As announced in August, MSOE is building on its strong history of industry partnerships in a unique and impactful way—the MSOE Mindset. The MSOE Mindset blends MSOE’s mission, vision and commitments with elements related to MSOE’s Servant-Leader Mindset and the Entrepreneurial Mindset. Action steps to form programming will incorporate key components from the strategic plan including high-impact educational practices throughout campus, enhancing educational programs to deepen experiential learning, and ensuring that all students use real-world projects in their field of study. The MSOE Mindset, in conjunction with the real-world experience gained while working with industry mentors, will boost students’ professional portfolios. Ultimately, the MSOE Mindset results in graduates who are leaders of character, responsible professionals, passionate learners, and value creators.  

To engage faculty and students in this approach, and to build the tools and resources for sustainability over time, MSOE will develop and implement the CREATE Institute. The CREATE (Community-focused Real-world Engagement in Academics Through Experiential-learning) Institute will ensure MSOE students receive well-rounded, high-impact educational experiences that will enhance the relevancy of their learning. The Institute will work with faculty, staff and students as a campus resource for industry engagement and academic excellence.  

To support the developmental work toward the CREATE Institute’s success, MSOE has received a $2 million, multi-year grant from The Kern Family Foundation. The CREATE Institute will also leverage funds from current MSOE endowment funds.  

“We have a strong foundation of entrepreneurially minded learning and servant-leadership at MSOE that we want to build upon,” said Dr. John Walz, MSOE president. “This investment from the Kern Family Foundation will help us be very intentional in fostering the MSOE Mindset throughout our student body and faculty.”  

A team of CREATE Faculty Fellows was formed this summer and includes:

  • Dr. Brad Dennis, assistant professor, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Department
  • Dr. William Farrow, associate professor, Mechanical Engineering Department
  • Dr. David Howell, professor, Humanities, Social Science and Communication Department
  • Dr. Richard Kelnhofer, associate professor, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Department
  • DeAnna Leitzke, P.E., associate professor, Civil and Architectural Engineering and Construction Management Department
  • Doug Nelson, assistant professor, Civil and Architectural Engineering and Construction Management Department
  • Dr. Nadya Shalamova, associate professor, Humanities, Social Science and Communication Department
  • Gene Wright, instructor, Rader School of Business
  • Dr. Wujie Zhang, associate professor, Physics and Chemistry Department  

Leitzke has been named director of the CREATE Institute and will assume that role beginning with MSOE’s Winter Quarter of classes.  

“I am thrilled to bring more opportunities for our students to connect their learning to real-world applications. By working side-by-side with industry mentors throughout their educational experience at MSOE, our students will continue to develop a mindset that will serve them well throughout their professional careers,” said Leitzke. “I am honored play a role in creating more opportunities for students to expand their reach in the community!”  

As campus change agents, the CREATE Faculty Fellows will begin to develop and implement the CREATE Institute immediately. They will focus their efforts in three main areas: faculty programming, student programming and community programming. Over the next four years, faculty and students will be engaged in iterations of programming that will be sustained to benefit the MSOE community. This programming will include a professional learning workshop series for faculty, a curriculum integration program, an MSOE Mindset Speaker Series, multiple student activities, and the policies and processes for robust experiential learning opportunities for students. Further, the physical location of the CREATE Institute will be established. By the second year of the program, a cohort of CREATE Student Fellows will be added who will serve in roles as faculty assistants as well as serve as mentors for the next generation of extraordinary students.  

More information  

The Entrepreneurial Mindset

MSOE seeks to instill an entrepreneurial mindset in students so that they demonstrate constant curiosity about our changing world and explore a contrarian view of accepted solutions; through connections they integrate information from many sources to gain insight and assess and manage risk; and they create value by identifying unexpected opportunities to create extraordinary value, and persist through and learn from failure. MSOE is a member in the Kern Entrepreneurial Engineering Network (KEEN), a network of more than 30 partner universities and hundreds of faculty across the U.S. KEEN enables MSOE faculty to play a key role in the transformation of engineering education by impacting undergraduate engineering students and empowering the next generation of Americans to live flourishing lives.  

The Servant-Leader Mindset

Since 2004, and with help from the Richard Pieper Family Endowed Chair for Servant-Leadership, MSOE has made a concerted effort to help students become self-aware and knowledgeable of their strengths and weaknesses—qualities which include foresight, authenticity and vulnerability; community builders who demonstrate empathy through effective listening, caring and coaching skills; and ethical professionals who are able to conduct themselves with a sense of usefulness, presence, acceptance and stewardship. Leitzke currently holds the Pieper Family Endowed Chair for Servant-Leadership and is responsible for integrating the servant-leadership philosophy throughout the social fabric and culture of the university. A search is underway to fill this position once she assumes her new role.