506 Views
Icon for: Matthew Bahnson

MATTHEW BAHNSON

North Carolina State University

Effects of Perceived Bias on Engineering Identity Development in the Graduate...

NSF Awards: 1763288

2021 (see original presentation & discussion)

Graduate

Engineering graduate education exhibits chronic underrepresentation of Women and Men of Color, and white Women. Qualitative evidence points to experiences of inequality, discrimination, microaggressions, and exclusion as reasons oppressed groups leave engineering. Despite the evidence, engineering has not sufficiently addressed racism and sexism to improve underserved students’ experience and retention. We seek to develop a multi-item scale of discrimination experiences salient to graduate engineering students to provide realistic, actionable, and empirically based recommendations for engineering decision-makers and faculty. Targeted recommendations intend to improve underserved students’ experiences as a route to increased persistence, graduation, and representation of traditionally minoritized and oppressed groups.

             In the first phase of research, I conducted qualitative semi-structured interviews designed to elicit narratives of everyday graduate school life from engineering students while exploring their activities (e.g., experiments, homework), relationships (e.g., advisors, peers), and the spaces they inhabit (e.g., classes, labs). A ruling relations framework helped uncover the unwritten rules and norms that govern engineering graduate students’ experiences and the ways ruling relations supported or allowed discrimination.

            In the second phase, we developed the Discrimination in Engineering Graduate Education scale to measure students’ racism and sexism experiences. Pilot testing, factor and reliability analyses, and national data collection are complete. Preliminary exploratory analyses of pilot data suggest that the DEGrE scale factors significantly align with unfair treatment experiences and predict considering and changing research labs. Analyses of the national data set have begun. In the third phase, I will further refine research findings, implications, and recommendations by engaging member-checking and mixed-methods. Follow-up interviews with phase one participants will seek narratives about students’ recent experiences and their reactions to the national survey’s primary quantitative data findings.

This video has had approximately 98 visits by 74 visitors from 62 unique locations. It has been played 45 times.
activity map thumbnail Click to See Activity Worldwide
Map reflects activity with this presentation from the 2021 STEM For All Video Showcase website, as well as the STEM For All Multiplex website.
Based on periodically updated Google Analytics data. This is intended to show usage trends but may not capture all activity from every visitor.
show more
Discussion from the 2021 STEM For All Video Showcase (21 posts)
  • May 11, 2021 | 10:44 a.m.

    Matthew, this research will be of great interest to the AGEP-NC (North Carolina Alliances for Graduate Education and the Professoriate) community. I'd like to share this with them. Also, I'd love to learn about your findings in more detail. The AGEP-NC project has a video in this Showcase as well, that will tell you a little about what we are doing.  The AGEP-NC website, agep-nc.org has more information.

     
    1
    Discussion is closed. Upvoting is no longer available

    Matthew Bahnson
  • Icon for: Matthew Bahnson

    Matthew Bahnson

    Lead Presenter
    Graduate Research Assistant
    May 11, 2021 | 01:47 p.m.

    Marcia, thank you so much! The projects seem to share some interests. I would be happy to share the video with your team or provide a more detailed overview of the project. 

    We are currently working on quantitative analyses that demonstrate 1) the importance of advisor relationships for identity development and doctoral degree completion with significant differences for women and minoritized groups in their advisor relationships; and 2) the negative impact of sexism and racism on graduate engineering identity development that indirectly impacts doctoral degree completion intentions for women and minoritized racial and ethnic groups. 

  • Icon for: Barry Fishman

    Barry Fishman

    Facilitator
    Professor
    May 11, 2021 | 03:28 p.m.

    Matthew - thank you for this important work! I'm curious if you or your team is also engaged with piloting or evaluating any interventions that implement your recommendations?

     
    1
    Discussion is closed. Upvoting is no longer available

    Matthew Bahnson
  • Icon for: Rebecca Bullard-Dillard

    Rebecca Bullard-Dillard

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 13, 2021 | 12:12 p.m.

    Matthew, I agree with you.  

  • Icon for: Matthew Bahnson

    Matthew Bahnson

    Lead Presenter
    Graduate Research Assistant
    May 11, 2021 | 05:28 p.m.

    Barry - We are not currently working on any interventions. However, intervention development and testing would be a great next step!

  • Icon for: Barry Fishman

    Barry Fishman

    Facilitator
    Professor
    May 11, 2021 | 05:51 p.m.

    Thanks, Matthew - identifying and clarifying the issues are such a key first step!

  • Icon for: Rebecca Bullard-Dillard

    Rebecca Bullard-Dillard

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 13, 2021 | 12:14 p.m.

    Mr. Bahnson I hope that you might choose to take up such an effort as this project moves forward.

  • Icon for: Margie Vela

    Margie Vela

    Facilitator
    Senior Program Manager
    May 11, 2021 | 11:14 p.m.

    Matthew- This is a fascinating study with recommendations that have the potential to change the landscape for engineers. I am curious about how you recommend approaching anti-racist and anti-sexist training/ social justice. Do you envision these becoming standard subject matter in engineering curriculum? Should there be different types of training for undergraduates and graduate students?

     
    1
    Discussion is closed. Upvoting is no longer available

    Matthew Bahnson
  • Icon for: Matthew Bahnson

    Matthew Bahnson

    Lead Presenter
    Graduate Research Assistant
    May 12, 2021 | 09:21 a.m.

    Margie - I see integrating anti-racist and anti-sexist training into the general coursework as the most effective method. Integration allows students to apply the training to their engineering coursework as they continue degree progress. In addition, integrating social justice concepts into engineering ethics courses may help deepen students' understanding of the importance of equity and justice in applied engineering. 

    Training should meet the students as developing engineers. The justice work needed for an introductory course for engineers is likely broad and general, while graduate students need to more clearly integrate social justice into their engineering solutions.

    Thank you for the questions!

     
    2
    Discussion is closed. Upvoting is no longer available

    Margie Vela
    Alan Peterfreund
  • May 12, 2021 | 10:31 a.m.

    Matthew: Excellent video and one that could serve well as a prompter for discussions.  It reminds me of work we did years ago looking at how engineers can discuss ethical issues associated with emerging science and technology.  A key learning that for graduate students, authentic dialogue needed the engagement of those in power relationship to the grad students - most particularly advisors and lab leaders.

     
    1
    Discussion is closed. Upvoting is no longer available

    Matthew Bahnson
  • Icon for: Matthew Bahnson

    Matthew Bahnson

    Lead Presenter
    Graduate Research Assistant
    May 12, 2021 | 10:57 a.m.

    Alan, that sounds like a great use of this kind of information. Students need to learn from leaders the importance of social justice as an ethical imperative!

  • Icon for: Brian Foley

    Brian Foley

    Facilitator
    Professor
    May 12, 2021 | 10:42 a.m.

    This is a really important topic. One thing we have heard anecdotally from groups like STEM Thrive Guides (https://www.stemthriveguides.com) is that incidents of discrimination not only affect the students involved, but they can have a chilling affect on many the at-risk students at an institution. I wonder if your data sheds any light on these ripple effects.

     
    1
    Discussion is closed. Upvoting is no longer available

    Matthew Bahnson
  • Icon for: Matthew Bahnson

    Matthew Bahnson

    Lead Presenter
    Graduate Research Assistant
    May 12, 2021 | 10:59 a.m.

    In our qualitative data, many students discussed witnessing discrimination second hand. The stories and experiences of others who experience discrimination shaped our participants' responses to their own experiences - often not responding or reporting resulting in the same sort of chilling effect on even discussing discrimination experiences.

  • Icon for: Brian Foley

    Brian Foley

    Facilitator
    Professor
    May 12, 2021 | 10:47 a.m.

    One of the important things about your Discrimination in Engineering Graduate Education scale is that once you can data from many institutions you will be able to identify which institutions that are more effective at reducing discrimination. That will really help us understand how to combat this.

     
    2
    Discussion is closed. Upvoting is no longer available

    Margie Vela
    Matthew Bahnson
  • Icon for: Matthew Bahnson

    Matthew Bahnson

    Lead Presenter
    Graduate Research Assistant
    May 12, 2021 | 11:01 a.m.

    Yes! We are currently working on multi-level modeling to help identify institution differences in experiences. We hope this data will support other institutions in actively combating discrimination.

     
    1
    Discussion is closed. Upvoting is no longer available

    Margie Vela
  • May 12, 2021 | 01:23 p.m.

    This is very exciting work! Over the past year, there has been increased focus on inequality and related topics in society broadly and at academic institutions. Did this impact your data collection? Do you plan to explore this with year one participants?

     
    1
    Discussion is closed. Upvoting is no longer available

    Matthew Bahnson
  • Icon for: Matthew Bahnson

    Matthew Bahnson

    Lead Presenter
    Graduate Research Assistant
    May 12, 2021 | 04:06 p.m.

    Thank you! We are very excited to begin the follow-up interviews. We plan to ask year one participants about their experiences since we last spoke and specifically how they have experienced the recent attention to social justice in society more broadly. Did their program/advisor/college acknowledge the shift in social inequality narratives? How did they experience the social changes and did those experiences influence their graduate work? The opportunity to explore the impact of broader social engagement with social justice on individual graduate school experience is unique and an area we do not want to miss! 

  • Icon for: Lindsay Palmer

    Lindsay Palmer

    Graduate Student
    May 12, 2021 | 07:02 p.m.

    I love the mixed methods approach to this important question! Great work! 

     
    1
    Discussion is closed. Upvoting is no longer available

    Matthew Bahnson
  • Icon for: Ning Wang

    Ning Wang

    Graduate Student
    May 14, 2021 | 08:07 a.m.

    Very useful program and insights for students!

     
    1
    Discussion is closed. Upvoting is no longer available

    Matthew Bahnson
  • Icon for: Susan Warshaw

    Susan Warshaw

    External Evaluator
    May 14, 2021 | 12:18 p.m.

    I was wondering if the same survey was given to white males for comparing the difference in sentiment. Also, did you look at the more subtle micro-aggressive behaviors?  .  

     
    1
    Discussion is closed. Upvoting is no longer available

    Matthew Bahnson
  • Icon for: Matthew Bahnson

    Matthew Bahnson

    Lead Presenter
    Graduate Research Assistant
    May 17, 2021 | 09:35 a.m.

    Yes, we did give the same survey to white males to compare responses and experiences. 

    We did not specifically measure micro-aggressive behaviors. Many of our measures would include micro-aggressive behaviors if the student recognized the experience as such. In our qualitative interviews, students recognized macro-aggressions and were better able to discuss them. Future work could more directly evaluate micro-aggressions

  • Further posting is closed as the event has ended.

Multiplex Discussion
  • Members may log in to post to this discussion.