As a collegiate university that balances the personal attention of a liberal arts college with the academic vitality of a research university, Wake Forest University launched a new Department of Engineering in 2017. Four characteristics uniquely position WFU Engineering: (1) BS Engineering degree, (2) focus on undergraduates, (3) liberal arts education, (4) at a research university. Our vision for our engineering students is to be (a) leaders and agents of change embodying the WFU motto of Pro Humanitate (for humanity), (b) active seekers and creators of knowledge, (c) empowered with the engineering fundamentals but also strengthened with the breadth of an exceptional liberal arts education, (d) adaptive experts that recognize the strengths and limits of his/her knowledge and her/his team, (e) innovators by embracing inclusion, diversity, and equity, and (f) fearless in the face of complex problems. With culture being a key driver in our program's growth, our shared values of empowerment, integrity, inclusion, compassion, growth, and joy embody every facet of our program (i.e. classroom environment, hiring ad and search process, developing promotion and tenure guidelines, curriculum development, space design, etc.).
KEEN represents engineering education leadership and a community of practice committed to pushing the boundaries of education in a manner that is systematic, sustainable, and shareable. The openness that exists in knowledge sharing among KEEN network members (and built into the process of collective growth) is a key facet that is a priority for WFU Engineering. As the newest engineering program in the nation, we are committed to not only pushing the boundaries of engineering education but accelerating positive change for the benefit of our students, the next generation of engineering leaders. Culture and character are key facets to achieving success.
The invitation for Wake Forest University to join KEEN is an important milestone as we enter our second year of undergraduate engineering education. The entrepreneurial mindset KEEN inspires aligns with our curricular emphasis on allowing students to create customized pathways that align with personal and professional interests. We look forward to learning from – and contributing to – best practices with other colleges and universities that value innovation in engineering education.
--Dr. Nathan O. Hatch, President
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