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Engineering Leadership Development Program – a Tenth-year Review and Assessment

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2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 23, 2018

Start Date

June 23, 2018

End Date

July 27, 2018

Conference Session

Assessment of Engineering Leadership Development

Tagged Division

Engineering Leadership Development

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Paper Authors


Lawrence Holloway University of Kentucky

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Dr. Holloway is currently serving as Interim Dean of the University of Kentucky College of Engineering. He also is the TVA Endowed Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering. Prior to appointment as Interim Dean, he served nine years as Chair of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

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Thomas Ward Lester University of Kentucky

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Thomas W. Lester retired from the University of Kentucky in 2015 following 22 years of service as Dean of the College of Engineering and 25 years as a Professor of Mechanical Engineering. Previously, he served as Professor and Chair of the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Louisiana State University and as a Professor of Nuclear Engineering at Kansas State University.

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Joseph Anthony Colella University of Kentucky College of Engineering

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Mr. Tony Colella currently serves as the Director of Enrollment Management and Special Programs at the University of Kentucky College of Engineering. In this director’s position, he holds the responsibility to recruit and assist in retaining and graduating students in the College of Engineering. He has served in this role for five years. Additionally, he oversees the Engineering Living Learning Program on the UK campus. This program provides over 550 engineering students annually the unique opportunity to reside in a specifically allocated residential hall to house these highly motivated academic scholars. Students are provided STEM-focused study/review sessions, career programming, and specialized opportunities to further their engineering/computer science journey. Tony also provides guidance and direction to the Scholars in Engineering And Management (SEAM) honors pathway allowing students the option to complete their honors requirements through a defined curriculum combining engineering and business focused course work. Lastly, Tony provides administrative and logistical support to the Dean’s Leadership course. In this program, he is tasked with organizing all guest speaker visits, coordination of the student selection process, organizing the course capstone experience and any additional student affairs interactions required in the program.
Prior to joining the UK College of Engineering, Tony served 24 years on active duty as a United States Air Force Commissioned Officer.

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In 2007, the University of Kentucky College of Engineering created the Pigman Leadership Development Program. The program had the following three objectives: (1) to develop the next generation of leaders from the college, (2) to expand students’ expectations of the potential of their careers, and (3) to instill in the students a responsibility for “giving back”, including through civic engagement and professional engagement. Each year, the program accepted only fifteen upper-level engineering students for a one-hour semester course that included study of literature on leadership, extensive interactions with successful alumni, and development on professional skills. The program completed its tenth year in 2017. Alumni of the program over those ten years were surveyed regarding how the program has made a difference in their “life and career”.

In this paper, we outline the structure of the Pigman Leadership Development Program and how different elements of the program contribute toward the program objectives. We then describe results of a survey of students over the ten year period of the program. The goal of the survey is to determine student perceptions of the influence of the program on their preparation for leadership opportunities, the influence of the program on the students’ self-perception of their leadership potential, and the influence of the program on the students’ responsibility to “give back”. We consider both self-reported objective measures and respondents’ subjective evaluations of influence of the program. Given that the data extends over ten years of students, we consider how responses differ as the respondents are further into their career since their graduations. We also consider evidence of the alumni’s engagement in and support of the college as one measure of civic and professional engagement, one of the objectives of the program.

Holloway, L., & Lester, T. W., & Colella, J. A. (2018, June), Engineering Leadership Development Program – a Tenth-year Review and Assessment Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--30414

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