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College of Engineering Faculty Recognized for Commitment to Entrepreneurship


VILLANOVA, Pa. – Technical excellence, a strong liberal arts foundation, and a commitment to ethical, moral and socially responsible leadership have differentiated graduates of Villanova University College of Engineering for more than 100 years. In the past decade, with the generous support of The Kern Family Foundation, Drosdick Endowed Dean Gary A. Gabriele, PhD, has added creativity, innovation and entrepreneurial thinking to that list of distinguishing characteristics. Early this month, the Foundation recognized the College’s achievements in the Kern Entrepreneurial Engineering Network (KEEN) by presenting Dean Gabriele with the 2014 Dean’s Award. Edmond Dougherty, assistant professor and director of the Engineering Entrepreneurship program, received the 2014 KEEN Outstanding Faculty Award.

In announcing the awards, KEEN Program Director and Team Leader Steve Hasbrook cited Dean Gabriele’s exceptional leadership both at Villanova University and within KEEN, “We hope that others will be inspired by how quickly your institution has made progress toward institutional and Network goals.” Hasbrook also recognized Dougherty’s “success and commitment to building a strong Network dedicated to instilling the entrepreneurial mindset in engineering students.” The awards were presented at the 2015 KEEN Winter Conference on Jan. 7 in Tempe, Arizona.

Since 2007, The Kern Family Foundation has donated more than $1.2 million to the College of Engineering. The first award supported Villanova’s implementation of KEEN, and four years later, the Foundation presented the College with a $625,000 grant to provide students with access to new intrapreneurship development and intercollegiate entrepreneurship opportunities. The most recent gift, $439,000 in 2014, supports faculty development to reach the College’s goal of introducing all engineering students to entrepreneurially minded learning.

Dean Gabriele defines an engineer with an “entrepreneurial mindset” as one who exercises curiosity about the changing world and defines problems, opportunities and solutions in terms of value creation. He says, “Entrepreneurially minded engineers consider societal, technological and economic trends and seek creative ways to integrate them in order to provide solutions to problems that will drive new economic growth and benefit society.” With generous assistance from The Kern Family Foundation, the College has imbedded KEEN-based entrepreneurship into its engineering curriculum, created the popular Engineering Entrepreneurship minor, introduced the Villanova community to a variety of entrepreneurial competitions, and forged partnerships with nearly all of the 17 KEEN institutions.

To read more about the College’s commitment to entrepreneurially minded learning and the support it has received from The Kern Family Foundation, please refer to the following articles:

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