Who’s Not At The Table? WNATT Event
With support from the National Science Foundation, we held a 1 ½ day working conference in the fall of 2016 that “brought to the table” scholars, practitioners, policy makers, and other thought leaders from diverse fields along with members of these underserved groups to frame new research possibilities regarding engineering participation by persons with disabilities; veterans; low income/first-generation persons (LIFG); and persons of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer (LGBTQ+) identity.
Who’s Not at the Table?: Building Research Capacity for Underserved Communities in Engineering conference attracted 70 educators, education researchers, and policy makers from around the country to Clemson University.
The resulting dialogue represented a groundbreaking opportunity for participants to contribute to creating a national agenda for research for broadening participation by persons self-identifying as those with disabilities; veterans; low income/first-generation persons (LIFG); and persons of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer (LGBTQ+) identity. While not excluding inquiry into matters of race, ethnicity and gender, we hoped to bring these severely understudied experiences among students, faculty, and employees in engineering fields into clearer and more sustained focus.
The conference itself was organized around five threads: theories, research methods, research questions, educational practices and experience, and knowledge needed to inform practice. A panel discussion, breakout sessions, structured and unstructured time for reflection, small group exercises, a poster session, and meals centered around discussions of these five questions. Hundreds of sticky notes containing participants’ ideas on these threads were generated over the course of the day and a half.
WNATT Products Available & Currently Underway
The project has several products to date, with more planned.
We intentionally made intersectionality and inclusivity a focus of every aspect of planning the conference. To ensure the conference experience was as inclusive as possible, we set forth a set of ground rules at the beginning of the WNATT event. A PDF of the WNATT ground rules and norms is available for download here: WNATT_conference_ground_rules
A national webinar on leading inclusive events was hosted by the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) Minorities in Engineering Division (MIND) and powered by Women in Engineering ProActive Network (WEPAN). A recording of the webinar can be found here: www.wepan.org/page/aseemindhie
A PDF of the conference proceedings is available for download here: WNATT_conference_proceedings
Our team developed a paper to share the details of all of the rich conversations that took place during the WNATT event. This document includes a brief overview of all of the conference threads (also located below) as well as a detailed discussion of each individual thread. The PDF detailing the findings from conference discussions of the 5 threads is available for download here: WNATT_Framing intersectional research
A PDF of the one page summary of discussions of the 5 threads is available for download here: WNATT_threads_1page_summary
One goal of the event was to help make resources and research on inclusion more easily discovered and shared. WNATT participants shared their own research articles and the works of others by contributing entries into a bibliography of articles and books related to these communities or inclusive work. A PDF of the participant-generated bibliography is available here: WNATT_bibliography