Document Type

Conference Paper



Publication Details

Paper presented at:

ASEE 2023 Annual Conference and Exposition, Baltimore Convention Center, MD, June 25-28, 2023.

©American Society for Engineering Education, 2023


The Hero’s Journey framework has been used by prior scholars to conduct research in engineering and science education. This framework, when used for motif coding, can help identify and organize crucial aspects of a student’s narrative about their trajectory in engineering education. Following this coding technique with narrative smoothing provides a way to convey the story meaningfully and memorably. Our research team recently used this method to study a longitudinal set of interviews conducted with an Irish woman, and we herein extend the value of that work by analyzing the interview of a Kuwaiti woman studying at the same institution in Ireland. By using the Hero’s Journey framework to analyze these women’s stories, we distill core meanings and share findings that are significant for engineering educators. Their stories can help readers empathize with underrepresented students, and better understand the joys, challenges, and realities these students face. Our Kuwaiti protagonist chose to leave engineering, but the story she told can help break through existing cultural stereotypes and help us realize how much more there is to any student’s experience than first meets the eye.


Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.