Who's Not at the Table Conference

To read the agenda, presentation summaries, and discussions from this conference, access the Who's Not at the Table Conference Proceedings.

This NSF-sponsored working conference brought together experts from around the country to develop a national research agenda for broadening engineering participation by persons self-identifying as

  • having disabilities
  • veterans
  • low income/first-generation persons
  • persons of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer (LGBTQ) identity

Clemson University, Drexel University, and University of Washington hosted a 1.5 day conference at Clemson University on October 30 - November 1, 2016 to “bring to the table” leading researchers, scholars, and practitioners to take part in this groundbreaking NSF-sponsored dialogue about broadening participation in engineering (NSF grant #1551605).

Participants included individuals from multiple sectors and disciplines who have already undertaken this kind of work in engineering education, as well as those bringing innovative ideas to this kind of research from other areas of STEM and those from the broader field of diversity in education, or from fields that study difference as a cultural and political construct. Participants came from the following areas:

  • STEM diversity
  • Higher education
  • Science and Technology Studies, Engineering Studies
  • LGBTQ, Disabilities, Veteran and LIFG research beyond education
  • Diversity and related university service units
  • Other related fields

Questions to be addressed at the conference included

  • Are there particular scholars, policy makers or administrators that should optimally be gathered at this workshop?
  • What outcomes and assessment techniques are optimal for this project?
  • What is currently being asked by those who study these underserved communities? What is not yet being asked and why?
  • How may our own institutional and disciplinary positions be shaping or limiting work our approach to this project?
  • How do current epistemological assumptions limit what is considered valid knowledge regarding the teaching of engineering?
  • How do current methods function to erase some identities altogether in analysis of underrepresentation?
  • In what ways does evidence-based practice neglect underrepresented and underserved groups?
  • How do current methodological decisions (e.g., research questions and research designs) reproduce marginalization of underrepresented and underserved students?
  • What critical questions could potentially increase the impacts of educational research?
  • How do ascriptions of identity categories promote a monolithic “normal” experience in engineering education?
  • What roles do funding institutions play in the prioritization or counting of “category membership”?
  • What theories and methodologies can promote intersectional research in engineering education?
  • What are institutional, cultural or political impediments to research or funding changes?