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Women of Color Engineering Faculty: An Examination of the Experiences and the Numbers

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2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Indianapolis, Indiana

Publication Date

June 15, 2014

Start Date

June 15, 2014

End Date

June 18, 2014



Conference Session

Beyond Students: Issues of Underrepresentation among Parents and Professionals

Tagged Division

Minorities in Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

24.1381.1 - 24.1381.13



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Paper Authors


Carlotta A. Berry Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology

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Dr. Carlotta A. Berry is an associate professor of electrical and computer engineering at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology. She received her Ph.D. from Vanderbilt University, her thesis was on the development of an enhanced human-robot interface for a mobile robot. Her master’s degree in control systems is from Wayne State University. She has two bachelor’s degrees; one in mathematics from Spelman College and one in electrical engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology. She worked for several years as a manufacturing controls engineer for Ford Motor Company and Detroit Edison before returning to graduate school to pursue her PhD.
She has been an active member of the American Society of Engineering Education (ASEE) and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) since 2004. Her research interests include multidisciplinary educational robotics, human-robot interfaces and identifying strategies to increase enrollment and retention of women and minorities in engineering. She is the director of the multidisciplinary minor in robotics at Rose-Hulman. She is also co-PI of the Rose-Hulman building undergraduate diversity (ROSE-BUD) program funded by an NSF S-STEM grant to increase the recruitment, retention and development of underrepresented populations in electrical and computer engineering. She has approximately 20 peer-reviewed publications with two in the Computers in Education Journal. She also recently published a book on Mobile Robotics for Multidisciplinary Study.

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Monica Farmer Cox Purdue University, West Lafayette

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Monica F. Cox, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor in the School of Engineering Education and is the Inaugural Director of the College of Engineering’s Leadership Minor at Purdue University. She also serves as the Executive Director of the International Institute for Engineering Education Assessment (i2e2a). She obtained a B.S. in mathematics from Spelman College, a M.S. in industrial engineering from the University of Alabama, and a Ph.D. in Leadership and Policy Studies from Peabody College of Vanderbilt University. Her teaching interests relate to the professional development of graduate engineering students and to leadership, policy, and change in STEM education. Primary research projects explore the preparation of graduate students for diverse careers and the development of reliable and valid engineering education assessment tools. She is a NSF Faculty Early Career (CAREER) and Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) recipient.

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Joyce B. Main Purdue University, West Lafayette Orcid 16x16

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Joyce B. Main is an Assistant Professor in the School of Engineering Education at Purdue University. She holds a Ph.D. in Learning, Teaching, and Social Policy from Cornell University, and an Ed.M. in Administration, Planning, and Social Policy from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

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Women of Color Engineering Faculty: An examination of the experiences and the numbersIn December 1975, a group of underrepresented minority women pursuing careers in science,engineering, medicine, and dentistry convened under the auspices of the American Associationfor the Advancement of Science (AAAS). The women shared common experiences related tothe “double oppression of sex and race or ethnicity plus the third oppression in the chosen career,science”. They discussed their unique positions, identified common barriers and challenges totheir success, and formulated plans for change. The ensuing publication, The Double Bind: ThePrice of Being a Minority Woman in Science (Malcolm et al., 1976), marks the first collectivereport on the unique challenges faced by underrepresented minority women in the sciences.Much has changed since 1976; the conversation has moved from “rights versus wrongs and moreabout support versus neglect; less about the behavior of individuals and a culture that wasaccepting of bias as the ‘natural order of things’ and more about the responsibilities and action(or inaction) of institutions” (Malcolm & Malcolm, 2011). Yet, much has stayed the same. Overthirty years since this seminal publication, relatively little is known or published about thequality of the collective experiences of women of color faculty in engineering and the distinctissues that women of color encounter. We aim to fill this gap by presenting the current status ofwomen of color in engineering using numerical indicators, synthesis of relevant literature, andemergent themes arising from panel discussions held at the 2006 American Society forEngineering Education (ASEE) Conference, Frontiers in Education (FIE) Conference and the2007 “Keeping our Faculties of Color Symposium.” The final paper will include qualitative andquantitative data in the form of tables and graphs as well as testimonials from women of color inthe academy.Our goal is to motivate further studies and empirical analyses to better understand theexperiences of women of color faculty in engineering. Thus, key stakeholders, such as highereducation institutions and policy makers, will have pertinent information and evidence to designinitiatives and policies to effectively recruit and retain women of color in the sciences.Sample References:Adams, S., Berry, Brown, C., Grant, C., Mead, P., Smith, & St. Omer, I. (2006). Panel Session-The Experiences of African-American Women Engineering Faculty. Proceedings of the 36thASEE/IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference, San Diego, CA.American Association of Colleges and Universities. “Data Connection: Institutional Leadershipthat Reflects Higher Education’s Diversity: A Status Report,” On Campus with Women, 38, 1, Accessed 8/27/10.Fleming, L. (2008). Diversity in Engineering Education: An African American Female’sPerspective. Leadership and Management, (January) 33-34Malcolm, S., Hall, P.Q., & Brown, J.W. (1976). The Double Bind: The Price of Being a MinorityWomen in Science. Washington, DC: AAAS.Nelson, D.J. (2009) Science & Engineering Faculty, 2002-2007: Are the National TacticsAchieving the Goal? Presentation at the CEOSE Mini-Symposium on Women of Color inSTEM. Arlington, VA.Snyder, T. D., S. A. Dillow, and C. M. Hoffman. 2008. Digest of education statistics 2007.Washington, DC: National Center for Education Statistics, Institute of Education Sciences, U.S.Department of Education., C.A. (Ed.). (2006). Faculty of color: Teaching in predominantly White colleges anduniversities. Bolton, MA: Anker Publishers.Valverde, L. A. (2003). Leaders of color in higher education: Unrecognized triumphs in harshinstitutions. New York: Rowman & Littlefield.

Berry, C. A., & Cox, M. F., & Main, J. B. (2014, June), Women of Color Engineering Faculty: An Examination of the Experiences and the Numbers Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. 10.18260/1-2--23314

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