Breakout Session

REDCON Breakout Session I (Tuesday, July 10 — 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM)

Measurement for Inclusion, Equity, and Diversity: Intersectional Methods & Considerations (Madison)

Facilitators: Tonya Frevert (UNC Charlotte), Sarah Rodriguez, Erin Doran, Rachel Friedensen, and Diane Rover (Iowa State University)

One aspect of inclusion, equity, and diversity initiatives that is often overlooked is measurement. Despite the laudatory passage of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 outlawing employment discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, national origin, and religion, the law was not designed to recognize that individuals occupy multiple demographic identities simultaneously. In the ensuing decades after Title VII, this lack of recognition was subsequently reflected in organizational practice, such that inclusion, equity, and diversity initiatives typically treat racism and sexism as separate prongs of inequality. This separation also begat norms of measurement in social science research, educational assessment and evaluation, and diversity and inclusion practice that yielded commonplace categorical definitions among demographic identities (i.e. race, gender, social class) that are highly balkanized into separate areas of analysis (i.e., race is studied alone, gender is studied alone). The current debate over adding a citizenship question to the 2020 US census demonstrates not only how much categorical definitions influence life experiences and outcomes, but how much weight the practice of asking such questions carries in the first place.

In this session, we will first discuss the complexities of measuring demographic, categorical identities. We will then discuss the theoretical concept of intersectionality and its utility for better understanding our simultaneous identities and how and when those simultaneous identities carry advantages and disadvantages. Next, we will contrast micro and macro intersectional methods by showcasing Iowa State’s qualitative approach to studying identity development at the student level with UNC Charlotte’s quantitative approach to studying socially-constructed identity categories at the organizational level. Lastly, we will engage the attendees in small group activities that examine their respective projects through an intersectional lens and learn how they can incorporate intersectional methods in their projects and practice.

Stories of Transformation (Jefferson)

Facilitators: Kerice Doten-Snitker, Elizabeth Litzler, and Cara Margherio (University of Washington)

RED projects are designed to revolutionize undergraduate education. These projects are also transformative experiences for the faculty, staff, and students, that champion them. The RED projects create unique opportunities to cultivate professional skills within interdisciplinary and cross-profession teams. Reflecting on the individual experiences of team members is likely an afterthought, but it is a key part of the change process. Developing personal and professional narratives about these experiences will help team members convey their individual contributions to the RED projects and how the change experience impacted them. Individually, the reflection process can help team members identify personal or professional trajectories to help them in setting personal and career goals. Within teams, sharing personal narratives builds shared vision about the costs and rewards of participation and develops a culture of celebrating team members’ contributions. More broadly, these narratives are useful for professional reporting (e.g. tenure and annual reviews), for soliciting future support (e.g. grant applications), and for coalition-building with potential partners. This workshop involves guided written reflections and discussions. Ideally, participants attend with at least one other member of their RED team, though the group activities can be completed in cross-team groups.

How to Manage a Revolution: An Interactive Presentation(Washington)

Facilitators: Tony Maciejewski, Zinta Byrne, Tom Chen, Laura Sample McMeeking, Melissa Reese, Branislav Notaros, Ali Pezeshki, Andrea Leland, and Tom Siller (Colorado State University)

It has been said that great things never came from comfort zones. Our team in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) at Colorado State University is embracing a bold new mindset that is changing the way students perceive and learn engineering, and we want to share our story at the Annual RED PI meeting. As one of the universities selected for the inaugural RED cohort in 2015, we have abandoned the course-centric approach to teaching and learning to create a new generation of diverse, well-rounded engineers. Our presentation will offer details on how we are managing the revolution, and how our model can work for others.

Collaboration is the key to thinking outside the courses. When faculty teach ECE topics in “silos,” or disparate courses, students feel like they are learning material in a vacuum, and they struggle to see how their knowledge will help them engineer a better world. Our new organizational structure empowers faculty to work in multifaceted teams to show students the connections between fundamental ECE concepts and how that knowledge drives innovation. From redefining faculty roles to meticulous project management, our presentation will outline the key factors that enabled collaboration and inspired a shift in the department mindset. In addition to discussing lessons learned as a result of breaking down the course silos, we will highlight the importance of identifying the right people to spearhead the project, as well as the tactics and incentives we used to gain buy-in. Importantly, we will share the framework that guided our project, along with the essential questions that allowed us to develop an effective implementation plan. We will also discuss the importance of forging internal and external partnerships to enhance professional formation and hook students with the excitement of engineering.

Strategies for Expanding RED Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives Institution-wide (Washington)

Facilitators: Beena Sukumaran, Tiago Forin, Stephanie Farrell, Stephanie Lezotte (Rowan University)

Rowan University’s Revolutionizing Engineering Diversity (RevED) grant is completing its second year. This interactive workshop focuses on how RED departments can obtain support from within and outside their campuses to ensure the longevity and success of the project. The Rowan example will guide some of the discussion. Some of the strategies include utilization of modern technologies such as social media and a daily updated website but also traditional methods such as workshops and face-to-face meetings and conversations. We will discuss strategies to engage with the Dean, Vice President for Research, Vice President for Advancement, Provost and President as well as other entities on campus such as the Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning and student support services that can be a strong advocate and supporter of the effort. Due to the enhanced visibility resulting from some of the engagement, the grant has been able to obtain additional resources from the institution to expand the initiatives campus wide. The interactive presentation will focus on some of the strategies employed that could be transferable to other institutions including utilization of a competitive seed funding program and a certificate program for inclusive pedagogy and curriculum reform. In addition, strategies to encourage new faculty will be discussed including changing the departmental expectations for teaching and research.

MACH Session: Bringing Others Along through Influence and Motivation (Potomac A)

Facilitator: Ella Ingram (Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology & Making Academic Change Happen)

Even when people agree with your vision, they can be reluctant to participate or contribute in the ways that you want. This session focuses on finding simple, effective, and ethical ways to encourage people to bring their best work to your joint project. We’ll take lessons from marketing and psychology to develop simple behaviors and language changes that can have a dramatic effect on bringing others along. These behaviors and changes, if accomplished, will affect the diverse work of project teams, from acquiring needed resources to garnering a faculty’s best thinking to getting work done. This session will be especially interesting to those among us who think we’re immune to influence strategies or motivational tugs.


REDCON Breakout Session II (Tuesday, July 10 — 2:30 PM – 4:00 PM)

Wrong Theory: A Design Thinking Protocol for Getting Unstuck (Madison)

Facilitators: Vanessa Svihla (University of New Mexico) and Nadia Kellam (Arizona State University)

The purpose of this workshop is to guide RED team members to get unstuck. Our first ideas are seldom our best ideas. Many turn to brainstorming/ideation techniques, yet struggle to come up with ideas that help them make progress. This is because fixation can make it challenging to have insight that is genuinely new. The wrong theory protocol engages participants in first coming up with terrible ideas, prior to productive ideation. In this workshop, you will learn to use the wrong theory protocol to uncover new insight. The workshop will begin with “bad design” introductions and a brief wrong theory starter activity to introduce participants to the process. Then participants will define a problem related to their RED project, considering the stakeholders, needs, constraints, and other requirements. Likely problems include those commonly faced by RED teams, such as insufficient student buy-in, challenges engaging a few faculty members, contradictory points of view about student potential, and simply getting stuck when trying to envision more relevant learning experiences.

Participants will then be tasked with coming up with terrible—not just lazy—designs. Terrible designs are worse than having no design solution at all. They harm and humiliate. While design thinking tools tell us to use empathy in solving problems, people struggle to do this well. Wrong theory design tricks us into empathic thinking. Wrong theory design also helps us understand the problem in new ways and get past our concerns about having “good” or “right” ideas. Participants will then generate new and better ideas, evaluate these against the requirements they identified, and develop strategies for implementation. Participants will be given the wrong theory protocol toolkit so they can bring this technique home to use as new problems arise.

Integrating Diversity and Inclusion in Engineering (Jefferson)

Facilitators: Kelly J. Cross (University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign) and Elizabeth Litzler (University of Washington)

This interactive workshop will introduce the Pedagogical and Research-based Integration of Diversity into Engineering “PRIDE” model and demonstrate the process with the UIUC RED team as an example. The PRIDE model is a conceptual model under development by Researcher Kelly J. Cross. The PRIDE model is based on multiple and intersecting identities and relates three components: students’ identity, instructor identity, and instructor-student interactions. The Diversity in STEM beliefs survey will be a pre-workshop activity for all attendees. The workshop will begin with a summary of the beliefs survey results. Next, working definitions of diversity, inclusion, identity, intersectionality, bias, and micro-aggressions are provided. Inclusive teaching practices will be discussed during the workshop followed by a team activity to discuss ways to integrate concepts of diversity and inclusion in RED projects. Also, the team activity will include the completion of a workbook that addresses teacher reflection on topics including privilege, Critical Race Theory (CRT), and the hidden curriculum. The workshop will conclude with report outs from each team, a few summarizing thoughts, and an evaluation form to assess the usefulness of the workshop.

Revolutionizing Engineering and Computer Science Education through Curriculum Change: A Look at Purpose, Possibilities and Pitfalls (Washington)

Presentations from: University of Texas at El Paso, University of New Mexico, North Carolina A&T State University, The Ohio State University, Virginia Tech, Boise State University, Rowan University, Iowa State University, and Clemson University

Coordinator: Christina Convertino (University of Texas at El Paso)

This session focuses on the role that different approaches to curriculum change play in the process of revolutionizing engineering (EED) and computer science education (CSE). In this session, each participating team will do a PechaKucha presentation on a topic related to their curriculum change effort that holds broader significance to revolutionizing EED and CSE. Presentations will appeal to a cross-disciplinary audience, with emphasis on overall philosophy, the application, barriers, and/or outcomes. Specifically, presentations of topics will connect features of local curriculum change with wider efforts to radically alter and transform EED and CSE by addressing: a) features or aspects of local change that address wider issues in EED and CSE, b) barriers or limitations to change found in local efforts, and c) ways in which local change might be scaled. A guided discussion around the potential and limitations to revolutionizing EED and CSE through curriculum change, with particular emphasis on issues related to inclusion and scalability will follow the PechaKucha presentations. A primary purpose of the discussion will be for participants to collaboratively grapple with: a) how local barriers might actually represent wider-systemic barriers in the context of EED and CSE, and thus, what tools (knowledge, relationships, resources, pressure points, etc.) are collectively available to disrupt wider, systemic barriers to curriculum change, and b) how to leverage local efforts to influence wide-scale cultural and structural change to EED and CSE.

Storytelling as a Way to Engage in Additive Innovation and Inspire Ourselves and Others (Potomac A)

Facilitators: Nadia Kellam, Micah Lande, Ann McKenna, Jennifer Bekki, Hadi Ali, and Rohini Abhyankar (Arizona State University)

This workshop provides a structure to share success stories and lessons learned in our larger efforts to revolutionize our engineering and computer science departments. We will be guided by the concept of additive innovation, where inspiration leads to sharing, iteration and sharing again, a foundation of ASU’s RED project. During this workshop, each participant will develop, tell, and practice retelling a story that illustrates aspects of their project’s revolution with the ultimate aim being to inspire others. Campbell’s monomyth will be introduced as a way of structuring stories, with sections such as the call to adventure, the first threshold, road of trials, meeting with the all-knower, apotheosis (where the participant reaches a new stage of understanding), and the ultimate boon. In small groups, participants will share their stories and then nominate one person per table to share their story with the larger group. During the storytelling, attendees will be encouraged to note any inspirational ideas that they get from other’s stories. Attendees will record at least one idea that they borrowed from someone else at the session and think about ways to adapt it to their particular context for their RED project. Attendees will commit to plans for adopting this new idea in their RED project and sharing that idea with others in the future.


REDCON Breakout Session III (Wednesday, July 11 — 10:30 AM – 12:00 PM)

Power Dynamics and Roles on RED Teams: Promoting Cultures of Inclusivity (Madison)

Facilitators: Nadia Kellam (Arizona State University), Vanessa Svihla (University of New Mexico) and Susannah Davis (Oregon State University)

The purpose of this workshop is to consider how power dynamics can stifle or empower individual team members to be change agents in their RED projects. Power differentials can manifest from differences in university roles (e.g., chair, assistant professor, associate professor, graduate student), gender, race, disciplinary affiliation, and other characteristics (e.g., sexual orientation, socioeconomic status). To consider the power dynamics in our RED teams and the possible impacts on our change initiatives, we will engage in a fishbowl role-play of a scenario: The department chair/PI of the RED project at New University has left for another institution and a new chair has just been hired and will occupy the role of PI. Each volunteer role-player (PI, social scientist, engineering education researcher, project manager, post-doc, disciplinary faculty) will be given a detailed description of their role (including gender, race, disciplinary affiliation, and other characteristics). The PI will facilitate a team meeting where they quickly discover the RED project is not going well. The PI will attempt to get the team back on track so that they can meet their year three objectives.

At the end of the role-play, we will debrief the activity and discuss different forms of power differentials that were present in the meeting. Each participant will individually reflect on their own role on their RED team and power dynamics that are present within their team. They will be challenged to think beyond the assigned roles and reflect on their unique role, how they acquired that role, how they affect others on the team, how others affect them, and ways they could take risks and try out new roles on their team to help encourage more productive, positive, and inclusive interactions. We will conclude the workshop with a discussion of roles and power dynamics in teams.

MACH Session: Building Your Project’s Professional Network: Increasing Your National Footprint (Jefferson)

Facilitators: Eva Andrijcic and Sriram Mohan (Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology and Making Academic Change Happen)

Sustaining change initiatives requires evangelizing your ideas within institutional, national and international boundaries. It requires the development of a footprint that extends beyond the members of your change team. In this interactive session, we will help you identify resources, change leaders and other stakeholders whose expertise and support will be needed to realize your vision. We will help you gauge their level of support and identify strategies that can be used to manage these relationships intentionally, based on their level of influence and support for your change project. To meet these objectives, you will:

  • Work on building a Relationship Map in which you will identify various stakeholders, both disciplinary experts as well as higher education influencers, who may be important in helping you build the broader footprint of your project.
  • Apply different inquiry techniques to better gauge the level of support that stakeholders might have for your project.

At the end of the session, you will have a clearer sense of which stakeholders merit the most attention and management, and which communication management strategies might be appropriate to use with them.

Theater of the Oppressed and Other Social Justice Stimuli for Organizational Transformations (Washington)

Facilitators: Sarah Provencal (Winthrop University), Celine Latulipe, Mary Lou Maher, Audrey Rorrer, Bojan Cukic, Larry Mays, Steven Rogelberg, and Tonya Frevert (UNC Charlotte)

As the Connected Learner at UNC Charlotte finishes its third year, we mark a significant next step in our transformational change process. For the past three years, we have channeled our energies into student learning through the development and embrace of active learning in computing education. We actualized this primarily by summer teaching institutes for faculty transformation and by physical classroom transformation. These transformational activities were crucial in creating a new organizational context in which we are now able to strategically incorporate inclusion, equity, and diversity into our engaged pedagogical practices to systemically broaden participation in computing. Competitive forces in computing push back against inclusion, equity, and diversity efforts such that the hegemonic status quo is systemically maintained. By embracing a model of transgressive, engaged pedagogy (see hooks, Teaching to Transgress, 1994) beyond curricular change, we shifted the cultural context in our college such that a large enough proportion of our faculty, staff, and students have opportunities for dialogue and development about inclusion, equity, and diversity. These transformational activities have positioned us for the next stage of organizational change, which is the creation of a new coalition of change agents who are motivated by a unified cause of social justice, rather than mere organizational membership and identity. The Connected Learner project proposes a solo team session to demonstrate the inclusion, equity, and diversity techniques we will be implementing later this year.

This interactive session will be comprised of four components: 1) an overview of our organizational change process; 2) a participatory demonstration of our improv theater technique that heightens student awareness and understanding about inclusion, equity, and diversity (see Boal, Theater of the Oppressed, 1974); 3) an intersectionality exercise that heightens faculty awareness and understanding about inclusion, equity, and diversity; and 4) a group discussion for collective sense-making and reflection.

Figured Worlds: A Framework to Examine Student Engagement in Curricular Activity (Potomac A)

Facilitators: Milo Koretsky (Oregon State University) and Susan Bobbitt Nolen (University of Washington)

This interactive workshop will provide tools for RED leads to work with faculty at their institution to examine the ways students are engaging in curricular change. The workshop will present student engagement in terms of overlapping “figured worlds” – the social systems of meanings, values, identities, and positions that participants take on as they work. We will discuss classroom activities designed to prompt students to step into the world of engineering practice, where they use engineering principles and practices to make progress on a meaningful task. However, such activities also reside in “school world” where tasks have an exchange value: successfully completed work exchanged for a desired grade. Although the two worlds co-exist for student engineers, the skills and approaches that lead to success in each world are often not the same. Participants will learn (1) how these different figured worlds are invoked, (2) their consequences for student engagement, and (3) how to create activities where students better see the connection between the work they do in class to what they will do in their professional careers.

In the workshop, participants will work in small groups to analyze video of engineering student teams engaged in classroom activity representing “school world” and “engineering world” approaches. Participants will identify patterns of activity (physical arrangements, use of tools and talk, participation patterns) and how they are using knowledge and concepts to engage the task using specific engineering and school practices. Participants will also learn to analyze features of tasks and task materials for how they induce engineering or school-world engagement. This workshop will use materials from a 2.5-hour workshop delivered at ASEE Chemical Engineering Summer School ( and a 1-week workshop for OSU engineering faculty. Those workshop materials will be made available for workshop participants to bring back to their home institutions.