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Work in Progress: Will Looking "Over the Fence" of Academic Challenges to a Future as a Successful Engineer Support the Persistence WiE Students Need to Succeed?

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2018 CoNECD - The Collaborative Network for Engineering and Computing Diversity Conference


Crystal City, Virginia

Publication Date

April 29, 2018

Start Date

April 29, 2018

End Date

May 2, 2018

Conference Session

Corporate Engagement Track - Technical Session V

Tagged Topics

Diversity and Corporate Engagement

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Paper Authors


Olga Maria Stavridis Ohio State University

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Olga Stavridis is the Assistant Director for Diversity, Outreach and Inclusion's Women in Engineering Program. She served as senior lecturer for six years for the College of Engineering at The Ohio State University. She has taught Fundamentals for Engineering I and II for the Freshmen Engineering Scholars Program, and Engineering Graphics and Spatial Visualization courses for the past five years. She was previously the Director of the Engineering Co-op and Internship Program at Ohio State. Olga received her bachelor’s degree in Industrial and Systems Engineering from Ohio State and master’s degree in Industrial Engineering from Arizona State University. She has 12 years of industry experience in areas of automotive and systems engineering.

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Aimee T. Ulstad Ohio State University Orcid 16x16

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Aimee Ulstad, P.E., is an Associate Professor of Practice in the Integrated Systems Engineering Department at The Ohio State University. Prior to joining the faculty at Ohio State, Aimee was an industry professional in various fields in engineering for over 30 years. Aimee received her degrees in mechanical engineering and master's in business administration from Ohio State. She began her career as a packaging equipment engineer at Procter & Gamble, then moved to Anheuser-Busch, where she worked for over 27 years as project manager, engineering manager, utility manager, maintenance manager, and finally as the Resident Engineer, managing all technical areas of the facility. During her tenure, the brewery saw dramatic increases in productivity improvement, increased use of automation systems, and significant cost reductions in all areas, including utilities, where they received the internal award for having the best utility usage reduction for 2014. Since joining Ohio State, Aimee has joined the American Society of Engineering Education and serves as the treasurer of the Engineering Economics Division.

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Lisa A. Barclay The Ohio State University

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Lisa Barclay has 20 years’ professional experience in higher education. Under her leadership Ohio State engineering recruitment doubled the number of new first year student applications; with more than 25 percent increase in underrepresented minorities and women between 2006 - 2012. In her current role as Senior Director for Diversity, Outreach & Inclusion she oversees a staff of six and is responsible for College of Engineering Undergraduate Recruitment, Retention and Student Success, Minority Engineering Program and Women in Engineering, impacting hundreds of prospective students and more than 2,500 enrolled engineers.
In addition to overseeing the daily operations of the DOI office she also serves as an advisor to the National Society of Black Engineers and the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers where she has the opportunity to work closely with undergraduate students to support their efforts to excel academically and serve the community. Prior to assuming her current role she worked with the Ohio State University Upward Bound and Young Scholars programs. While at OSU she has been recognized for outstanding service by Mortar Board & Sphinx, College of Engineering Above and Beyond Award and the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Black Girl Magic Award. Currently she is serving as the Regional Chair for the National Association of Multicultural Engineering Program Advocates – Midwest region and is an active member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Lisa and her husband have two daughters and the entire family remain Cleveland Browns fans :-)

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. This paper explores the outcomes of a seminar course for 2nd year Women in Engineering students at a large university. The WiE LC (Learning Community) students are a cohort of young women who first lived together as freshman, made it through that year of challenges and decided to continue in the WiE LC for year 2. WiE LC2 students can participate in a .5 hour seminar course that has unique characteristics which the authors believe are worth sharing. Further, the authors are using research methods to understand the impact of this course on student success. As a framework, most WiE LC2 students are applying for their major, highly focused on core classes and resulting GPA’s, but lose sight of the possibilities for their futures. The highly competitive major application process is often a source of stress. Even though this course can’t get a student in their desired major, the “over the fence” glimpse is the nugget to realign their focus. The 2-key characteristics of this program intended to help these students are: 1. Community Building: In weekly meetings, the students build community, share their frustrations, and explore opportunities for growth. 2. Connections to Real-World Engineers: Exposing the students to working engineers by visiting sites, they get to experience various possibilities to understand different career paths. One key message students hear is “stay in engineering: it is tough and challenging but you can and will get through academics… don’t be afraid to ask for help in school and once you get an internship…” Sharing the course content among the academic community and communicating the data from student feedback will support further enhancement of this program.

Stavridis, O. M., & Ulstad, A. T., & Barclay, L. A. (2018, April), Work in Progress: Will Looking "Over the Fence" of Academic Challenges to a Future as a Successful Engineer Support the Persistence WiE Students Need to Succeed? Paper presented at 2018 CoNECD - The Collaborative Network for Engineering and Computing Diversity Conference, Crystal City, Virginia. 10.18260/1-2--29597

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