Jonathan Leinonen, principal lecturer in the Michigan Technological University Faculty
of Enterprise, is a 2021 Engineering Unleashed Fellow.
This yr, 27 people from increased training institutions across the state have
been named fellows by Engineering Unleashed (EU). The designation acknowledges management
in undergraduate engineering instruction. The honor, which encompasses research moreover
funding, will go significantly in continuing to differentiate Michigan Tech’s company method
for its small business-STEM interface.
In this Q&A, Leinonen describes the opportunity, his do the job and what the EU fellowship
signifies for enterprise college students, Michigan Tech and the location.
Engineering Unleashed (EU) is a community of 3,800 school members from 340 institutions
of bigger education and learning. It’s powered by the Kern Relatives Engineering Entrepreneurship
Community (Keen), a 50-spouse collaborative that shares a mission to graduate engineers
with entrepreneurial mindsets who are geared up to create societal, particular and financial
price. In 2019, Michigan Tech turned the 42nd college acknowledged into Keen, a wonderful
honor for all of campus.
Q: Jon, congratulations on being named an Engineering Unleashed Fellow! How’d you
get involved in the EU community?
JL: Thanks! The seed for the fellowship procedure was planted as I labored with a group
of innovative school from throughout campus with a vision to boost an entrepreneurial
mentality all through Michigan Tech. After I learned what Engineering Unleashed is all
about, I began to recognize that a ton of what we educate in the College of Enterprise is
in line with Eager.
In the process, I took Engineering Unleashed School Growth workshops that have been
designed and delivered by a team of topic-subject industry experts who provide as college customers
at more than 25 institutions. The workshops catch the attention of school individuals from throughout
the nation, concentrating on the advancement and software of an entrepreneurial mentality
in educating and studying, analysis, industry or leadership.
Q: What do you do in your working day-to-working day function?
JL: As a principal lecturer in the School of Small business, my most important aim is on educating
enterprise administration courses. Prior to this, I worked in business for about 20 many years,
which sensitized me to the desires of businesses to create a holistic look at to problem-resolving.
To enhance my educating, I also function with entrepreneurial and economic development
groups that involve Michigan Tech’s entrepreneurial guidance packages, Michigan Small
Business enterprise Progress Center, the Finnish American Chamber of Commerce for the Higher
Peninsula, MTEC SmartZone and Portage Health Basis.
Q: What possibilities does this fellowship open up for you?
JL: Performing in the midst of this ecosystem allows leverage across my roles for class
assignments, investigate and community influence. The assistance from the Keen fellowship has
materially innovative the under-resourced college or university pupil dialogue with stakeholders,
discovered new investigate opportunities for learners and is leading to product outcomes
that display our abilities as a College and within just the College or university of Organization.
As we display achievement in these spots, pupils are eager to discover and be included in
analysis, the community results in being more engaged and alternatives open up throughout the
board. I am a single to appear forward and normally check with what’s upcoming. I’m eager to see this challenge
provide in more students and options to have interaction the neighborhood with new worth.
Q: What is your undertaking about?
JL: I applied the entrepreneurially minded studying (EML) framework from Engineering
Unleashed to work with learners to submit a venture to the Undergraduate Investigation
Internship Software (URIP) through the Pavlis Honors Higher education. EML is the collective
process of instilling curiosity and discovery, developing insight and making price
by experiential education and learning. We secured funding to seek the services of two college students with supplemental
aid from the Dean’s Advisory Council in the College or university of Business enterprise and the Portage
Overall health Foundation. Individuals college students labored to get ready two studies that identified useful resource
requirements specific to pupils in the western Upper Peninsula.
An instance of the will need we are addressing is the variety of higher education college students who have
been identified with ailments this sort of as stress, depression and persistent ache. Learners
who deficiency the sources to manage these diagnoses facial area a considerably bigger obstacle to
discovering. A further is the price of college exactly where college students are not in a position to entry available
grants or added benefits they could be eligible for. Serving to college students to identify and accessibility
the available sources is an ongoing need we are hunting into.
Right now we’re completing our initially reduce of informational movies and a draft of the
regional scholarship plan.
Q: Where by did you get the idea?
JL: In my Introduction to Company course, some pupils expressed an fascination in
research, so I attended the Engineering Unleashed workshop on entrepreneurially minded
student investigate. The aim of our undertaking is to support beneath-resourced university college students,
which is similar to a community-broad poverty help initiative remaining led by Portage
Health and fitness Foundation that I am also involved with.
Q: What troubles have you encountered?
JL: As I brought far more students into working on the undertaking, 1 of the issues
was to manage aim. We started out to get into source wants that incorporate foods safety,
safe and very affordable housing, numerous features and accessibility to wellness treatment, interaction
with stakeholders and much more, in addition to finances.
In our slide course, we constrained our scope to conversation with stakeholders by
insightful video clips to higher educational institutions and also neighborhood representatives. We also experienced
another team centered on investigating and documenting a company product centered on ideal
tactics relevant to the western UP for a regional scholarship application.
Q: How will college students reward from this?
JL: Principles talked over in the classroom have minor value except if we can aid an individual
boost their lifestyle at the end of the working day. Students are getting fingers-on working experience
with a wide variety of organization ideas with the assure of also supporting long term learners
as a consequence of their get the job done. As a result of this undertaking, we adopted students’ curiosity in
study and used it to a regionally considerable problem.
I surveyed students from my course following performing exercises the entrepreneurial way of thinking. Eighty-5
percent of respondents indicated they either agreed or strongly agreed that they are
better geared up to deal with a potential complicated job, they are additional proficient with
abilities and capacity to carry out investigate, they can see how their do the job potential customers to broader
community and societal rewards, and their efforts will make a content profit to
the lives of other individuals. Completely, the pupils not only helped the job, but
are much more capable to carry these skills ahead for long run influence.
The group interviewed high college and college or university students and administrators, group
reps and government officers. They are functioning on video clips for social media
to converse the demands and strategies for people to turn into far more associated in supporting
A different group of pupils organized details to establish a regional scholarship system.
The students’ target is to build a prepare to seed, build and operate a community-primarily based
scholarship system for the western Higher Peninsula.
I foresee that upcoming university student projects will be in a position to get the job done on far more specific sides
that were being discovered along the way, which includes resources to assistance students’ psychological
and physical well being, guidance for navigating the higher education administrative processes and
also even more engagement with the scholarship software.
Q: You also provide as co-director of Husky Innovate and vice president of Superior
Innovations. How does EU coalesce with people initiatives?
JL: Michigan Tech has an incredible group of entrepreneurially minded men and women. As students
establish their entrepreneurial pursuits, Michigan Tech supplies people today and systems
to meet up with them at every single action of the journey. College students form and examination their strategies, safe
improvement methods, build out their team and small business product, and set them selves
on the path to entrepreneurship. I normally say that success has a good deal of people’s fingerprints
on it, and the workforce in this article is as excellent as anyplace to enable dreams grow to be truth.
About the Faculty of Organization
The Michigan Tech University of Business offers undergraduate majors in accounting, building
administration, economics, engineering administration, finance, management, administration information
units and marketing and advertising, as effectively as a basic enterprise solution. Graduate levels consist of
the TechMBA®, a Grasp of Engineering Management, a Learn of Science in Accounting
and a Master of Science in Applied Purely natural Useful resource Economics.
Michigan Technological University is a community investigate college started in 1885 in Houghton, Michigan, and is residence to additional than 7,000 learners from 55 international locations close to the entire world. Continually ranked amongst the best universities in the state for return on expense, the University provides much more than 125 undergraduate and graduate degree applications in science and know-how, engineering, computing, forestry, small business and economics, overall health professions, humanities, mathematics, social sciences, and the arts. The rural campus is located just miles from Lake Outstanding in Michigan’s Higher Peninsula, presenting yr-round prospects for outdoor experience.