Exploring Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Engineering Undergraduate Experiences through Autoethnography

 

The following is the abstract and a link to download our paper which was presented at the 2019 American Society for Engineering Education CoNECD conference, April 15th 2019. CoNECD stands for The Collaborative Network for Engineering and Computing Diversity. The paper was written by myself, Ava Butler, Naya Pelzl, Michelle Bothwell, Devlin Montfort, and Qwo-Li Driskill. 

Continue reading “Exploring Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Engineering Undergraduate Experiences through Autoethnography”

Overlooked Diversity – Religion, Faith, & Spirituality

The following is a post I wrote for the Graduate Society of Women Engineers blog – check out the original post here.

When we discuss the many identities we carry in our lives, the most commonly listed are often race/ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and disability status. When we discuss diversity and inclusion, our efforts often center on one of, if not the intersection of, these identities. However, one core identity for many of us has seemed to slip through our collective radar – religion and spirituality. “In an era when colleges are expanding their engagement of diversity issues, and at a time when religion plays a central role in public life and global affairs, religion continues to be the dimension of diversity that many institutions leave out.” This is a central claim in Eboo Patel’s article “Faith Is The Diversity Issue Ignored by College Campuses” published in The Chronicle of Higher Education in October 2018. In the article, she discusses the possibilities and needs on campuses to recognize this difference. Additionally, she asserts that efforts for religious inclusivity on campus are underfunded, if funded at all. She writes about the transformative possibilities of having interfaith dialogues and unpacking stereotypes and prejudices. As soon as I read this it seemed to immediately ‘click’ – and I’ve become pretty passionate about the subject. Eboo Patel is right – religious diversity is often left out. Why should we start paying attention to this?

Continue reading “Overlooked Diversity – Religion, Faith, & Spirituality”

Towards a Gender Expansive Engineering – Part Two, Ideas and New Practices for Inclusion

The following is a blog post for the Graduate Society of Women Engineers (GradSWE) written by myself and Rachel Tenney. You can see it on the GradsWE blog here..

According to genderspectrum.org, “gender-expansive” has the following definition:

An umbrella term used for individuals that broaden their own culture’s commonly held definitions of gender, including expectations for its expression, identities, roles, and/or other perceived gender norms. Gender-expansive individuals include those with transgender and non-binary identities, as well as those whose gender in some way is seen to be stretching society’s notions of gender.

We offer a few ideas on how we can move forward in our work to be more gender expansive and gender inclusive.

Continue reading “Towards a Gender Expansive Engineering – Part Two, Ideas and New Practices for Inclusion”

Towards a Gender Expansive Engineering – Part One, What’s the Gender Binary?

The following is a blog post for the Graduate Society of Women Engineers (GradSWE) written by myself and Rachel Tenney. You can see it on the GradsWE blog here..

Gender in engineering is an important and much-discussed topic. This might be why you are reading this blog. Organizations such as Society of Women Engineers (SWE) exist specifically due to the underrepresentation and marginalization of women in engineering. However, gender is much more broad than just a simple two-category dichotomy of men and women. We would like to be sure that in our efforts to increase gender inclusion and gender diversity in engineering that we are paying attention to those different from us – women with complicated relationships to gender and nonbinary (third-gender category or otherwise not men/women identified) engineers. This is why SWE is welcoming not only to those who identify as a woman, but to everyone on the gender spectrum – including male allies. This is why we find this to be an important topic to our inclusivity in GradSWE.

Continue reading “Towards a Gender Expansive Engineering – Part One, What’s the Gender Binary?”

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!

Continue reading “The trouble of reinforcing gender difference for women in engineering”

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.”

Continue reading “Phenomenology and Engineering Education Research”