Aug. 30, 2021 – Valparaiso, Indiana – Reva Johnson ’09, Ph.D., Dale E. Kempf Professor of Emerging Technology and associate professor of mechanical engineering and bioengineering, was named a 2021 National Rising Star by the Kern Entrepreneurial Engineering Network (KEEN).Reva Johnson working with robotic equipment

The Rising Star award recognizes faculty members with fewer than 10 years of teaching experience who equip undergraduate engineers to create personal, economic and societal value through an entrepreneurial mindset.

As part of the award, Johnson will receive a $10,000 grant to advance KEEN’s mission to make entrepreneurially minded learning commonplace in engineering education. Johnson plans to develop a class that combines creative writing with technical writing and can serve engineering students as well as those from other programs.

“This grant is unique because it gives me the freedom to develop programs that will be most helpful to Valpo students as whole people, not just tied to engineering or research outcomes,” Johnson said. “It provides me the opportunity to work with colleagues across campus to make a meaningful difference in students’ lives.”

Johnson’s nomination for the award centered around the three C’s she focuses on in the classroom: curiosity, connections and creating value. For Johnson, it’s important to have fun while teaching and learning and to relate to people’s lives with tangible examples of engineering principles.

KEEN is a partnership of more than 50 colleges and universities across the United States. KEEN specifically impacts and influences the broader engineering ecosystem and reflects the belief that networks scale impact.