July 7, 2015 | Leave a Comment
Dr. Jenna P. Carpenter began her duties as founding dean of Campbell University’s School of Engineering on July 1. As the founding dean, Carpenter will lead and oversee the university’s efforts to bring to fruition its proposal to establish an engineering school.
When the school enrolls its first students in August 2016, pending SACSCOC approval, Campbell will be only the second private college or university in North Carolina home to an engineering school.
In the video above, Carpenter talks about what drew her to Campbell, her early vision for the School of Engineering, and what will set apart the school from other engineering programs. Below is a look at Carpenter herself.
Her favorite toys growing up were building blocks. “I have loved math for as long as I can remember, and I really enjoy building things from scratch. It has never been on my bucket list to be a founding dean; but certainly I was interested in being a dean at some point. I really enjoy starting things. And here at Campbell, we get to start with a fresh slate and develop some innovative opportunities.”
She comes from a family of educators. “I have a number of teachers in my family, so it’s probably not a surprise that I have wanted to be a teacher myself since elementary school. A career as a college faculty member has provided me with the perfect combination of teaching and mentoring students in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) fields, together with the opportunity to serve in a variety of leadership roles, both on my local campus and at the national level.”
She has a long history with Louisiana Tech, where she earned her undergraduate degree and served on the faculty for 25 years, most recently as associate dean for undergraduate studies. “Many things I loved about Louisiana Tech I have found here at Campbell – the people, the students, and the strong emphasis on education. I come from a rural area. It’s where I grew up. So when I came to Campbell to visit, it felt like home. I could see myself here, and it was a place where I felt we could be successful.”
She continues to teach one class a semester. “Right after I received tenure at Louisiana Tech, they approached me and asked me to take on administrative work. I have stayed on board doing that for the past 17 yeras. I’ve been fortunate that I’ve been able continue to teach at least one class a semester along the way. I love teaching. It’s sort of my fuel, if you will.”
Her research has helped prepare her to build an engineering school. “In recent years my research has focused on developing innovative STEM curricula and creating a culture of success for women in engineering. I have a solid understanding of the key issues in engineering education, effective solution strategies, and innovative initiatives across the country, as well as a great network of engineering education colleagues from coast to coast. It has given me a rich background on which to draw to help make Campbell Engineering a success.”