2017 NCWIT Summit on Women and IT

Attending May 22, 2017 to May 24, 2017

Move beyond discussing underrepresentation in tech; solve the problems.

The NCWIT Summit is the world’s largest annual convening of change leaders focused on significantly improving diversity and inclusion in computing. Educators, entrepreneurs, corporate executives, and social scientists from across industries and disciplines (both men and women) participate in this one-of-a-kind opportunity. NCWIT is the trusted source for research-based strategies that facilitate reform in computing classes and technical organizations; the Summit sets the stage for NCWIT member representatives, notable field experts, and renowned guests to present and learn about leading-edge practices, to network and form partnerships, and to provide encouragement and inspiration for one another.

Infusing Innovation and Entrepreneurship into Engineering Education: Looking for Change as Seen by ASEE Members, 2012 to 2015

2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Infusing Innovation and Entrepreneurship into Engineering Education: Looking for change as seen by ASEE members 2012 to 2015

During the Fall of 2012 (Baseline) and Spring of 2015 (Follow-up), SageFox and the Epicenter research team developed and administered surveys focused on Innovation and Entrepreneurship (I&E) in undergraduate engineering education. The purpose of the study and subsequent follow-up was to establish a baseline that could be used by Epicenter to assess changes over time in I&E initiatives within this community.

These surveys were administered to communities within ASEE, including ASEE Campus Representatives, Entrepreneurship and Engineering Innovation (ENT) Division members, and subscribers to ASEE’s Connections and Capitol Shorts newsletters.

144 and 171 faculty and administrators, representing more than 90 and 100 higher education institutions, responded in each year, respectively.

Our findings cluster around the following key questions:

1. What is I&E?

There is a shared understanding around the definition of I&E, in particular around concepts such as “creativity” and “market awareness.” Yet, among ENT members, ‘value creation’ is much more likely to be cited as primary components of I&E, blending more of the ‘entrepreneurship’ side of I&E. Non-ENT respondents were much more likely to mark ‘product development’ as a key component, in line with the ‘engineering design’ view around the ‘innovation’ side of I&E (a more traditional, product-centered approach to I&E).

2. What role does/should I&E play in engineering education?

I&E education especially within engineering is not a fad: interest in the subject, and the community around I&E, remains very high. Both in 2012 and 2015, when asked to rate the current and desired level of I&E offerings for students, respondents marked the desired levels of student engagement via required courses (60%), electives (95%), and extracurricular activities (95%) at twice the current levels of practice..

3. What are the practices that promote or inhibit implementation of I&E?

Our data show student demand for I&E remains strong, and students take advantage of available opportunities. Faculty, however, are less uniform in their support for implementing I&E. A ‘lack of room in the curriculum’ continues to be the most-cited barrier to success, and for many institutions/programs this is directly tied to ABET requirements.  (Interestingly, ENT members, were less likely to cite ABET/curricular-room issues as barriers than non-ENT respondents.)

‘Faculty resistance’ remained the second-most cited barrier to implementing I&E within the engineering curriculum in 2015, with most respondents expressing that there were a few highly-engaged faculty on their campuses with respect to I&E. Importantly, administrative resistance –listed as a major barrier in 2012 – fell dramatically (nearly to zero) 2015. We note also that while lack of funding continues to be a major issue overall, it is much less so for private institutions, who are able to respond to emerging trends and needs with more fiscal agility than their public peers.

Overall, there are many indications that despite the high inertia associated with making change in education, especially engineering education, that the momentum around I&E persists; barriers are being lowered and gaps are narrowing.

  1. Dr. Alan R. Peterfreund SageFox Consulting Group [biography]
  2. Mr. Emanuel Costache SageFox Consulting Group [biography]
  3. Dr. Helen L. Chen Stanford University [biography]
  4. Dr. Shannon Katherine Gilmartin Stanford University & SKG Analysis
  5. Dr. Sheri Sheppard Stanford University [biography]

Students as Change Agents: Leveraging Students to Infuse Innovation & Entrepreneurship into the Campus Ecosystem

2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Students as change agents: Leveraging students to infuse innovation and entrepreneurship into the campus ecosystem

Engineering students have many opportunities to engage in existing co-curricular activities such as robotics clubs and Engineers Without Borders. However, students have fewer opportunities to be exposed to innovation and entrepreneurship (I&E) learning opportunities, which provide them with essential skills that are valued by employers and necessary to help them identify and tackle big problems in an increasingly complex world. Changing the culture and structures of a campus to provide curricular, co-curricular and informal opportunities to engage in I&E requires a systemic approach. Engineering students are often an untapped resource for making this campus-based change. Epicenter, an NSF STEP center, is driven by the mission of empowering US undergraduate engineering students to bring their ideas to life for the benefit of our economy and society. Epicenter conducts research, works with faculty and, through the University Innovation Fellows (UIF) program, has spawned a student-led grassroots movement for infusing I&E into the higher education ecosystem.

Nearly 300 Fellows from 115 institutions in seven cohorts have gone through the UIF training. Student participants, known as “Fellows,” acquire knowledge of tools, frameworks and program models that help college students develop their creative confidence and an entrepreneurial mindset. The Fellows work with other students as well as faculty, administrators and other stakeholders in their communities to systematically expand the campus ecosystem for I&E. Fellows organize events, secure and transform physical spaces for student collaboration, contribute to course development, and engage administrators. Many of the Fellows go on to influence the national conversation on I&E by organizing regional events and participating in forums that present at national conferences, such as ASEE and University Economic Development Association (UEDA) Annual Meeting, among others. They also actively contribute to White House STEM initiatives, launching campaigns such as #uifresh, which aims at curbing attrition from STEM majors by engaging incoming university students in I&E activities early on.

Annual and alumni surveys suggest both Fellows and their faculty sponsors find students to be an effective resource for making campus-based change. Questions this paper will explore include: How can we define success at the individual and institutional level? What personal, programmatic and contextual factors correlate with success? Drawing from a database of program participants’ experiences and institutional characteristics, we aim at providing a deeper understanding of how students can best be engaged as change agents in higher education in general, and engineering education in particular.

  1. Rebecca Zarch SageFox Consulting Group [biography]
  2. Dr. Alan R. Peterfreund SageFox Consulting Group [biography]
  3. Ms. Humera Fasihuddin Stanford University [biography]

Opportunity to Grow and Explore: Lessons from a Bioinnovation Graduate Student Summer Internship Program at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration

2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Opportunity to Grow and Explore: Lessons from a Bioinnovation Graduate Student Summer Internship Program at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration

The development of biomedical technologies and devices and their translation to the healthcare market requires a strong foundation in science and engineering, an understanding of clinical need, and well-honed entrepreneurial skills. Tulane University’s Bioinnovation PhD program was initiated in 2012 through the National Science Foundation’s Integrative Graduate Education and Research Training (IGERT) grant mechanism to provide emerging entrepreneurial scientists and engineers with the skills needed to bring research from “bench to bedside.” A hallmark of the program is a summer internship at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the Division of Postmarket Surveillance – this is a Division in the Office of Surveillance and Biometrics of the Center for Devices and Radiological Health (CDRH). All degree candidates spend the summer working at the FDA in Silver Spring, MD after the first year of academic study to understand the practical and regulatory considerations that are required for the successful development of biomedical technologies and devices.

Over the past three years, twelve fellows in three cohorts have participated in this summer internship program. The internships were a first for FDA; as such, expectations about what could be accomplished over a 12-week period were minimal. What occurred in the first couple of years was remarkable: Bioinnovation fellows were given considerable latitude and opportunity to discover and work on real world issues that the FDA needed to address. Fellows matriculated through the FDA along a path of relatively unstructured discovery, wherein they learned about the agency and the processes and issues associated with product regulatory practices. Likewise, the agency came to realize the value of an exploratory approach to orientation and training that is currently under consideration for new FDA analysts.

The FDA internship has also proven to be influential to the professional growth of the graduate fellows. They found particular value in their role as “active witnesses” to the agency’s Signal Review Meetings, where they were able to observe, reflect and follow up with professionals on the decision making process associated with the adverse effects of a medical device. These interactions taught them how to network and learn through observation and to work within the confines of a hierarchical non-academic organization. The process also challenged analysts to expand their understanding of what is possible by considering new approaches to confronting regulatory issues.

  1. Rebecca Zarch SageFox Consulting Group [biography]
  2. Dr. Alan R. Peterfreund SageFox Consulting Group [biography]
  3. Dr. Donald P. Gaver Tulane University [biography]