Differences in Chemical Engineering Student-Faculty Interactions By Student Age and Experience at a Large, Public, Research Iniversity

  • Shannon Ciston 201 Gilman Hall, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720
  • Sanya Sehgal 201 Gilman Hall, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720
  • Tressa Mikel University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720
  • Maria-Isabel Carnasciali University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720
Keywords: adult, nontraditional, interviews, student-faculty interactions

Abstract

Adult undergraduate students aged 25+ in engineering disciplines are an important demographic bringing a wealth of life experience to the classroom. This study uses qualitative data drawn from semi-structured interviews with two groups of undergraduate chemical engineering students at a large, public research university: adult students with engineeringrelated work experience, and traditional-age students without engineering-related work experience, to compare student-faculty interactions. We find differences between these groups relating to intimidation and embarrassment, and question-asking behaviors.

Author Biographies

Shannon Ciston, 201 Gilman Hall, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720

Shannon Ciston holds degrees in chemical engineering from Northwestern University (PhD, 2019) and Illinois Institute of Technology (BS, 2004). She is a lecturer and Director of Undergraduate Education in the Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Department at the University of California, Berkeley. She does research in engineering education with a focus on broadening participation in STEM, and teaches courses in technical communications, pedagogy, and unit operations laboratory.

Sanya Sehgal, 201 Gilman Hall, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720

Sanya Sehgal is currently a student at University of California, Berkeley studying Chemical Engineering. During her time at UC Berkeley she did research on engineering education under Dr. Ciston, and in bioengineering at the Joint BioEnergy Institute. Sanya is a member of Alpha Chi Sigma, the professional chemistry fraternity on campus, as well as a vice president for UC Berkeley’s ChemE Car Competition Team and president of the National Champion UC Berkeley ChemE Jeopardy Team.

Tressa Mikel, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720

Tressa Mikel completed a BS in chemical engineering from the University of California, Berkeley, in 2017. She is currently applying her degree as a global management trainee at Anheuser-Busch InBev.

Maria-Isabel Carnasciali, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720

Maria-Isabel Carnasciali has degrees in mechanical engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology (PhD 2008), and Massachusetts Institutute of Technology (2000). She is an Associate Professor in the Mechanical & Industrial Engineering Department at the University of New Haven. She directs a dual research program including engineering education and computational fluid dynamics modeling. She teaches broadly in mechanical and systems engineering, as well as engineering fundamentals.

Published
2018-03-28
Section
Manuscripts