The ASEE Best Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Paper Award strives to enhance the visibility and sustainment of actions in support of diversity and engineering and engineering technology. Engineering, engineering technology, and diversity are at the core of the innovation that can empower society in unprecedented ways to address Grand Challenges facing the US and the world. ASEE believes that diversity and inclusiveness are essential to enriching educational experiences and driving the development of creative solutions to address the world’s challenges. We learn from experiences, beliefs, and perspectives that are different from our own. Demographic, intellectual, and social diversity fuels innovation and the development of imaginative and enduring solutions to global problems. (The ASEE Statement on Diversity and Inclusiveness is available here: http://diversity.asee.org/about)
In order for the engineering and engineering technology disciplines to reach full potential, however, the engineering education community and the engineering profession must better include all segments of our society. In particular, engineering and engineering technology must actively engage and promote the pursuit of engineering education and engineering careers for individuals who have been historically under-represented within engineering. The ASEE Best Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Paper Award Committee seeks to identify highly impactful efforts by ASEE authors that broaden participation in engineering and influence the inclusive, diverse future of engineering.
The ASEE Best Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Paper Award was approved and first implemented in 2015 as part of the Year of Action on Diversity as the “ASEE Best Diversity Paper Award.” In the inaugural year, monetary awards were made possible by a generous donation from the Mechanical Engineering Division. In subsequent years, the award has been funded in the same manner as other ASEE Best Paper awards. Please note: The Best Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Paper is a completely separate process from the Best Paper selection process run by the PIC chairs at the Annual Conference. A division/section/zone may identify two separate papers for these entirely independent best paper competitions.
Papers addressing a wide range of diversity dimensions in engineering, engineering technology, and engineering education are eligible for nomination including (but not limited to): age, belief system, disability status, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, race, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, and any other visible or non-visible differences. Attention to inclusion and equity issues as related to these and other diversity dimensions are welcome.
A great DEI paper should center on an intentional effort to make progress towards inclusivity and equity for more diverse engineering education and profession. This one-page guide provides guidance on what to look for in a great diversity, equity, and inclusion paper. The guide illustrates how a great paper builds on existing theories and literature and centers on efforts for increased diversity and inclusivity while acknowledging difficulties and barriers. A good paper may stop short of fully investigating solutions to existing problems or may not positive outcomes without intentionally proposing or researching them.
Papers submitted to the ASEE Annual Conference and ASEE Section/Zone Conferences may be nominated for the ASEE Best Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Paper Award. Details for each are outlined below. For both mechanisms, program chairs and section/zone leadership are asked to submit their paper nominations to the ASEE Committee on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion via the methods and links in the annual Call for Nominations. All manuscripts nominated for best diversity, equity, and inclusion paper will be flagged in the final program.
Mechanism #1: Papers from the ASEE Annual Conference
Individual reviewers from every ASEE Division are asked to identify papers they review for the Best Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Paper Competition. Outstanding manuscripts that address any aspect of Diversity (see statement) may be nominated via the pull-down menu in the review window. This is encouraged at the draft stage but will remain available at the final paper stage. The reviewers are asked to justify the basis for their nomination in their comments to the chair.
Program chairs will compile the nominations for their division; each division has the latitude to select the best nomination from the division and forward to the ASEE Committee on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Nominations by Program Chairs should include: (a) division name, (b) paper title, (c) author(s), (d) corresponding author email address, (e) electronic copy of the paper, and (f) 2-3 sentence summary of the paper and how it is diversity centric or highlights diversity.
Mechanism #2: Papers from any Section/Zone Conference
Papers published within any section/zone conference proceedings between May 1 to April 30 for the year prior to the conference may be nominated. Section/Zones have the latitude to develop/use any evaluation procedure to identify suitable papers and to select the best nomination from the section/zone. A section/zone may nominate 2 manuscripts for consideration by the ASEE Committee on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion selection committee provided the manuscripts address different, but critically important, diversity-related topics. Nominations by Section/Zone Conference Chairs should include: (a) section/zone name, (b) conference date, (c) paper title, (d) author(s), (e) corresponding author email address, (f) electronic copy of the paper, and (g) 2-3 sentence summary of the paper and how it is diversity centric or highlights diversity.
Annual Award Selection Process
Every year, the ASEE Commission for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Awards Committee will recruit a Best Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Paper Award Selection Committee to review all nominated papers. The selection committee will complete a two-tiered review. First, the Selection Committee will identify those papers with a diversity-centric theme. Papers that have simply reported responses of an underrepresented group separately are not considered to have a diversity-centric theme (please review the guide for great diversity, equity, and inclusion papers.) The second review will be against the ASEE Best Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Paper rubric to assess novelty and scholarship attributes of the manuscript. The rubric helps readers evaluate papers’ novelty of approaches/ideas/interventions, extent of inclusivity, demonstrated impact, and communication effectiveness.
The authors of the top 5-7 papers will receive notifications in mid-May. These finalist authors will be invited to present their papers in a special session at the ASEE Annual Conference. This special session will also recognize the best diversity, equity, and inclusion papers nominated from across all ASEE Divisions and Zones. The selection committee will attend the special session and use the criteria above to determine the Best Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Paper award winner based on the manuscript and audience impact of presentation. Award winners will present their novel approaches/ideas/interventions, extent of inclusivity, demonstrated impact, and effective communication in their presentation quality. The winner will be forwarded to ASEE and the top award will be announced later in the conference. Finally, the winning paper will be presented again alongside the PIC best papers at the subsequent ASEE Annual Conference.