ライブラリ登録: Guest
Begell Digital Portal Begellデジタルライブラリー 電子書籍 ジャーナル 参考文献と会報 リサーチ集
Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering
SJR: 0.468 SNIP: 0.905 CiteScore™: 1.65

ISSN 印刷: 1072-8325
ISSN オンライン: 1940-431X

Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering

DOI: 10.1615/JWomenMinorScienEng.2020024994
pages 93-124


Bruk Berhane
School of Universal Computing, Construction, and Engineering Education, STEM Transformation Institute, Florida International University, Miami, Florida 33199, USA
Stephen Secules
Florida International University
Felicia Onuma
Department of Counseling, Higher Education, and Special Education, College of Education, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland 20742, USA


Research on engineering identity has often been conceptualized independent of racial identity, presumably because the engineering discipline does not place explicit value on nondisciplinary or nonacademic dimensions of the student experience. This article seeks to address this gap in the literature by exploring the degree to which the racial and ethnic identities of five Black men, who are engineering transfer students, influenced their precollege and collegiate trajectories. Drawing from various conceptual frameworks or theories across multiple disciplines, we explore the ways in which our participants' perceptions of race undergirded their pathways toward engineering degrees. In addition, our data attempts to unpack within-group differences among our interviewees and the ways in which these differences may have impacted their own senses of "Blackness" in engineering. Findings reveal somewhat significant variations in participants' propensities to identify as Black. For instance, some Black American participants described disconcerting racialized experiences, and noted being incentivized to persist in engineering to increase the representation of Blacks in the field. On the other hand, Black African respondents expressed stronger cultural/ethnic affinities, rarely described their experiences through the lens of race, and tended to reference cultural or linguistic challenges that they faced as immigrant students. Implications for practice include a call for campus-sponsored programs to provide students with the agency to develop their own affinity spaces that most closely align with their values, identities, and experiences. Implications for research include the need for more racial, ethnic, and/or cultural identity-based studies in engineering education scholarship.


  1. Adams, J., Younge, S., Wilson, U., Pearson, W., Jr., & Leggon, C. (2013). The undergraduate STEM research experiences of African American males at a historically Black college. Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering, 19(2), 165-183. .

  2. Adichie, C. N. (2009). The danger of a single story. TedGlobal 2009. Presentation retrieved from http:// www.ted.com/talks. .

  3. American Society for Engineering Education. (2019). Total U.S. engineering enrollment [Data file]. Retrieved from https://www.asee.org. .

  4. Bahr, P. R., Jackson, G., McNaughtan, J., Oster, M., & Gross, J. (2017). Unrealized potential: Community college pathways to STEM baccalaureate degrees. The Journal of Higher Education, 88(3), 430-478. .

  5. Berhane, B. T. (2016). Ready for transition: Factors that facilitate transfer to undergraduate engineering programs among Black African and American students (Doctoral dissertation). Retrieved from Pro-Quest Dissertations & Theses Global. doi: 10.13016/M2ZN31. .

  6. Berhane, B. T. (2017). Networking 101: Exploring within-group differences between high-achieving Black African and Black American engineering community college student peer groups. Journal of African American Males in Education, 8(1), 67-91. .

  7. Berhane, B. T. (2018). On becoming a "transfer institution ": Research on a community college that supports diverse Black students in their transfer aspirations. Paper presented at the Collaborative Network for Engineering and Computing Diversity (CoNECD) Conference, Crystal City, VA. .

  8. Berhane, B. T., Onuma, F. J., & Secules, S. (2017). Rethinking engineering pathways: An exploration of the diverse K-12 school experiences of six Black engineering undergraduates. Paper presented at the ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Columbus, OH. .

  9. Bonilla-Silva, E. (1997). Rethinking racism: Toward a structural interpretation. American Sociological Review, 62(3), 465-480. .

  10. Bonner II, F. A., Alfred, M. V., Lewis, C., Nave, F., & Frizell, S. (2009). Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and academically gifted Black students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM): Discovering the alchemy for success. Journal of Urban Education: Focus on Enrichment, 6(1), 122-135. .

  11. Burrell, J. J., Fleming, L., & Fredericks. (2015). Domestic and international student matters: The college experiences of Black males majoring in engineering at an HBCU. The Journal of Negro Education, 84(1), 40-55. .

  12. Bratter, J., & Heard, H. E. (2009). Mother's, father's, or both? Parental gender and parent-child interactions in the racial classification of adolescents. Sociological Forum, 24(3), 658-688. .

  13. Brown, A. R., Morning, C., & Watkins, C. (2005). Influence of African American engineering student perceptions of campus climate on graduation rates. Journal of Engineering Education, 94(2), 263-271. .

  14. Bruning, M. J., Bystydzienski, J., & Eisenhart, M. (2015). Intersectionality as a framework for understanding diverse young women's commitment to engineering. Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering, 21(1), 1-26. .

  15. Charleston, L. J., George, P. L., Jackson, J. F., Berhanu, J., & Amechi, M. H. (2014). Navigating under-represented STEM spaces: Experiences of Black women in U.S. computing science higher education programs who actualize success. Journal of Diversity in Higher Education, 7(3), 166-176. .

  16. Coates, J. (2015). Women, men and language: A sociolinguistic account of gender differences in language (3rd ed.). New York, NY: Routledge. .

  17. Crenshaw, K. (1989). Demarginalizing the intersection of race and sex: A Black feminist critique of antidis-crimination doctrine, feminist theory and antiracist politics. The University of Chicago Legal Forum, 140, 139-167. .

  18. Cross, W. E., Jr. (1971). The Negro-to-Black conversion experience. Black World, 20(9), 13-27. .

  19. Cross, W. E., & Phagen-Smith, P. (2001). Patterns of African American identity development: An identity and daily well-being 28 life span perspective. In C. L. Wijeyesinghe & B. W. Jackson III (Eds.), New perspectives on racial identity development: A theoretical and practical anthology (pp. 243-270). New York, NY: New York University Press. .

  20. Dowd, A. C. (2011). Developing supportive STEM community college to four-year college and university transfer ecosystems. In S. Olson & J. B. Labov (Eds.), Community colleges in the evolving STEM education landscape: Summary of a Summit (pp. 107-134). Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. .

  21. English-Clarke, T. L., Slaughter-Defoe, D. T., & Martin, D. B. (2012). What does race have to do with math? Relationships between racial-mathematical socialization, mathematical identity, and racial identity. In D. T. Slaughter-Defoe (Ed.), Racial stereotyping and child development (vol. 25, pp. 57-79). Philadelphia, PA: Karger. .

  22. Fleming, L. N., Smith, K. C., Williams, D. G., & Bliss, L. B. (2013). Engineering identity of Black and Hispanic undergraduates: The impact of minority serving institutions. Proceedings of the ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Atlanta, GA. .

  23. Foor, C. E., Walden, S. E., & Trytten, D. A. (2007). "I wish that I belonged more in this whole engineering group:" Achieving individual diversity. Journal of Engineering Education, 96(2), 103-115. .

  24. Frey, J. H., & Fontana, A. (1991). The group interview in social research. The Social Science Journal, 28(2), 175-187. .

  25. Fries-Britt, S., George Mwangi, C. A., & Peralta, A. M. (2014a). The acculturation experiences of foreign-born students of color in physics. Journal of Student Affairs Research and Practice, 51(4), 459-471. .

  26. Fries-Britt, S., George Mwangi, C. A., & Peralta, A. M. (2014b). Learning race in a U.S. context: An emergent framework on the perceptions of race among foreign-born students of color. Journal of Diversity in Higher Education, 7(1), 1-13. .

  27. Fries-Britt, S., Johnson, J., & Burt, B. (2013). Black students in physics: The intersection of academic ability, race, gender, and class. In T. L. Strayhorn (Ed.), Research on African American education. Living at the intersections: Social identities and Black collegians (pp. 21-39). Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing, Inc. .

  28. Fries-Britt, S. L., Younger, T. K., & Hall, W. D. (2010). Lessons from high-achieving students of color in physics. New Directions for Institutional Research, 2010(148), 75-83. .

  29. George Mwangi, C. A. (2014). Complicating Blackness: Black immigrants and racial positioning in U.S. higher education. Journal of Critical Thought and Praxis, 3(2), 1-27. .

  30. George Mwangi, C. A., Fries-Britt, S., Peralta, A. M., & Daoud, N. (2016). Examining intraracial dynamics and engagement between native-born and foreign-born Black collegians in STEM. Journal of Black Studies, 47(7), 773-794. .

  31. Hargreaves, J. R., Bonell, C. P., Boler, T., Boccia, D., Birdthistle, I., Fletcher, A., Pronyk, P. M., & Glynn, J. R. (2008). Systematic review exploring time trends in the association between educational attainment and risk of HIV infection in sub-Saharan Africa. Aids, 22(3), 403-414. .

  32. Hazari, Z., Sadler, P. M., & Sonnert, G. (2013). The science identity of college students: Exploring the inter-section of gender, race, and ethnicity. Journal of College Science Teaching, 42(5), 82-91. .

  33. Hill, S. T., & Green, M. M. (2007). Science and engineering degrees, by race/ethnicity of recipients: 1995-2004 (no. NSF 07-308). Arlington, VA: National Science Foundation. .

  34. Hills, J. R. (1965). Transfer shock: The academic performance of the junior college transfer. The Journal of Experimental Education, 33(3), 201-215. .

  35. Honey, M., Pearson, G., & Schweingruber, H. (Eds.). (2014). STEM Integration in K-12 Education: Status, prospects, and an agenda for research. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. .

  36. Hughes, Q. S., Shehab, R. L., & Walden, S. E. (2011). "Success is different to different people": A qualitative study of how African American engineering students define success. Paper presented at the ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Vancouver, BC, Canada. .

  37. Igbinoba, E. P. (2015). Exploration of factors affecting success of undergraduate engineering majors at a historically black university (Doctoral dissertation). Retrieved from ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global. .

  38. Jackson, D. L. (2013). A balancing act: Impacting and initiating the success of African American female community college transfer students in STEM into the HBCU environment. The Journal of Negro Education, 82(3), 255-271. .

  39. Jackson, D. L., Starobin, S. S., & Laanan, F. S. (2013). The shared experiences: Facilitating successful transfer of women and underrepresented minorities in STEM fields. New Directions for Higher Education, 2013(162), 69-76. .

  40. Khanna, N. (2011). Biracial in America: Forming and performing racial identity. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books. .

  41. Kibour, Y. (2001). Ethiopian immigrants' racial identity attitudes and depression symptomatology: An exploratory study. Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, 7(1), 47-58. .

  42. Kypuros, J. A., Monforti, J. L., Bothwell, M., Nakamura, K. Y., Sasaki, C. S., & Plaza, D. (2016). Understanding intersecting social identities in engineering education and practice. Paper presented at IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference, Erie, PA. .

  43. LaMotte, E. M. D. (2016). Unique and diverse voices of African American women in engineering at predominately white institutions: Unpacking individual experiences and factors shaping degree completion (Doctoral dissertation). Retrieved from ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global. .

  44. Litzler, E., Samuelson, C. C., & Lorah, J. A. (2014). Breaking it down: Engineering student STEM confidence at the intersection of race/ethnicity and gender. Research in Higher Education, 55(8), 810-832. .

  45. Malcom, L. E. (2010). Charting the pathways to STEM for Latina/o students: The role of community colleges. New Directions for Institutional Research, 2010(148), 29-40. .

  46. Martin, D. B. (Ed.). (2009a). Mathematics teaching, learning, and liberation in the lives of Black children. New York, NY: Routledge. .

  47. Martin, D. B. (2009b). Researching race in mathematics education. Teachers College Record, 111(2), 295-338. .

  48. Maton, K. I., Hrabowski III, F. A., & Schmitt, C. L. (2000). African American college students excelling in the sciences: College and postcollege outcomes in the Meyerhoff Scholars Program. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 37(7), 629-654. .

  49. M'Charek, A. (2013). Beyond fact or fiction: On the materiality of race in practice. Cultural Anthropology, 28(3), 420-442. .

  50. McGee, E. O. (2009). Race, identity, and resilience: Black college students negotiating success in mathematics and engineering (Doctoral dissertation). Retrieved from ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global. .

  51. McGee, E. (2013). Young, Black, mathematically gifted, and stereotyped. High School Journal, 96(3), 253-263. .

  52. McGee, E. O. (2015). Robust and fragile mathematical identities: A framework for exploring racialized experiences and high achievement among Black college students. Journal for Research in Mathematics Education, 46(5), 599-625. .

  53. McGee, E., & Martin, D. B. (2011). From the hood to being hooded: A case study of a Black male PhD. Journal of African American Males in Education, 2(1), 46-65. .

  54. McKenzie, S. M. (2016). Factors in engineering educational persistence: The correlation between identity and self-efficacy (Doctoral dissertation). Retrieved from ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global. .

  55. McPhail, I. P. (2015). Enhancing the community college pathway to engineering careers for African American students: A critical review of promising and best practices. In J. B. Slaughter, Y. Tao, & W. Pearson, Jr. (Eds.), Changing the face of engineering: The African American experience (pp. 305-334). Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press. .

  56. Meyers, K. L., Ohland, M. W., Pawley, A. L., Silliman, S. E., & Smith, K. A. (2012). Factors relating to engineering identity. Global Journal of Engineering Education, 14(1), 119-131. .

  57. Michaelowa, K. (2001). Primary education quality in francophone Sub-Saharan Africa: Determinants of learning achievement and efficiency considerations. World Development, 29(10), 1699-1716. .

  58. Moore III, J. L. (2006). A qualitative investigation of African American males' career trajectory in engineering: Implications for teachers, school counselors, and parents. Teachers College Record, 108(2), 246-266. .

  59. Museus, S. D., Palmer, R. T., Davis, R. J., & Maramba, D. C. (2011). Racial and ethnic minority students' success in STEM education. ASHE Higher Education Report, 36(6), 1-140. .

  60. Nasir, N. S., & Shah, N. (2011). On defense: African American males making sense of racialized narratives in mathematics education. Journal of African American Males in Education, 2(1), 24-45. .

  61. National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and Institute of Medicine. (2007). Rising above the gathering storm: Energizing and Employing America for a brighter economic future. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. .

  62. Newman, C. B. (2011). Engineering success: The role of faculty relationships with African American under-graduates. Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering, 17(3), 193-207. .

  63. Newman, C. B. (2015). Rethinking race in student-faculty interactions and mentoring relationships with undergraduate African American engineering and computer science majors. Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering, 21(4), 323-346. .

  64. Noble, R. (2011). Mathematics self-efficacy and African American male students: An examination of models of success. Journal of African American Males in Education, 2(2), 188-213. .

  65. Omi, M., & Winant, H. (2015). Racial formation in the United States (3rd ed.). New York, NY: Routledge. .

  66. Painter, N. I. (2010). The history of White people. New York, NY: W.W. Norton & Company, Inc. .

  67. Palmer, C. A. (2000). The African diaspora. The Black Scholar, 30(3-4), 56-59. .

  68. Palmer, R. T., Davis, R. J., & Thompson, T. (2010). Theory meets practice: HBCU initiatives that promote academic success among African Americans in STEM. Journal of College Student Development, 51(4), 440-443. .

  69. Palmer, R. T., Maramba, D. C., & Dancy II, T. E. (2011). A qualitative investigation of factors promoting the retention and persistence of students of color in STEM. The Journal of Negro Education, 80(4), 491-504. .

  70. Perna, L., Lundy-Wagner, V., Drezner, N. D., Gasman, M., Yoon, S., Bose, E., & Gray, S. (2009). The contribution of HBCUs to the preparation of African American women for STEM careers: A case study. Research in Higher Education, 50(1), 1-23. .

  71. Porter, C. J., Mlambo, Y., Hannibal, J., & Karunaratne, N. (2018). (Re)defining student success: A qualitative study of Black undergraduate women pursuing veterinary medicine. Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering, 24(1), 61-80. .

  72. President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology. (2012). Undergraduate STEM education report. Washington, DC: Executive Office of the President of the United States. .

  73. Reed, H. E., Andrzejewski, C. S., & Strumbos, D. (2010). The new wave of African immigrants in the United States. Paper presented at the 2010 Population Association of America Annual Meeting, Dallas, TX. .

  74. Renn, K. A. (2008). Research on biracial and multiracial identity development: Overview and synthesis. New Directions for Student Services, 2008(123), 13-21. .

  75. Reyes, M. E. (2011). Unique challenges for women of color in STEM transferring from community colleges to universities. Harvard Educational Review, 81(2), 241-263. .

  76. Rice, D., & Alfred, M. (2014). Personal and structural elements of support for African American female engineers. Journal of STEM Education: Innovations and Research, 15(2), 40-49. .

  77. Ross, M. S., Capobianco, B. M., & Godwin, A. (2017). Repositioning race, gender, and role identity formation for Black women in engineering. Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering, 23(1), 37-52. .

  78. Saldana, J. (2011). Fundamentals of qualitative research: Understanding qualitative research. New York, NY: Oxford University Press. .

  79. Sanders, C. B. (2010). Experiences of African American male engineering students: A qualitative analysis (Master's thesis). University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Champaign, IL. .

  80. Secules, S., Sochacka, N. W., & Walther, J. (2018). New directions from theory: Implications for diversity support from the theories of intersectionality and liberatory pedagogy. Paper presented at the 2018 CoNECD-The Collaborative Network for Engineering and Computing Diversity Conference, Crystal City, VA. .

  81. Skinner, D. & Holland, D. (1998). Contested selves, contested femininities: Selves and society in process. In D. Skinner, A. Pach, III, & D. Holland (Eds.), Selves in time and place: Identities, experience, and history in Nepal (pp. 87-110). Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc. .

  82. Sorensen, N., Nagda, B. A., Gurin, P., & Maxwell, K. E. (2009). Taking a "hands on" approach to diversity in higher education: A critical-dialogic model for effective intergroup interaction. Analyses of Social Issues and Public Policy, 9(1), 3-35. .

  83. Stevens, R., O'Connor, K., Garrison, L., Jocuns, A., & Amos, D. M. (2008). Becoming an engineer: Toward a three dimensional view of engineering learning. Journal of Engineering Education, 97(3), 355-368. .

  84. Strayhorn, T. L., Long, L. L., III, Kitchen, J. A., Williams, M. S., & Stentz, M. E. (2013). Academic and social barriers to Black and Latino male collegians' success in engineering and related STEM fields. Paper presented at the ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Atlanta, GA. .

  85. Tate, E. D., & Linn, M. C. (2005). How does identity shape the experiences of women of color engineering students? Journal of Science Education and Technology, 14(5-6), 483-493. .

  86. Tracy, S. J. (2010). Qualitative quality: Eight "big-tent" criteria for excellent qualitative research. Qualitative Inquiry, 16(10), 837-851. .

  87. U.S. Census. (2016). Population estimates, July, 1, 2016 (V2016) [Internet]. 2016. Retrieved from https:// www.census.gov/quickfacts/fact/table/US/PST045216. .

  88. Wang, X. (2013). Modeling entrance into STEM fields of study among students beginning at community colleges and four-year institutions. Research in Higher Education, 54(6), 664-692. .

  89. Williamson, S. Y. (2010). Within-group ethnic differences of Black male STEM majors and factors affecting their persistence in college. Journal of International and Global Studies, 1(2), 45-73. .

  90. Wood, J. L., & Palmer, R. T. (2013). The likelihood of transfer for Black males in community colleges: Examining the effects of engagement using multilevel, multinomial modeling. The Journal of Negro Education, 82(3), 272-287. .

  91. Younger, T. K. (2009). The case for degree completion: African American transfer students at a traditionally White institution (Doctoral dissertation). Retrieved from ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global. .

Articles with similar content:

Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering, Vol.24, 2018, issue 3
Allison Godwin, Dina Verdin
Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering, Vol.22, 2016, issue 2
Maureen D. Neumann, Sandra A. Lathem, Maureen Fitzgerald-Riker
Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering, Vol.17, 2011, issue 3
Dawn R. Johnson
Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering, Vol.18, 2012, issue 2
Rebekah S. Heppner, Susan Chanderbhan-Forde, Kathryn M. Borman
Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering, Vol.19, 2013, issue 2
Jann Adams, Cheryl B. Leggon, Willie Pearson, Jr., Ulrica Wilson, Sinead Younge