Engineers need a breadth of experience to enrich the gene pool of ideas from which elegant engineering solutions can be drawn, called “individual diversity.” While performing large ethnograph-ic research studies where hundreds of engineering students were interviewed, we interviewed Inez, a student that epitomizes indi-vidual diversity. Inez is unlike most engineers: she is female, multi-minority, and from a socio-economically disadvantaged background. Inez’s story is told here using “ethnography of the particular,” where the story of a single individual is explored. Inez has persevered through challenges posed by her lack of familiarity with the culture of engineering, her weak high school preparation, and her feelings of being an outsider in engineering. Inez’s story demonstrates that the playing field in engineering is still not level, particularly for socio-economically disadvantaged students. Her story provides a poignant example of the impact of five of Conefrey’s cultural myths of science.
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Foor, C. E., S. E. Walden and D. A. Trytten (2007). “‘I Wish that I Belonged More in this Whole Engineering Group:’ Achieving Individual Diversity.” Journal of Engineering Education 96(2): 103-115. DOI: 10.1002/j.2168-9830.2007.tb00921.x