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Promoting the Entrepreneurial Mindset through Faculty Development

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2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


New Orleans, Louisiana

Publication Date

June 26, 2016

Start Date

June 26, 2016

End Date

June 29, 2016





Conference Session

Entrepreneurship & Engineering Innovation Division Technical Session 9

Tagged Division

Entrepreneurship & Engineering Innovation

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Paper Authors


William M. Jordan Baylor University

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William Jordan is the mechanical engineering department chair at Baylor University. He has B.S. and M.S. degrees in metallurgical engineering from the Colorado School of Mines, an M.A. degree in theology from Denver Seminary, and a Ph.D. in mechanics and materials from Texas A & M University. He teaches materials-related courses and does work in the area of mechanical behavior of composite materials. He is also interested in entrepreneurship and appropriate technology in developing countries.

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Cynthia C. Fry Baylor University

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Cynthia C. Fry is a Senior Lecturer of Computer Science and the Director of the Computer Science Fellows program at Baylor University. She teaches a wide variety of engineering and computer science courses, deploys a series of faculty development seminars focused on Curiosity, Connections, and Creating Value, and works collaboratively and remotely with a series of colleagues on the development of EML-based courses. She is a KEEN Fellow.

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Kenneth W. Van Treuren Baylor University

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Ken Van Treuren is an Associate Professor in the Department of Engineering at Baylor University. He received his B. S. in Aeronautical Engineering from the USAF Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado and his M. S. in Engineering from Princeton University in Princeton, New Jersey. After serving as USAF pilot in KC-135 and KC-10 aircraft, he completed his DPhil in Engineering Sciences at the University of Oxford, United Kingdom and returned to the USAF Academy to teach heat transfer and propulsion systems. At Baylor University, he teaches courses in laboratory techniques, fluid mechanics, energy systems, and propulsion systems, as well as freshman engineering. Research interests include renewable energy to include small wind turbine aerodynamics, UAS propeller design and experimental convective heat transfer as applied to HVAC and gas turbine systems.

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Our university is part of a group of about 20 universities that are seeking to improve our graduates’ capabilities by helping them to develop an entrepreneurial mindset while they are yet students. While technical knowledge is essential to engineering, engineers will be more likely to find success and personal fulfillment when they couple these skills with a mindset to create extraordinary value for others.

This perspective is not innate to many students, but they can be exposed to these concepts using the curriculum, if faculty themselves know how to do this. This leads to the critical issue of appropriate faculty development. Our program is committed to this perspective. As a result of this, we added to the department’s undergraduate mission statement that our students “will be empowered by innovative problem-solving creativity and an entrepreneurial mindset”.

To help our faculty we have created a multifaceted approach to development. We have monthly lunchtime seminars where people from other parts of campus come in and make presentations. In fall 2015 these presentations were on the topics of Curiosity, Connections, and Creating Value. At the end of each semester we have a ½ day workshop where outside experts come in and lead us in a discussion of some aspect of this topic.

A major component of this development was the creation of an internal grant program called Innovators. These Innovators come to the December workshop to learn more about the subject. They then create modules in one of their courses that demonstrate some aspect of the entrepreneurial mindset. Once they complete the project they create documents to show others how these modules can be used. Once this is done they receive a small stipend. By emphasizing modules, rather than entire courses, our faculty create things that other faculty (both here and at other schools) can insert into existing courses. So far we have had 15 faculty members (about 40% of our total engineering faculty) create modules. Another six professors are in the process of creating modules. The degree of this involvement is helping to change the culture within our college concerning the important of helping our students develop an entrepreneurial mindset.

The final paper will include a number of these modules and provide links to additional ones.

Jordan, W. M., & Fry, C. C., & Van Treuren, K. W. (2016, June), Promoting the Entrepreneurial Mindset through Faculty Development Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.26007

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