From the desk of President Leslie K. Guice

Dr. Kelly Crittenden: A passion for experiential learning and Louisiana Tech

Mar 31, 2014 | Faculty Feature

Kelly Crittenden & Family

Kelly, Amy and Davy Crittenden

Kelly Crittenden earned his bachelors and doctoral degrees in Biomedical Engineering from Louisiana Tech in 1996 and 2001, respectively. He has been a faculty member in the College of Engineering and Science since 2001. His background in biomedical engineering prepared Kelly well to teach topics across multiple disciplines, and his passion for teaching has enabled him to contribute significantly to Tech’s academic programs.  Kelly was the first faculty member from the college to be tenured with a research focus on Engineering Education. Kelly is currently the Director of Tech’s Integrated STEM Education Research Center (ISERC). He teaches freshman engineering courses in the “Living With The Lab” sequence, Tech’s signature innovative engineering curriculum. He also teaches a variety of product design courses and conducts workshops on digital desktop manufacturing in one of Tech’s newest on-campus labs, the Thingery.  See  Kelly has also been an active member of the Center for Entrepreneurship and Information Technology (CEnIT), bringing his technical talents to support entrepreneurial students and faculty.
Kelly-Cyber Discovery Day Competition

Cyber Discovery Day Competition

Kelly has been a proponent of experiential learning from the beginning of his career as an educator. He has been active in the development of the COES’ freshman curriculum, various professional development programs for teachers, and summer camps for high school students. Kelly’s involvement in the creation of these programs helped to establish ISERC, which is focused on researching how to best deliver educational content to STEM students. Through these efforts, numerous regional and national programs have been created to promote STEM education. These programs include: TechSTEP (an academic year program that brings context to high school math and science content), Cyber Discovery (an intense week-long summer camp experience for rising high school sophomores and their teachers), FrEP (a summer experience for new college freshmen), and IMPACT (a capstone experience for college seniors that focuses on product design and entrepreneurship). Kelly and his colleagues have been successful in securing competitive grant funding from the National Science Foundation, Department of Homeland Security, and other organizations to support these initiatives.
Kelly - Prototyping Lab in Bogard

Bogard Hall Prototyping Lab – Kelly’s Home Away from Home

Kelly can often be found in the halls and labs after hours working with students on various projects. One of his favorite locations to work with students is in Bogard’s prototyping lab.  This lab is usually full of students working on class projects or team projects such as the Eco-Marathon vehicles.  When I walked by the lab recently, one student was building a micro-aerial vehicle just because of personal interests.  Activities such as these help provide our students with unparalleled educational experiences, and we are thankful to have faculty like Kelly who are committed to help students learn in and out of the classroom.
Kelly playing guitar

Kelly playing guitar with friends

Kelly has many hobbies that keep his hands and mind active. He can be found most Sunday’s playing guitar at First Baptist Church in Ruston. His family has been in the automotive repair business for almost as long as there have been cars to repair, and he enjoys building and restoring cars from the ‘60s. Friday is Game Night where he works on his strategic thinking skills.
Home-made 3-d printer

Kelly’s Home-made 3-D Printer

Kelly attends as many of Tech’s home basketball and football games as possible. I have enjoyed having Kelly and his wife, Amy, and son, Davy, sitting near me during football games for the past several years. It is clear that Kelly has a deep passion and commitment for Louisiana Tech athletics.  Amy is the music teacher at Glenview and Hillcrest Elementary. Davy has a brother due in May. Kelly’s most recent hobby is 3D printing where he builds and tests 3D printers, and is active in trying to figure out how this – not as new as you would think – technology is going to affect the home, business, and manufacturing in the coming years.