Women’s engineering participation in other countries topic of Common Reading lecture Oct. 11

The Washington State University Common Reading Program hosts “Women’s Engineering Participation in Diverse Cultural Contexts,” a lecture by Julie Kmec and Nehal Abu-Lail on Tues. Oct. 11 at 7:30 p.m. in CUE 203.  The presentation is free and open to the public.

Kmec, professor of sociology, and Abu-Lail, associate professor of chemical engineering and bioengineering, will present preliminary research on a collaborative project that seeks to identify the factors that shape women’s relatively high levels of engineering participation in some predominantly Muslim countries. 

The presenters were recently named as principal investigator and co-principal investigator, respectively, on a two-year, $589,200 grant funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) to investigate the subject.

The speakers will describe what engineering participation by women looks like in Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Malaysia, and Tunisia in contrast to that in the U.S. They will share their theoretical explanation for why participation differs across these contexts and provide a snapshot of features of these predominantly Islamic countries.  They will also discuss their plans to study women in these countries and how that study will be used to assist on-going efforts in the U.S. to attract women in engineering. 

The Common Reading Program began in Pullman in 2007 to help students, their teachers, and the community better engage in academically centered critical thinking, communication, research, and learning around a body of shared information presented in a single, specially selected book.  This year’s book is “I Am Malala” which fits with the 2015-2017 theme of “social justice and leadership.”  

Nominations for the 2017-18 Common Reading book are open through November 1. Nominated books should fit with the program’s new two year theme of “Frontiers of Technology, Health, and Society.”  To nominate a book go to: https://commonreading.wsu.edu/nominations/

A story on Kmec and Abu-Lail’s research is online at https://news.wsu.edu/2016/09/06/learning-muslim-countries-produce-women-engineers/#more-150464

Susan Poch, Common Reading Program co-director, WSU Undergraduate Education, 509-335-6037, poch@wsu.edu

Karen Weathermon, Common Reading Program co-director, WSU Undergraduate Education, 509-335-5488, kweathermon@wsu.edu

Emma Epperly, Communications and Marketing Junior Assistant, WSU Undergraduate Education, 509-335-9458, emmaepperly@wsu.edu