LEWISBURG, Pa. — Bucknell University has received a $75,000 grant from the Kern Family Foundation and become a member of the Kern Entrepreneurship Education Network, or KEEN program. The KEEN program's goal is to instill an entrepreneurial mindset in engineering students at selected private colleges around the country.
"Being a KEEN institution allows us to focus more specifically on entrepreneurial opportunities within engineering and within engineering courses," said Keith Buffinton, dean of engineering. "There is a lot of interest in entrepreneurship at Bucknell and nationwide. The Kern Family Foundation recognizes and wants to promote this strength in engineering."
The grant will help to support travel and guest speakers for Bucknell students interested in learning about an entrepreneurial mindset and what it means to think entrepreneurially as an engineer in the 21st century. It will also support faculty training and course development. As a member of the Kern Family Foundation's KEEN network of more than 20 institutions, Bucknell will be able to exchange ideas with fellow KEEN institutions through conferences and "dense networks" that foster close working relationships among institutions with similar goals.
Engineering success Bucknell's KEEN program complements a number of efforts to explore the role of innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship as part of the undergraduate experience. These efforts include Engineering 100, which requires students to develop teaching aids ("Gizmos") intended for elementary school teachers to help them illustrate basic engineering principles. || See a PodSquad video of Gizmos.
The University also helps students pursue co-curricular and extra-curricular entrepreneurial activities through partnerships including the Bucknell Student Business Plan competition; the student-organized Bucknell Business Leaders; the Small Business Development Center; the Bucknell Business Incubator; the Keystone Innovation Zone; and the Bucknell Innovation Group. || For more about Bucknell's alumni innovators, see the Bucknell Magazine article,Define Entrepreneur.
The College of Engineering has also expanded its resources with the Richard J. Mooney Innovative Design Laboratory, a workspace in which engineering students and faculty can bring their designs and ideas to life. The facility is the gift of Pam Mooney and family in honor of her late husband, Dick Mooney, a member of the Class of 1960.
"Thinking broadly, being passionate, questioning the boundaries of problems - not all of these characteristics are necessarily associated with a traditional engineering education," Buffinton said. "But these are some of the characteristics that we at Bucknell and the College of Engineering believe are essential to an entrepreneurial mindset."
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