2021 KEEN National Conference Talks

Day 2

In February 2021, hundreds of leaders, faculty, and staff from top universities came together in a virtual conference for engineering educators: The KEEN National Conference

Attendees were inspired and invigorated by keynotes, plenary talks, and over 30 interactive sessions geared toward reinventing engineering education with the entrepreneurial mindset. We're happy to share these exclusive talks from Day 2 of the conference, ranging from why character is a very important purpose and aim of education, to reimagining the promotion and tenure process, to how we can humanize engineering.

Kindness, Generosity, Grit, and Character

Author Angela Duckworth talks with Michael Lamb about how she started using 'character' in an intentional way, the most important influences on her character as a child and young adult, and why character is a very important purpose and aim of education.

Angela Duckworth

Angela Duckworth, Founder and CEO, Character Lab

Besides being the founder and CEO of Character Lab, a nonprofit whose mission is to advance scientific insights that help children thrive, Angela is also the Rosa Lee and Egbert Chang Professor at the University of Pennsylvania, faculty co-director of the Penn-Wharton Behavior Change for Good Initiative, and faculty co-director of Wharton People Analytics. In 2013, she was named a MacArthur Fellow. Her book "Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance," is a #1 New York Times best seller.

Reimagining Promotion & Tenure

Why do we use an outdated, one-size-fits-all policy to determine the fate of our professional careers? 

"We all know that getting promoted and getting tenure is critical to our professional success," says Margaret Pinnell. "Yet generally, the process does not reward innovation in research, teaching, or service. It does not allow a faculty member to lean into their gifts, talents, and passions. Instead, P&T polices tend to have a cookie-cutter idea of what a faculty member is."

Join Margaret in reimagining the P&T process and learn about the University of Dayton's new policy!

Margaret Pinnell

Margaret Pinnell, Associate Dean for Faculty and Staff Development, University of Dayton

In addition to being Associate Dean, Margaret is a professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. Additionally, she is the Schmidt Chair in Engineering Leadership and holds Joint Appointment with the Bioengineering Graduate Program. Her technical research areas are primarily in the area of materials testing including testing of biological materials, composite materials, high rate testing of polymers and corrosion studies. She has been actively involved in K-12 STEM education as well as research in service-learning for the past twelve years.

Humanizing Engineering

The polls are in: Engineers are near the top of the list for professions most trusted by the public. . .but aren't even mentioned in the list for professions that help people or have a positive effect on the world.

What does it mean for engineers to be trusted, yet not be seen as helpful or impactful? 

Olga Pierrakos talks about humanizing engineering, reimagining the flourishing of our profession and humanity, and the role we all play to ethically change the status of our profession with the goal of bettering our society. She's identified two high-level strategies to achieve a higher purpose of flourishing: Accessibility and Adaptability.

Olga Pierrakos

Olga Pierrakos, Founding Chair and Professor, Wake Forest University

Olga is an innovative leader and a transdisciplinary engineer, transforming engineering education and what it means to be an engineer. She has built an innovative engineering program at Wake Forest University centered around educating the whole person, the whole engineer.


Conference Talks

Conference Talks, Day 1

In case you missed it, view the first set of exclusive talks from the conference, ranging from helping engineers and non-engineers work together, discovering how to find new ideas, uncovering the truth about leadership, and more.
CardDeck KNC

CardDeck: 2021 KNC Breakout Sessions

Get the full collection of the breakout sessions from the 2021 KEEN National Conference! Design, align, adapt, and implement concepts and experiences from engineering faculty around the nation.