UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — R. Allen Kimel, associate teaching professor of materials science and engineering (MatSE) in the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences, is the recipient of Penn State's 2019 Undergraduate Program Leadership Award.
Kimel recognized with Undergraduate Program Leadership Award
The award recognizes a faculty member who has demonstrated exemplary leadership benefiting a Penn State undergraduate degree program. Specifically, it recognizes those individuals who have major responsibilities for the delivery of undergraduate education within a unit and who are providing leadership that has transformed or revitalized the undergraduate program in some way.
Colleagues said Kimel has numerous qualities and accomplishments that exemplify his commitment to undergraduate students. Kimel, who is associate head for undergraduate studies in the MatSE department, directed the transformation of the undergraduate curriculum in 2012, which led to streamlined degree requirements. These changes meant students had more choices and broadened expertise.
Kimel also revamped the curriculum to ensure all students graduated with a fundamental knowledge of the properties of all materials.
For the past five years, Kimel has been assessing learning outcomes in key courses within the department. This has improved learning outcomes in various courses, added to real-world learning experiences and improved the availability of key required courses. In one course, Kimel added an online offering to make the course more accessible to students.
One course Kimel revamped, MatSE 492W, expanded to emphasize ways to best communicate solutions for materials to peers, advisers and industrial personnel. The centerpiece of the course became a competition-style materials solution for the National Academy of Engineering’s Grand Challenges. The course yielded such positive reviews from students that it became mimicked throughout the college because it paired with President Eric Barron’s vision for entrepreneurial education with a scientific focus.
Kimel oversees the ABET accreditation for the MatSE undergraduate program. He is faculty adviser for several student societies. He chairs the college’s Academic Integrity Committee.
“Dr. Kimel is an exceptional individual who is passionate about ensuring that MatSE students have a high-quality undergraduate experience at Penn State and is thus a perfect candidate for the Undergraduate Program Leadership Award,” a nominator said.