Education starts with the educators. KEEN focuses its efforts on enhancing the capabilities of engineering faculty. As part of its effort to showcase excellence in education, the KEEN awards task force recently announced the 2020 KEEN “Rising Stars”: Dr. Blake Hylton of Ohio Northern University, Dr. Cheryl Bodnar of Rowan University, and the KEEN National Rising Star, Dr. Cristi Bell-Huff of Georgia Institute of Technology.
The Rising Stars are three junior faculty who “have gone above and beyond to equip undergraduate engineers to create personal, economic, and societal value through the entrepreneurial mindset.” They are dedicated to making entrepreneurially minded learning commonplace in engineering education so that one day, entrepreneurial engineering is simply engineering.
Just like last year, I had the privilege to interview these Rising Stars. In addition to seeing their commitment to entrepreneurially minded learning, and KEEN’s 3C’s (Curiosity, Connections, and Creating Value), I was delighted to hear their individual approaches to making the engineering classroom more welcoming, thought-provoking, and relevant - all while ensuring the technical content is more understandable to students.
KEEN’s Rising Stars show us a variety of ways to make great engineering education happen. This is a vastly different experience than what I had with the professors of my youth - and students are better off because of it.
Let me introduce you to this year’s Rising Stars: The Performer, the Gamer, and the Storyteller.