Engineering dean begins year-long term as national ASEE president

The dean of Campbell University’s School of Engineering assumed the role of president for the American Society for Engineering Education on July 1 after serving a full year as president-elect. As president, Dr. Jenna Carpenter’s national platform for the coming year is “weaving students into engineering instead of weeding them out.”

Under Carpenter, ASEE — a global society with a vision of “excellent and broadly accessible education empowering students and engineering professionals to create a better world” — will partner with the Engineering Research Visioning Alliance and National Academy of Engineering for various projects, from virtual listening sessions for engineering students to hosting a conference in the fall to help institutions do a better job of recruiting, admitting, and retaining a wider array of students in terms of pre-college preparation and opportunities.

“I am looking forward to working with ASEE’s almost 10,000 members to rethink how universities can use research-based best practices to recruit a more diverse cohort of students to engineering,” Carpenter said. “In particular, collectively we need to change our curricular, advising and professional development approaches to ensure that students have multiple entry pathways to an engineering degree, that we support their success, and that they find engineering a welcoming major with exciting career options for them.”

Carpenter said these goals have been the School of Engineering’s focus at Campbell since it launched in the fall of 2016.

“Given the national demographic data, declining birth rates, and growing engineering workforce needs, these types of changes are key to the future success of engineering education,” Carpenter said.

Carpenter has been an ASEE member since 1998. She has received the honor of Fellow Member and has won the Sharon Keillor Award for Women in Engineering Education, the Outstanding Zone II Campus Representative Award, and the William T. Guy, Jr. Distinguished Educator and Service Award. She has served as co-chair of the Engineering Deans Council Undergraduate Experience Committee and chair of the Constitution and Bylaws Committee.

Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Mark Hammond said since she arrived at Campbell in 2015 (a year before the school’s launch), Carpenter has flourished both on campus and in several national and international engineering organizations. 

“When I led the national search to find the inaugural dean for Campbell’s School of Engineering, it was clear that Jenna Carpenter was just the right person, at just the right time, with all the professional skills and personal attributes necessary to succeed in the monumental endeavor of successfully starting a new school,” Hammond said. “Her election to serve as the president of the ASEE is clear evidence of her tremendous talents and knowledge, and she is certain to have a very positive impact on engineering education across our country, and around the world.”

With a hands-on, project-based approach for all four years of a student’s experience, Campbell School of Engineering focuses on design and utilizes unique class labs to seamlessly integrate lecture and lab. The program also emphasizes teaming, communication skills, student internships, professional engineering licensure, professional development training and service learning.

The School has earned a Bronze Award from the ASEE Diversity Recognition Program and is a KEEN Partner Institution.

Prior to coming to Campbell, Carpenter was a Wayne and Juanita Spinks Endowed Professor, associate dean for undergraduate studies and director of the Office for Women in Science and Engineering at Louisiana Tech University’s College of Engineering and Science. A Corsicana, Texas, native, Carpenter earned her bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Louisiana Tech and her master’s and Ph.D. degrees in mathematics from Louisiana State University, where she was an Alumni Federation Fellow.

Her research focuses on integrated STEM curricula and improving the number and success of women in engineering, with over $4.3 million in funding to date.


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