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Ohio Northern University receives $1.21 million grant to instill the entrepreneurial mindset in engineering undergraduates

Dec 15, 2014

The Kern Family Foundation has awarded a grant of $1.21 million to the T.J. Smull College of Engineering at Ohio Northern University to encourage further work in instilling the entrepreneurial mindset in engineering undergraduates from 2015 through 2018.

The grant is to be the largest programmatic grant Ohio Northern University has received from a private foundation.

Ohio Northern is part of The Kern Entrepreneurial Engineering Network (KEEN), a group of approximately 20 private engineering colleges working to produce graduates with the entrepreneurial mindset, learning to nurture curiosity, make connections and create value. ONU has been part of KEEN since 2005.

“We truly value the longstanding partnership between Ohio Northern University and The Kern Family Foundation’s KEEN program, and we are grateful for their continuing support,” said ONU President Dan DiBiasio. “This latest grant will enable the College of Engineering to deepen and broaden its efforts to instill the entrepreneurial mindset among our students.”

Dr. John-David Yoder, chair of ONU’s Department of Mechanical Engineering, will serve as the principal investigator (PI) for this effort; he was recognized in January as an outstanding KEEN faculty member. The grant will support the following educational initiatives:

  • A strategically designed curriculum in the mechanical engineering department with the intent of instilling the entrepreneurial mindset
  • Immersive experiences such as courses and internships focused on the entrepreneurial mindset
  • Continuing on-campus competitions such as the KEEN Innovation Challenges
  • Continued support for pedagogical innovation in the College of Engineering

Eric Baumgartner, dean of the College of Engineering and co-PI on the grant, states, “The college is very excited for the opportunity to continue our strong relationship with The Kern Family Foundation and KEEN. This grant is yet another way in which we engage students through high-impact educational experiences in order to maximize their success.”