KEEN Workshops Motivate Faculty

Using the makerspace, students were responsible for all the elements of the project, not just the design portion. They now know how to implement a design from idea to fabrication.
- Stephanie Gillespie, University of New Haven

University of New Haven

KEEN Workshops Motivate Faculty

Contributed by Stephanie Gillespie, Maria-Isabel Carnasciali, and Goli Nossoni, University of New Haven. This article originally appeared in KEEN Annual Report, 2019-2020. Reprinted with permission.

Through the efforts of a very active core KEEN leadership team, the University of New Haven (UNH) has approached integrating entrepreneurial mindset (EM) with both curriculum modules and student activities as its main ingredients since joining the Network in 2011. UNH uses material from and contributes to the Network in order to strengthen its programs and influence.

UNH has led the way in integrating EM into student culture. In addition to EM-infused course work, engineering students can take advantage of a living learning community (E2LLC) where they can build a portfolio of work that leads to recognition during graduation. 

UNH leaders also created a multi-day hackathon that ensures students “sit” in the opportunity space before jumping into design, and they adapted an extra-curricular activity called Imagination Quest from fellow KEEN partner, Villanova University.

New Haven student
New Haven students
New Haven students

For faculty engagement, UNH leverages the power of KEEN conferences and workshops. The UNH KEEN leaders encourage faculty to attend KEEN events and there is a plan when faculty return. As faculty come back bursting with multiple ideas and at peak levels of enthusiasm, the UNH team coaches them to quickly implement what they've learned. After the faculty taste the success of their efforts, many become “EML Champions” within their departments.

Goli Nossoni

For example, in 2019, Dr. Goli Nossoni attended an Engineering Unleashed Faculty Development National Workshop. Returning to UNH, she incorporated a small scale “P3 EPA” project (People, Prosperity, and the Planet) into her Sustainability, Ethics, and Professional Issues course. In the project students had to design and build “something” in the makerspace to improve the living quality in remote areas. As a warm up to using equipment in the makerspace, the students made environmentally friendly shopping bags. 

The project was well-received as it was fun and provided several educational insights.

Dr. Stephanie Gillespie also attended a National Workshop in 2019, which inspired her to redesign the UNH first-year Introduction to Engineering course to incorporate a making component. The exercise to design and build a prototype of a solution for a transportation challenge was a hit with the students and made them comfortable with learning by doing. The students used CAD, Arduino microcontrollers, laser cutters, and hand tools, and learned how to operate the 3D printers. Gillespie explains, “Using the makerspace, students were responsible for all the elements of the project, not just the design portion. They now know how to implement a design from idea to fabrication."

Stephanie Gillespie

Maria-Isabel Carnasciali

UNH KEEN leader, Dr. Maria-Isabel Carnasciali, says, "The workshops were instrumental in onboarding the faculty members who were then embedded into their individual technical disciplines as EML Champions. This helps raise the visibility of KEEN, gets EML into the daily language, and helps attract additional faculty into the EML culture."


Associated Content

People, Prosperity and the Planet

Multidisciplinary Hands-On Term Project Related to People, Prosperity and the Planet

Teams of 3-4 students work to design solutions for a more sustainable future for half of the semester. Each group is charged with researching, designing and creating a prototype of a device that addresses the real world challenges in a rural community in any part of the world addressing people's health, prosperity and, protection of the planet (3Ps).
 Prototyping via Makerspace Training in First-Year-Engineering

Prototyping via Makerspace Training in First-Year-Engineering

Focus on the specific training materials used to introduce students to the makerspace equipment at a first-year student level! These three 100-minute class periods introduce the 3D Printer, Arduino, and Laser Cutter with Hand Tools alongside entrepreneurial mindset objectives.
Thinking Entrepreneurially About Your Career

Thinking Entrepreneurially About Your Career

This paper prepares the foundation for a robust, holistic approach to faculty development using the three Cs of Curiosity, Connections, and Creating Value. The concept of a career strategic plan is discussed and recommended professional development activities are provided at various stages in a faculty member’s career.

Meet the Authors

Goli Nossoni

Goli Nossoni, Associate Professor, University of New Haven

Goli received her M.S. and Ph.D. from Michigan State University in Structural Engineering and Materials Science. In addition to her interest in engineering education, Dr. Nossoni specializes in the research area of materials especially concrete and corrosion of steel inside concrete.
Stephanie Gillespie

Stephanie Gillespie, Associate Dean, University of New Haven

Stephanie received her Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the Georgia Tech and has experience in K-12 outreach and curriculum development. Originally serving as a Lecturer in the Engineering and Applied Science Education (EASE) team, she focused on leading multiple first-year engineering courses as well as facilitating the integration of the makerspace into courses across the curriculum. She was the recipient of the Engineering Unleashed Fellowship in Fall 2020 and is working to expand makerspace integration in the introduction to engineering classes, as well as enhancing assessment of EM outcomes gained from their makerspace experience.
Maria-Isabel Carnasciali

Maria-Isabel Carnasciali, Associate Professor, University of New Haven

Maria-Isabel is a strong proponent that much of the learning students do takes place outside the classroom – be it working on projects, participating in service learning activities, or in the multitude of clubs and activities available on campus.

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