Crystal City, Virginia
April 14, 2019
April 14, 2019
April 22, 2019
Diversity and Special Topic: Identity
Using interviews with seven Black Student Veterans in Engineering (BSVEs) at three predominantly White institutions (PWIs), we explore how the identities of Black, Male, Veteran, and Engineering student are enacted during their undergraduate engineering experience. We approach this study informed by multiple dimensions of identity using an intersectional lens to answer three research questions: 1) Why did BSVEs join the military? 2) Why did BSVEs choose engineering? and 3) How do BSVEs enact their veteran, engineering, and racial identities while in school? We find that family influences, a desire to be part of something bigger than themselves, and economics were factors in BSVEs’ decision to join the military. Technical jobs in the military that often included exposure to engineers and engineering problems led them to the belief that as engineers, they would be able to solve many of the problems they faced while maintaining military hardware. All seven BSVEs claimed that their military and engineering identities were central, or nearly so, to their core identity. Of the five who mentioned racial identity, all indicated that it was central to their core being, often intersecting with their male identity to an inseparable identity as Black Males.
Brawner, C. E., & Lord, S. M., & Mobley, C., & Camacho, M. M., & Main, J. B. (2019, April), Race, Veteran, and Engineering Identities among Black Male Student Veterans Paper presented at 2019 CoNECD - The Collaborative Network for Engineering and Computing Diversity , Crystal City, Virginia. https://peer.asee.org/31784
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