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July 11, 2020

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ONU honored with Edison Gold Medal as member of KEEN

The Kern Entrepreneurship Education Network (KEEN), a collection of 20 colleges and universities that includes Ohio Northern University, was awarded an Edison Gold Medal in the category of Collaborative Networks and Support on Thursday, April 26. The award was announced during the Edison Awards’ 25th anniversary celebration in New York City.

The colleges involved with KEEN were recognized for their collaborative work in creating the 21st-century engineer by instilling the entrepreneurial mindset in all of the nearly 19,000 students they collectively teach. In addition to the rigorous technical fundamentals they offer as part of their normal courses, the schools offer experiential opportunities aimed at instilling in the students a set of professional skills necessary for their future work.

Since its inception, the KEEN program at ONU has been a joint effort between the T.J.  Smull College of Engineering and The James F. Dicke College of Business Administration. It is led by Dr. John-David Yoder, professor and chair of mechanical engineering, and Dr. Robert Kleine, associate professor of marketing.

“It is an honor to be part of the KEEN network, which has been recognized with an Edison Gold Medal,” said Yoder. “The Edison Awards are widely recognized as acknowledgements of innovation and this recognition is a testament to the Kern Family Foundation as well as all of the schools in the network, including ONU. All of us in the network are working together to innovate to improve undergraduate engineering education.”

KEEN is comprised of 20 undergraduate engineering schools: Baylor, Boston University, Bucknell, Gonzaga, Kettering, Lawrence Tech, Mercer, Milwaukee School of Engineering, Ohio Northern, Saint Louis, Santa Clara, Union College, Dayton, Detroit Mercy, Evansville, New Haven, Villanova, Western New England, Widener and Worcester Polytechnic Institute.

These schools are supported in part by the Kern Family Foundation, whose mission includes enriching lives by promoting educational excellence as well as high-quality, innovative engineering talent. 

The founders, Drs. Robert D. and Patricia E. Kern, have a strong commitment to science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education, which opens many doors for students to become productive citizens in a technology-driven world. They believe that a solid background in math and problem-solving concepts, coupled with an understanding of responsible innovation, are the keys to meeting the challenges that America will face in a rapidly changing global economy.