My Interest in ASCN: Rachel McCord

University of Tennessee
Engineering Fundamentals Program
Lecturer/Research Assistant Professor

Prior Organizational Change Work

I have been involved in two primary organizational change areas thus far. First, I participated in the development of a Revolutionizing Engineering Departments grant proposal in 2014. This team brought together two departments at our university and began a discussion about key issues such as tenure and promotion and educational innovation implementation support as barriers to adopting new educational practices. Though the proposal was not funded, many of the conversations that we brought up through that process are on-going. I am also a member of a team developing the Rising Engineering Education Faculty Experience (REEFE) program. This program offers 'intern' like opportunities for graduate students in engineering education. The REEFE participants spend a semester at a university that is interested in learning more about how engineering education research can be helpful in their contexts. The focus of REEFE is on developing graduate students in engineering education into academic change agents when they enter an academic position.

How ASCN Can Contribute to my Work

I'm excited to be a part of the ASCN network for two reasons. First, I exist in a small program at UTK. I believe that being a part of the ASCN network with provide a strong collaborative community for outside of the small network that I have in my own program at UTK. Second, I believe that the network can help the further development of the REEFE program by providing guidance and connections as we work to develop a consortium model to match graduate students to interested institutions that desire to learning more about engineering education research.

How I Can Contribute to ASCN

I believe I have several things to contribute to ASCN. First, our existing REEFE program is focused on developing change agents. I believe that REEFE's focus on graduate student development brings a different perspective to developing change agents and I hope that this effort helps expands the goals of the ASCN network. Second, as a newer faculty member, I believe I bring a different perspective to ASCN than faculty who are more experienced in academia. I am still learning about policies, procedures, and cultures and thus am not shy to ask "Why?" a lot!