Wednesday March 1, 2017

Changing the Face of Engineering

The Stanford University Hasso Plattner Institute of Design (d.school) named four University of Dayton students to a global program that empowers student leaders to increase campus engagement through innovation, entrepreneurship and creativity.

Madalyn Beban, David Fink, Jake Tersigni and Khalilah Manson are among the 224 students from 58 schools in seven countries the institute named University Innovation Fellows to advocate for fellow students to engage in innovation, entrepreneurship and creativity through innovation spaces, entrepreneurship organizations, experiential-learning events and new courses.

"These four represent some of our best innovative and entrepreneurial student minds," said Ken Bloemer, director of the University of Dayton Visioneering Center and sponsor of the University of Dayton students. "I am confident they will make significant contributions to the national discussion of entrepreneurship in engineering education and to our efforts in that area at the University of Dayton."

This is the second year University of Dayton students have been selected to the program. The quartet said they want to incorporate more art into engineering, teaching students how to use their creative and analytical skills. They also will build on the efforts of last year's group — creating a student-run incubator for advising students in the early stages of project development, a database of innovators students can tap for mentoring and partnerships, and an innovation and entrepreneurship course open to all first-year students.

"The core belief of our program is that students can be partners with faculty and administrators to help lead change in higher education," said Humera Fasihuddin, co-director of the University Innovation Fellows program. "When we empower students to be the co-designers of the education experience, they create a better educational environment for others as well as themselves. Fellows grow as change agents in the process, and their peers benefit from an increased number of resources that expose them to skillsets and mindsets essential to the 21st century economy."

Overall, the program has trained 1,000 students from 185 schools.

Participation with the University Innovation Fellows program is the latest example of how the University of Dayton is striving to instill an entrepreneurial mindset in its students. The University is a member of the Kern Entrepreneurial Engineering Network (KEEN), a national partnership of universities with the mission of graduating engineers with an entrepreneurial mindset so they can create personal, economic and societal value through their work.

Since joining KEEN, the University of Dayton has received the 2013 KEEN Best in Class Award; Eddy Rojas, dean of the School of Engineering, was honored with the 2015 Outstanding Dean Award; and Bloemer was recognized for his work in the network with the 2016 Outstanding Faculty Award. In 2014, The Kern Family Foundation, which created KEEN, awarded the University of Dayton a $1.2 million grant to initiate the largest faculty and curriculum development program in the School of Engineering's history. Much of the funding is going toward developing activity-based, project-based, and entrepreneurially minded classes to enhance the student experience.

For more information, contact Shawn Robinson, associate director of news and communications, at 937-229-3391 or srobinson@udayton.edu.

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