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Impact of an I-Corps Site Program on Engineering Students at a Large Southwestern University: Year 4

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2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


Virtual Conference

Publication Date

July 26, 2021

Start Date

July 26, 2021

End Date

July 19, 2022

Conference Session

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Tagged Topics

Diversity and NSF Grantees Poster Session

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Paper Authors


Magdalini Z. Lagoudas Texas A&M University

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Magda Lagoudas, Executive Director for Industry & Nonprofit Partnerships, has been at Texas A&M University since 1992 and served on several capacities across the College of Engineering, including Director for the Space Engineering Institute and Associate Director for the Space Engineering Research Center. Current responsibilities include pursuing strategic partnerships with industry to provide engineering students with opportunities to collaborate on multidisciplinary teams addressing real world challenges and with industry engagement. College signature programs include the Texas A&M I-Corps Site, AggiE_Challenge, INSPIRES, and two annual Project Showcases. Magda is the Principal Investigator of the Texas A&M University I-Corps Site grant and has been active in promoting entrepreneurship both at the local and national level.

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So Yoon Yoon University of Cincinnati Orcid 16x16

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So Yoon Yoon, Ph.D., is a research scientist at the Department of Engineering Education in the College of Engineering and Applied Science (CEAS) at the University of Cincinnati. She received her Ph.D. in Gifted Education, and an M.S.Ed. in Research Methods and Measurement with a specialization in Educational Psychology, both from Purdue University. Her work centers on engineering education research as a psychometrician, program evaluator, and data analyst, with research interests in spatial ability, creativity, engineering-integrated STEM education, and meta-analysis. As a psychometrician, she has revised, developed, and validated more than 10 instruments beneficial for STEM education practice and research. She has authored/co-authored more than 50 peer-reviewed journal articles and conference proceedings and served as a journal reviewer in engineering education, STEM education, and educational psychology. She has also served as a co-PI, an external evaluator, or an advisory board member on several NSF-funded projects.

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Rodney Boehm Texas A&M University

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Rodney Boehm is the Director of Engineering Entrepreneurship and an Associate Professor of Practice in the Texas A&M University College of Engineering. He has broad industry experiences, including over 35 years in all aspects of the telecommunications industry (sales, marketing, manufacturing, business development, and technical design), the creation of a telecommunications standard (SONET - Synchronous Optical Network) for the fiber optics industry that is still in use internationally over 30 years later, a wide variety of business experiences in international companies, and startup experiences. This has helped him lead a very successful industry career.

Currently he is using his technical business experiences to develop and run innovation and entrepreneurial programs for the Engineering Innovation Center, a 20,000 sq ft rapid prototyping facility. These include Aggies Invent, TAMU iSITE, Inventeer, and Pop Up Classes. In addition, he mentors multiple entrepreneurial teams.

Formerly he was a Senior Vice President of Fujitsu Network Communications, headquartered in Richardson, Texas. With over 30 years of experience in telecommunications, Rodney was responsible for developing partnerships with leading network technology providers and driving marketing efforts for optical, access and data products developed by Fujitsu. Rodney was Chairman of the T1X1 Technical Sub-Committee (the organization responsible for SONET standardization) from 1990 through 1994. He has been active in SONET's National and International Standardization since 1985. In addition, Rodney has published numerous papers and presentations on SONET.

Rodney began his career with Fujitsu Network Communications in 1989 as the Director of Strategic Planning. He also held the positions of Director of Transport Product Planning, Vice President of Business Management, Senior Vice President of Sales Management, Senior Vice President of Manufacturing, and Senior Vice President of Business Development. Before joining Fujitsu, Rodney worked for Bell Laboratories, Bellcore (now Telcordia), and Rockwell International. He earned both his bachelor's and master's degrees in electrical engineering at Texas A&M University.

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Hannah Wehlmann

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Per National Science Foundation, the I-Corps Sites program was launched to provide infrastructure, advice, resources, networking opportunities, entrepreneurship training and modest funding to enable research groups to transition their technology into the marketplace directly or into becoming an NSF I-Corps Team applicant. Furthermore, several of the close to 100 existing Sites include student participants working on student-owned intellectual property. We are currently operating on our fourth year of our I-Corps Site grant, which has supported eleven cohorts and more than one hundred teams. In previous work, we evaluated the change in perceptions associated with interest, confidence, and entrepreneurship, and lessons learned from practicing customer discovery (Lagoudas et al., 2019). In addition, we investigated the changes in the perceptions and the decision to GO/No GO with regards to student demographics and classification (undergraduate vs. graduate students) (Lagoudas et al., 2020). In this study, we will add to the findings of our previous work and include a focus on investigating the existence of any association between participant interest to utilize the lean launch methodology skills acquired as part of the Site program and their future career plans in relation to their prior experience in this area. Some of the research questions we are interested in include: 1) has the program increased interests of participants to seek opportunities in startups? 2) how does the program impact future research of participants; and 3) what are other ways that participants see benefits for their professional careers? We will utilize data from about 50 students who responded to open-ended questions on both pre- and post-surveys during 2018 to 2020. The findings of this investigation will add value to the existing body of research on the impact of the I-Corps Site programs.

Lagoudas, M. Z., & Yoon, S. Y., & Boehm, R., & Wehlmann, H. (2021, July), Impact of an I-Corps Site Program on Engineering Students at a Large Southwestern University: Year 4 Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. 10.18260/1-2--37274

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