Community Catalysts

"I had an amazing time being a Community Catalyst. I enjoyed being a greeter, meeting new people and having fantastic conversations. This greatly improved my connectedness within the community!"

What's a Community Catalyst?

An Engineering Unleashed Community Catalyst is a faculty member invested in making this community the best it can be. 

Community Catalysts (ComCats for short) serve six-month terms in a cohort of 20 faculty members. Cohorts gain insider knowledge of upcoming website features, review faculty content and contributions, provide mentorship, create cards and curate collections of cards known as CardDecks, and collaborate on special projects. 

Community Catalyst Icon

Introducing ComCat Cohort 6

Meet faculty members from around the nation working to drive the mission of Engineering Unleashed.

Get a coach!

Want help with the entrepreneurial mindset and your card, class, or curriculum? Discuss your projects, bounce ideas around, and more with a Community Catalyst.

Applications: Become a Community Catalyst

Applications are now closed for the May-November 2021 cohort. Bookmark this page to check back in November!

If you:

  • Have integrated entrepreneurial mindset concepts in a class, course, curriculum, or campus 
  • Have published at least one Engineering Unleashed card
  • Want to drive the reach of the community and its mission
  • Are a self-starter able to work independently or on a small team

Then you might be what we're looking for!

Community Catalysts

This is a sixth month long program and will equip you to: 

  • Coach/mentor other faculty on the site
  • Engage in online discussions
  • Know best practices to engage communities of practice
  • Create new cards
  • Review cards
  • Provide feedback on website functionality & more! 

*Faculty must have a profile on, have published at least one card, and be willing to dedicate at least two hours per week to the work.


"I've never really taken part of an online community before, so this was a real growth experience for me. I enjoyed taking a more active role in the platform: Welcoming others, providing feedback on cards, and interacting with other ComCats."

The Community Catalyst program also allows us the opportunity to celebrate and congratulate faculty members who have made outstanding contributions to the Engineering Unleashed community and beyond. Here are some great examples that showcase and highlight ComCat passion, spirit, and leadership: 

Exploring and Creating

Stephanie Gillespie

Stephanie Gillespie, Associate Dean, University of New Haven

Stephanie is passionate about ensuring the cards shared by faculty are useful resources! She explores gaps in content while working to create new content, inspiring others to share their own creative and insertable ideas to help other faculty. She has also researched and written an ASEE paper about the Engineering Unleashed site. Stephanie focuses on leading multiple first-year engineering courses as well as facilitating integration of the new maker space into faculty curriculum.

Content and CardDecks

Jim Brenner

Jim Brenner, Nanotechnology Minor Program Chair, Florida Institute of Technology

Jim has published over 60 card collections, called CardDecks, that bring together classroom resources around specific topics so faculty can easily find what they're looking for! You'll find these cards on his profile. Browse among Core Engineering Courses, Students, Industry, and Co-ops, Sustainability, Makerspaces, and much more. His research is in nanosensors and in automating tissue engineering.

Prototypes and Templates

A. L. Ranen McLanahan

A. L. Ranen McLanahan, Assistant Professor, University of Wisconsin - Platteville

Ranen is driven to make Engineering Unleashed the one-stop-shop of innovative, insertable classroom ideas. He created a prototype card database along with drafting a card template to guide faculty when creating their own cards. Ranen started in industry on a floating factory ship. In 2014, he received the Arthur M. Kaplan Award for his teaching, outreach, and innovation. He offers professional training nation-wide.

Mentoring and Coaching

Mike Rust

Mike Rust, Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Western New England University

Mike launched Engineering Unleashed's mentorship and coaching program! Faculty can request help and feedback across the platform, from learning how to use the content to impact their students, to input on their cards, to getting feedback on ideas. Mike looks to address complex challenges facing our world today and in the future. He helps train and work alongside the next generation of problem solvers.