Inspiring the Engineers of the Future: An Interview with Start Engineering's Eric Iversen

July 18, 2016
Hosted by David E. Goldberg

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Episode Description

In this episode, host Dave Goldberg interviews Eric Iversen of Start Engineering, a company dedicated to making engineering exciting and accessible for K-12 students. Join Eric and Dave to learn more about Start Engineering, explore how K-12 STEM education is evolving, and examine the ins and outs of running a small, but mighty, educational start-up.

Big Beacon Radio

Monday at 10 AM Pacific Time on VoiceAmerica Business Channel

Change is coming to higher education like a freight train, but transforming higher education is challenging, full of risks and opportunities for educators, students, workers, and employers, alike. Big Beacon Radio, Transforming Higher Education, with Dave Goldberg, helps you explore and understand the latest news and views. Hear about the latest innovations from cutting edge innovators as higher education remakes itself, in the United States and around the globe. Join Dave as he speaks with top guests, innovators, thought leaders, and movers and shakers, on an equal footing from his own experiences as a higher education transformation pioneer. Transforming higher education is complex, and the world of higher education is changing quickly. Stay on top. Tune in to Big Beacon Radio, Transforming Higher Education, with David E. Goldberg every Monday at 10 AM Pacific Time on the VoiceAmerica Business Channel.

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David E. Goldberg

David E. Goldberg is a speaker, author, strategist, trainer, and coach for transforming higher education. Toward the end of a 27-year distinguished academic career in which Dave achieved renown for his path-breaking work on artificial intelligence, he founded the iFoundry incubator for educational change at the University of Illinois. iFoundry’s success in unleashing students was so startling, that in 2010, Dave resigned his tenure and a distinguished professorship to start ThreeJoy Associates, a change consulting, training and coaching firm for transforming higher education. Work at Illinois, Olin College, NUS (Singapore), UFMG (Brazil), and other innovators led to the development of the SmoothChange method for transforming higher education, featuring rapid innovation and respect for faculty governance.

In 2012, Dave founded Big Beacon as a non-profit organization for transforming higher education. Today, Big Beacon gathers students, innovators, and employers together to learn from each other and to advocate for transforming higher education. In 2014, he co-authored the groundbreaking book, “A Whole New Engineer: The Coming Revolution in Engineering Education,” available in hardcover and major e-book formats.

Dave maintains an active correspondence with many of the world’s top thought leaders in educational and organizational change. He is constantly on the lookout for new ideas, thinkers, and practices that lead to success in transforming higher education.

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Episode Directory

July 2016

  • 7/25/2016: Reporting on Today's Educational Landscape: An Interview with Goldie Blumenstyk Coming Soon
  • 7/18/2016: Inspiring the Engineers of the Future: An Interview with Start Engineering's Eric Iversen Listen Now
  • 7/11/2016: Shaping Undergraduate Engineering Education: University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign's AE3 Listen Now

June 2016

May 2016

April 2016

March 2016

February 2016

January 2016

December 2015

November 2015

October 2015

September 2015

August 2015

July 2015

June 2015

May 2015

April 2015

Mark Abbott

Mark Abbott currently serves as the Engineering Leadership portfolio manager at Engineers Without Borders Canada (EWB) and as the “Animator” of the Engineering Change Lab, which is a platform for collaboration to allow individuals and organizations from across the profession in Canada to take action to address the systemic challenges (i.e. ethics failures, lack of diversity, and low levels of innovation) that have been holding back the profession’s full potential. The core Lab Team consists of 40 senior leaders (CEOs, VPs, Deans, Directors) each representing different organizations from across the profession. Previously Mark served as a member of the Executive Team at EWB for several years. Before that, he spent fourteen years helping grow a mid-sized heavy industrial consulting engineering firm. Mark lives in Toronto, Canada, with his wife Colette and their son Felix. View Guest page

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Rashid Al-Heidous


Rashid Al-Heidous is a current Chemical engineering student at TEXAS A&M Qatar campus. He graduated from Tariq Bin Zyad high school -a government school- as the second best in the country. He is working with Qatar Foundation in the research and development department aside from his studies. View Guest page

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Kim Allen

Kim Allen is the chief executive officer of Engineers Canada, the national organization of organizations that regulate Canada’s 280,000 engineers. Engineers Canada provides national and leadership & support to promote & maintain the integrity, honour, interests & excellence of the profession. It also accredits the engineering programs at Canada’s 44 engineering schools. With more than 25 years of accomplishment as a chief executive in the public, private & association sectors, Mr. Allen implements winning strategies for the success of the engineering profession and the promotion of the competency, integrity and public accountability of engineers. He also serves as an advisor to government related on matters related to engineering and regulation. Mr. Allen currently sits on a number of boards and advisory committees. He is an electrical engineering graduate from University of Ottawa & holds a master of business administration from the University of Toronto’s Rotman Business School. View Guest page

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Kristin Armstrong


Kristin Armstrong is the Executive Director at the Saugatuck Center for the Arts, a community-based art center located along Michigan's art coast. The SCA is a "catalyst and convener" for the West Michigan community, serving up innovative, creative educational programs for children & adults, professional theatre, concerts, exhibitions, and more. Kristin is passionate about building community, so she serves on the Allegan County Economic Development Commission and is the Programming Chair for the Saugatuck-Douglas Rotary Club. She lives in St. Joseph, Michigan, with her husband and two children. View Guest page

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Suhaib Aslam


Suhaib Aslam is a first-year ATLAS student, striving to become an entrepreneurial T-shaped, new engineer, who is socially engaged and inspired by technology and can collaborate across disciplines: uniquely contributing to a creative and innovative process. Besides ATLAS, Suhaib focuses on being a change agent for education, through his role as a liaison of SWNE (Students for a Whole New Education) to EIWG (Education Innovators Working Group)–two networks within Big Beacon, working for educational transformation. He is also a STEM ambassador as part of The Mars Generation (an organization that serves as a catalyst to identify students with an interest in STEM and nurture their STEM education). Suhaib also takes active interest in sociotechnical engineering, leadership, design, innovation studies, entrepreneurship and startups. He is part of UNICEF’s Enschede Student Team and is a brand ambassador for Artosphere. View Guest page

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Gary R Bertoline


Gary R. Bertoline is the Dean of the Purdue Polytechnic Institute and a Distinguished Professor of Computer Graphics Technology and Computer & Information Technology at Purdue University. Gary has led the creation of the Rosen Center for Advanced Computing and the Envision Center for Perceptualization. He also served 5-years as the Associate Dean for Graduate Programs in the College of Technology before becoming dean of the in 2011. He co-founded the Indiana Next Generation Manufacturing Competitiveness Center (IN-MaC) as well as the Polytechnic Institute initiative at Purdue University. The Polytechnic initiative is a major effort to transform the college’s curricula and learning experience for the students to better prepare graduate for life and work in the digital age. Gary is the lead for the Purdue Polytechnic Indianapolis High School that will be opening in Fall 2017. View Guest page

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Vince Bertram


Dr. Vince Bertram is president and chief executive officer of Project Lead The Way (PLTW), a nonprofit organization that provides a transformative learning experience for K-12 students and teachers across the U.S. Since he joined the organization in June 2011, PLTW has grown to serve more than 8,000 schools, trained thousands of teachers, and received numerous national recognitions and awards. In 2014, the U.S. Department of State appointed Bertram to serve as the education expert for its United States Speaker and Specialist Program. He has testified before the U.S. House of Representatives, is a frequent contributor to the Huffington Post and other national publications, and in November 2014, became a New York Times bestselling author with his book One Nation Under-Taught: Solving America’s Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math Crisis. View Guest page

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Goldie Blumenstyk


Goldie Blumenstyk is one of the nation’s most respected higher-education journalists. A senior writer at The Chronicle of Higher Education, she is known for her expertise on for-profit higher education, college and educational innovation. She has reported for The Chronicle from China, Israel, Peru and several countries in Europe, and her stories have received numerous awards. Goldie has been a frequent guest on public radio and public-affairs shows, and her work has appeared in The New York Times and USA Today. She is co-founder of The Chronicle’s new reporting project, “Re:Learning | Mapping the New Education Landscape.” Before joining The Chronicle in 1988, she covered City Hall at The Orlando Sentinel. Her bestselling book, American Higher Education in Crisis? What Everyone Needs to Know, was published by Oxford University Press, 2015. Goldie has a B.A. (History) from Colgate University, and a master’s degree from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. View Guest page

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Sarah Miller Caldicott

A great grandniece of Thomas Edison, Sarah Miller Caldicott is an innovation process expert and thought leader. Inspired by a family lineage of inventors dating back five generations, she has been engaged in creativity and innovation throughout her life. Sarah spent the first 15 years of her career as a marketing executive with Global 100 firms including Quaker Oats and Unilever. She’s written two books translating Edison’s innovation methods for today’s leaders. Her book "Innovate Like Edison" lays out Edison’s five competencies of innovation, and “Midnight Lunch" reveals the unique collaboration approach Edison employed to create disruptive, new industries that transformed our world. Dedicated to inspiring new innovation capability in today’s workforce, Sarah guides organizations on how to leverage innovation as a driver of growth and relevance. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, Fortune, and USA Today, as well as on CNBC and NPR. View Guest page

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Jenna Carpenter


Dr. Jenna P. Carpenter is Founding Dean and Professor of Engineering at Campbell University in North Carolina. She is Women in Engineering ProActive Network (WEPAN) Immediate Past-President, former Vice President of the American Society of Engineering Education, and an ABET (formerly the Accrediting Board for Engineering and Technology) Evaluator. She was principal investigator of Louisiana Tech’s National Science Foundation (NSF) ADVANCE grant, which aimed to create a culture of success for women faculty in engineering and science, and co-PI on WEPAN’s NSF-funded Knowledge Center Project, which created an online database/professional community focused on women in engineering and science. She advises on diversity for a variety of NSF-funded programs and women-serving engineering and science organizations. She is Co-Chair of the mathematical societies’ Joint Committee on Women and Chair of the Steering Committee for the National Academy of Engineering Grand Challenge Scholars Program. View Guest page

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Gina Cherkowski

Dr. Gina Cherkowski is a Mathematics Educator and researcher, a STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) Professor and educational game changer. Dr. Cherkowski earned a double cognate Ph. D. in Mathematics Education and in Culture Studies and teaches at University of Calgary. Dr. Cherkowski is on a quest to ensure all kids have access to high quality educational experiences in STEM now so that our kids are ready for the demands of our fast paced, technologically driven world. In addition to volunteering for STEM Alberta, Dr. Cherkowski founded STEM Learning Lab as a way to get meaningful STEM activities to kids so they are aptly positioned to reap the rewards and benefits of our highly technological world. Dr. Cherkowski also sits on the executive board of C21; a leading not-for-­profit organization that promotes the accelerated change in teaching and learning practices across Canada. View Guest page

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Jonathan R Cole


Jonathan R. Cole is John Mitchell Mason Professor of the University at Columbia University. From 1987 to 1989 he was Vice President of Arts and Sciences, and 1989 to 2003, he was Provost and Dean of Faculties at Columbia. For many years, his scholarly work and publications focused on development of the sociology of science as a research specialty. In recent years he addressed issues in higher education, particularly problems facing American research universities. His most recent book, Toward A More Perfect University (PublicAffairs, 2016) follows his earlier publication The Great American University (Public Affairs, 2011), which has been translated into Chinese and Arabic. He recently co-edited the book, Who’s Afraid of Academic Freedom? (Columbia University Press, 2015). He lectures throughout the world on topics related to higher education and continues to teach a variety of courses in several schools of Columbia University. View Guest page

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Monica F Cox


Monica F. Cox, Ph.D., is a Professor and Inaugural Chair of the Department of Engineering Education at The Ohio State University. She is also the Director of the International Institute of Engineering Education Assessment (i2e2a) and the CEO of STEMinent LLC, a company that houses educational assessment, Prepared to Be a Pioneer® professional development, and Quirky Time® media offerings. Her research is focused upon the use of mixed methodologies to explore questions in graduate engineering education; to develop and disseminate reliable and valid assessment tools for use across the engineering education continuum; and to conduct empirical studies about issues facing people of color in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Dr. Cox has led and collaborated on multidisciplinary projects totaling over $12 million, and she has authored over 100 publications. View Guest page

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Kyle V Davy

Kyle V. Davy established his consulting practice 25 years ago to help professional engineering, architecture, and design firms develop the leadership and management capacities they need to thrive in an increasingly turbulent environment. He has facilitated vision, strategy, and scenario planning processes for firms across North America. He has also assisted firms in establishing corporate universities and internal leadership development and succession programs. He is the lead faculty member of ACEC’s Senior Executive Institute (SEI and holds an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business. Kyle lectures widely and has published numerous articles on leadership, the future of the design professions, and other aspects of the A/E industry. He has co-authored two books, Value Redesigned: New Models for Professional Practice (2005) and The Leadership Succession Lifecycle in Best Practice Firms (2012). View Guest page

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Edward L Deci

Edward L. Deci is Helen F. and Fred H. Gowen Professor in the Social Sciences at the University of Rochester. He holds a Ph.D. in psychology from Carnegie-Mellon University, studied at the University of Pennsylvania, the University of London, and Hamilton College, and was an interdisciplinary post-doctoral fellow at Stanford University. For 46 years Deci has engaged in a program of research on human motivation, much of it in collaboration with Richard M. Ryan. Deci has published ten books, including: Why We Do What We Do (Viking/Penguin, 1996). His writings have been translated into seven languages. A grantee of the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, the Institute of Education Sciences, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, he has lectured at more than 100 universities including Harvard, Yale, Stanford, Columbia, and Michigan, and he has consulted for a wide range of organizations and governmental agencies in 24 countries on six continents. View Guest page

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Rich Dionne


Rich Dionne is an assistant professor of theatre at Purdue University, where he teaches courses in scenery technology and management for live entertainment. His currently researching robotic scenery and interactive technologies for live performance. His research in instructional design and applications of studio models of instruction for technology students has been presented at conferences worldwide. He has been a Faculty Fellow of the Purdue Polytechnic Institute for three years, working with other Fellows on the development of a competency-based, transdisciplinary degree program focusing on lifelong and whole-student learning and the integration of technology and the humanities. View Guest page

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Eddy Evans

Eddy Evans is the External Relations Director for the Lassonde School of Engineering in Toronto, Canada, and currently leads the School’s branding, communications strategy, and global partnerships. He is the executive producer of LET ME DO IT (letmedoitmovie.com)--a new documentary exploring the changing face of engineering education across the world. Previously, Eddy worked in politics as a speechwriter for the New Democrats and as a public affairs consultant in Washington D.C. and London, England. He read Philosophy, Politics and Economics at University College, Oxford, and studied Global Strategic Communications at Columbia University in New York. View Guest page

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Jeffrey Evans


Prior to Jeffrey Evans earning his B.S. from Purdue, he studied music performance, focusing on trumpet and flugelhorn, sharing the stage with legends in the entertainment industry. As an electrical engineer he designed products in medical diagnostics, automotive powertrain control, telecommunications, and consumer safety. During his 22 years in industry he earned his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Computer Science from the Illinois Institute of Technology in communications network performance and adaptive systems on distributed systems. He joined Purdue University in 2003, and has published and presented his work at many national and international conferences and journals. His current research expands ideas of adaptation and artificial intelligence into areas of sound and music composition and performance. Dr. Evans is a founding faculty fellow in the Polytechnic Incubator, an environment dedicated to the transformation of higher education. View Guest page

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Ellen Fulton


Ellen Fulton, a master certified executive leadership coach, has extensive experience working with leaders in government, corporations, small businesses, non-profits, and universities. She has worked with over 1000 individuals and teams from the C-Suite to the individual contributor. Ellen challenges clients to reflect on their strengths, areas for growth, values, and interpersonal skills to help them align action plans that maximize strategic goals providing sustainable change. As a Coaching Fellow at George Mason University and Managing Partner of the Washington Coaching Group, Ellen Fulton brings her expertise to a variety of outstanding educational opportunities. Serving as Co-Director for the Advanced Coaching Program in Leadership and Well-Being and past Director of the Mason Institute for Leadership Excellence, Ellen is thrilled to be an integral part of George Mason University’s newest Professional Certificate in Leadership Coaching for Organizational Well-Being. View Guest page

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Irineu Gianesi


Irineu Gianesi currently holds a position of Dean of Teaching and Learning at Insper Instituto de Ensino e Pesquisa, in Sao Paulo, Brazil. He was the leader of the design and implementation of new undergraduate degrees in engineering at Insper. Since the development of the vision of a new school in 2011, with a budget of $40 million, the project ended up launching probably the most relevant and disruptive innovation in engineering education in Brazil. Inspired by the successful experience of the Olin College of Engineering in Boston, MA, US, the Insper's engineering faculty team developed both a highly innovative curriculum and a motivating learning experience that will not only graduate entrepreneurial engineers but also inspire other Brazilian schools to dare to implement changes on their curricula. First results are impressive and promise to set a new standard in creating an environment that fosters the intrinsic motivation of the students to learn. View Guest page

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Erik D Goodman

Erik D. Goodman is Principal Investigator and Director of the BEACON Center for the Study of Evolution in Action, an NSF Science and Technology Center headquartered at Michigan State University where he applies evolutionary principles to engineering design. He received his PhD in computer & communication sciences at the University of Michigan in1972, where he was in John Holland’s Logic of Computers Group. As a Professor at MSU in Electrical & Computer Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, and Computer Science & Engineering he co-founded the Genetic Algorithms Research & Applications Group (GARAGe). As co-founder of Red Cedar Technology, he developed design optimization software as Vice President for Technology from 1999-2010. In 2009 he was named Michigan Distinguished Professor of the Year. He has served in leadership roles for the International Society for Genetic and Evolutionary Computation, and the ACM Special Interest Group on Genetic and Evolutionary Computation (SIGEVO). View Guest page

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Mark Goulston

Dr. Mark Goulston is the author of "Just Listen," the top book on listening in the world. His most recent book is "Talking to Crazy: How to Deal with the Irrational and Impossible People in Your Life." He is founder and co-CEO of the Goulston Group, a business advisory and training company, co-founder of Heartfelt Leadership, founder of the campaign, Healing the World, One Conversation at a Time, and chief learning officer of the POP Protocol that trains law enforcement and civilians to prevent escalation during police pullovers. A former UCLA professor of psychiatry and FBI and police hostage negotiation trainer, he contributes to Harvard Business Review, Huffington Post, Business Insider, Fast Company, Psychology Today and is Senior Editor at C Suite Quarterly Magazine. He is an expert resource in human behavior appearing widely on television and quoted frequently in print including the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Wall Street Journal, Fortune, Forbes, Time, and Newsweek. View Guest page

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Laura Hahn


Laura Hahn has been the Director of the Academy for Excellence in Engineering Education (AE3) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign since 2013. With an academic background in language teaching and learning, her work has crisscrossed the fields of applied linguistics, instructional development, and program administration. Through AE3, she collaborates with faculty who want to explore, innovate, and work together to enhance teaching and learning in the College of Engineering. She is also co-authoring a book entitled, “Women and Ideas in Engineering: Twelve Stories from Illinois,” to be published by the University of Illinois Press. Laura earned her BA, MA, and PhD degrees from the University of Illinois. View Guest page

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Kerry Hannon

Kerry Hannon is a nationally recognized authority on career transitions and retirement and a frequent TV and radio commentator who speaks about and offers advice on career and personal finance trends. She is the author of the gold‐medal award–winning "What’s Next? Finding Your Passion and Your Dream Job in Your Forties, Fifties and Beyond", which USA Today hailed as “a road map for those striking out on their own.” She has spent more than two decades covering all aspects of business and personal finance as a columnist, editor, and writer for the nation’s leading media companies, including Forbes, The New York Times, Money, U.S. News & World Report, and USA Today. Kerry’s latest books are, "Love Your Job: The New Rules for Career Happiness" and "Getting the Job You Want After 50 For Dummies". View Guest page

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Sarah Happel


Sarah Happel, President and Founder of Spectrum Leadership Solutions, is a top leadership consultant and coach who excels in cultivating excellence in leadership through her work with individuals, teams and organizations. Formerly an internationally competitive volleyball player, Sarah helps leaders and executive teams determine winning strategies for their organizations through her work as a coach and facilitator. With over 15 years in the field of communication and transition management, Sarah has lived and worked extensively overseas, leading programs in Germany, Luxembourg, Argentina, Spain and the USA. Sarah is a leader in the field of coaching and leadership development. Known for spear-heading thought-provoking cohorts which spark personal and professional transformation, Sarah is also a Coaching Fellow at George Mason’s acclaimed Leadership Certification Program in Organizational Well-Being. View Guest page

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Zaid Hassan


Zaid is a strategist, writer and facilitator. He has fifteen years of experience in developing strategic responses to complex social challenges. He has worked on issues such as agriculture, climate change, education, energy, financial systems, malnutrition, public healthcare, security, sustainable development, and youth issues. He has worked all over the world, with a broad range of clients, including the World Bank, the UN Foundation, GIZ, WWF, Oxfam, Unilever, the Governments of Canada, Liberia, and New Zealand. Zaid is a Visiting Professor at the California College of Arts (CCA) where he helps teach a social lab on a graduate level Masters programme. Over 2009-10 he was an Associate Fellow of The Institute of Science, Innovation and Society, at the Said Business School. He is a writer and author of "The Social Labs Revolution: A New Approach to Solving Our Most Complex Challenges" (Berret-Koehler, 2014). View Guest page

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Art Heidebrecht


Art Heidebrecht is Director of the W Booth School Engineering Practice at McMaster University; he is also Professor Emeritus, Civil Engineering at McMaster. The Booth School offers a suite of professional masters programs in entrepreneurship, public policy and design; these programs have a common focus on developing leadership to facilitate engineering innovation. Art has a B.Sc. in Civil Engineering from University of Alberta and M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees from Northwestern University. During his academic career at McMaster, his research specialty was earthquake engineering, focusing largely on improving the seismic design of building structures. He has held a number of leadership positions at McMaster, including Dean of Engineering, Provost and Vice-President Academic, and Executive Director of the McMaster-Mohawk Bachelor of Technology Partnership. His current interests include sustainability, leadership and change, primarily in the context of engineering education. View Guest page

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Jennifer Herek


Jennifer Herek is the founding Dean of the University College Twente (Enschede, the Netherlands), which offers an honours-level BSc degree programme in Technology and Liberal Arts & Sciences (ATLAS). Now in its third year, with first students approaching graduation this June, ATLAS has already earned distinction as a 'Top Rated Study Programme' in the Netherlands. Jennifer obtained a B.A. in chemistry from Lawrence University in 1990 and Ph.D. in chemical physics from Caltech in 1996. She held research appointments at Lund University (Sweden) and the Institute for Atomic and Molecular Physics (Amsterdam) before joining the faculty of the University of Twente in 2006 as professor of physics and chair of the Optical Sciences group, part of the MESA+ Institute of Nanotechnology. View Guest page

Episode Listing:

Eric Iversen


Eric Iversen is VP for Learning and Communications at Start Engineering, a company dedicated to making engineering exciting and accessible for K-12 audiences. At Start Engineering, he blogs about the many sides of the “E” in STEM, including teaching and learning, diversity, policy, and its relevance to our daily lives. He speaks widely on the topic, drives the company’s social media profile, and conducts independent and collaborative research on the place of engineering in K-12 learning. In various other organizations, he launched and led many different learning enterprises. These ranged from cross-platform, Internet-based education programs to collaborations across multiple organizations to classroom-style education and outreach activities. He taught college-level English for seven years, including both literature and writing courses. He has a BA in English from the University of Virginia and PhD in comparative literature from the University of North Carolina. View Guest page

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Barry Johnson


In his 30+ years as an organization and leadership development consultant, Dr. Barry Johnson has shared the “gift of polarities” with tens of thousands of individuals and hundreds of organizations around the world. His authorship of the Polarity Management® approach, founding of Polarity Management Associates, co-founding Polarity Partnerships, LLC, and his enthusiasm and passion have created a world-wide learning and practice community. Barry’s clients include some of the world’s largest businesses and industries; educational organizations and universities; and government agencies in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, South Africa and the United Nations. Countless leaders, consultants and individual users have participated in Polarity Partnerships’ programs and presentations. View Guest page

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Beverly E Jones

Beverly E. Jones, BSJ, MBA, JD, is a master of career reinvention. In the 1970’s, before trailblazing her career as a Washington lawyer and Fortune 500 energy executive, Jones led university programs to empower women. Throughout her work life Jones has helped other professionals and leaders to survive and thrive. Since 2002, she has built an executive coaching and consulting practice, leading retreats and helping professionals of all ages to advance their careers, shift direction or boost their productivity. Based in the nation’s capital, she works with accomplished leaders in the federal government, NGOs, universities, companies and other complex organizations. Her latest book is “Think Like an Entrepreneur, Act Like a CEO: 50 Indispensable Tips to Help You Stay Afloat, Bounce Back, and Get Ahead at Work.” View Guest page

Episode Listing:

Beverly E Jones

Beverly E. Jones, BSJ, MBA, JD, is a master of career reinvention. In the 1970’s, before trailblazing her career as a Washington lawyer and Fortune 500 energy executive, Jones led university programs to empower women. Throughout her work life Jones has helped other professionals and leaders to survive and thrive. Since 2002, she has built an executive coaching and consulting practice, leading retreats and helping professionals of all ages to advance their careers, shift direction or boost their productivity. Based in the nation’s capital, she works with accomplished leaders in the federal government, NGOs, universities, companies and other complex organizations. In late 2015, Career Press will publish her book, “Think Like an Entrepreneur, Act Like a CEO: 50 Indispensable Tips to Help You Stay Afloat, Bounce Back, and Get Ahead at Work.” View Guest page

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Adam Kahane

Adam Kahane is a Director of Reos Partners, an international social enterprise that helps people move forward together on their most important and intractable issues. Adam is a leading organizer, designer and facilitator of processes through which business, government, and civil society leaders can work together to address such challenges. He has worked in more than fifty countries, in every part of the world, with executives, politicians, generals, guerrillas, civil servants, trade unionists, community activists, UN officials, clergy, and artists. Adam is the author of Solving Tough Problems: An Open Way of Talking, Listening, and Creating New Realities, about which Nelson Mandela said: “This breakthrough book addresses the central challenge of our time: finding a way to work together to solve the problems we have created.” He is also the author of Power and Love: A Theory and Practice of Social Change and Transformative Scenario Planning: Working Together to Change the Future. View Guest page

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John P. Kotter


John P. Kotter is internationally known and widely regarded as perhaps the leading voice on how the best organizations actually achieve successful transformations. The Konosuke Matsushita Professor of Leadership, Emeritus at the Harvard Business School, chairman of Kotter International, and a graduate of MIT and Harvard, Kotter’s vast experience and knowledge on successful change and leadership have been proven time and again. Author of 19 books, twelve of them bestsellers, his works have been printed in over 150 foreign language editions and total sales exceed three million copies. His latest book, Accelerate: Building Strategic Agility for a Faster-Moving World, is based on an HBR article that won the 2012 McKinsey Award for the world’s most practical and groundbreaking thinking in the business/management arena. Professor Kotter is the 2009 recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Society for Training & Development. View Guest page

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John R Koza

John R. Koza received his Ph.D. in computer science from the University of Michigan in 1972. From 1973 through 1987, he was co-founder, chairman, and CEO of Scientific Games Inc. where he co-invented the rub-off instant lottery ticket used by state lotteries. Between 1988 and 2003, he taught a course on genetic algorithms and genetic programming between 1988 and 2003 at Stanford University, where he was a consulting professor. He wrote 4 books on Genetic Programming. He is currently Chair of National Popular Vote (an organization seeking to elect the President by a vote of the people in all 50 states). View Guest page

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Janusz Kozinski


Janusz Kozinski is Founding Dean of the Lassonde School of Engineering. As a globally trained academic leader, multidisciplinary researcher, creative thinker, arts enthusiast, entrepreneur, and a speaker of 5 languages, Janusz embodies the traits of a Renaissance Engineer. Born and raised in Krakow, Poland, Janusz received his post-doctoral training at MIT before joining McGill where he was a Sir William Dawson Scholar in Mining, Metals & Materials Engineering and Associate Vice Principal (Research and International Relations). Janusz has been a trailblazing leader at every institution he has served, including McGill, the University of Saskatchewan, and York University. Janusz is a passionate leader who exudes positivity and determination. A true Renaissance Engineer, he sees the necessity and beauty in bringing people together to not only solve the engineering problems of today and tomorrow, but to challenge each other to improve the social fabric of their societies. View Guest page

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Paula M Krebs

Paula M. Krebs is dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at Bridgewater State University, in Massachusetts, after twenty years of teaching English at Wheaton College, in Norton, Massachusetts. She writes frequently on higher education for such publications as The Chronicle of Higher Education, Inside Higher Ed, and Slate. She works with faculty and administrators throughout New England on the Cross-Sector Partnership, which helps to prepare doctoral students for careers at teaching-intensive institutions such as regional public universities and community colleges. A lifelong advocate of liberal arts education, she is organizing humanities educators in Southern New England to define what constitutes student success in the humanities—to determine the connections between skills, competencies, content knowledge, and critical thinking, and to work with area business and civic leaders to make clear the contributions to civic life and industry of humanities graduates. View Guest page

Episode Listing:

Bob LaBombard

Robert J. LaBombard has more than 35 years of business experience in the chemical, environmental, professional services and staffing industries, with more than 22 years of staffing industry experience as CEO of GradStaff, Inc. and founder and CEO of EnviroStaff, Inc. LaBombard is a leader with demonstrated success in helping client companies develop comprehensive strategies to fill both short- and long-term staffing requirements. Since joining GradStaff in May 2002 as CEO and an owner of the company, LaBombard has been instrumental in developing a standardized, highly effective business model to make the entry-level job market more efficient for new grad job seekers and hiring companies. LaBombard holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Chemistry from Williams College in Williamston, Mass. and an MBA degree from the J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill. View Guest page

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Kelly Lewis

Kelly Lewis is an executive coach and leadership development consultant committed to working with the leaders of today and tomorrow to inspire greater awareness and authentic action. Kelly’s clients are dedicated to their professional and personal growth and are devoted to creating results, for their organizations as well as themselves, with greater impact, connection, and enjoyment. As the principal of Lewis Leadership Group, Kelly is also honored to serve on Georgetown University’s Leadership Coaching faculty. In 2011, Kelly was awarded Workforce Management’s Game Changer Award for the innovative ways her company developed leadership capacity. Before starting Lewis Leadership Group, she spent fifteen years as a Fortune 500 executive and change leader. Kelly earned her coaching certification through Georgetown University and has been designated a Professional Certified Coach by the International Coaching View Guest page

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Athena Lin


Athena Lin is a junior studying Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She believes in the power of student voices to effectuate change in higher education. She is a student advocate for Big Beacon and chair of Students for a Whole New Education (SWNE), which is an initiative launched to empower students to become change agents in engineering education and higher education, more generally. SWNE aims to bring together students from around the world who are united by the challenges they face in an education system that resists change. Athena hopes to encourage students to reflect on their education and create opportunities for them to challenge the status quo. Athena has been involved in engineering education projects at the University of Illinois. She also participated in the Summer Experience in Education Research (SEER) at Olin College this past summer. She is planning to pursue a graduate degree in engineering education after graduation. View Guest page

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Tyler Lindow


Tyler Lindow is a senior undergraduate student studying NanoEngineering at the University of California, San Diego. Immersed in the push to make engineering education more interdisciplinary, he is currently researching the effects of interdisciplinarity on the identities of students studying nano-engineering. In the summer of 2015, he participated in the Engineering Education Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) at Olin College of Engineering in Needham, MA and looked at undergraduate students’ conceptions of engineering design. His larger interests lie in the design of purposeful, reflective, and interest-driven learning experiences. While he is currently living in San Diego for school, his hometown is San Bruno, CA, just about ten miles south of San Francisco, CA. View Guest page

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Michael C Loui


Michael C. Loui is the Dale and Suzi Gallagher Professor of Engineering Education at Purdue University. He was previously Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and University Distinguished Teacher-Scholar at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His interests include computational complexity theory, professional ethics, and engineering education research. He serves as Editor of Journal of Engineering Education and as a member of the editorial boards of College Teaching and Accountability in Research. He is a Carnegie Scholar and an IEEE Fellow. Professor Loui was Associate Dean of the Graduate College at Illinois from 1996 to 2000. He directed the theory of computing program at the National Science Foundation from 1990 to 1991. He earned the Ph.D. at M.I.T. in 1980. View Guest page

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Rob Martello

Rob Martello is a Professor of the History of Science and Technology at Olin College. His NSF-sponsored research explores connections between interdisciplinary education, student motivation, and self-directed project-based learning, and he implements his findings in experimental courses (“The Stuff of History,” “Six Microbes that Changed the World”) and faculty development workshops. He has chaired efforts that re-imagined Olin’s faculty reappointment and promotion, institutional outreach, and student assessment approaches. A graduate of MIT’s program in the History and Social Study of Science and Technology, he is also the author of Midnight Ride, Industrial Dawn: Paul Revere and the Growth of American Enterprise, a study of Revere’s multifaceted career and national impacts. He is now researching Benjamin Franklin's printing and business endeavors, and he regularly lectures on Revere and Franklin, our “Founding Makers,” for audiences of all ages and backgrounds. View Guest page

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Boris Martin

Boris Martin is the CEO of Engineers Without Borders Canada. Boris lived and worked with farmers in rural Burkina Faso and Ghana for three years between 2007 and 2010, where he led a team supporting the adaptive capacity of farming organizations. He learned the hard way -- and continues to learn -- how much humility it takes to truly partner across barriers of wealth and power and empower change from the grassroots. The experience grounded Boris' life purpose in addressing the systemic underpinnings of poverty. In 2013, he joined EWB Canada's Toronto-based executive team as Vice President of Strategy and Investment, where he spearheaded innovation in EWB's approach to development. He was appointed as CEO of EWB in August 2014. Boris holds a PhD in engineering from McMaster University and a Graduate Diploma in Social Innovation at the University of Waterloo. He lives with his partner Alanna and together they love and raise two children, Kyan and Anika. View Guest page

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Ryan McLawhon


Dr. Ryan McLawhon joined Texas A&M University at Qatar in 2015 as the Executive Director for Academic Services & Assessment. In this capacity, he oversees the advising, study abroad, scholarships and financial aid, and honor code offices as well as the Academic Success Center, assessment, and faculty development activities. Prior to joining the Qatar campus, he served as the Director of the Office of Institutional Assessment on the main campus of Texas A&M University. Dr. McLawhon is the author of several peer-reviewed journal articles and has delivered keynote addresses and presented on assessment, curriculum mapping and development, and distance learning at numerous professional conferences. Dr. McLawhon received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Texas A&M University in 2003, his Master of Arts degree from Dallas Theological Seminary in 2007, and his Doctoral degree in Higher Education from the University of North Texas in 2009. View Guest page

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Richard K. Miller



Richard K. Miller was appointed President and first employee of Olin College of Engineering in 1999. He served as Dean of Engineering at the University of Iowa from 1992 through 1999 and spent the previous 17 years on the faculty of USC and UCSB. A member of the US National Academy of Engineering, he has been recognized with several awards, including the NAE Gordon Prize for Innovation in Engineering and Technology Education (with two Olin colleagues) and the Marlowe Award for administrative leadership from the American Society for Engineering Education. He earned his BS in engineering from UC Davis, MS from MIT, and PhD from Caltech. View Guest page

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Taif Mohamed


Taif Mohamed is a sophomore electrical engineering student at Texas A&M Qatar (TAMUQ). View Guest page

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Alessandro Moreira


Alessandro Moreira holds a Bachelors and Masters degree in Electrical Engineering, from the Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais - UFMG, and PhD degree in Electrical Engineering, from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Since 1993 he has held a position within UFMG's in School of Engineering and is currently an Associate Professor of the Electrical Engineering Department and Dean of the School of Engineering. He has experience in Electrical Engineering with emphasis in Electronic Automation Electrical and Industrial Processes and Engineering Education. Since 2012, Alessandro has coordinated the Innovation Program for Engineering Education - ENG200, focusing on making engineering more innovative and entrepreneurial. He is currently a member of the Teaching Technical Committee of the Minas Gerais Society of Engineers - SME and coordinates the State College of Education Institutions - CIE CREA Minas. View Guest page

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Frank Mruk

Frank Mruk is Associate Dean at the New York Institute of Technology School of Architecture and Design. He is a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects and a Fellow of the Strategic Planning Society. Frank is a licensed architect in the U.S., a Royal Institute of British Architects Chartered Architect and is a LEED Accredited Professional. Prior to NYIT Frank led strategy and development at Wall Street financial service companies Morgan Stanley and AIG. He has previously served as president of the Association for Strategic Planning. Frank serves as President of the Construction Specification Institute, and on the Board of Directors of AIA’s New York Chapter. Frank’s academic history includes Oxford University’s Said Business School (post-graduate program in strategy and innovation), Pace University (MBA) and Pratt Institute (Bachelor of Architecture). In addition to NYIT, he has taught at the Parsons School of Design, the BOMI Institute and at New York University. View Guest page

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Daryl Nardick

Daryl Nardick, PhD, works with leaders in higher education as a leadership coach, consultant, and facilitator of breakthrough programs for universities across North America. Daryl’s higher education roots go back 25 years when she led Apple Computer’s market development team for higher education. Her published articles relating to the human side of technology, based on her research conducted during her tenure at Georgetown University, incorporates her passion to introducing mindfulness practices into faculty and leadership development efforts. She is currently delivering leadership development programs to universities such as Purdue University, University of Texas, and Georgetown University. Daryl earned a PhD from American University, an MA from the University of Chicago, and a BA from Miami University of Ohio. She holds a professional certificate in Leadership Coaching from the Institute for Transformational Leadership at Georgetown University. View Guest page

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Barbara Oakley

Barbara Oakley is Professor of Engineering at Oakland University and a Visiting Scholar at the University of California, San Diego. Her research on altruism bias and pathologies of altruism has been described as “revolutionary” in the Wall Street Journal. Winner of numerous teaching awards, together with Terrence Sejnowski of the Salk Institute, she co-teaches “Learning How to Learn,” one of the world’s most popular MOOCs (massive open online courses), with over one million students to date. Her book A Mind for Numbers: How to Excel at Math and Science (Even If You Flunked Algebra), (Penguin, 2014) is a New York Times best-selling science book. An avid adventurer, Dr. Oakley rose from the rank of Private to Captain in the US Army, during which time she worked at the South Pole Station in Antarctica and served as a Russian translator on board Soviet trawlers in the Bering Sea. Dr. Oakley is an elected Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering. View Guest page

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Pam Patterson


Pam Patterson is Associate Vice President of University Life at George Mason University and has 25+ years of combined experience in leadership and university administration. She is also a Senior Coaching Fellow at the Center for the Advancement of Well-Being where she co-directs the Advanced Coaching Program in Leadership and Well-Being. Dr. Patterson is a graduate of Georgetown University’s Leadership Coaching Program. Her professional interests are in the science and application of individual and organizational well-being, leadership, and coaching. At George Mason, she was a member of a team that created and implemented a leader development curriculum for executive education and a separate program for faculty and staff. She is a co-founder and co-chair of MasonLeads, the Leadership Legacy Program, and serves as co-director of Mason's Strengths Academy. View Guest page

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Daniel Pianko


Daniel Pianko is co-founder and Managing Director of University Ventures, a leading higher education focused investment fund with approximately $300M under management. Daniel started his career in investment banking at Goldman Sachs, but quickly realized that he wanted to combine private capital with the creation of a next generation of socially beneficial education companies. Since leaving Goldman, he has invested in, founded, advised, or led in a number of education-related businesses that led to the creation of University Ventures. Daniel currently sits on the boards of Ponce School of Medicine, Galvanize, Synergis, Qubed and EDEX. Daniel is also involved in his community, serving on the Board of Trustees of Harlem Village Academies and the Alumni Council of Horace Mann. Daniel graduated from Columbia University and holds an MBA and Masters of Education from Stanford University. View Guest page

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Daniel H. Pink


Daniel H. Pink is the author of five provocative books — including three long-running New York Times bestsellers: A Whole New Mind, Drive, and To Sell is Human. Dan’s books have been translated into 34 languages and have sold more than 2 million copies worldwide. He is also host and co-executive producer of “Crowd Control,” a new television series about human behavior on the National Geographic Channel. In 2013, Thinkers 50 named him one of the top 15 business thinkers in the world. Before venturing out on his own seventeen years ago, Dan worked in several positions in politics and government, including serving from 1995 to 1997 as chief speechwriter to Vice President Al Gore. He received a BA from Northwestern University and a JD from Yale Law School. He has also received honorary degrees from the Pratt Institute (2013), the Ringling College of Art and Design (2011), and Westfield State University (2010). Dan lives in Washington, DC, with his wife and their three children. View Guest page

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Mysti Rudd


For the past four years, Dr. Mysti Rudd has been an Assistant Professor of English at Texas A&M University at Qatar (TAMUQ), an international branch campus offering degrees in mechanical, chemical, petroleum, or electrical and computer engineering. Although she considers herself a Compositionist—having earned her Ph.D. in Composition/TESOL from Indiana University of Pennsylvania in 2012—she started out as a chemistry major at St. Olaf College in 1980 and has taught chemistry and math in high school, preparing her to enjoy the unique challenges of working with STEM students. Dr. Rudd recently received a grant that funded a trip for 4 TAMUQ students and 2 professors to visit innovative engineering educational programs at Olin, Purdue, and iFoundry. Inspired by the practices they observed at these institutions, this group hopes to positively impact engineering education at TAMUQ. In addition to her faculty appointment, Dr. Rudd also serves as Director of the Academic Success Center. View Guest page

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Saras D Sarasvathy


Professor Saras D. Sarasvathy is a member of the Strategy, Entrepreneurship and Ethics area at University of Virginia's Darden School of Business. In addition to teaching MBA and doctoral courses in entrepreneurship at Darden, she teaches in doctoral programs in Europe, Asia, Latin America and Africa. In 2007, Sarasvathy was named one of the top 18 entrepreneurship professors by Fortune Small Business magazine. A leading scholar on the cognitive basis for high-performance entrepreneurship, Sarasvathy serves on the editorial boards of top management journals and as Associate Editor of top entrepreneurship journals. Her book "Effectuation: Elements of Entrepreneurial Expertise" was nominated for the 2009 Terry Book Award by the Academy of Management. Effectuation is widely acclaimed as a rigorous framework for understanding the creation and growth of new organizations and markets. View Guest page

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Edgar Schein

Edgar Schein is the Sloan Fellows Professor of Management Emeritus at the MIT Sloan School of Management. He received his PhD in Social Psychology from Harvard in 1952, worked at the Walter Reed Institute of Research for four years and then joined MIT where he taught until 2005. He has been published extensively, with works including "Process Consultation Revisited", "Career Anchors", and "The Corporate Culture Survival Guide", among many others. He continues to consult and recently has published two books on the general theory and practice of giving and receiving help ("Helping", 2009; "Humble Inquiry", 2013). He has achieved many awards and is the 2009 recipient of the Distinguished Scholar-Practitioner Award of the Academy of Management, the 2012 recipient of the Life Time Achievement Award from the International Leadership Association, and in 2015 the Life Time Achievement Award in Organization Development from the International Organizational Development Network. View Guest page

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Emma Schoenfelner

Emma Schoenfelner is program coordinator at Big Beacon and program assistant for Big Beacon Radio and a 2014 graduate of Columbia College Chicago with a degree in Television Writing and Producing and minor in Photography. She has worked as an Associate Producer at "Price of Admission", a movie review show on Frequency TV in Chicago, as well as working in Los Angeles for numerous production companies and in casting within the fashion industry. For many years, she has worked in the world of theatre, in both front-of-house and backstage, stateside as well as overseas in Melbourne, Australia. Emma is also a photographer, astrological blogger, and spiritual advisor. View Guest page

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Jeffrey N Shelton

Jeffrey N. Shelton is a founding co-host and producer of The Engineering Commons, a biweekly podcast that examines topics of interest to today's engineering professional. When not working on the podcast, Jeff instructs Mechanical Engineering courses for at Purdue University, indulging his passion for helping students develop an intuitive understanding of relevant engineering concepts. Jeff received a BSME from Purdue University and a MSME from Stanford University in advance of his industrial career. Working for engineering firms both large and small, he earned an MBA from Indiana University along the way. Jeff then began a decade of work as an independent consultant, specializing in the design of custom manufacturing equipment. Preparing to teach at the university level, he returned to Purdue to earn a PhD in Mechanical Engineering. Jeff has been licensed as a Professional Engineer in the State of Indiana since 1986. View Guest page

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Richard Sheridan


From kid programmer in 1971 to Forbes cover story in 2003, Joy, Inc. author Richard Sheridan has never shied from challenges, opportunities nor the limelight. While his focus has always been around technology, his passion is actually process, teamwork and organizational design, with one inordinately popular goal: the Business Value of Joy! Sheridan is an avid reader and historian, and his software design and development team at Menlo Innovations didn't invent a new culture, but copied an old one ... Edison's Menlo Park New Jersey lab. Henry Ford's recreation of the Menlo Park Lab in Greenfield Village was a childhood inspiration! Some call it agile, some call it lean—Sheridan and his team call it joyful. And it produces results, business and otherwise. Six Inc. magazine revenue growth awards, invites to the White House, speaking engagements around the nation, numerous articles and culture awards and so much interest they are doing a tour a day of the Menlo Software Factory™. View Guest page

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Alan Snyder


Alan Snyder, who has led development of Lehigh’s Mountaintop initiative, is Vice President and Associate Provost for Research and Graduate Studies at Lehigh University. A bioengineer by training, his research career focused on organ replacement, and included theoretical work, hardware and embedded software, design for use by both professional caregivers and lay people, and patient care. That work, in which what happened at the bedside shaped the content of research in the lab, provided him with a particular perspective on the relationship between university research and human needs and aspirations, and on environments that bridged practical concerns with basic research as foundation for graduate and undergraduate education. He has carried that perspective into his work at Lehigh, seeking to build on the university’s tradition of relating theory to practice and working to make the research environment a critical resource for education in a residential setting. View Guest page

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Mark Somerville


Mark Somerville is Professor of Electrical Engineering and Physics at Olin College where he currently serves as Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs and Development at Olin. In this capacity, he led a complete re-design of Olin’s faculty hiring, faculty development, and faculty reappointment and promotion procedures. Mark is increasingly recognized as a thought leader for the transformation of engineering education. His short courses on educational change and curriculum design are regularly attended by hundreds of faculty from scores of institutions of higher learning around the globe. A Rhodes scholar, Mark received a dual degree in electrical engineering and English from the University of Texas at Austin, an MA in physics from Oxford, and MS & PhD degrees in Electrical Engineering from MIT. In 2014, he co-authored A Whole New Engineer: The Coming Revolution in Engineering Education with show host Dave Goldberg. He lives in Needham, MA with his wife and two children. View Guest page

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Michael Spear


Michael Spear is an Assistant Professor of Computer Science at Lehigh University. His research focuses on simplifying the task of writing correct concurrent software, so that programmers can take advantage of the features of modern multicore microprocessors. Mike's teaching includes a pre-major course in video game design, undergraduate courses in computer architecture and operating systems, and a graduate course in parallel computing. His Computer Science outreach connects with students from kindergarten through high school. He co-organizes the Lehigh Hackathon, a weekday event where students "cut class to build something great", and is leading a revision of Lehigh's Computer Science curriculum to make it the most modern in the world. Mike holds a BS from the United States Military Academy, an MBA from the University of Alaska, Anchorage, and a PhD in Computer Science from the University of Rochester. He lives in Allentown, PA, with his wife and their six home-schooled children. View Guest page

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Dr. Sarah Stanlick


Dr. Sarah Stanlick is the founding director of Lehigh University’s Center for Community Engagement and a professor of practice in Sociology and Anthropology. She previously taught at Centenary College of New Jersey and was a researcher at Harvard’s Kennedy School, assisting the US Ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Power. She has published in journals such as /The Social Studies/ and the /Journal of Global Citizenship and Equity Education/. She has presented research in various arenas including the International Association for Research on Service-Learning and Community Engagement (IARSLCE) annual meeting, the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) conference, and Pathways to Achieving Civic Engagement (PACE). In addition to her doctorate in Learning Sciences and Technology from Lehigh University, she holds an undergraduate degree in International Affairs from Lafayette College and a Masters in Conflict and Coexistence from Brandeis University. View Guest page

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Lynn Stewart


Lynn Stewart is the Director, Outreach and Community Engagement in the Faculty of Engineering at McMaster University. The primary objective of her role is to connect external partners to the Faculty of Engineering to enhance student experience (for both undergraduate and graduate students) and to promote student success and professional development. Included in her portfolio are alumni relations, co-op and career services, advancement, student recruiting, and experiential learning with a focus on activities taking place outside the classroom. Prior to assuming her current role, she was the Manager of Engineering Co-op and Career Services at McMaster University. She also holds a PhD in Anthropology. Before coming to McMaster, Lynn spent over 22 years in the non-profit sector in employment and career services, and was as well an instructor in Anthropology at McMaster. View Guest page

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Jon Stolk

Jon Stolk strives to design and facilitate extraordinary learning experiences. He creates project-based and interdisciplinary courses and programs that invite students to take control of their learning, grapple with complex systems, engage with each other and the world in new ways, and emerge as confident, agile, self-directed learners. Jon’s research aims to understand the student experience in different classroom settings, particularly with regard to the ways individuals express motivation and develop their own learner beliefs and identities. Jon works to translate education research to practice, and to assist others in creating innovative student experiences and driving educational change. Through workshops and consulting, Jon Stolk equips instructors with design tools and conceptual frameworks that enable them to understand their classrooms in new ways, to gain confidence in trying new approaches and deploying course prototypes, and to create their own person-centered curricula. View Guest page

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H. J. (Tom) Thompson

Now in his 15th year as President at Olds College, Dr. H. J. (Tom) Thompson has taken a leading role in post-secondary education for over thirty years. Dr. Thompson is recognized for serving on numerous initiatives to enhance education, leadership, governance, entrepreneurship, and community service. Public speaking engagements have extended Dr. Thompson’s influence and brought recognition to Olds College and Alberta’s post-secondary system. He represented Canada at the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Conference on Re-engineering Technical Vocational Education in China and has contributed to exchanges of education and governance “best practices” around the world. Dr. Thompson obtained his Doctorate in Higher Education Administration, with a policy governance research focus. Most recently, Dr. Thompson and Olds College were honored with the World Federation of Colleges and Polytechnics Gold Award of Excellence in Governance. View Guest page

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Joe Tranquillo


Joe Tranquillo is a faculty member at Bucknell University where he co-founded the Biomedical Engineering Program, Bucknell Innovation Group, KEEN Winter Interdisciplinary Design Experience and serves as the co-director of the Institute for Leadership in Technology and Management. He is a National Academy of Engineering Frontiers of Engineering Education Fellow, NSF Pathways to Innovation Faculty Fellow, Chair of the ASEE Biomedical Engineering Division and co-editor of the Morgan and Claypool Biomedical Engineering Book Series. Joe is the author of three undergraduate textbooks and his work, conducted exclusively with undergraduates, has been featured on the Discovery Channel, TEDx and CNN Health. Joe earned his BS from Trinity College, his PhD from Duke and has held positions at the Stanford and the Universidad Catolica de Chile in Santiago. Joe lives with his wife and two children in Lewisburg, PA. View Guest page

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Shannon Varcoe


Shannon Varcoe graduated from Lehigh University in 2015 with a B.S. Integrated Degree in Engineering Arts and Sciences (IDEAS) with concentrations in Mechanical Engineering and Product Design. She is currently pursuing a Master’s of Engineering in Technical Entrepreneurship, also at Lehigh. Shannon was a member of the first cohort of students in the LaunchBayC accelerator through the Mountaintop Experience summer research program. At Mountaintop, she focused on developing the business around a wooden building toy she invented. Shannon wants to empower kids of all ages to recognize their creative problem solving and intellectual potential through well-designed products and toys that develop these important skills. Her first product, ZYX Building Sticks will launch in May 2016 on Kickstarter. View Guest page

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Ryan Varga

Ryan Varga has degrees in New Media and Environmental Studies after studies at the University of Toronto, Ryerson University, and York University. His work explores issues relating to technology and education. As director of Tunnel Media in Toronto, Ontario (tunnelmedia.ca), he specializes in the production of documentaries and works with agencies, non-profits, and small businesses to help capture and tell stories in North America and around the world. LET ME DO IT is Ryan's first feature documentary. He lives in Toronto’s east end with his wife and pup. View Guest page

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Tony Wagner


Tony Wagner currently serves as an Expert In Residence at Harvard University’s new Innovation Lab. Previously, Tony was the first Innovation Education Fellow at the Technology & Entrepreneurship Center at Harvard, and the founder and co-director of the Change Leadership Group at the Harvard Graduate School of Education for more than a decade, as well as 12 years as a HS teacher, K-8 principal, university professor in teacher education, and founding executive director of Educators for Social Responsibility. Tony is a frequent speaker at worldwide conferences and a widely published author. His work includes numerous articles & six books. Tony's latest book is Most Likely To Succeed: Preparing Our Kids for The Innovation Era. Tony recently served as the Strategic Education Advisor for a major new education documentary, “Most Likely to Succeed". View Guest page

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Stuart G Walesh

Stuart G. Walesh has authored/co-authored six books, written and presented many engineering and education publications and presentations, and led hundreds of workshops and webinars. His most recent book is Introduction to Creativity and Innovation for Engineers (Pearson Education 2016). For over a decade, Stu has been active in the effort to reform the education and early experience of engineers. Stu received a BS in Civil Engineering from Valparaiso University, his MSE from Johns Hopkins University, and a PhD in civil engineering from the University of Wisconsin. His engineering and education work has been recognized with awards from the Consulting Engineers of Indiana, the University of Wisconsin, the American Society of Civil Engineers, the Indiana Society of Professional Engineers, the National Society of Professional Engineers, the American Society for Engineering Education, and Valparaiso University. View Guest page

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Matt West


Matt West is Associate Professor of Mechanical Science and Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He earned his PhD in control and dynamical systems from the California Institute of Technology; his research interests include asynchronous and structure-preserving integrators, stochastic simulation and uncertainty quantification, and multi-scale and multi-physics simulations. Through AE3 and an NSF WIDER grant, Matt has developed and disseminated a number of innovations for teaching at scale, engaged faculty teams in renovating courses, and led efforts to implement project-based learning in the curriculum. As an AE3 Education Innovation Fellow he has provided on-the-ground help for faculty communities of practice invested in educational change. View Guest page

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Catherine Whitney

Catherine Whitney is a New York non-fiction author who has written or co-written more than 50 books in a variety of fields, including biography, memoir, sociology, women's issues, health and medicine, business, parenting, law and the courts, and social history. She co-wrote A Whole New Engineer, and she recently co-authored Lee Iacocca’s bestselling book Where Have All the Leaders Gone?, Maria Bartiromo’s The 10 Laws of Enduring Success, Robin Roberts’ From the Heart: 7 Rules to Live By, and Lorraine Bracco’s memoir On the Couch, and many others. Whitney specializes in a collaborative process that facilitates the “voice” and message of the author involved, and is skilled at enabling people to tell their stories. Whitney has also written critically acclaimed books in her own name, including The Calling: A Year in the Life of an Order of Nuns, The Women of Windsor: Their Power, Privilege and Passions, and Soldiers Once: My Brother and the Lost Dreams of America’s Veterans. View Guest page

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Wessel Wits


Wessel Wits is one of the core team teachers in the ATLAS programme at the University College Twente. He has been associated with the programme since the beginning and is responsible for the Design learning line as well as curriculum development and semester coordination. Wessel received his B.Sc., M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Twente, in 2000, 2004 and 2008, respectively. Currently, he is appointed Assistant Professor at the Laboratory of Design, Production and Management at the Faculty of Engineering Technology. He is coordinator of the Design Engineering master track and responsible for safeguarding the consistency of design-related courses throughout the Mechanical Engineering program. He teaches several courses of design in the Mechanical Engineering bachelor, master and post-graduate programs, and he is member of the Bachelor curriculum committee. View Guest page

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