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ONU Receives Grant to Bolster Entrepreneurship in Engineering

Sep 2, 2009
The Kern Foundation has awarded Dr. J.D. Yoder, Ohio Northern University professor of mechanical engineering, a KEEN III grant to expand ONU's entrepreneurship efforts directed at undergraduate engineering students of the T.J. Smull College of Engineering.

The $75,000 grant will fund "The ONU Engineering Experience: 2005-2015," whose primary goal is to develop the College of Engineering with an entrepreneurial mindset.

Yoder said, "We are grateful to the Kern Family Foundation for their continuing support. This grant is an indication that they have been pleased with our prior work, which has included strong support from the administration as well as a large number of faculty attending a workshop and implementing aspects of the entrepreneurial mindset in their courses. We look forward to continuing to find ways to help faculty across the campus embed this mindset in our students."

Funds will support a summer faculty workshop, additional faculty incentives to encourage incorporation of entrepreneurship elements in courses, student pitch contests and travel to conferences. The grant also funds the development of program assessment tools, printing/publicity costs and travel to regional KEEN events.

Yoder will work with Dr. Robert Kleine III, associate professor of marketing, and James W. Fenton, dean of The James F. Dicke College of Business Administration, on the KEEN projects.

This marks the third time ONU has received a KEEN grant.

Fenton said, "This latest KEEN grant builds on the two prior grants we received from the Kern Family Foundation to create an entrepreneurship program and take it across the ONU campus. All three grants are the result of collaboration between faculty in the Colleges of Business Administration and Engineering at ONU."

Eric Baumgartner, dean of ONU's College of Engineering, will serve as the program director during Yoder's sabbatical.