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Development of the James Madison University Undergraduate Engineering Leadership Program

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2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 14, 2015

Start Date

June 14, 2015

End Date

June 17, 2015





Conference Session

Curriculum in Engineering Leadership Development

Tagged Division

Engineering Leadership Development Division

Page Count


Page Numbers

26.539.1 - 26.539.17



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Paper Authors


Kyle G. Gipson James Madison University

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Dr. Kyle Gipson is an Assistant Professor at James Madison University (United States) in the Department of Engineering (Madison Engineering) and the Center for Materials Science. He has taught courses pertaining to topics for first-year engineering, materials science and engineering, engineering design, systems thinking and engineering leadership. He has a PhD in Polymer, Fiber Science from Clemson University. His research background is in the synthesis of polymer nanocomposites and engineering education. He was trained as a Manufacturing Process Specialist within the textile industry, which was part of an eleven-year career that spanned textile manufacturing to product development.

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Meghan Daly James Madison University

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Senior Engineering Student and Undergraduate Research Assistant, Department of Engineering, James Madison University.

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Cairo Jahan Lakil Sherrell James Madison University

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I am a senior engineering student at James Madison University. I expect to graduate with a B.S. of engineering and a mathematics minor in May 2015. I am pursuing a career in systems, sustainable, or environmental engineering while continuing to grow professionally by aiding my capstone project team as project manager and mentoring first-year engineering students. I have a lot of drive to uphold integrity and ethics in my work and actions, and I hope to be in a position where I can empower the disenfranchised and underprivileged.

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Thomas Atcheson Ware


Diane L. Foucar-Szocki College of Education, James Madison University

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Dr. Foucar-Szocki is Professor of Learning, Technology and Leadership Education at James Madison University and Coordinator of Grants, Contracts and Special Projects in the College of Education. She holds degrees from San Diego State University, SUNY, College at Buffalo and Syracuse University.

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Justin J. Henriques James Madison University

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DEVELOPMENT  OF  THE  XXX  UNDERGRADUATE  ENGINEERING  LEADERSHIP  PROGRAM  The  Department  of  Engineering  at  XXX  has  a  single  baccalaureate  engineering  degree  program  that  is  aimed  at  engaging  students  and  developing  their  engineering  knowledge,  skills  and  values  through  a  modern,  project-­‐based  curriculum.    One  recent  development  is  the  XXX  Engineering  Leadership  (XELC)  program.    The  engineering  leadership  idea  grew  from  the  first  lines  of  the  Harvard  Business  Review  Blog  Network  June  7,  2010  article  entitled  “British  Petroleum  (BP)’s  Tony  Hayward  and  the  Failure  of  Leadership  Accountability,”  by  Rosabeth  Moss  Kanter  where  it  stated,  “BP  doesn’t  need  an  engineer  at  the  helm.    It  needs  a  leader.”    This  article  was  published  three  months  after  the  April  20,  2010  explosion  of  a  British  Petroleum  offshore  oil  platform  and  subsequent  oil  spill  in  the  Gulf  of  Mexico.    This  is  just  one  example  of  why  leadership  principles  should  be  incorporated  into  engineering  programs,  especially  undergraduate  programs.        The  XELC  program  is  currently  under  development.    The  innovation  of  the  program  is  related  to  the  content,  the  sequence  of  courses,  and  the  linkage  to  our  redesigned  first-­‐year  course  ENGR  101:    Engineering  Opportunities  where  the  leaders  serve  as  mentors  to  the  first-­‐year  students.    The  mission  of  XELC  is  to  help  students  learn  and  develop  mastery  through  practicing  leadership  skills  in  order  to  become  effective,  ethical  and  empathic  leaders.    The  goals  of  the  program  are  to  1)  engage  engineering  undergraduates  in  opportunities  to  develop  skills  and  attitudes  that  will  prepare  them  to  be  productive  and  ethical  leaders  and  2)  integrate  undergraduate  education  with  leadership  principles  and  practices.    We  strive  for  the  program  to  be  a  model  of  what  is  at  the  core  of  the  XXX  Engineering,  which  is  the  development  of  a  community  of  learners  that  engenders  respect,  fosters  excellence,  promotes  collaboration,  inspires  generosity,  and  encourages  life-­‐long  learning.    In  this  paper,  we  present  the  framework  of  the  program  and  the  structure  of  the  introductory  class  (Engineering  Leadership  I:    Theory  and  Practice).    Engineering  Leadership  I  is  intended  to  be  an  exploration  into  how  leadership  theory  can  inform  and  direct  the  way  leadership  is  practiced.    The  course  is  constructed  to  advance  our  understanding  of  the  many  different  approaches  to  leadership  and  ways  to  practice  it  more  effectively.    The  activities  within  the  class  and  program  are  aimed  to  assist  our  students  in  achieving  their  greatest  potential  to  adapt  and  to  adjust  to  a  diverse  and  ever  changing  world.      

Gipson, K. G., & Daly, M., & Sherrell, C. J. L., & Ware, T. A., & Foucar-Szocki, D. L., & Henriques, J. J. (2015, June), Development of the James Madison University Undergraduate Engineering Leadership Program Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.23878

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