Balancing engineering and religious identities

Kelly J Cross

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


How can engineering educators support students that seek to integrate their multiple identities? More specifically, how can engineering educators teach students to integrate their engineering identity into their current sense of self? Previous research found that African-American college students integrate their religious and professional identities by using religion as a lens to make meaning of other identity dimensions. This research, through the theoretical lens of multiple identities, seeks to understand the experience of a single engineering student that expressed the challenges he faced as an African-American male integrating his Christian and engineering identities during his student team project. The interview data presented here was part of a larger phenomenological study design, which included a thematic analysis process. The results of the current analysis suggests that this engineering student perceived an intersection between his engineering and religious identities where his religious identity impacted his team experience. His story provides insight for engineering educators to understand the benefits and barriers that emerge at the intersection of religious beliefs and the development of an engineering identity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationFIE 2016 - Frontiers in Education 2016
Subtitle of host publicationThe Crossroads of Engineering and Business
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
ISBN (Electronic)9781509017904
StatePublished - Nov 28 2016
Event46th Annual Frontiers in Education Conference, FIE 2016 - Erie, United States
Duration: Oct 12 2016Oct 15 2016

Publication series

NameProceedings - Frontiers in Education Conference, FIE
ISSN (Print)1539-4565


Other46th Annual Frontiers in Education Conference, FIE 2016
CountryUnited States


  • Engineering identity
  • Multiple identities
  • Religious identity
  • Student teams

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Education
  • Computer Science Applications

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