Icon for: Gretal Leibnitz

GRETAL LEIBNITZ

WEPAN, American Society for Mechanical Engineers, Purdue University
Public Discussion
  • Icon for: Jeanne Century

    Jeanne Century

    Facilitator
    May 14, 2018 | 11:07 a.m.

    Dear Gretal,

    I so appreciate your point of view about change - that changes are possible now even though we know that change can take a long time. And, that you don't have to be an expert to begin. 

    I'm interested to know if you are aware of others who have taken advantage of your tools and resources and how they have used them?

    Thanks,

    Jeanne

  • Icon for: Gretal Leibnitz

    Gretal Leibnitz

    Lead Presenter
    May 16, 2018 | 10:59 a.m.

    Hi Jeanne!

    Your question was so provocative I had to do some investigation!  This year has been a year of dissemination, including to the recent Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) Symposium,  and the Collaborative Network for Engineering and Computing Diversity (CoNECD - pronounced “Connected”) Conference, offered by the

    • WEPAN - Women in Engineering ProActive Network
    • NAMEPA - National Association of Multicultural Engineering Program Advocates
    • MIND - Minorities in Engineering Division of the American Society for Engineering Education
    • WIED - Women in Engineering Division of the American Society for Engineering Education

    There is significant interest in the work and the information presented, however at this early point, I do not know of any actively seeking to apply the model, YET, but the hundreds of people participating in the conferences and attending the presentations indicate that there is significant interest.

    We are also in the process of releasing our 2nd On-Demand webinar in our series on Leading Department Culture Change, and one could argue that individuals participating in this webinar series (of which there were approximately 250 registrants for the first webinar) are doing so because they have intention of applying the resources.

    Finally, I have requested information from our webpage designer re: google analytics to get a sense of the website attention.  More on that soon!

    Thanks for your awesome question!

    I am curious as to your experience regarding the need for change to broaden diversity, equity, and inclusion--especially in higher education?

    Warmly,

    Gretal

  • Icon for: Gretal Leibnitz

    Gretal Leibnitz

    Lead Presenter
    May 17, 2018 | 02:26 p.m.

    Hi Jeanne!

    I am doubly appreciative of your question because I just learned that the folks that set up the TECAID website did not have any Google Analytics connected to it...so I am addressing that as we speak.  So the upshot is unfortunately I do not have any direct data to share around use of tools available through the website.

  • Icon for: Brian Drayton

    Brian Drayton

    Researcher
    May 15, 2018 | 02:24 p.m.

    Nice presentation. I'm interested in your answer to Jeanne's question — but here's another one. 

    In your abstract, you write, "we believe the TECAID model supports change leaders interested in fostering greater diversity, equity, and inclusion in a variety of contexts." I tend to agree — but do you have any evidence or "anecdata" about that?

     

  • Icon for: Gretal Leibnitz

    Gretal Leibnitz

    Lead Presenter
    May 16, 2018 | 11:48 a.m.

    Hi Brian, I love the "anecdata" question!  :-)

    The primary information that I have to answer your question is the registrant information from our first webinar in our series on "Leading Department Culture Change."  Although the majority were leaders, faculty, and researchers from higher education, I could not discern which departments were represented--so conceivably some were from departments other than engineering.  I know anecdotally that several registrants were in positions of leadership not specific to engineering.  Further, there were folks from several engineering design and consulting firms, namely outside academic engineering, as well as a representative from a funding foundation.  So, I can at least say there is "interest" in the application by entities other than academic engineering departments. That said, our marketing for our dissemination efforts has been highly targeted towards academic engineering.

    I like the idea of extending and broadening the impact of the original TECAID project to include teams from entities other than academic engineering, and that might be possible in other STEM disciplines both academic and industry due to funding interests to broaden participation and success in STEM domains.  But this brings up another issue of the fact that ALL higher education domains could benefit from re-visioning culture to be more inclusive.  Unfortunately, there is just less availability of funding for exploring these issues in the humanity domains such as music, literature, theater etc. 

    As an aside, your question brought up another issue for me about which I am especially intrigued, and that is the idea that currently we are asking the new majority (i.e., people of color) to assimilate into a higher education culture predominately informed by "white," "male," heterosexual," "able bodied," Middle to upper class SES values.  It is interesting to consider what higher education would look like if "re-visioned," such that the new majority would not be "accommodated" by an out-dated system, but rather create a new system informed by diverse values.  I know it is particularly challenging for early "pioneers" who help bridge the path to change. Hopefully, now, this re-visioning is just a matter of a shorter period of time,  because we need to make higher education relevant in the lives of all people!

    Thanks for your question!

     

  • Icon for: Levi Patrick

    Levi Patrick

    Facilitator
    May 15, 2018 | 11:48 p.m.

    Gretal, thanks for your work in this important area! It's really clear that a lot of work has gone into developing resources that are designed to be practical for interested departments. I think it's clever that you've used some physics concepts as metaphors for the work and wonder how that was received. In fact, my most significant wondering is around reception and indicators of readiness in a an ME department. I really appreciate Attachments 6 and 8 in the TECAID Model (provided as an attachment). Have these resources been leveraged actively in your applications? If so, what are characteristics of programs who both identify resistance AND are able to overcome it? 

    Thanks for any insights you might have! 

  • Icon for: Gretal Leibnitz

    Gretal Leibnitz

    Lead Presenter
    May 16, 2018 | 12:56 p.m.

    WOW Levi!  What a great question!  To effect change, one not only needs to identify a clear value proposition as to WHY this work is important, but do so in the language of the targeted audience.  I can remember bringing a "pioneering"' engineering dean to a conference on advancing women in engineering.  The conference was informed by research from social science, which although very informative was not in a language that made the work readily "digestible" for engineers.  During the flight back, my engineering colleague shared with me how he translated the work from Social Science-ese into Engineering-speak :-) by using terms such as "drivers," "modulators," "risk management" etc.  That was the first time I really understood how language, in addition to lack of informed value propositions, really caused barriers to diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts... So thank you for your feedback that it was clever to use the physics principle application to organizational change. :-)

    Although for some reason I could not see the attachments you referred to, I know them well.  You are talking about the "Perspectives on Resistance" and "Strategies for Change:  The Education, Persuasion, Incentives & Pressure (EPIP) Model," resources.  These resources were key to the professional development we provided to the TECAID participant teams in the first phase of TECAID, and because they were deemed so valuable, were included amongst the 15 resources provided with the TECAID Model.

    In asking the first question, I suspect you are seeking to learn if resources on resistance have been leveraged not only in the application for the original teams (YES) but to those outside the original teams. To thoroughly answer this question, a third stage of TECAID would be desired--namely solicitation and evaluation of those departments who have used the products created in the second stage of TECAID to help scale the project beyond the original TECAID participant teams. Ultimately, we do not have information on how resources have been leveraged outside of our original participant teams.  Funding for the project provided opportunity to determine IF engineering teams could successfully engage in diversity, equity, and inclusion culture change (YES); and based on the resulting evidence of success, HOW to leverage this evidence to provide resources to others interested in such work so that they would not need to re-invent the wheel.  Your suggestion would be a great foundation for a follow up proposal!

    Ultimately, based on evidence from our original TECAID teams, the characteristics of programs who identify AND overcome resistance are those that have engaged in, and continue to engage in, what we called in the TECAID model activities to "cultivate the ground for change." Leadership support is key to not only overcoming resistance, but sustaining long term culture change effort.  Further, success hinges on a change team that recognizes and integrates the myriad of expertise available (both within and outside the institution/organization); is comprised of people who do not have egos invested in being "right" but actively cultivate and sustain a growth mindset; and understands the importance of re-framing "conflict" as an opportunity to learn, and leverage new insights to the benefit of the project, rather than cause the work to stall or worse, degrade into unproductive cycling. 

    So, as you indirectly rightly point out, those who are successful in this work are those that seek not only to remove resistance, but also build in "forces" that ensure that the original resistance is addressed and, ideally, used to strengthen the change project.

    Finally, as a resource, I would highly encourage you to review the information presented in our forthcoming third On-Demand Webinar:  Insights From Engineering Department Culture Change Leaders:  Dealing with Resistance, currently being edited.  Please bookmark the TECAID Website http://www.wepan.org/mpage/TECAID and check back for the next webinars!

    Thanks for your great question!

    Warmly,
    Gretal

  • Icon for: Gretal Leibnitz

    Gretal Leibnitz

    Lead Presenter
    May 16, 2018 | 01:08 p.m.

    Vision influences engagement in culture change work, so it is important very early on in a change project to be clear as to why you are doing this work, and make sure that your vision aligns with those of your team.  It is not uncommon to  have change work stalled because people on the change team are motivated by different visions, all captured under the guise of enhancing diversity, equity, and inclusion.

    So, I am interested in your answer to the question, "How would the culture of YOUR department (organization, institution, lab, etc.) be (i.e., look, sound, feel...) if it were more diverse, equitable, and inclusive?" 

  • Icon for: Gretal Leibnitz

    Gretal Leibnitz

    Lead Presenter
    May 16, 2018 | 04:04 p.m.

    I just wanted to draw your attention to work completed by my colleagues at APLU, specifically the STEM-OP: A Survey to Expand and Maximize Opportunity in the Professoriate to identify a series of transformative institutional activities aimed at increasing participation along the STEM pathways toward the professoriate.  This  survey tool will be helpful to institutions, not just engineering departments, in terms of identifying inclusive culture strengths and weaknesses.  Learn more about the APLU project by viewing their 2018 NSF Showcase project here: http://videohall.com/p/1155

  • Icon for: Pablo Bendiksen

    Pablo Bendiksen

    Facilitator
    May 17, 2018 | 01:10 p.m.

    Dear Gretal,

    Thank you for explicitly stating significant findings from the first phase of TECAID with respect to Mechanical Engineering participants. How did you define and measure a latent variable such as inclusion knowledge and awareness? I am curious as advancing inclusion to Engineering and, more broadly- STEM, opportunities motivates me as well.

    Thanks!

    TECAID evaluation results indicate significant increase in participant engineers' diversity, equity, & inclusion (DEI) knowledge and awareness;

  • Icon for: Gretal Leibnitz

    Gretal Leibnitz

    Lead Presenter
    May 17, 2018 | 02:29 p.m.

    Hi Pablo!

    I am delighted to hear of your motivation to advance inclusion in STEM.  This work is very important.  I am following up with our evaluators to learn explicitly how they calculated this finding.  I came on to the project at Stage 2, so the earlier work, although I am familiar with it I do not know the details and nuances.  More soon!  Thanks for your question.

    Warmly, Gretal

  • Icon for: Gretal Leibnitz

    Gretal Leibnitz

    Lead Presenter
    May 18, 2018 | 05:27 p.m.

    We utilized several survey items to address the latent variable of DEI knowledge and awareness. The items focused on specific concepts of which we were trying to build awareness and knowledge.  We asked 2 sets of questions to get at knowledge and awareness.  For knowledge in particular, participants reported a significant increase in their level of comfort in describing the concepts of “inclusive culture” and “micro-inequities” to a colleague. We asked about other concepts, but the results were not statistically significant. We felt that asking about their level of comfort describing a concept to a colleague would capture their perceptions of their level of knowledge about the issue, because they would have to know enough about a concept to describe it to someone else.


    For awareness, we asked about the same DEI concepts, but asked to what extent those concepts informed how they interact with others in their department —we felt that this provided a way to show that people’s awareness of a concept actually had an impact on them.  The concepts of “micro-inequities,” “stereotype threat” and “value of diversity” saw statistically significant positive changes

  • Icon for: Stephanie Farrell

    Stephanie Farrell

    Researcher
    May 17, 2018 | 02:14 p.m.

    Dear Gretal,

    Nice video!!  I originally learned about TECAID from my colleague Rocio Chavela at ASEE, who suggested that your work aligns well with a project that we are working on to increase LGBTQ inclusion in STEM (http://videohall.com/p/1289).  Your video really drew me in, and I am excited to explore the resources that are available online.  Thank you for your important work on creating department culture change - I think we can learn a lot from your experiences and research.  

    I do have a question about your experiences in creating culture change, and please forgive me if the answer is available in the resources on your website (which I have not explored yet).  Do the TECAID change strategies focus on faculty in engineering departments, or do they involve students and other stakeholders as well?  Thanks!

    Stephanie

  • Icon for: Gretal Leibnitz

    Gretal Leibnitz

    Lead Presenter
    May 17, 2018 | 02:33 p.m.

    Stephanie!

    Yeah!  I  hope you saw my post on your site as well.  I think our projects are very complementary.  Thank you so much for your feedback about the video as well :-)

    The TECAID Change strategies focus on a range of projects...they involve students, and sometimes through the student-focused change faculty were indirectly changed; and faculty/staff centric projects.  The best overview of the project descriptions, accomplishments and impacts can be found here: http://www.wepan.org/mpage/TECAID_MEProjects2

    Thanks so much for your question!

    Warmly,

    Gretal

  • Icon for: Pablo Bendiksen

    Pablo Bendiksen

    Facilitator
    May 18, 2018 | 08:50 p.m.

    Gretal,

    Thank you very much for the feedback. I would agree that targeting how concept knowledge informed respondent interactions with others results in items that capture an element of Awareness. I found it insightful that you used items relating to perceived levels of comfort describing a concept to a colleague as indicative of respondents' perceived level of knowledge about that content. I completely agree, but it is important to note that these items may therefore measure persons' knowledge in a relative sense, at best. Thank you for looking into these items for me.

     

  • Further posting is closed as the showcase has ended.