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W181·TOPICAL PLENARY: I Know That’s Right: The Importance of Critical Mentorship in Engineering Education
Topical Plenary ASEE Commission on Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (CDEI)
Wed. June 28, 2023 8:00 AM to 9:00 AM
Ballroom 1 & 2 , Baltimore Convention Center
Session Description

This topical plenary provides experiences of researchers, practitioners, and beneficiaries of critical mentorship in engineering education. The conversational-style session will expose attendees to the positive and negative experiences of minoritized individuals in engineering. Engineering is rife with examples of interventions that fail students from minoritized backgrounds. For decades, organizations and institutions have sought to diversify engineering talent at all levels by introducing programs that offer “mentorship,” but fail to design, assess, and/or evaluate the impacts of those programs.

The session will look at critical mentorship as a way to address inequities in a way that is effective and rooted in anti-deficit notions for members of historically marginalized groups — a “nothing about us without us” approach that centers the voice of mentees. It offers a counternarrative to ideologies of knowledge and power, so students can take ownership of their personal and professional development.

This session seeks to ask and answer questions about what mentorship should be in engineering education, especially higher education. It will highlight scholarship in mentorship that is culturally relevant and intersectional, and involves a community-based participatory approach. It will offer effective mentorship strategies for developing a diverse engineering workforce, so access, equity, and inclusion in engineering can increase.

  1. Dr. Jeremy A. Magruder Waisome
    University of Florida

    Dr. Jeremy A. Magruder Waisome earned her bachelor's and master’s of science degrees and Ph.D. in civil engineering from UF. During her studies, she became passionate about issues of equity, access, and inclusion in engineering and computing and worked to develop programs and activities that supported diverse students in these disciplines.

    Today, Dr. Waisome is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Engineering Education where she conducts research on broadening participation in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and computing (STEM+C). She is particularly interested in understanding how formalized mentoring programs impact student trajectories and self-efficacy. In her teaching, she utilizes the learner-centered approach to instruction.

    In 2018, she was appointed to serve as Special Assistant to the UF Dean of the Graduate School in the Division of Graduate Student Affairs under Dean Henry T. Frierson. During her time in this role, she managed the UF Chapter of the Edward A. Bouchet Graduate Honor Society, of which she is a founding member/inductee (2017). She is the recipient of several prestigious awards for her scholarship, leadership, and service, including the National Society of Black Engineer’s Mike Shinn Distinguished Member of the Year Award, and is an inducted member of the UF Hall of Fame (2010).

    She is passionate about science-communication (sci-comm) and participates in several activities to bridge the gap between the general public and the STEM+C disciplines. She has been featured as a moderator and host of sci-comm events for organizations like the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine, and the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT). Along with her colleague, Dr. Kyla McMullen, Dr. Waisome is co-creator and host of the conversational style podcast, Modern Figures Podcast. Through the generous support of iAAMCS, CRA-WP, and NCWIT, Modern Figures Podcast exists to elevate the voices of Black women in computing, to inspire the next generation of the advanced technology workforce.