TECAID Workshops

TECAID workshops provided participants with key tools, intra-team time, and intensive cross-team learning experiences. Gathering in person also provided participants an opportunity to discuss and suggest modifications for the ongoing Virtual Learning Community (VLC) process.

Workshop 1: Awareness-building for Mechanical Engineering departments–theory, research, and experience.

This workshop provided participants with conceptual tools to explore, analyze, and begin planning a departmental change project.

Themes included:

  • How diversity and inclusion make people and groups smarter (the educational value of inclusion and diversity)
  • The relevance of social identity
  • Stereotypes and biases
  • Change strategies
  • Leadership models
Workshop 2: Hands-on prioritizing of change goals and change-planning for ME departments.

This workshop aimed to help participants understand the nature, theory, and practice of change--especially in academic environments; identify and develop the skills that support change; differentiate symptoms from problems; and hone in on effective change skills.

Topics included:

  • Assessing the conditions for making change (resources and barriers)
  • Changing the balance of forces to make change possible
  • Potential risks in working on diversity issues
  • Learning from and responding to resistance
  • Productive perspectives on conflict
  • Change team dynamics (identity, leadership, issues of rank, differences in key values, project definition)
Workshop 3: Strategies and tactics for testing and implementing change.

The focus of this workshop was to help participants understand themselves as emerging subject matter experts: where they are (vis-a-vis the past many months together); how they got there; what’s changing and how it’s changing; how they help others; how they take action; and more.

Topics included:

  • Defining expertise
  • Personal resources, behaviors, and change
  • Giving and receiving feedback
  • Difficult conversation skills
  • Facilitation skills
  • Building awareness re: the impact of departmental positions and roles
Workshop 4: Intentional transition for future leadership

The final workshop positioned participants to transition from the formal TECAID structure to self-initiated, collaborative, diversity and inclusion leadership work as both individuals and teams.

Topics included:

  • Formal ME department team project presentations
  • When going public: Advice
  • Sustaining the project work
  • Individual focus and passion
  • Working with allies

TECAID Strategy

[TECAID] was a great way to learn about structured mechanisms to address challenges in increasing diversity and inclusion. Learn more about research in diversity and inclusion. Learn how to analyze ideas for increasing diversity and inclusion and examine the pros and cons of implementing them in particular environments. Learning to have difficult diversity and inclusion conversations, learning to engage allies, existing campus resources, and take advantage of opportunities to make progress.

[TECAID] inspired our team to make a concrete plan for how we were going to address our challenges and build on what was already happening on campus.”

- TECAID Participant