Seminar Series | Reflections of One Department Chair’s Journey in Engineering

All dates for this event occur in the past.

Bolz Hall Room 128
United States


In this seminar, we use intersectionality to explore how racism and sexism rendered one Black woman leader vulnerable in her engineering organization, despite her position of administrative authority (i.e., positionality). Considering the utility of intersectionality as a conceptual tool for complex social phenomena, we follow the tradition of Crenshaw (1991) and Johnson (2021) to frame counter-narratives (Solórzano and Yosso, 2002), a form of storytelling and a component of critical race methodology, that foregrounds the experiences of people of color. We also employed a counter-narrative structure because it centers the narrative of a Black woman as legitimate. We posit this type of storytelling is necessary since Black women are the least likely to feel valued, respected, and fairly treated in the workplace (Lloyd, 2021).

This work is guided by two questions: (1) What are the important moments/pertinent aspects of one Black woman’s trajectory through the academy? and (2) how does reflection on these formative events shape our understanding of the existing challenges and possible opportunities for reform?\

This work in its entirety is a chapter in the following book:

Porter, C. J., Sulé, V. T., & Croom, N. N. (Eds.). (2022). Black Feminist Epistemology, Research, and Praxis: Narratives in and through the Academy. Taylor & Francis.


Monica Cox Photo

Monica F. Cox, Ph.D., is a Distinguished Professor of Engineering at The Ohio State University and is a 2020 American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) Fellow. She holds degrees in Mathematics (B.S., Spelman College), Industrial Engineering (M.S., University of Alabama), and Leadership and Policy Studies (Ph.D., Peabody College at Vanderbilt University, 2005). She began her academic career in the School of Engineering Education at Purdue University, where she earned a Presidential Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), becoming the first African American woman to earn tenure in Purdue’s College of Engineering.

In 2016, she became the Inaugural Chair in the Department of Engineering Education at The Ohio State University. She is the Founder and CEO of STEMinent LLC, which houses educational assessment, professional development, and media offerings. Her research focuses on the use of mixed methodologies to explore questions across the education continuum, particularly why engineering women faculty persist. Dr. Cox has led and collaborated on multidisciplinary projects totaling approximately $16 million and has authored over 130 publications.

Meseret Photo

Dr. Meseret F. Hailu is an Assistant Professor of Higher and Postsecondary Education at Arizona State University. Her research focuses on the retention of minoritized women in STEM higher education pathways. Recently, her work has focused on 1) how Black immigrant women in the U.S. persist in engineering, and 2) how higher education institutions in Eastern/Southern Africa conceptualize and implement equity initiatives. Prior to coming to ASU, Dr. Hailu was a Postdoctoral Research Associate at The Ohio State University. Her research has been funded by the Fulbright Program, the National Science Foundation, and the United States Agency for International Development.

Category: Seminar Series