School of Mechanical Engineering Diversity Transformation Award Interview Study

Graduate Research Assistant: Chanel Beebe

Principal Investigator: Morgan Hynes

Major goals of the project: The primary goal of the Mechanical Engineering Diversity Transformation Award (ME DTA) interview study is to collect a rich set of African American students’ experiences as related to the culture of engineering at Purdue (with special emphasis on Mechanical Engineering). These experiences will be analyzed to inform efforts to recruit and retain African American students within Mechanical Engineering. To reach this goal the research team has developed and been implementing a study with the following goals:

  • Develop a rich theoretical framework to guide the interview and focus group data collection to empower African American students to share their experiences;

  • Interview as many African American Mechanical Engineering students as possible along with a select subset of African American College of Engineering students more broadly;

  • Analyze the interview data to identify patterns or themes in the students’ experiences;

  • Report on the results to both the ME leadership team and to the broader public through research publications.

What has been accomplished under these goals: The accomplishments related to each goal are listed below.

  • Develop a rich theoretical framework to guide the interview and focus group data collection to empower African American students to share their experiences;

    • A theoretical framework focused on eliciting experiences based on students’ values, historical context, and immediate environment was used to develop a framework for the interview and focus group protocols.

    • This framework was written up as part of the article that was submitted to the Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering

  • Interview as many African American Mechanical Engineering students as possible along with a select subset of African American College of Engineering students more broadly;

    • A total of 45 African American engineering students have been interviewed in both one-on-one and focus group settings

    • Participant Demographics:

      • Gender: Male: 27, Women: 19

      • Year: Freshman: 19, Sophomore: 12, Junior: 5, Senior: 6, 5th Year: 3

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Year 1 Findings

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Year 3 Findings

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