A virtual community of practice to promote LGBTQ inclusion in STEM: Member perceptions and community outcomes

Stephanie Farrell, Rocio C. Chavela Guerra, Alexandra Longo, Rossen Tsanov

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


The results discussed in this paper are part of a transformative project that links diversity research with a faculty development initiative to promote LGBTQ equality in engineering. The aims of the project are to (1) identify aspects of engineering culture that present barriers to LGBTQ equality, (2) build knowledge and skills to disrupt discrimination and promote LGBTQ equality in engineering departments on college campuses and (3) to identify best practices for promoting LGBTQ equality in engineering. This paper focuses on understanding the roles of a Virtual Community of Practice (VCP) in advancing the goals of LGBTQ equality in engineering. The VCP was established in fall 2015 consisting of 19 professionals from STEM academic departments in the initial cohort. During the first semester, the VCP members completed human relations facilitator training and developed content for Safe Zone LGBTQ inclusion training geared toward STEM academics. since completion of the facilitator training, the VCP members have actively promoted LGBTQ inclusion in their own departments and conducted Safe Zone workshops at their own institutions, online and at professional society meetings. A survey was used to assess the VCP members' perceptions of VCP design, benefits to individual members and to their departments, and individual and professional characteristics. Results and insights from the survey will be presented in this paper along with a description of the specific outcomes of the VCP.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings
StatePublished - Jun 23 2018
Event125th ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition - Salt Lake City, United States
Duration: Jun 23 2018Dec 27 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Engineering

Cite this