School of Engineering Founding Dean Dr. Jenna Carpenter and assistant engineering professor Dr. Ana Rynearson are representing Campbell University in the multi-institution project “Research for All,” organized by the Kern Entrepreneurial Engineering Network (KEEN).
Campbell is one of eight universities involved in the project, which aims to expand and improve access to and the productivity of research experiences for undergraduate engineering students. The effort focuses on changing the undergraduate research experience from procedural to entrepreneurial, allowing students to better appreciate the discovery and wonder of academic research as well as the productive value of their contributions to research.
“We are so pleased to have this chance to build on the research opportunities open to our undergraduate engineering majors here at Campbell,” Carpenter said. “The skills and training that this grant will provide will be valuable for all of our students.”
The project is made possible by a $2.02 million grant supported by The Kern Family Foundation, which founded KEEN, a partnership of more than 50 colleges and universities in the U.S. focused on fostering an entrepreneurial mindset in undergraduate engineering students.
Campbell will join George Washington University, North Carolina A&T, George Fox University, Olin College of Engineering, UNC-Chapel Hill, Valparaiso University and the University of Washington-Tacoma in the three-year “Research for All” project. According to organizers, the eight institutions vary widely in size, areas of specialty and research activities — giving the team “an opportunity to examine the best ways to approach supporting an improved undergraduate research experience in a range of higher education environments.”
The project explores three distinct paths for improving the undergraduate research experience.
The first, “URCurious,” will explore incorporating undergraduate research experience into engineering courses. The second task, “URSkilled,” is the development of training modules for both students and research mentors that aim to support research and mentorship skills for each party respectively. Both students and mentors will be able to earn credentials for completing these modules, serving as a motivational tool and connection to the third task, “URConnected,” which will connect students with mentors who need research assistance.
Campbell University School of Engineering was accepted as a KEEN partner in 2019, becoming the country’s 45th KEEN school at the time.
“KEEN’s entrepreneurial mindset — which focuses on fostering a mindset of curiosity, connections and creating value in our students — is an ideal fit for us,” Carpenter said at the time. “With Campbell’s hands-on, project-based approach to engineering education, we utilize engineering design from the very beginning. That means we work every day to help foster curiosity in our students and to help them connect what they are learning to create value through innovative solutions.”
To learn more about KEEN, visit https://engineeringunleashed.com/