News

Tell us about your salary negotiation experiences! If you are a tenured or tenure-track professor in engineering, sociology, psychology, biology or philosophy, please consider completing the following survey:

https://umasslowell.co1.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_37tSG96eF9gHH81


Following ASEE 2018 in Salt Lake City, we will be holding a 1.5 day workshop related to the Interdisciplinary Design Teamwork project. If you are a faculty member who teaches a civil engineering capstone design course, and you are interested in participating, please email kacey_beddoes@uml.edu for further information. Stipends will be provided to cover lodging and other participation costs.

About

Research In Sociology of Engineering (RISE) is an interdisciplinary group of scholars, led by Dr. Kacey Beddoes, who explore the relationships between engineering and society, and the ways in which social processes shape engineering and engineering education. Many of our projects are united by a focus on critical discourse analysis. RISE research sits at the intersection of Science and Technology Studies, Engineering Studies, Gender Studies, Engineering Education and Sociology. Our current projects span the topics of gender in engineering, interdisciplinary teamwork and communication, and salary equity.

RISE is based at the University of Massachusetts Lowell and includes collaborations with researchers at Oregon State University, Washington State University, and Virginia Tech.

Projects

SOCIALIZATION OF NEWCOMER ENGINEERS

This project, which is supported by a NSF CAREER award, examines gendered organizational socialization of newcomer engineers. There is a pressing need to understand the high rates of attrition from engineering careers, particularly within the first five to ten years of employment, and this project begins the long-term work of creating an empirically-supported and engineering-specific model of gendered socialization. Mixed-methods data are being collected longitudinally over four years. The integrated education and research plan will yield a dramatic impact on the field of engineering education by prioritizing the importance of underutilized gender theories, enrolling men in gender research and systems change, and addressing the gap in research on engineering workplaces. Ultimately, this project facilitates greater equality in the socialization of newcomer engineers to decrease attrition from engineering careers and broaden participation of underrepresented groups in engineering. This project is supported by the National Science Foundation under grant EEC #1651511.


FACULTY DISCOURSES ON GENDER

Faculty pedagogy and interactions have been shown to play a significant role in students’ decisions to leave STEM majors, and female students in particular report experiencing negative classroom interactions. The methodologically-innovative Faculty Discourses on Gender project is the first research to addresses that problem and the gap in research on faculty members by collecting in-depth qualitative data from faculty, rather than students. This project, which began in 2014, is an interview study of engineering professors from institutions around the country. Through the interviews, we explore what and how engineering professors think about gender in engineering and engineering education, and women’s underrepresentation in engineering. We are interested in examining the discourses that professors engage when discussing those topics. Findings from this project will be used to create research-based faculty development materials and workshops. Preliminary findings from this research were awarded Best Paper at the European Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference in July 2015. This project is supported by the National Science Foundation under grant EEC #1427553.


ReSET

The Research on Salary Equity Transformation (ReSET) project began in 2016 and is a collaboration between Dr. Kacey Beddoes and Dr. Cheryl Llewellyn from the University of Massachusetts Lowell. As in most occupations in the United States, women faculty members continue to receive lower salaries than male faculty members, on average. Various explanations and discourses exist to explain this phenomenon, and some research has been conducted to determine the extent of salary inequities between men and women faculty members; however, no research has yet interrogated problematic features of the dominant discourses and examined gendered experiences of salary negotiation nationwide. To address that gap in research, the ReSET project is examining professors’ experiences with salary negotiation and the discourses engaged to explain salary inequities. A nationwide survey has been conducted, and we are now in phase two of the project, which entails collection of qualitative data.


INTERDISCIPLINARY DESIGN TEAMWORK

The Interdisciplinary Design Teamwork (IDT) project draws on the Science and Technology Studies concept of boundary objects to explore teamwork processes and practices, and interdisciplinary communication between engineers and non-engineers. Through ethnographic observations of interdisciplinary teams, we are studying the creation and use of boundary negotiating artifacts (BNAs). BNAs are artifacts and practices surrounding them that coordinate perspectives, create alignment between team members from different disciplines, facilitate transmission of information, and allow team members to learn from other disciplines during research and design. Findings from this project will ultimately allow us to create materials to help engineering instructors facilitate improved interdisciplinary teamwork. IDT is a collaboration with Dr. Karl Olsen from Washington State University. This project is supported by the National Science Foundation under grant EEC #1632676.


PROBLEMATIZATIONS OF UNDERREPRESENTATION

Despite decades of research on and efforts to increase the low numbers of women in engineering, underrepresentation persists. The Problematizations research began with publication analyses in 2010 by examining the framings of underrepresentation in engineering education journals articles and conference papers. In 2011, findings from the publication analyses were then compared to data from interviews with feminist engineering educators. Presently, findings from that earlier research are being compared to data from the Faculty Discourses on Gender project. The aim of the Problematizations project is to critically examine the discourses used to explain why underrepresentation is a problem, and then link those explanations to maintenance of the status quo. Using discourse analysis methodologies, the project names and unpacks stories around the question of why underrepresentation is a problem, thus offering them up for much needed, yet largely absent, discussion and analysis within the engineering education community.


GLOBAL ENGINEERING EPISTEMOLOGIES

Global Engineering Epistemologies (GLEE) explores the epistemological foundations of global engineering competencies and addresses the following questions: 1) How do engineers with global work experiences view engineering knowledge and how, if at all, were those views changed as a result of global work experience?, 2) What personal epistemologies facilitate or hinder successful global engineering work?, and 3) In what ways is personal epistemology related to global competencies? GLEE is funded by an internal seed grant from UMass Lowell to Kacey Beddoes and the Dean of Engineering, Joseph Hartman.

People

Kacey Beddoes

Kacey Beddoes, founder of RISE, is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology and an Associate at the Center for Women and Work at the University of Massachusetts Lowell. She received her Ph.D. in Science and Technology Studies (STS) from Virginia Tech, along with graduate certificates in Women’s and Gender Studies and Engineering Education. Kacey serves as Associate Editor and Managing Editor of the journal Engineering Studies  and as Assistant Editor of the Global Engineering Series at Morgan & Claypool Publishers. A full list of her publications can be found here.

Email: kacey_beddoes@uml.edu

Grace Panther

Grace Panther is a doctoral student in Chemical, Biological, and Environmental Engineering at Oregon State University. She has led workshops at the Australasian Association for Engineering Education Annual Conference and is currently a guest editor for a special issue of European Journal of Engineering Education on inclusive learning environments. Additionally, she is co-developer of the forthcoming online training tool entitled “Training And Resources for Gender Inclusive Teamwork (TARGIT). Grace works on the Faculty Discourses on Gender project and the ReSET project.

Email: grace.panther@oregonstate.edu

Stephanie Quiles-Ramos

Stephanie Quiles-Ramos is a graduate student in Sociology at Virginia Tech. She graduated from the University of Central Florida with a BA in Sociology, BS in Psychology, and certificate in Women and Gender Studies. Her scholarship has been recognized with many awards, including a Ronald E. McNair Scholar award, a NSF Graduate Research Fellowship, McNair Graduate Assistantship, and a Pratt Fellowship. Being a first-generation student deeply contributes to Stephanie’s research passions of equity and social justice through higher education, particularly race, gender, and engineering education.

Email: s.quiles-ramos@vt.edu

Alumni

RISE has benefitted from contributions from the following alumni:

Dr. Todd Nicewonger (2016-2017), current Project Direct for Destination Areas at Virginia Tech

-Dr. Ryan Campbell (2015-2016)

-Nichole Lynch (2015-2016) – UML graduate

-Tori Stevens (2016-2017) – WSU graduate and current Peace Corps volunteer in Gambia

Publications

FACULTY DISCOURSES ON GENDER 

  • Beddoes, K. Selling Policy Short? Faculty Perspectives on the Role of Policy in Addressing Women’s Underrepresentation in Engineering Education. In press at Studies in Higher Education. 
  • Beddoes, K. & G. Panther. 2017. Engineering Professors’ Perspectives on Gender and Assessment of Teamwork. International Journal of Learning and Development 7, 3: 23-35. PDF
  • Beddoes, K. & G. Panther. How Professors Use the Language of “Perception” to Explain Underrepresentation. European Society for Engineering Education (SEFI) Annual Conference, Tampere, Finland, September 2016. PDF
  • Beddoes, K. & G. Panther. Workshop: Understanding Gender in Teamwork to Increase the Numbers of Women in Engineering. Australasian Association for Engineering Education (AAEE) Annual Conference, Torquay, Australia, December 2015. PDF
  • Panther, G. & K. Beddoes. (How) Do Professors Think About Gender When Designing PBL Experiences?. Australasian Association for Engineering Education (AAEE) Annual Conference, Torquay, Australia, December 2015. PDF
  • Beddoes, K. Detailing Recruitment Efforts to Interview Faculty about Gender in Engineering. Research on Engineering Education Symposium (REES), Dublin, Ireland, July 2015. PDF
  • Beddoes, K. Professors’ Perceptions of How Men and Women Students Experience Engineering Education Differently…Or Not. European Society for Engineering Education (SEFI) Annual Conference, Orleans, France, June/July 2015. PDF
  • Beddoes, K. Engineering Faculty Members’ Discussing the Role of University Policy in Addressing Underrepresentation. American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) 2015 Annual Conference, Seattle, WA, June 2015. PDF

INTERDISCIPLINARY DESIGN TEAMWORK

  • Nicewonger, T. & K. Beddoes. Exploring New Directions for Doing Interdisciplinary Teamwork. Society for Applied Anthropology Annual Meeting, Santa Fe, NM, March 2017.
  • Stevens, T. & K. Beddoes. New Directions in Design Education: An Ethnographic Exploration into the Creation of Sustainable Design. Society for Applied Anthropology Annual Meeting, Santa Fe, NM, March 2017.
  • Beddoes K., M. Borrego & B. K. Jesiek. Using Boundary Negotiating Artifacts to Investigate Interdisciplinary and Multidisciplinary Teams. American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) Annual Conference, Vancouver, Canada, June 2011. PDF

PROBLEMATIZATIONS OF UNDERREPRESENTATION

  • Beddoes, K. 2011. Engineering Education Discourses on Underrepresentation: Why Problematization Matters. International Journal of Engineering Education 27, 5: 1117-1129. PDF
  • Beddoes, K. Problematizations of Women’s Underrepresentation: Comparing Educator Interviews with the Literature. ASEE/IEEE Frontiers in Education (FIE) Annual Conference, Rapid City, South Dakota, October 2011. PDF

Contact

If you have questions about RISE or are interested in joining our group, please contact Kacey Beddoes at kacey_beddoes@uml.edu