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U204·Teaching and Learning about Diversity in Engineering and Computing
Workshop Undergraduate Education
Sun. April 29, 2018 1:30 PM to 4:45 PM
Salon C, Marriott Crystal City
Session Description

Ticketed event: Workshop ticket - $35.00
This workshop seeks to showcase and discuss promising curricular practices (using examples of courses being taught at Stanford University, University of Washington, University of Michigan, and Cal-Poly, San Luis Obispo) that engage students in credit-bearing courses addressing research on diversity and inclusion in STEM fields. We will engage workshop participants (STEM faculty, diversity program staff, and others) in an interactive, hands-on session shaped around the interests and needs of those participating.

An important element in improving the academic climate for all students in STEM fields is directly influencing all students’ knowledge about factors that create a positive or negative environment, as well as strategies for improving problematic environments. Improving those environments is a top priority if we are to improve the national rates of retention and success of white women and minority men and women in STEM. It is critical that majority students understand these factors since at many institutions they are the individuals who dominate the environment and therefore the culture. In addition, both in minority-serving institutions (MSIs) and predominantly white ones (PWIs), exposure to this literature builds important confidence and efficacy for students underrepresented in STEM by offering them information about the ways in which contextual factors lead to difficult climates for them, even in the absence of prejudiced intent, as well as what can be done to mitigate the influence of those factors.

When inclusion strategies are limited to co-curricular initiatives, even when effective, they comprise a lower-priority activity. Moreover, they are less likely to reach the majority of students or engage faculty, more likely to be marginalized and misunderstood, and less likely to contribute to lasting change in higher education. Addressing inclusion via formal curricula is an attractive alternative, however, since a priority focus for all academic engineering and computing programs is the curriculum. A wealth of content exists for such coursework as numerous social science and education scholars have collaborated with engineering and computing faculty members to produce a great deal of useful research and practice designed to enhance the inclusion and success of those underrepresented in engineering and computing.

This workshop is designed to showcase promising practices in creating courses for engineering and computing students that draw upon the extensive research to illuminate the causes of and potential remedies for the underrepresentation of women, people of color, and others in engineering and computing. We anticipate that future generations of engineers, scientists, other professionals, and anyone else will benefit from focusing on diversity during their academic studies, learning to think critically about their own cultural imprints, explicit and implicit biases and popular beliefs, and the value of diverse perspectives in building products, services, and high-functioning organizational structures, and act on that learning.

We seek to begin to build a community of practice within higher education to share pedagogical strategies and results; to continue to build, implement, test, and improve these kinds of curricular experiences, and bring them to scale.

We will provide short presentations about each of 4 courses at Stanford, U. Washington, U. Michigan, and Cal-Poly, addressing:
1.What motivated the course's development/what problem/opportunity does it address?
2. What are the learning objectives for the course?
3. Who takes the course? Who teaches it?
4. What outcomes/results we have observed/documented, etc.?
5. Hits and misses: (What has been successful? What insights have we gained? Lessons learned? Obstacles along the way? Things we will do differently in the future?)

In small groups or pairs, participants may brainstorm ideas for their own courses, and begin to outline and develop plans if they choose, as well as discuss how a community of practice emerging from such initiatives could develop.

  1. Dr. Carol B. Muller
    Stanford University

    Carol B. Muller is the Executive Director of WISE Ventures, an internal initiative at Stanford designed to communicate, build networks, and help seed new and needed ventures across the Stanford campus to advance gender equity in science, engineering, and mathematics. She also directs Stanford’s Faculty Women’s Forum. A longtime university administrator, educator, and social entrepreneur, her past experience includes serving as Associate Dean for Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth College, where she co-founded the campus-wide Women in Science Project. She founded and was chief executive of MentorNet, a large-scale online nonprofit global mentoring network advancing diversity in engineering and science. At Stanford, she has been consulting associate professor of mechanical engineering, collaborating with faculty and staff to create “New Century Scholars: Teaching, Learning, and Your Academic Career,” a summer workshop designed for new engineering faculty members. A Fellow of the Association for Women in Science, Dr. Muller and her work have been recognized with other national awards, including the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring, and the Anita Borg Social Impact Award. She has authored and presented numerous papers, presentations, and workshops. She earned a bachelors degree from Dartmouth in philosophy, and masters and Ph.D. degrees in education administration and policy analysis from Stanford, and continues to build upon research in the design and implementation of programs.

  2. Dr. Jane L. Lehr
    California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo

    Dr. Jane L. Lehr is Chair of Women's & Gender Studies and Associate Professor in Ethnic Studies at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. She is also Faculty Director of the Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority and Underrepresented Student Participation (LSAMP) in STEM Program.

    She previously served as elected co-chair of the Science & Technology Taskforce of the National Women's Studies Association (NWSA), and as a Postdoctoral Research Officer at the Centre for Informal Learning and Schools (CILS) at King's College, University of London.

    Her graduate training is in Science & Technology Studies and Women's Studies at Virginia Tech and her teaching and research focus on the complex relationships between gender, race, culture, science, technology, and education.

  3. Prof. Abigail J. Stewart

    Abby Stewart is Sandra Schwartz Tangri Distinguished University Professor of Psychology and Women’s Studies at the University of Michigan. She has served in several administrative positions at UM, including UM ADVANCE from 2001-2016. She has published many scholarly articles and several books, focusing on gender, race, sexuality, and generation, as well as personality, as they operate across the lifespan; in addition, she studies features of university life (department climate, mentoring, sense of belonging) as they relate to academic and other outcomes, particularly for women scientists and engineers. In a book forthcoming with MIT Press (An Inclusive Academy: Achieving Diversity and Excellence) coauthored with Virginia Valian, she presents an integrated account of social science research as it is relevant to explaining the barriers to diversity, equity and inclusion in academic institution; the book includes recommendations for best practices to overcome these barriers. She has received the Henry Murray Award in personality psychology and the Carolyn Wood Sherif Award in psychology of women from the American Psychological Association and the American Association of University Women Eleanor Roosevelt Fund Award. Dr. Stewart holds degrees from Wesleyan University, the London School of Economics, and Harvard University.

  4. Dr. Joyce Yen
    University of Washington

    Joyce Yen, Ph.D., is the Director of the ADVANCE Center for Institutional Change at the University of Washington where she focuses on advancing women and underrepresented minority faculty in STEM fields and leading faculty professional development programs. Her diversity and faculty work has received over $6.7 million in grant funding. She holds a M.S. and Ph.D. in Industrial and Operations Engineering from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and B.S. in Mathematics from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She was awarded the 2012 University of Washington David B. Thorud Leadership Award and the 2017 WEPAN Inclusive Culture and Equity Award.

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