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de Pillis published in Journal of Diversity in Higher Education

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Date: Monday, April 28, 2008
Contact: Alyson Kakugawa-Leong, (808) 974-7642

For Immediate Release

A professor of management at the University of Hawaii at Hilo has co-authored an article in the initial edition of a new journal published by the American Psychological Association and the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education.

Dr. Emmeline G. de Pillis of UH Hilo's College of Business and Economics and Lisette G. de Pillis, the Norman F. Sprague Jr. Professor of Life Sciences and professor of mathematics chair at Harvey Mudd College in Claremont, Calif., are co-authors of "Are engineering schools masculine and authoritarian? The mission statements say yes." The article appears in the Journal of Diversity in Higher Education, Vol. 1, No. 1, pages 33-44.

The co-authors, who are sisters, had business students read the mission statements of 20 engineering and liberal arts schools and then record their impressions of a hypothetical successful student at each institution. The hypothetical engineering students were assumed to be more forceful and less likeable than liberal arts students. In addition, for male subjects, the higher their own level of authoritarianism, the more likely they were to indicate that a successful student at an engineering institution was someone like themselves.

The authors conclude that some engineering schools have a culture of masculinity and hierarchy so deeply entrenched that they may have difficulty attracting and retaining a more diverse group of students.

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