Engineering expertise assistant professor honored as a 2022 KEEN Rising Star

Jennifer O’Neil was not too long ago named a KEEN Rising Star, an honor given to acknowledge a school member’s skill to enhance scholar studying and to equip undergraduate engineers with the instruments to resolve societal issues.

O’Neil, an assistant professor at Rochester Institute of Know-how, teaches programs in RIT’s College of Engineering Technology (CET) and is likely one of the leaders of the college’s college instructing circles, a mentoring and school growth initiative. She performed a big function in introducing KEEN’s Entrepreneurial Mindset to the college and has championed its philosophy of integrating concept with real-world conditions to make optimistic change in society.

“Jen’s efforts, which started with a short presentation to the Faculty of Engineering Know-how management staff almost 5 years in the past, have blossomed right into a multi-college collaboration that features dozens of school members actively engaged with entrepreneurial minded studying,” mentioned Mike Eastman, CET’s affiliate dean for Tutorial Applications and Steady Enchancment.

“Jen has impressed numerous college and college students along with her progressive, student-centered instructing practices and has been the catalyst for partaking each new college member within the Faculty of Engineering Know-how and the Kate Gleason College of Engineering with EML. She has been instrumental in laying the inspiration for a brand new imaginative and prescient of scholar success at RIT.”

O’Neil’s mechanical engineering technology coursework usually contains the mixing of economics, social, and authorities components with engineering concept as a solution to develop how college students downside remedy and develop technical options. Scholar feedback have been included as a part of her nomination package deal, and one acknowledged: “Pay attention up…RIT – that is the way you educate! That is the way you interact your college students! Dr. O’Neil… is excellent! Everybody ought to are available and watch her class and take notes…Her means of instructing is amazingly efficient and needs to be instilled on this main’s core.”

Exterior of the classroom, O’Neil is an advocate of the Kern Entrepreneurial Engineering Network—KEEN—and serves as a coach throughout Engineering Unleashed faculty development workshops; she additionally led efforts to achieve and conduct instructing and management analysis on engineering schooling enhancements as a part of RIT’s Modern Studying Institute. 

In recognition of the consideration, RIT will obtain a $10,000 grant from the Kern Family Foundation towards a campus undertaking with O’Neil ’08 (mechanical engineering) named as principal investigator. She may also be acknowledged on the 2023 KEEN Nationwide Convention, going down in January 2023 in Atlanta.

RIT turned a member of KEEN in 2019. A nationwide partnership of greater than 50 universities, the group focuses on growing graduates who’re technically ready, perceive societal modifications and strategically search alternatives to enhance upon these modifications by combining engineering abilities with the mindset of entrepreneurs. Engineering schooling is transitioning throughout the nation towards designing services and products that higher serve society general. KEEN and its entrepreneurial mindset is a progressive means of making ready the following technology of engineers, who will probably be anticipated to anticipate, and act on, societal modifications. Since 2019, several RIT faculty have been acknowledged as Engineering Unleashed Fellows for enhancements to, and management in, engineering schooling. Educating methods primarily based on the entrepreneurial mindset have additionally been built-in into New Faculty Orientation on the college.

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