Defense Date


Graduation Date

Fall 12-16-2022


Immediate Access

Submission Type


Degree Name



Educational Studies (General Education)


School of Education

Committee Chair

Gibbs Kanyongo

Committee Member

Amy M. Olson

Committee Member

Jean Marie Livingston


Thirdspace, Leadership, FBCOAI, Bamboo Ceiling, Transitional Experiences, Identities, Chinese Immersion Program, In-between, Reconcilable Characteristic, "An-Other" Characteristic


This qualitative study explores how the transitional identities and experiences of Foreign Born Chinese Origin Asian Immigrant (FBCOAI) leaders influence their leadership practices in American Immersive Chinese Language Program. In the Chinese immersion programs, FBCOAI leaders are those with ethnicity Chinese who entered the United States during adulthood, and immigrated during their adulthood. This study is to explore the Thirdspace leadership, an actual-and-virtual place, where the FBCOAI leaders reconcile their professional development and leadership into practice. FBCOAI leaders are bilingual, experiencing a transitional stage of immigration status, and geographical/cultural/occupational changes. This study stands on “an-Other” perspective to know the FBCOAI leaders from multiple, dynamic intersections, rather than from existing binary concepts. The FBCOAI Thirdspace leadership therefore cuts across stereotypical category classifications to form a whole new alternative space and offers a conceptual understanding of “Thirding-as-othering” (Soja, 1996). The following central research questions will be explored: · How do FBCOAI leaders in Chinese immersion program in the United States perceive and conceive their identities and experiences? · How do the identities and experiences inform their leadership practices? · How do they reconcile their leader identities in the United States? This study manipulated qualitative data both individually and collectively by using axial coding. Qualitative analysis resulted in five priori themes regrading the theoretical framework and central research questions. The five themes were color-coded and reported as the main finding figure. Limitations of the study, recommendations for employers and FBCOAI teachers along their way to leadership, and the leadership and scholarship agenda are shared.