Engineering's professional programs to amplify with new outreach director

Samantha Chavanic
July 08, 2019

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Robin Havens Tate has joined the School of Engineering Design, Technology, and Professional Programs (SEDTAPP) as its new director of professional programs outreach.

On July 1, Tate began leading and setting the strategy for the outreach efforts of the school’s professional programs, which include Engineering Leadership Development, Engineering Entrepreneurship, Humanitarian Engineering and Social Entrepreneurship and Engineering Design. In this role, she will help to grow and enhance each program’s existing offerings and develop new opportunities to leverage current and future offerings.

“I want to see our lifelong learners shine and make the world a better place – one learner and one innovation at a time, and then come back to learn and innovate with us again and again. Learning should be dynamic and thrilling. We have the resources to make that happen.”

- Robin Havens Tate, director of professional programs outreach in the School of Engineering Design, Technology and Professional Programs

“This position will help set the vision and strategy for how SEDTAPP will leverage its current educational offerings into existing and new markets and modes of delivery, as well as develop new offerings for professionals that will help them as they ‘design their future’ career paths,” Sven Bilén, head of SEDTAPP and professor of engineering design, electrical engineering and aerospace engineering, said.

Tate will work closely with Bilén, SEDTAPP program directors and faculty, the College of Engineering’s Office for Digital Learning, other offices across the University and external partners to create additional educational opportunities for current students and working professionals. These initiatives include micro-credentials, short courses offered at any Penn State campus or at a company or organization site, new online offerings through World Campus, continuing education (CE) and professional development hour (PDH) credits for professional engineers and certification preparation.

“Engineering is cutting-edge science applied to design challenges. Throughout an engineer’s career, he or she faces a competitive marketplace filled with performance demands requiring current or new skills,” Tate said. “Knowledge and skill mastery necessitate many unique learning environments ranging from micro-credentialing to short courses, as well as certificates, undergraduate and graduate degrees. Engineers and their employers need cutting-edge educational partnerships that support lifelong professional learning. SEDTAPP can provide its extensive research expertise coupled with fantastic engineering education to companies and practicing engineers in our own backyard and around the world. This is a dream job for me.”

Most recently, Tate served as a senior instructional designer for the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Penn State. There, she directed the design, technical requirements, development, implementation, assessment, accessibility, program evaluation, quality assurance and academic integrity initiatives for all e-Learning and hybrid courses for two online programs – a Master of Engineering in Additive Manufacturing and Design and a Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering

“Robin brings a breadth of experience to this position,” Bilén said. “First, she is a ‘non-traditional’ learner, having returned later in her career for advanced education, so she understands the needs of returning and continuing education students. Second, she has a wealth of experience in the design and delivery of online courses, leveraging her instructional systems degree and her educational psychology doctorate degree. Third, she has experience in marketing educational offerings to new markets.”

Tate said she is thrilled to join SEDTAPP and to help educate learners on how to better thrive in work environments, whether they are new engineering students or have been in industry for years.

“In order to engage with work and enjoy it, we all need to have the requisite knowledge and skills to shine,” she said. “I want to see our lifelong learners shine and make the world a better place – one learner and one innovation at a time – and then come back to learn and innovate with us again and again. Learning should be dynamic and thrilling. We have the resources to make that happen.”

Tate received her doctorate in educational psychology in 2015 from Penn State. She also holds a graduate certificate in applied statistics and a master of education in instructional systems design, both from Penn State. She received her bachelor of arts in economics in 1983 from Randolph-Macon Woman’s College.

  • Blonde woman smiling in a posed headshot photo

    Robin Havens Tate, director of professional programs outreach.

    IMAGE: Penn State

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated July 09, 2019