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Hrabowski Innovation Fund Grant

The Center for Social Science Scholarship is partnering with the College of Engineering and Information Technology on a two-year Hrabowski Innovation Fund grant to incorporate Socially Responsible Thinking (SRT) into the COEIT curriculum, via a framework that brings together the social sciences/CAHSS.

The grant, called “Identifying an Interdisciplinary Path to Social Responsibility Education across the COEIT Curriculum,” is led by Dr. Helena Mentis (Information Systems and associate dean of COEIT), along with Dr. Maria Sanchez (Mechanical Engineering), Christine Mallinson (director of CS3), Felipe Filomeno (associate director of CS3), and Woodrow Winchester III (COEIT); Kara Seidel, a doctoral student in the Language, Literacy & Culture Program, is a research assistant on the project.

The project stems from the fact that, increasingly, universities are being called upon to incorporate greater attention to social responsibility, specifically for students expected to participate in technology development and innovation. At UMBC, several recent initiatives have aimed to incorporate Socially Responsible Thinking (SRT) into engineering and computing education, yet they have been fairly disconnected from each other and from the social sciences.

The team will collect and analyze surveys and interviews from students, faculty, and employers and ultimately form a Faculty Learning Community, host a campus-wide speakers event, and produce a final report for stakeholders. Multiple metrics will be used to assess the project’s impact vis-à-vis two main aims: to identify pathways to integrate SRT concepts into the engineering/computing curriculum, and to increase cross-college collaboration around SRT. Results from the project will speak to opportunities to improve academic persistence, engagement, and workforce participation for COEIT students, and greater interfacing across COEIT and the social sciences/CAHSS.