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Shame Amid Academic Success: An Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis Case Study of a Student’s Experience with Emotions in Engineering

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2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 23, 2018

Start Date

June 23, 2018

End Date

July 27, 2018

Conference Session

System 1 in Engineering Education and Research

Tagged Division

Educational Research and Methods

Tagged Topic


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Paper Authors


James L. Huff Harding University Orcid 16x16

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James Huff is an assistant professor of engineering at Harding University. He is the lead investigator of the Beyond Professional Identity (BPI) lab, which conducts research that is aligned with unpacking psychological experiences of identity in professional domains. Additionally, James directs multiple student projects that use human-centered design in the context of community engagement. James received his Ph.D. in engineering education and his M.S. in electrical and computer engineering, both from Purdue University. He received his bachelor's in computer engineering at Harding University.

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Kanembe Shanachilubwa Harding University Orcid 16x16

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I am an undergraduate mechanical engineering major anticipating graduation in May of 2018. I am a member of the Beyond Professional Identity research group based in Harding University located in Searcy, Arkansas. I plan to further my studies in engineering education in graduate school particularly in regards to equipping students to work in development and sustainability.

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Stephen Secules University of Georgia Orcid 16x16

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Stephen received a PhD in education at the University of Maryland researching engineering education. He has a prior academic and professional background in engineering, having worked professionally as an acoustical engineer. He has taught an introduction to engineering to undergraduate engineers and to practicing K-12 teachers. Stephen's research interests include equity, culture, and the sociocultural dimensions of engineering education.

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Shame provides a key mechanism of social inclusion and exclusion in engineering contexts. In order to better understand how engineering students experience shame, we used interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA) to critically examine the individual experience of shame in the case of a high-performing, White woman who was a junior mechanical engineering major at a faith-based university (n=1). In particular, we attended to the complex relationship between personal expectations that formed the context for her shame experiences: achieving excellence in performing tasks while maintaining strong social relationships with others. We discuss the implications of this single case study on broader narratives of inclusion in the context of engineering education.

Huff, J. L., & Shanachilubwa, K., & Secules, S. (2018, June), Shame Amid Academic Success: An Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis Case Study of a Student’s Experience with Emotions in Engineering Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--30959

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