Four Universities Receive $2.4 Million From Kern Family Foundation

Four private universities — Baylor in Waco, Texas; Villanova outside of Philadelphia; and the universities of Dayton and Detroit Mercy — have received a three-year, $2.4 million grant from the Kern Family Foundation in Waukesha, Wisconsin, to develop entrepreneurship programming for engineering students.

The grant will be used to create the Helping Hands Dense Network (HHDN), which will focus on two initiatives: the development of an "intrapreneurial" curriculum and intercollegiate student projects. As part of the collaborative effort, Baylor and the University of Detroit Mercy will develop programming on "intrapreneurship" that teaches students how to apply the entrepreneurial spirit within existing companies, while Dayton and Villanova will work to facilitate intercollegiate projects that enable students to share resources and experiences in new collaborative ways. Faculty from each school will offer feedback on both initiatives. In addition, teaching tools developed by HHDN will be transferable to other schools, which the network hopes will result in university cultures that value "intrapreneurial" engineering.

"The three-year project will leverage industry ties to help students develop a deeper understanding of intrapreneurship and build a curriculum to enrich student learning," said Greg Leman, clinical professor, director of university entrepreneurial initiatives and the Curtis Hankamer chair of entrepreneurship in the department of management and entrepreneurship at Baylor. "It will provide the students with hard skills and learning opportunities to help them develop soft skills and professional attributes necessary for career success."