Justin Henriques

2019 KEEN Rising Star

Justin Henriques, Associate Professor, James Madison University, is a 2019 KEEN Rising Star. The following is taken from his story by Edmond J. Dougherty, Retired Professor of Practice and Director of Engineering Entrepreneurship, Villanova University. This article was published in ASEE PRISM, May 2020. Reprinted with permission.

Justin Henriques 

“Giving students agency, empowering them, giving them knowledge and tools, mindset, the three C’s. Those are all things that are rich and fertile ground for amazing things in the future.”

Justin Henriques is an Associate Professor of Engineering at James Madison University (JMU). His teaching focus is on active learning of the entrepreneurial mindset, especially as it relates to creating useful sustainable and humanitarian technologies. Though he has been on the faculty for only eight years, his CV is packed with scores of publications, presentations, fellowships, awards, and student projects.

Four of Justin’s five degrees are engineering related, but the fifth is Philosophy. Justin explains: “Both philosophy and engineering wrestle with complicated systems level challenges. In addition, a branch of philosophy is ethics, and there are overlays especially in decision making. In philosophy you are always trying to run thought experiments, to plan how to get to the logical conclusion to your argument. In sustainability you’re doing the same thing where you’re trying to reconcile complexities that exist inherently, in coming up with solutions that might be sustainable.”

Justin Henriques

"Before each class, I am thinking — How do I maximize students’ engagement with each other? I think the real benefit of higher ed is where you’re meeting in person, the opportunity that students get engaged with one another connects downstream to their professional careers. 

"I’m also thinking of what I’m planning on doing beyond a lecture, such as active based learning and EML. 

"Then there’s a third thing, the opportunity for the students to practice something around mindsets or skillsets. In this way, every part of the lecture is getting that level of review before each class.”

But students aren’t always in class; so Justin and his colleagues developed a toolkit for cultivating the entrepreneurial mindset through co-curricular experiences. The toolkit emphasizes that for faculty to reach students deeply they must provide EML co-curricular activities and events to help students no matter where they may be. 

“I remember when I was first exposed to KEEN, about 2014, I was excited because it codified many things and in a simple way. This idea of the value and importance of an entrepreneurial mindset. And the simple elegance of the three C’s – Curiosity, Connections, and Creating Value. I have been constantly inspired by the amazing things that people from across KEEN are doing. I’m often borrowing, using and sharing material from Engineering Unleashed.”

Justin Henriques

Associated Content

Co-Curricular Experiences

A Toolkit for Cultivating the Entrepreneurial Mindset Through Co-Curricular Experiences

Co-curriculars offer a rich and vital landscape for engineering education! Yet due to the bootstrapped nature of many of these efforts, outcomes can be unknown, resources inefficiently deployed, sustainability uncertain, and synergies unexplored. This workshop provides a toolkit for analyzing your co-curricular entrepreneurially-minded learning (EML) landscape, uncover gaps, identify opportunities, and prioritize future efforts for high-impact returns on investment.
Imagining Engineering Education in 2030

Imagining Engineering Education in 2030

In this 90-minute workshop on future-proofing education, participants are challenged with re-designing one of their current educational initiatives to be able to thrive in 2030! Participants are led through the development of possible future states (scenarios) as influenced by current social, economic, institutional, learning and demographic trends extrapolated to the year 2030.

About the Author

Edmond Dougherty

Edmond Dougherty, Retired Professor of Practice and Director of Engineering Entrepreneurship, Villanova University

Edmond has many years of experience in the design, development, and management of complex electronic and software systems. He was part of a team that helped develop the Emmy and Academy Award winning Skycam, an aerial robotic control camera system. He also developed an aerial camera system called Wavecam that is now owned by Skycam. He has 13 US patents. He was awarded the IEEE Member Award for the Philadelphia area, and the Meyer Innovation and Creative Excellence (ICE) Award at Villanova University.