HESE wins 2013 Community Engagement and Scholarship Award

March 21, 2013


UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – The Humanitarian Engineering and Social Entrepreneurship Program in the College of Engineering has received the 2013 Penn State Award for Community Engagement and Scholarship.

The award recognizes a project that best exemplifies Penn State as an “engaged institution,” which the Kellogg Commission defines as an institution that has redesigned teaching, research, and extension and service functions to become even more sympathetically and productively involved with its communities.

HESE engages students and faculty across campus in the research, design, field testing and launch of technology-based social enterprises that address challenges identified by partners in resource-constrained settings. Ventures have included low-cost greenhouses and solar food dryers, telemedicine systems, cell phone applications and informal education systems in Kenya, Rwanda, India, Tanzania, the United States and other countries.

The ventures are multi-year endeavors that fit the philosophy of being technologically appropriate, socially acceptable, environmentally benign and economically sustainable. Each is intended to cater to and empower individuals living in developing communities worldwide.

HESE has evolved into a 12.5-credit certificate program in engineering and community engagement. Students work in cross-functional teams on the design, testing and commercial implementation of their ventures.

The program won the 2011 Outstanding Specialty Entrepreneurship Program Award from the U.S. Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship. The HESE Mashavu telemedicine venture won second place in the 2010 Global Idea to Product Competition against 18 university teams from nine countries.

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated April 29, 2013