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Veteran Students in Engineering Leadership Roles

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Conference

2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Columbus, Ohio

Publication Date

June 24, 2017

Start Date

June 24, 2017

End Date

June 28, 2017

Conference Session

Military and Veterans Constituent Committee Division Technical Session 3

Tagged Division

Military and Veterans

Page Count

14

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/29104

Download Count

61

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Paper Authors

biography

Robert J. Rabb P.E. The Citadel

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Robert Rabb is an associate professor and the Mechanical Engineering Program Director at The Citadel. He previously taught mechanical engineering at the United States Military Academy at West Point. He received his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the United States Military Academy and his M.S.E. and PhD in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin. His research and teaching interests are in mechatronics, regenerative power, and multidisciplinary engineering.

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Kevin C Bower P.E. The Citadel

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Dr. Kevin Bower is the D. Graham Copland Professor of Civil Engineering and Head of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at The Citadel, Charleston, South Carolina. Dr. Bower’s research into teaching and learning forces on improving active learning environments and the development of principled leaders attributes in engineering students.

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Robert J Barsanti Jr. The Citadel

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Robert Barsanti is a Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at The Citadel where he teaches and does research in the area of target tracking and signal processing. Since 2015, Dr. Barsanti has served as the William States Lee Professor and Department Head. Before joining The Citadel in 2002, he served on the faculty and as a member of the mission analysis design team at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, CA. Dr. Barsanti is a retired United States Naval Officer. His memberships include the Eta Kappa Nu, and Tau Beta Pi honor societies.

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Ronald W. Welch P.E. The Citadel

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Ron Welch (P.E.) received his B.S. degree in Engineering Mechanics from the United States Military Academy in 1982. He received his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Civil Engineering from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana in 1990 and 1999, respectively. He became the Dean of Engineering at The Citadel on 1 July 2011. Prior to his current position, he was the Department Head of Civil Engineering at The University of Texas at Tyler from Jan 2007 to June 2011 as well as served in the Corps of Engineers for over 24 years including eleven years on the faculty at the United States Military Academy.

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Abstract

There has been a growing emphasis on producing engineers that are technically proficient while having many professional skills such as organization, time management, communication, and leadership. Service academies and military colleges require a highly structured leadership curriculum and formal experience for all their cadet students. However, many veterans are not required and cannot experience the leadership sequence at military colleges. Unless they are a cadet or midshipman, they simply are not allowed to register for these courses nor can they hold leadership positions in the cadet ranks. However, veteran students are well suited to assume leadership roles and responsibilities in and out of the classroom. Their military experience often fosters growth of these soft skills and make them effective and admired leaders, even at a military college where their academic peers have experienced a more structured and recent leadership curriculum. Faculty and traditional students at civilian or military colleges can benefit from these qualities if they are aware of their skills and experiences. The classroom experience and extracurricular activities can be enriched through these non-traditional students. This paper discusses some of the professional skills recognized in veterans. It then provides examples of veterans in leadership roles in three different programs and activities. One experience will be a project leader in the ASCE concrete canoe, another is the role of veteran leaders in a senior design project in electrical engineering. Finally, the last experience describes the veterans assuming leadership roles in the student chapter of ASME. Based upon the feedback and peer assessments, these veterans played significant roles in their organizations’ and teams’ activities and eventual success.

Rabb, R. J., & Bower, K. C., & Barsanti, R. J., & Welch, R. W. (2017, June), Veteran Students in Engineering Leadership Roles Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. https://peer.asee.org/29104

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