Virginia Tech®home

Using Collaborative Research to Explore Diversity In Students’ Engineering Experiences

Allison Godwin & Adam Kirn Seminar

Abstract:  The lack of a diverse population in engineering has been a long standing issue. Despite tremendous work to move the field forward, issues of under enrollment of and undesirable experiences for diverse individuals in engineering programs persists. This interactive seminar will present unique approaches to understanding how we can better support diverse students across a range of diversity markers in engineering. Specifically, we will discuss one of two ongoing research project, as decided on by the audience. The first project, examines the ways students from attitudinally diverse group navigate engineering culture. The second project examines how students perceptions of diversity shift or change as a result of working on diverse teams. Given that this is a graduate research seminar, we will also have an open dialog about the challenges of and tools and tips for being any early career faculty member. Potential topics for this open dialog include but are not limited to mechanisms for implementing new research projects, collaborating at distance, and navigating the tenure process. 

Dr. Allison Godwin is an Assistant Professor of Engineering Education at Purdue University. Her research focuses what factors influence diverse students to choose engineering and stay in engineering through their careers and how different experiences within the practice and culture of engineering foster or hinder belongingness and identity development. Dr. Godwin graduated from Clemson University with a B.S. in chemical engineering and Ph.D. in engineering and science education. Her research earned her a National Science Foundation CAREER Award focused on characterizing latent diversity, which includes diverse attitudes, mindsets, and approaches to learning, to understand engineering students’ identity development.    

Dr. Adam Kirn is an Assistant Professor of Engineering Education at the University of Nevada, Reno. His research focuses on the interactions between engineering cultures, student motivation, and learning experiences. His projects involve the study of student perceptions, beliefs, and attitudes towards becoming engineers, their problem-solving processes, and cultural fit. His education includes a B.S. in biomedical engineering from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, a M.S. in bioengineering and a Ph.D. in engineering and science education from Clemson University