Becoming a Catalyst for Change

What I found in the Engineering Unleashed community are creative and supportive instructors and researchers, where everyone shares their ideas and classroom practices to help others bring the entrepreneurial mindset to students.
- Kaitlin Mallouk, Rowan University

Rowan University

Becoming a Catalyst for Change

by Kaitlin Mallouk, September 11, 2019. This article originally appeared in the KEEN 2019 Annual Report. Reprinted with permission.

“What do you think of the entrepreneurial mindset in engineering?” 

At the time, my colleagues, Cory Hixson and Cheryl Bodnar, were leading the effort for Rowan University to become a KEEN partner. When Cory asked me what I thought about the entrepreneurial mindset (EM), I wasn’t really interested. I didn’t see how EM applied to me.

It was while our team was reimagining our First-Year Engineering Clinic that I realized how EM was a vehicle to implement good pedagogy. To better understand implementation, I joined the Engineering Unleashed community as soon as I could.

What I found in the Engineering Unleashed community are creative and supportive instructors and researchers, where everyone shares their ideas and classroom practices to help others bring EM to students. I’m in awe of their creativity and have been inspired to adopt some of their techniques and projects.

When I saw the opportunity to become a Community Catalyst, I figured this would be a good way to get more involved—and it certainly was! In addition to reading content cards that community members have published, I’m empowered to do something I really enjoy: Connecting people to what they need, whether that’s another person or a piece of content.

“Being part of the KEEN network has helped me integrate EM into all my classes.”

I’m planning to apply again as a Community Catalyst (Editor's Note: She did!). I’m also getting my research program off the ground. One of my oars in the water involves student reflections and their conceptions of the 3C’s. Another involves implementing a Diversity Catalyst program on campus. A third involves studying how engineering education guilds (like KEEN and the Consortium to Promote Reflection in Engineering Education (CPREE)) propagate their pedagogical innovations and the resources instructors use when making changes to their pedagogy.

Outside of work, besides parenting a 6.5 and a 3-year old, I take regular French horn lessons with the Rowan Community Music school, which I started last fall after 11 years away from the instrument.

I’m looking forward to attending the 2020 KEEN National Conference, strengthening my ties to other KEEN members, and perhaps arranging some research or teaching-based collaborations!

2019 Community Catalysts

Associated Content

First Year Curiosity

Interpretation of Curiosity by First-Year Engineering Students

What happens when you ask students to reflect on themselves as learners and their previous experiences with school? Of the 3Cs, students most often associated their reflections with Curiosity. Here's what this means for you and your classes.
Product Archaeology

Product Archaeology: Digging Into Consumer Products

Your first-year students will perform a “dig” on a consumer product (e.g., Bluetooth speakers, coffee mugs, flashlights, etc). Each week, they will complete a phase of the product archeology process: Preparation, excavation, evaluation, and explanation. Drive understanding and implementation of curiosity, connections, and creating value!

Net Zero Energy: Personal Benchmarking and Plans for Improvement

Ask your students to be curious about the places they live! What are the biggest energy consumers in a typical United States home? What ways could that energy consumption be reduced? Through this exploration, they'll determine what the biggest energy consumers are related to and determine what opportunities are available to move their homes towards Net Zero.


Meet the Author

Kaitlin Mallouk

Kaitlin Mallouk, Assistant Professor, Rowan University

Kaitlin focuses on multi-disciplinary instruction in the first and second years. Her background includes chemical engineering (BS), biomedical engineering (2 years working in vaccine development), environmental engineering (MS, PhD), and mechanical engineering (5 years as an instructor in an ME department). She has served as a Community Catalyst.

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