January 2012

Santa Clara University Engineering Professor Named 2011 Outstanding Faculty Member

SANTA CLARA, Calif., Jan. 20, 2012—The Kern Entrepreneurship Education Network (KEEN) recognized Santa Clara University's Mechanical Engineering Associate Professor Chris Kitts with the 2011 Outstanding Faculty Member and Network Contributor at the 2012 Winter KEEN Conference in Orlando, Fla. on Jan. 8.

KEEN's mission is to graduate engineers equipped with an action-oriented entrepreneurial mindset who will contribute to business success and transform the U.S. workforce. KEEN fulfills this mission by supporting the creation of programs that develop technical leaders with strong skills and an entrepreneurial mindset in undergraduate engineering programs at select private U.S. colleges and universities, including Santa Clara University.

Kitts has served as Santa Clara's principle investigator on the awards, and he and his colleagues in Engineering and Business have worked over the past three years on the following initiatives:

•    Continue the new Design Thinking pathway;  
•    Refining the flagship Smart Product Design course;
•    Adding BUSN 198, a course that allows business students to work on engineering’s capstone teams;
•    Developing new Culture of Innovation course;
•    Introducing one to three hour modules into existing classes to expose 100 percent of SCU engineers to the KEEN topics during all four years of their education; 
•    Introducing several co-curricular initiatives, including competitions, seminars, mentoring events, student club support, co-operative program, etc.;
•    Working with teams from the 20 other KEEN schools to introduce them to SCU's Robotics Lab model of real-world projects, which involve the long-term provision of products and services to professional customers, with students involved in every stage of these activities;
•    Conducting new series of faculty seminars to improve business acumen among engineering faculty; and
•    Starting new initiative to assess all engineering students during their freshman and senior years, as well as near the mid-point of their college program;

The Kern Family Foundation created KEEN in 2005 as a collegiate initiative to complement efforts at the K-12 level to increase the quantity and quality of U.S. engineering talent.

About Santa Clara University
Santa Clara University, a comprehensive Jesuit, Catholic university located 40 miles south of San Francisco in California’s Silicon Valley, offers its more than 8,800 students rigorous undergraduate curricula in arts and sciences, business, theology, and engineering, plus master’s and law degrees and engineering Ph.D.s. Distinguished nationally by one of the highest graduation rates among all U.S. master’s universities, California’s oldest operating higher-education institution demonstrates faith-inspired values of ethics and social justice. For more information, see www.scu.edu.

Media Contact
Connie Kim Coutain | ccoutain@scu.edu | 408-554-5126 O | 408-829-4836 C

2011 Outstanding Faculty Member and Network Contributor,Kern Entrepreneurship Education Network,KEEN,Chris Kitts