CAREER: SURFACING DEEPLY-HELD BELIEFS ABOUT GENDER -AND RACE- BASED MINORITIZATION IN ENGINEERING
NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION AWARD #1943934. $597,139
AM I SMART ENOUGH TO BE AN ENGINEER? A STUDY OF ENGINEERING STUDENTS' BELIEFS AND IDENTITIES ACROSS INSTITUTIONALIZED EDUCATIONAL PATHWAYS
NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION AWARD #1920421. $574,270
ENGINEERING STUDENTS’ BELIEFS ABOUT DECISION MAKING
NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION AWARD #1738209. $344,572
THE FORMATION OF ENGINEERING STUDENTS' BELIEFS ABOUT INTELLIGENCE
NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION AWARD #1738209. $230,617
The NSF CAREER award is the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) most prestigious award in support of junior faculty who exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through outstanding research, excellent education and the integration of both. Dr. Dringenberg’s project aims to help broaden participation in a field where women and people of color remain systemically excluded. Using a series of in-depth, semi-structured interviews, Dr. Dringenberg will analyze the beliefs that engineering educators hold about why minoritization of women and people of color endures in the field, how they justify their beliefs, and characterize the experiences that they recognize as key to their evolution. Prior work on broadening participation in engineering has primarily focused on understanding underrepresented minority students and their experiences from a deficit perspective. Dr. Dringenberg’s project takes a complementary approach by focusing on engineering faculty, staff and administrators who identify as members of a race or gender-based majority and are viewed as proponents of diversity and inclusion by a member of a minoritized group. The research findings will inform the design and implementation of professional development opportunities targeting other majority-group educators to take responsibility for disrupting the problematic status quo for participation in engineering by surfacing and critically reflecting on their own deeply-held beliefs.
Dr. Dringenberg and fellow OSU Assistant Professor, Dr. Kajfez, are working on an EHR Core Project with the help of GRA Amy Kramer. This project aims to find critical insights to how different pathways into engineering degree programs (e.g., community college, regional campuses, and main campus options) are related to students’ beliefs about intelligence and engineering, as well as students’ personal identities related to being smart and an engineer. The research outcomes of this project have implications for broadening participation in engineering because it has been designed to reveal the possible ways in which these pathways actually serve to promote social inequity as a function of student’s beliefs and identities. Ultimately, this work has implications for policy and practice related to institutionalized educational tracking in STEM programs in higher education.
Dr. Dringenberg is currently working on her Research in the Formation of Engineers (RFE) project with the help of GRA Giselle Guanes. The project aims to investigate what undergraduate engineering students in capstone design courses believe about the different approaches to decision making, and how these beliefs are influenced by the formal decision-making instruction students receive in their capstone design courses. The overall goal of the project’s propagation plan is to shift how engineering curricula influence the development of students’ beliefs about decision-making. We have completed a pilot year of the study and are currently entering the second year of the project with plans to collect qualitative data from ~30 engineering students across multiple engineering majors.
Dr. Dringenberg is working on a Research Initiation in Engineering Formation (RIEF) project with colleagues at Kansas State University (KSU). This project aims to characterize students’ beliefs about the nature of intelligence using Growth Mindset as a theoretical framework. When completed, this project will provide insight into students’ perspectives on engineering education culture and how it impacts the formation of their beliefs about intelligence, which are tied to resilience and a commitment to life-long learning. Additionally, this project has involved collaborations with a local secondary educator to explore similar research questions for high school students.