The abstract for the 2016 ASEE paper, that was submitted in 2015, can be found here.
Tull, R. G., Tull, D. L., Hester, S. S., & Johnson, A. M. (2016). Dark Matters: Metaphorical Black Holes the Affect Ethnic Underrepresentation in Engineering, Presented at the 123rd Conference of the American Society of Engineering Education, New Orleans, LA. [Full Text: Dark Matters: Metaphorical Black Holes that Affect Ethnic Underrepresentation in Engineering ]
Graphic from the 2016 ASEE paper. See the full description in the paper, Figure 3.2:
Excerpt from the introduction of the 2016 ASEE paper (Tull, Tull, Hester, & Johnson, 2016):
“Each of our institutions of higher education can be thought of as a galaxy with strange and seemingly unknown dynamics where departments, faculty, staff, students are all in orbit. There are some dynamics that are well understood, however, there is also unseen material and energy that causes some institutions to succeed while others fail. With respect to including people from all backgrounds in STEM education, and particularly engineering education, there are large disparities that are affecting the orbit. Decades of research in the recruitment and retention of ethnic minorities in engineering has resulted in an understanding of the ‘physics’ of engineering education pipeline.”
Excerpt from the conclusion of the 2016 ASEE paper (Tull, Tull, Hester, & Johnson, 2016):
“These metaphors were developed to assist departments with finding ways to avoid STEM spaghettification, the process where an engineering student would fall into a black hole, and leave STEM. Students who have already fallen through the metaphorical black hole, and have been “spaghettified” can be found in a variety of other sectors that are meaningful (e.g., business, health and wellness) but that are outside of the STEM enterprise. In an era where faculty diversity in engineering is becoming a more prominent issue, it is important to be sure that underrepresented students who make the choice to leave engineering do so as a result of making a voluntary and agreed upon choice to change orbits.”