Engineering and Physics Faculty Research and Publications


Reauthoring Engineering Identities as Belonging to a Community Engaged Profession

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



In this scholarly practice paper, we critically examined if and how engineering students in a first-year design course internalized their professional identity as engineers who were engaged in their communities. We provide a description of the course, which used human-centered design projects as a mechanism to partner with community organizations. Based on a thematic analysis of three reflective essays (n = 105) for each student (n = 35), we found four distinct patterns related to identity development in relation to community engagement. We discuss implications from the findings regarding how educators can support students’ development as community-engaged professionals.


This paper was presented at the 2020 American Society for Engineering Education Virtual Annual Conference held June 22-26, 2020.

Copyright held by

American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE)