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What is Global Preparedness? Arriving at Answers in Collaboration with Student Engineers Working with Underserved Communities Globally

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2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 14, 2015

Start Date

June 14, 2015

End Date

June 17, 2015





Conference Session

Cooperative & Experiential Education Division Technical Session 3

Tagged Division

Cooperative & Experiential Education

Tagged Topic


Page Count


Page Numbers

26.1724.1 - 26.1724.20



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Paper Authors


Bhavna Hariharan Stanford University

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Bhavna Hariharan is a Social Science Research Associate at the Kozmetsky Global Collaboratory in the School of Humanities and Sciences at Stanford University. Her field of inquiry is Engineering Education Research (EER) with a focus on engineering design for and with underserved communities around the world. For the last nine years, she has worked on designing, implementing and managing environments for interdisciplinary, geographically distributed, collaborative research projects among scholars, and with underserved communities. She is also a lecturer in the Mechanical Engineering department where she currently teaches a course Global Engineers’ Education.

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Sneha Ayyagari Stanford University

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Sneha is a student studying engineering at Stanford University. She is interested in understanding the role of education in solving pressing health and environmental issues. Through her experience in non-profit work, she has developed an interest in learning how to work with underserved communities to create sustainable solutions.

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Jonathan Edward Pang Stanford University

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I am an undergraduate studying mechanical engineering at Stanford University. Apart from design and engineering, I am particularly interested in education as well as the intersection between engineering and education. Over this past summer, these interests were fueled by working at the Kozmetsky Global Collaboratory with paper co-authors Dr. Hariharan, Devika Patel, and Sarah Salameh. In my spare time I enjoy watching sports and films as well as doing sleight of hand tricks.

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Paul Dwight Watkins II Stanford University

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Originally from the city of Ferguson, Missouri, Paul is currently a student at Stanford University studying Mechanical Engineering. He previously worked under the direction of Dr. Bhavna Hariharan to research methods that could potentially improve sanitation and hygiene awareness among underprivileged communities.

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Aravind Arun Stanford University

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Aravind Arun is a graduate student at Stanford University, currently working to complete a Master of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering. He participated in the GEE program in Spring of his senior year as a Stanford undergraduate student.

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What is global preparedness? Arriving at answers in collaboration with student engineers working with underserved communities globallyThe growing student demand to use their engineering skills to address global societalproblems coupled with changing ABET requirements to provide “the broad educationnecessary to understand the impact of engineering solutions in a global, economic,environmental, and societal context” has raised fundamental questions about how toprepare engineering students to engage with underserved communities globally.This paper uses a case study approach to document the experiences of students of aglobal engineering course that created the unique opportunity for them to address issuesof sanitation and hygiene by working with the community rather than for them. The paperhighlights curricular innovations brought into the course to ensure global preparednessfor student engineers while ensuring ethical, sustainable collaboration with theunderserved community. It is followed by the student co-authors sharing theirexperiences of the course, what they learned and how they have found it useful outsidethe class context. Based on the analysis of these case studies, the paper concludes byproposing a metric to evaluate global preparedness of undergraduate engineering studentsand the needed curricular requirements to ensure the preparedness.

Hariharan, B., & Ayyagari, S., & Pang, J. E., & Watkins, P. D., & Arun, A. (2015, June), What is Global Preparedness? Arriving at Answers in Collaboration with Student Engineers Working with Underserved Communities Globally Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.25060

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: © 2015 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