Two RIT professors named 2021 KEEN Engineering Unleashed Fellows

Designation given for improvements to, and leadership in, engineering education

Sarah Brownell and Clark Hochgraf, faculty members at Rochester institute of Technology, have been named 2021 KEEN Engineering Unleashed Fellows by the Kern Entrepreneurial Engineering Network (KEEN).

Brownell, senior lecturer in RIT’s Kate Gleason College of Engineering, teaches courses focused on engineering and the developing world. She was recognized by the KEEN organization for her work as part of an RIT faculty team that revised and developed courses that provide opportunities for students to learn more about community-identified issues and to encourage them to participate as collaborators with community members.

Hochgraf, associate professor in RIT’s College of Engineering Technology, teaches courses in its electrical and computer engineering technology department. He was recognized for his focus on storytelling as a teaching tool. He was part of a training team that presented “Story Makers: A Quest to Engage, Connect and Inspire” – a program to show faculty how to integrate storytelling into classrooms to motivate and inspire student learning and action.

Engineering Unleashed is a national organization made up of more than 160 universities and colleges that focus on graduating engineers with an entrepreneurial mindset. RIT and its Kate Gleason College of Engineering and College of Engineering Technology have been part of the national organization since 2019.

The Fellows designation is given to faculty whose classroom projects integrate the entrepreneurial mindset into course work, and are nominated by KEEN mentors. The entrepreneurial mindset is a progressive way of preparing the next generation of engineers, like those graduating from universities such as RIT, who will be expected to anticipate, and act on, societal changes.

This year, 27 Fellows, including Brownell and Hochgraf, were selected. In 2020, Patricia Cyr also was recognized as a KEEN Engineering Unleashed Fellow, RIT’s first.

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