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Women's Engineering Institute (WEI) at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

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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

Women in Engineering Division Poster Session

Tagged Division

Women in Engineering

Tagged Topic


Page Count


Page Numbers

26.1745.1 - 26.1745.7



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Paper Authors


Shafagh Jafer Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

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Dr. Shafagh Jafer is an Assistant Professor of Software Engineering at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. She received her Ph.D. in Computer Engineering from Carleton University, Ottawa, in 2011. For the past eight years she has been conducting research on discrete-event modeling and simulation, distributed and parallel simulation, software engineering, and integrated modeling environments. Dr. Jafer has been previously involved in projects dealing with modeling and simulation of natural disasters as well as emergency response to natural fire. She is currently conducting research in disaster engineering, modeling and simulation in aviation, and large-scale NAS (National Airspace System) data analysis.

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Women’s Engineering Institute (WEI) at Embry-Riddle UniversityEmbry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s College of Engineering has initiated a Women’sEngineering Institute, which will be a center of excellence on the Daytona Beach Campus torecruit, retain and serve female engineering undergraduate and graduate students. Part of thecollege’s strategic plan, the Women’s Engineering Institute will support the college’s goal toboost female enrollment to a minimum of 20% female students by 2016. Research shows thatoffering networking, mentoring, tutoring and other support activities has the largest impact onretention for all students, but especially females. With this in mind, the institute will serve as ahub for female engineering students to network, socialize and engage in clubs, competitions andprojects. It will become the “go-to” place for female students by offering advising, mentorship,tutoring, counseling and sisterhood opportunities. Participation would also be encouraged in theWomen’s Ambassador Program, which has a team of women students working with theAdmissions Department to provide outreach services and offer guidance and information tofemales exploring an education at Embry-Riddle. Research has shown women in STEM fieldsare better retained when they are involved in academic and professional activities. The institutewill not only support female students through their academic lives, but will also help themrecognize their abilities and nourish their social and intellectual skills. The center will not onlyfocus on recruitment and retention, but also on providing excellent financial and professionaldevelopment opportunities to all female engineering students at Embry-Riddle. A number ofother universities such have already established similar centers of excellence, which have greatlybenefited their female students and faculty members. This paper describes the WEI initiative andprovides the goals, objectives, and activities of the center. The information provided in thisarticle will guide other universities in establishing similar centers to address diversity andminority challenges particularly facing STEM fields and STEM granting colleges.

Jafer, S. (2015, June), Women's Engineering Institute (WEI) at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.25081

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