Q&A with DU Faculty: KEEN Workshop and Progressing Engineering Education
The Daniel Felix Ritchie School of Computer Science and Engineering sent faculty to attend the 2023 Kern Entrepreneurial Engineering Network (KEEN) National Conference, which brings together over 500 faculty members from across the US to engage in professional development as educators. KEEN is a group of 50+ universities united in improving undergraduate engineering education. Their mission statement is “To reach all of their undergraduate engineering students with an entrepreneurial mindset (EM) so they can create personal, economic, and societal value through a lifetime of meaningful work.” Faculty attended interactive workshops based on these goals.
We asked the faculty who attended about their experience, and heard from the Associate Dean of Undergraduate Studies Breigh Roszelle, Associate Professor of Electrical & Computer Engineering Sangho Bok, and Professor of Electrical & Computer Engineering Mohammad Matin.
Q. How will this workshop help your teaching and/or advising?
Breigh Roszelle: Attending the conference is a great opportunity to engage in several interactive workshops around teaching and learning. It always leads to new ideas for my classes, whether it is a single activity or redeveloping a course to better serve student needs.
Sangho Bok: During the workshop, the Entrepreneurial Mindset (EM) was emphasized. I am planning to embed such skillsets in teaching and advising, for example by providing real-world examples and problems.
“An entrepreneurial mindset helps you identify opportunities, solve for problems, and create long-lasting value—in your classes, campus, community, and the world. When combined with the skills and work engineers already do, entrepreneurially minded engineers become powerful agents of societal good.”
Q. How are these workshops relevant to the curriculum at DU?
BR: Having an engineering curriculum that fosters curiosity, connections, and creating value is incredibly beneficial to our students. While technical skills are paramount, being able to use these skills in a way that is efficient, beneficial, and helps society is also key.
SB: The workshops were directly related to teaching and students' learning. There were new or different approaches to the curriculum development/improvement which provided valuable information.
Q. What did you most enjoy about the conference?
BR: The opportunity to interact with fellow engineering educators. I always get great ideas and enjoy chatting about our life experiences.
Mohammed Matin: Creative ideas and connections.
SB: It was the most interactive conference I have attended. I enjoyed meeting new people who had different roles (administrative staff, tenure-track faculty, non-tenure tract faculty, etc.) and learn their perspectives on teaching.
Q. What was your biggest takeaway from the conference?
MM: Promoting grit in my courses through meaningful connections.
BR: My favorite workshop was on ideas to foster a more inclusive and innovative culture in the classroom. I am hoping to use some of the tools and suggestions as we are working to redevelop our engineering curriculum.