KEEN Rising Stars

Nominations are open!

Nominations for the 2023 KEEN Rising Star will be accepted through February 20, 2023.


Congratulations to Kaitlin Mallouk, Erin Henslee, and Jennifer O'Neil, our 2022 KEEN Rising Stars!


Learn more about these engineering educators making a substantial difference in entrepreneurial engineering education.

Kaitlin Mallouk

Kaitlin Mallouk

Assistant Professor

Rowan University

Kaitlin continuously innovates her pedagogy to improve student experiences, and explores best practices for developing future engineers.
Erin Henslee

Erin Henslee

Assistant Professor

Wake Forest University

Erin builds connections to people first, then ideas, through creating impact for others and instilling continuous learning and curiosity.
Jennifer O'Neil

Jennifer O'Neil

Assistant Professor

Rochester Institute of Technology

Jennifer helps students build upon their curiosity and realize their love of learning by integrating EML into the learning experiences she creates.

About the Award


To help celebrate and recognize faculty achievement, you can nominate individuals from a KEEN Partner school with fewer than 10 years of experience as a faculty member for the KEEN Rising Star Award each year. The KEEN Awards Committee reviews the Campus KEEN Rising Star nominations using the evaluation rubric.

KEEN Rising Star logo

The award goes to the faculty members' institutions, recognizing these individuals who have gone above and beyond to equip undergraduate engineers to create personal, economic, and societal value through the entrepreneurial mindset.

Nominations for the 2023 KEEN Rising Star will be accepted through February 20, 2023.


Meet the 2021 KEEN Rising Stars


Heath LeBlanc, Reva Johnson, and Andrew Sloboda were our 2021 KEEN Rising Stars. Learn how they are making a substantial difference in entrepreneurial engineering education.

Heath LeBlanc

Heath LeBlanc

Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering

Ohio Northern University

The entrepreneurial mindset and value creation have become the heart of who Heath is.
Reva Johnson

Reva Johnson

Associate Professor

Valparaiso University

Reva creates value through storytelling with humanity at the center, and seeks to find the answer to, "Why might my students care about this concept?"
Andrew Sloboda

Andrew Sloboda

Assistant Professor

Bucknell University

Andrew thinks of his students as clients, guiding them to manage issues like ambiguous data, competing goals, and diverse stakeholders.
The ONU Teaching Innovation Award

The ONU Teaching Innovation Award

Heath LeBlanc shares how the ONU Teaching Innovation Award, established using the KEEN Rising Star grant funds, recognizes and celebrates ONU faculty who implement innovative ideas to support their students’ mindset, from curiosity to creating value, collaboration to character, and to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and sense of Belonging (DEIB). Adapt these resources to create a similar award in your institution!

Meet the 2020 KEEN Rising Stars


Cristi Bell-Huff, Blake Hylton, and Cheryl Bodnar were our 2020 KEEN Rising Stars. Read their stories to see how they're making a substantial difference in entrepreneurial engineering education.

2020 KEEN Rising Star Cristi Bell-Huff

Cristi Bell-Huff

Lecturer and Director of Faculty and Student Training

Georgia Institute of Technology

Cristi has helped countless engineering students acquire entrepreneurially minded skills which they can use for the rest of their lives.
2020 KEEN Rising Star Cheryl Bodnar

Cheryl Bodnar

Associate Professor

Rowan University

Cheryl helps faculty create unique experiential and entrepreneurial learning opportunities throughout the clinic-based engineering curriculum.
2020 KEEN Rising Star Blake Hylton

Blake Hylton

Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering; Coordinator, First Year Engineering Experience

Ohio Northern University

Blake helps students look beyond easy answers, persist through false starts and failures, and make connections across multiple disciplines.

"What I really love about entrepreneurial mindset when we're teaching engineering is it brings back this idea that engineers should be in service to society. Engineers should be solving problems to help people. They should be characterized by their technical excellence, and their service to society." 

Learn more about Cristi Bell-Huff, Lecturer and Director of Faculty and Student Training at the Georgia Institute of Technology, 2020 KEEN Rising Star.

Project: Student Perceptions of the Entrepreneurial Mindset

Project: Student Perceptions of the Entrepreneurial Mindset

Cheryl Bodnar conducted research into student perceptions and understanding of the entrepreneurial mindset due to their participation in curricular and co-curricular activities at Rowan University.

Meet the 2019 Rising Stars


Amy Trowbridge, Sarah Wodin-Schwartz, and Justin Henriques were our 2019 KEEN Rising Stars. Learn about their work with the entrepreneurial mindset and how they are helping students understand that the world is much greater than their campus.

Engineering Unleashed Rising Star Amy Trowbridge

Amy Trowbridge

Senior Lecturer and Director, Grand Challenge Scholars Program

Arizona State University

Amy provides her students with the tools to make a sustainable, built environment that meets our societal needs.
Engineering Unleashed Rising Star Sarah Wodin-Schwartz

Sarah Wodin-Schwartz

Assistant Teaching Professor

Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Sarah puts people, purpose, and social impact of engineering at the center of her classes, helping graduates create real value.
Engineering Unleashed Rising Star Justin Henriques

Justin Henriques

Associate Professor

James Madison University

Justin is a role model for faculty and a mentor for students, helping them hone their entrepreneurial mindset.

"Entrepreneurially minded learning is all about letting the student explore: Giving them open-ended problems, encouraging them to go out and explore their curiosity, make connections with the context of problems, and really focus on doing something for societal benefit."

Learn more about Amy Trowbridge, senior lecturer and director of the National Academy of Engineering Grand Challenge Scholars Program at Arizona State University, 2019 KEEN Rising Star.