The Uphill Battle of Broadening Participation

The Uphill Battle of Broadening Participation

Walter Lee, PhD

Department of Engineering Education | Virginia Tech

10:20-11:15 a.m. | Friday, November 15 | Bolz Hall 316

Advancing diversity, inclusion, and equity have been persistent challenges in STEM. Over the last 40 years, hundreds of papers and more than 25 national reports have been published focused on broadening participation. Simultaneously, people throughout the U.S. have been working endlessly to solve this problem. Yet, we have only seen incremental progress, suggesting that there is a need to take a step back and re-examine what has been done in terms of both research and practice. To support this effort, Dr. Lee's research focuses on critically evaluating the research-to-practice cycle as it relates to broadening participation. In this seminar, he will discuss an ongoing project focused on the participation of African Americans in engineering and computer science. The goal of this project is to advance our understanding of the disconnect between research and practice, identify barriers to progress, and set a national agenda for broadening the participation of African Americans in engineering and computer science.

Speaker Bio

Dr. Walter Lee is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Engineering Education and the Assistant Director for Research in the Center for the Enhancement of Engineering Diversity, both at Virginia Tech. His research interests include co-curricular support, student success, and diversity in STEM. Dr. Lee has a BS in Industrial Engineering from Clemson University, an MS in Industrial & Systems Engineering from Virginia Tech, and a PhD in Engineering Education from Virginia Tech. His career vision is to be a driving force in the national efforts to diversify engineering and ensure that institutions provide students with the necessary support to succeed regardless of their background.