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Work in Progress: Expanding the Professional Formation of Engineers through a Cross-Cultural Communication Workshop for First-Year Students

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Conference

2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Columbus, Ohio

Publication Date

June 24, 2017

Start Date

June 24, 2017

End Date

June 28, 2017

Conference Session

First-Year Programs: Sunday 5-Minute Work-in-Progress Postcard Session

Tagged Division

First-Year Programs

Tagged Topic

Diversity

Page Count

12

DOI

10.18260/1-2--29157

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/29157

Download Count

189

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Paper Authors

biography

Susan Arnold-Christian Virginia Tech

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Susan Arnold Christian currently serves at the Associate Director for the Center for the Enhancement of Engineering Diversity (CEED) at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, VA. Prior to joining Virginia Tech in September of 2010, she served as the Outreach Program Coordinator for the Women in Engineering & Science Program at Kansas State University. She began her work in STEM outreach and student support at Girls to Women, a private not for profit in Kansas City, in the late 90’s.
She earned her M.S. in Youth Development from the University of Nebraska and her B.S. in Family Studies at Kansas State University.

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Walter C. Lee Virginia Tech Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0001-5082-1411

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Dr. Walter Lee is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Engineering Education and the Assistant Director for Research in the Center for the Enhancement of Engineering Diversity (CEED), both at Virginia Tech. His research interests include co-curricular support, student success and retention, and diversity in STEM. Lee received his Ph.D in Engineering Education from Virginia Tech, his M.S. in Industrial & Systems Engineering from Virginia Tech, and his B.S. in Industrial Engineering from Clemson University.

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Adrien DeLoach Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

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Adrien DeLoach is a doctoral candidate in the Higher Education program and member of the academic support programs staff in the Center for the Enhancement of Engineering Diversity at Virginia Tech.

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Ashley R. Taylor Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

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Ashley Taylor is a doctoral student in engineering education at Virginia Polytechnic and State University, where she also serves as a program assistant for the Center for Enhancement of Engineering Diversity and an advisor for international senior design projects in the Department of Mechanical Engineering. Ashley received her MS in Mechanical Engineering, MPH in Public Health Education, and BS in Mechanical Engineering from Virginia Tech. Her research interests include broadening participation in engineering, the integration of engineering education and international development, and building capacity in low and middle income countries through inclusive technical education.

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Christian Matheis Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

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I serve as a Visiting Assistant Professor of Government and International Affairs in the School of Public and International Affairs at Virginia Tech. Concurrently, I serve as a Teaching and Research Associate for the Intercultural Engagement Center at Virginia Tech. My research specializations include ethics, political philosophy, and philosophy of liberation. Within these areas, I concentrate on public policy, feminism, race, migration and refugees, and similar topics.

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Abstract

This Work in Progress focuses on the efforts to embed the exploration of cross-cultural skills, knowledge, and awareness into the professional formation of engineers. In particular, we will provide an overview of a cross-cultural communications workshop that was recently developed for implementation into a living learning community for undergraduate engineering students. In this paper we will describe the work to date, which includes our collaboration with faculty in the field of sociology to develop the workshop and assessment results from its initial implementation. We assessed the workshop using surveys and focus groups with first-year participants. We will also describe our next steps, which will include implementing a training program for upper-class student leaders to assist in their development of activities and interactions with first-year students to help both groups further explore issues related to diversity and inclusion.

One living learning community supports female engineering students and the other supports male engineering students. Combined, these communities support over 600 students, the majority of which are first-year students. The community also includes a large support team of upper class students (i.e., sophomores, juniors, and seniors) who serve as mentors and committee team members. The work presented here is part of a multi-year plan to impact all students involved in the community. In addition to the cross cultural communications workshop, we will develop additional workshops on other topics related to diversity. Our long term goal is to have every student in the community trained at a basic level to recognize why an understanding of diversity issues and possessing cross-cultural skills is critical for their success as an engineer. We are in the early stages of this process and wish to receive feedback from the engineering community. We also aim to serve as model for other institutions that wish to broaden their diversity efforts.

Arnold-Christian, S., & Lee, W. C., & DeLoach, A., & Taylor, A. R., & Matheis, C. (2017, June), Work in Progress: Expanding the Professional Formation of Engineers through a Cross-Cultural Communication Workshop for First-Year Students Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. 10.18260/1-2--29157

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