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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 10, 2025
  2. Abstract Background: Engineering education research on inclusion has helped understand the challenges and better the experiences of underrepresented and marginalized groups (e.g., LGBTQ+, disabled individuals, and first-generation college students). In contrast, populations at the intersection of multiple forms of marginalization are harder to support and not as well represented in the literature. As each identity group can have a unique experience of educational culture, attention to intersectionality necessitates more nuance and specificity in our understanding. Theoretical framework: Cultural homelessness occurs when an individual lacks a cultural frame of reference to fit into existing racial, ethnic, or cultural categories. We argue that students can develop a sense of cultural homelessness via the experience of multiple systems of oppression. Purpose: In this article, we explore how a female transracial adoptee undergraduate engineering student describes her experiences in engineering and the challenges she faces due to having complex identities by employing the notions of intersectionality and cultural home/lessness. Method: This study is part of a larger project that examines aspects of students’ experiences and identities that are overlooked, misunderstood or marginalized in engineering. In this paper, we focus on a single participant, Amber, a female transracial adoptee with anxiety and depression in the 4th year of her engineering program at a Predominantly White Institution (PWI). We used narrative and discourse analysis techniques to examine the experience and characterization of her identity within or outside of a cultural home. Findings: The findings demonstrate cultural homelessness in how Amber expresses an “outsider” identity and two different identity dilemmas that she experiences in life and academic settings. Implications: The study has implications for how we support students from multiply marginalized groups and calls for us to actively and intentionally include groups that are usually overlooked or underexplored. As intersectionality creates nuanced and divergent experiences among all of us, it is crucial to attend to these nuances when investigating engineering marginalization and strive to create a holistically inclusive culture. 
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  3. Abstract During their engineering programs, undergraduate students participate in the culture of engineering education to make meaning of themselves as they form professional identities. In this paper, we draw from Holland and colleagues’ theory of identity, agency, and figured worlds to further understand how undergraduate students make meaning of their identities as they participate in the figured world of engineering education. Our thematic narrative analysis revealed two types of narratives: (1) Narratives of Coherence that highlight the ways participants reconfigure normative identity roles in figured worlds to make space for their minoritized identities within engineering education, and (2) Narratives of Separation where participants maintain normative identity roles by either intentionally or unintentionally separating their minoritized identities from engineering activities. These findings point to strategies of perspective-building for supporting students and providing opportunities for contributing to a broader culture of inclusion in engineering classrooms. 
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