Rosh Chodesh Kislev 5779

Reflections as the new month begins

As the new month begins, I am inspired by Rabbi Ruhi’s words. What are the spiritual, personal, and relational tasks I need to set forth this month that I perhaps am not ready for? How does this relate to the work I engage in every day? How can I step forth embodying ethics of justice, peace, love, and liberation despite not feeling ready? Striving for acts of mitzvah in the spirit of tikum alum in my community wherever they may be. Personal friends, engineering colleagues, and strangers alike.

In the future I wish to work on the liminal spaces between religion, religious virtue ethics, engineering ethics, and engineering culture. What does it mean to have religious virtues inspire our actions as engineers? What would it mean if we can bring our full spiritual selves into the workplace? What if instead of Kant or Utilitarianism or Codes of Ethics – we allow for deeply ethical & meaningful Jewish, Muslim, and Christian inspiration in our work? I may not be ready for this task – I may not have the oil – but I will be working to be closer to this concept this month (on top of many other things).

The trouble of reinforcing gender difference for women in engineering

Raising up role models without addressing misogynist gender-in-engineering culture leaves the root causes of gender discrimination unchecked and off of the hook. Phipps believes that recruitment and role models alone will not challenge gender stereotypes and may actually increase the perceptions of gender based difference.

What is wrong with the mantra and identity of “women engineers” as opposed to “engineers”? Is there trouble in saying boldly and loudly – our gender matters? Yes, and no. It’s complicated. We should talk about it and look at the research!

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What have I been up to?

The busy, busy life of a doctoral candidate and community member

I have been quite busy, as all graduate students seem to be. I do not glorify “busy” – our culture is one which holds “being busy” in high regard, in contrast to the pejorative framing of “not doing anything.” I love to do nothing. The times I am doing nothing are often some of the most enjoyable times in my day.

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Complexity of Nonbinary Inclusion in Engineering Culture

I presented the following paper on how rhetoric of diversity and inclusion does not go far enough for nonbinary students and peers – it requires us all to have a radical shift in our conceptualization of gender, no matter where we are as engineers.

This was presented at ASEE 125th Annual Exposition in Salt Lake City. Check it out, let me know what you think! Paper ID #22710

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On Being Included (in Engineering)

Pulling from the work of Sara Ahmed, I reflect on what “diversity work” means in an institution and what I have learned from her 2012 book.

Readers and peers will know from the onset that I am a big fan of Sara Ahmed. Her books Queer Phenomenology and Living a Feminist Life are texts I return to again and again. My research, my role, my career has turned towards “diversity, equity, inclusion” as buzzwords that flutter around the spaces I engage in.

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Phenomenology and Engineering Education Research

Moving towards methods defined as feminist requires moving beyond only considering the experience of the individual to further include context of the external forces which act upon the body.

An unpublished paper I wrote regarding phenomenology – its many flavors and its applications within engineering education research. “Qualitative and phenomenological methods are increasingly employed which use experience and narrative of individuals to shape emergent theoretical findings. I wish to open up this ‘black box’ and explore how phenomenology – in particular feminist and queer theory informed phenomenology – can complement dominant research methods within engineering education.”

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Building upon Patriarchy – Kyriarchy & Engineering

What can we do to move past a homogenous (white) women in engineering mindset?

Women are underrepresented in STEM. People of color, and especially women of color, experience a field that is often overtly hostile or “chilly”. LGBTQ individuals face rampant harassment and subtle forms of exclusion which create an alarming rate of hiding their identity.

You may notice that we are not struggling against a simple patriarchy – domination of men in society. It’s more than that. If we look at those who control our offices, institutions, congress, corporations, and White House, we see a clearer image of who tends to solidify themselves within positions of power.

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