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:

Please join us for a special session at ASEE in Columbus based on the Faculty Discourses on Gender project. The session – Teamwork Practices to Increase Gender Inclusivity – will be Tuesday at 1:30 in Room A112.

Todd and Tori presented findings from their ethnographic work at the Society for Applied Anthropology annual meeting in Santa Fe this spring!



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 and Washington State University.



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 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.


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 men and women professors’ experiences with salary negotiation and the discourses engaged to explain salary inequities. Through a national survey, we will collect qualitative and quantitative data from professors in the fields of engineering, psychology, medicine, philosophy, and sociology.


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.


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 (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.


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.


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. Grace works on the Faculty Discourses on Gender project and the ReSET project.


Todd Nicewonger

Todd E. Nicewonger is a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the University of Massachusetts Lowell. He received his Ph.D. in Applied Anthropology from Columbia University, Teachers College and has conducted research on fashion design pedagogy, experimental bookmaking, architectural research, and the interrelationship between making and growing. Central to this work are questions about the moral aspects of making, the speculative practices of prototyping, and world making as an analytical tool for analyzing complex social processes. Todd works on the IDT project.


Tori Stevens

Tori Stevens is a senior at Washington State University pursuing dual degrees in Anthropology and Wildlife Ecology. She also serves as a Peace Corps campus ambassador at WSU. After receiving her B.S. and B.A., Tori plans to attend graduate school in Anthropology. Tori works on the IDT project.


Nicole Lynch

Nicole Lynch is a RISE alumna who worked on the ReSET project. She holds a B.A. in Sociology and Gender Studies from UMass Lowell. Her research interests include the sociology of food, the study of romantic love and its gendered manifestation in capitalistic society, and the sociology of technology. Nicole was Vice President of the feminist student club called F.R.E.E. (Feminism Represents Equality for Everyone). She intends to pursue an adanced degree in sociology and feminist studies with the goal of teaching at the collegiate level and advancing scholarship in those areas.




  • 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. 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


  • 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


  • 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


If you have questions about RISE or are interested in joining our group, please contact Kacey Beddoes at