KEEN Rising Stars

2019 Edition

KEEN National Conference 2020 Rising Stars
As an engineer myself, I particularly admire faculty at institutions of higher learning who are helping engineering students through entrepreneurially minded learning (EML). The efforts of those instructors and professors will produce generations of engineers who don’t just understand theory, but who have learned to efficiently practice their art; who know how to add true value to their work; who understand and direct their efforts toward advancing our society.
- Edmond J. Dougherty, Villanova University

The 2019 KEEN Rising Stars

by Edmond J. Dougherty, May 2020. 

In honor of our KEEN Rising Star award program, we’d like you to meet three young engineering educators who care deeply about their students and our world. 

The 2019 KEEN Rising Star awardees are: 

Justin Henriques of James Madison University, Sarah Wodin-Schwartz of Worcester Polytechnic Institute, and the KEEN National Rising Star of the Year, Amy Trowbridge of Arizona State University.

In addition to expressing their commitment to entrepreneurially minded learning (EML) and the 3C’s (Curiosity, Connections, and Creating Value), each has demonstrated their unique approaches to making the engineering classroom more welcoming, thought provoking, and socially relevant. Get strategies and concepts from these educators who have the intelligence, character, and skill to inspire students to build a future that will be better for us all!

Meet the 2019 KEEN Rising Stars

Amy Trowbridge

“In my teaching methods, I incorporate active and collaborative learning. EML is all about letting the students explore open ended problems; encouraging them to be curious, to make connections with the context of problems, and to focus on doing something for societal benefit.”

Amy Trowbridge, Lecturer Sr. & Director, Grand Challenges Scholars Program, at Arizona State University, received the top award for the 2019 KEEN Rising Star.

Sarah Wodin-Schwartz

“If I wanted an exercise to teach a concept in the classroom, it used to be ‘How can I develop something to make that happen?’ With Engineering Unleashed, I have a place that I can go to see what other people are doing in this area, and I can find some examples of techniques that have worked. I can use something directly, or I can take it and tweak it to make it my own. It is great having that repository of ideas that are out there.”

Sarah Wodin-Schwartz, Assistant Teaching Professor at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, believes that the best way to educate, especially for engineers, is to blend lectures and textbooks with hands-on experiences.

Justin Henriques

“Giving students agency, empowering them, giving them knowledge and tools, mindset, the three C’s. Those are all things that are rich and fertile ground for amazing things in the future.”

Justin Henriques, Associate Professor at James Madison University, focuses on active learning of the entrepreneurial mindset, especially as it relates to creating useful sustainable and humanitarian technologies. He believes that for faculty to reach students deeply, they must provide EML co-curricular activities and events to help students no matter where they may be.

Associated Content

Revitalizing 'A' Mountain

Revitalizing A Mountain: Customer-Focused Design Challenge

Use a local landmark to introduce students to the engineering design process! Start with an ambiguous problem statement: To "revitalize 'A' mountain." Over the course of two weeks, student teams work through all steps of the design process to create a conceptual solution while applying design tools such as the decision matrix, Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP), and brainstorming techniques.
Flying Forces

Flying Forces

If you want your students to see an even bigger picture and connect with the course content, this EML is for you! In this project, students are calculating tensions in cables used to hold a floating wind turbine in a given location. The basic underlying fundamental skill is 3D particle equilibrium, but the project is designed to give students the opportunity to solve a technical challenge that is directly linked to social and financial factors.
Co-Curricular Experiences

A Toolkit for Cultivating the Entrepreneurial Mindset Through Co-Curricular Experiences

Co-curriculars offer a rich and vital landscape for engineering education! Yet due to the bootstrapped nature of many of these efforts, outcomes can be unknown, resources inefficiently deployed, sustainability uncertain, and synergies unexplored. This workshop provides a toolkit for analyzing your co-curricular entrepreneurially-minded learning (EML) landscape, uncover gaps, identify opportunities, and prioritize future efforts for high-impact returns on investment.

About the Author

Edmond Dougherty

Edmond Dougherty, Retired Professor of Practice and Director of Engineering Entrepreneurship, Villanova University

Edmond has many years of experience in the design, development, and management of complex electronic and software systems. He was part of a team that helped develop the Emmy and Academy Award winning Skycam, an aerial robotic control camera system. He also developed an aerial camera system called Wavecam that is now owned by Skycam. He has 13 US patents. He was awarded the IEEE Member Award for the Philadelphia area, and the Meyer Innovation and Creative Excellence (ICE) Award at Villanova University.