resulting opportunities for collaboration, and cooperation between the members of the three organizations, and the larger engineering and engineering diversity community. This paper provides a brief history of WEPAN accomplishments and a summary of its plans for the coming three-to-five year period. It is intended to provide information about WEPAN to ASEE WIED members and further to enhance and support dialog and collaboration between WEPAN and ASEE.

WEPAN HISTORY 1990-2002 In 1990 there were fewer than 10 formally organized Women in Engineering programs in the United States. While future projections for the employment of engineers was strong there were markedly fewer graduates in engineering, primarily white males, than there had been a decade before. This prompted industry and engineering programs to reconsider the demographics of engineering programs nationwide. Thus those Women in Engineering programs which were already in place were inundated with requests for assistance for developing new programs. Women in Engineering Program directors from Purdue University, Stevens Institute of Technology and the University of Washington joined together to address these needs in a national conference held in Washington, D.C. in 1990. This conference, sponsored by the Directorate of Engineering and the Directorate of Education and Human Resources at the National Science Foundation marked the inception of the Women in Engineering Programs and Advocates Network (WEPAN) organization.

Since it was founded, WEPAN’s purpose has been to be a catalyst for change that enhances the success of women in the engineering professions. Key strategies to accomplish this mission include education, training, research, collaboration, leadership, diversity, advocacy, networking, sustainability, accountability and volunteerism. While the mission of WEPAN has expanded its scope over the years, increasing the participation of women in engineering by sharing successful program ideas among institutions and providing training and mentoring for women in engineering program directors is a primary component for the success of the organization. Many of the achievements of WEPAN are based on the collaborative efforts of its members partnering to effect both national and institutional change. Major grants from NSF, FIPSE, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the AT&T Foundation, the Alcoa Foundation and corporations have enabled WEPAN to mentor hundreds of faculty and staff from engineering schools throughout the US and abroad as they initiated or expanded Women in Engineering Programs. The results of the efforts by WEPAN over its first 12 years are measurable as there are now more than 85 Women in Engineering Programs in colleges and universities in the United States working to increase the representation of women of all ethnicities in engineering. Through the extended WEPAN network of mentoring and training activities, institutional change has taken place with thousands of women students benefiting.

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Matt, C. D. (2007, June), Wepan History And Current Update Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. 10.18260/1-2--2125

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: © 2007 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