ASEE Women in Engineering

About the Award: Denice Dee Denton (27 August 1959 – 24 June 2006) was a professor of electrical engineering and an academic administrator. She held academic appointments at both the University of Massachusetts and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zürich. In 1996, Denice became the first woman engineering dean at a major research institution with her appointment to lead the College of Engineering at the University of Washington. In 2003 at the age of 45, Denice D. Denton became the youngest person to be appointed chancellor in the University of California system at UC-Santa Cruz.

Women engineering faculty will forever remember Denice for what she achieved as she paved the way for acceptance of women as engineering academic leaders.

Our Best Paper authors receive a cash award and the paper was in contention for the 2014 ASEE National Conference Best Paper Award.

Denice D. Denton Best Paper Award Winners for 2014!

Title: How Students' Information Experiences Shape their Views of Engineering and Affect their Plans for Professional Persistence.

Authors: Kerry Meyers, Leo H. McWilliams, & Catherine F. Pieronek

Paper Summary: It is believed that increased student engagement leads to higher persistence.  In their paper, Meyers, McWilliams & Pieronek, originally focused on one measure of student engagement – student involvement in organizations within engineering, on campus, and in the community.  This later evolved into a study of the effect of a broader range of informal experiences on student perceptions of engineering and their plans for professional persistence. Their findings showed that Women and men, and white and nonwhite respondents, reported similar experiences in terms of when/if they considered leaving engineering and the sources of encouragement and discouragement for persisting in engineering. Students who indicated an intrinsic interest in engineering were less likely to indicate that they had ever considered leaving engineering. The experiences of male, female, white and non-white engineering students are collectively more similar than different. But the individual experiences and extracurricular involvements contribute to an engineering student’s development and are shaped by the culture of the academic institution.

Biosketch of the Authors:

Dr. Kerry L. Meyers, is the Director of the First-Year Engineering Program at Youngstown State University, Ohio.  She has a bachelors degree in mechanical engineering from Purdue, a master degree in mechanical engineering from Oakland University in Michigan, and a Ph.D. in engineering education from Purdue, Kerry earned her Ph.D.  She has several years of automotive industry design experience, but has since shifted her focus to engineering education, specifically working with first year engineering students.

Dr. Leo H. McWilliams is the Assistant Dean for Undergraduate Programs and Director of the Minority Engineering Program at University of Notre Dame. Dr. McWilliams holds four degrees from Notre Dame: bachelor’s degrees in economics and electrical engineering; and master’s and doctoral degrees in electrical engineering.  In his current position, Dr. McWilliams overseas activities aimed at recruitment, retention and engagement of students.  Leadership skills also are cultivated throughout the Minority Engineering Program via lectures, workshops, student competitions, scholarships, internships and career placement activities.

Catherine F. Pieronek is the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Director of Women’s Engineering Program.  She has a bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering from Notre Dame, a master’s degree in aerospace engineering from the University of California at Los Angeles in 1987 and a law degree from Notre Dame.  In her current position she is is responsible for academic issues relevant to all undergraduate students throughout the college. She also has oversight for the college’s Minority Engineering Program and interfaces with offices across the University, including the Offices of Admissions, Financial Aid, Student Affairs, Student Activities and the Registrar.

To learn about 2013 winners, click here.

Last Modified: 06/15/15 | More Info Contact