Exploring LegaCs
What story do you want to tell?

L = life stories of
e = engineers
g = growing
a = acting on
Cs = curiosity,
    creating value
The mark a person leaves on the world represents their legacy. Legacy is about the value we create for other people and places in the world. The story of a person's life reflects their legacy.
Who are you? How did you get here? How will you make a difference in the world through your life’s work?  
When asked questions like these, many of us have no idea what to say….. We have never had the opportunity to be curious about ourselves, to make connections between our experiences and our growth, or to think about how we have been uniquely shaped to create value in the world.  
Exploring LegaCs is a multi-institutional, story-driven learning experience for engineering students that explores these questions and equips students to tell their unique stories of growth, identity, and vision. Students will connect their stories and experiences to think about their legacy - the story they want to tell with their life’s work.  
This is an 8-week experience that will meet virtually every Wednesday from 5-6pm (ET).  
Fall 2021 (September 1 through October 20) 
Week 1 (September 1) : Origins
Week 2 (September 8) : Defining Moments 
Week 3 (September 15) : Why? 
Week 4 (September 22) : Who are you?
Week 5 (September 29) : What If?
Week 6 (October 6) : Who will be better because of you? 
Week 6 (October 12) : Optional Office Hours with Professional Story Coach
Week 7 (October 13) : LegaC Story Labs 
Week 7 (October 18) : Optional Office Hours with Professional Story Coach
Week 8 (October 20) : LegaC Story Showcase Event 
During Exploring LegaCs, students network with other students and faculty from 5 KEEN universities (Arizona State University, Duke University, Georgia Tech, James Madison University, and Rochester Institute of Technology). They are coached by a professional storyteller as part of learning to tell their story. At the end of the program, students deliver a 5-minute, recorded "Ted-style" story called a LegaCs Story. The LegaCs Story seeks to answer the question - what story do you want to tell?  
Exploring LegaCs is made possible through a KEEN Rising Star grant awarded to Dr. Cristi Bell-Huff by the Kern Family Foundation.  

Dr. Cristi Bell-Huff
Ever since I was a little girl I have always wondered - "how do they make that?". From pondering how they mass produced my favorite cookies as a child to working as an R&D engineer figuring out ways to mass produce life-changing medications, my curiosity has always driven me to seek answers, look for ways to solve problems, and above all, care about other people. 
Indeed, I value my years in pharmaceutical product and process development but along the way I discovered something about myself. I discovered my passion for influencing people when teaching at night as an adjunct faculty member. I found that I thoroughly enjoy exploring ways to teach and mentor people to enhance their growth as engineers. That's when I knew I needed to start living out my calling as an engineering educator. 
I have taught aspiring engineers of all ages. I love engaging students as they discover the real joy of engineering is in solving challenging problems to help other people. I believe this next generation of engineers will be an integral part of solving some of the world’s toughest problems. This will only be possible by providing opportunities for them to develop into collaborative innovators who can work across disciplines in creative ways. In other words, the engineers of the future will need to combine a technical skillset to solve tough problems with a mindset that allows them to understand how best to collaborate and create value. Along my journey, I (again) began to wonder - "how do we make THAT?" Now I am on a mission to engineer the education of tomorrow's engineers.
Brady Bove Muñoz
I believe that engineering and poetry are related. In both, we are expressing a truth. For me, with engineering, I am using scientific truths to create solutions. With poetry, I am sharing the truth of the world that has been shown to me through my experiences. In everything I do, I aim to combine the lessons I have learned from engineering as a recent graduate from the Georgia Institute of Technology and an Optimized Operations engineer at 3M and from poetry as a published author. It is with this unique perspective that I tackle everything I do. I solve problems with math and technology, communication and empathy.
Dr. Kyle Gipson
Kyle Gipson is an associate professor at James Madison University. Strategic – Learner – Adaptive – Versatilist – Restorative; Titles do not define, they can only limit. I relish prospects of collaborating with others that are focused on engineering learning experiences that inspire exploration for purpose, personal, and professional growth. I am a military brat who graduated from a small liberal arts college located in the southern part of the United States. I worked in industry for 10 years and now I am at James Madison University in the Department of Engineering. I serve through the power of story as an advocate for the next generation of talent becoming positive change agents.  
Dr. Clark Hochgraf
Clark Hochgraf is a professor at Rochester Institute of Technology. An Engineer - Educator - Systems Thinker - Innovator - Husband - Father - Brother – Son; I’m defined by my relationships. I enjoy building understanding and consensus across seemingly disparate groups and ways of thinking. I enjoy building technological systems and sharing my enjoyment with others by developing and delivering educational experiences. I'm a learner. I am an optimist. I grew up on rural farm. I worked in industry for 11 years; Today, I teach at Rochester Institute of Technology, where I’m using the power of story to improve educational experiences and outcomes.
Dr. Joe Le Doux
Joe is an Associate Professor and Associate Chair in the Department of Biomedical Engineering. He is a recipient of the National Academy of Engineering’s Bernard M. Gordon Prize in 2019 “for fusing problem-driven engineering education with learning science principles to create a pioneering program that develops leaders in biomedical engineering”. His current research interests are in engineering education with a focus on the social-cultural aspects of highly interactive problem-driven learning environments, including how they impact students’ motivation, engagement, and sense of belonging and inclusion.
Dr. Stephanie Lunn
Stephanie is a postdoctoral fellow in the Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering at Georgia Institute of Technology and Emory University. She recently completed her Ph.D. in computer science (C.S), and she also has B.S. and M.S. degrees in C.S. and neuroscience. As her background may suggest, her interests are varied, but she has a passion for problem solving. She also seeks to establish more inclusive environments in STEM fields, and her current research focuses on pedagogical approaches to develop empathy in engineering students.
Dr. Laura Shackelford
Laura is a Professor of English and founding Director of the Center for Engaged Storycraft at the Rochester Institute of Technology. She enjoys researching, writing, and teaching contemporary narrative and storytelling practices of all kinds - in fiction, science fiction, digital literatures, graphic novels, interactive narrative, non-fiction, poetry, games, animation, and film. Her books on late 20th and early 21st century American fiction and digital fiction explore speculation as an invaluable shared practice and site of lively exchange between scientific and literary cultures, as these mutually inform contemporary digital cultures globally. She now spends much of her time collaborating with interdisciplinary teams of scholars and makers who enjoy seeking out new creative and socially-minded potentials in computational media, digital storytelling, interactive media, digital cultures, and sciences of systems theory, bioinformatics, and engineering. 
Janece Shaffer
Award-winning playwright and StoryReady Founder Janece Shaffer was invited to collaborate with Georgia Tech’s Department of Biomedical Engineering to create a signature storytelling curriculum, now required for all students. Janece has also designed and currently leads an innovative, yearlong story-based leadership program, KEEN on Stories, for nearly 100 engineering educators. As a playwright, she has penned more than a dozen works and through her company, she teaches storytelling strategies to clients like Delta Air Lines, Georgia Pacific, Georgia Power, and Emory University.
Dr. Rebecca Simmons
Rebecca Simmons is an Associate Professor of the Practice in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science at Duke University. She arrived as a freshman to Duke in 1996 and has never left; she completed both her B.S.E and Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering and Material Sciences. She teaches a variety of design courses and is passionate about helping her students build creative confidence, think outside of the box, and design their life with personal metrics of success. She created and co-hosts an engineering undergraduate podcast called This Engineering Life: The Undergraduate Series. Her husband is also a mechanical engineer, and both of her daughters are expressing interests in mechanical engineering and computer science. Dinner conversations in the Simmons’s house are unsurprisingly nerdy.
Charlotte Solak
My name is Charlotte Solak. I am a fourth-year engineering student at James Madison University. I have spent most of my life in rural West Virginia. Living in West Virginia has allowed me to embrace my sense of adventure. I enjoy spending time taking drives and exploring new places. My upbringing has shaped me to be kind, curious, and driven. During my years in college, I have used the time to embark on new adventures even if they end in what someone might consider failure. I took on a Chemical Engineering internship my freshman year. While I learned a lot from this challenge, the most important thing that I learned was that I wanted to explore different career options. During the global pandemic I was lucky enough to find a position as an outdoor adventure guide with an outfitter company. While embracing my love of the outdoors I have been able to network with brilliant minds while finding a true understanding of the Human Centered design process. Each guest that goes on a trip with me has different wants, needs, and requires a different experience than previous guests. This requires me to design new teaching methods and courses for each guest. In the future I hope to keep learning while making a positive impact on those around me.
Amy Trowbridge
Amy Trowbridge is a Senior Lecturer in the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering at Arizona State University (ASU) and is the Director of the Grand Challenges Scholars Program (GCSP) at ASU. Amy works to encourage and support students in expanding their mindsets and achieving their goals through curricular and co-curricular experiences, and creation of digital portfolios to reflect on their experiences. She teaches primarily first year students, including an interdisciplinary grand challenges focused course and introduction to engineering course in both in-person and MOOC formats. Amy has worked to provide opportunities to students beyond ASU as well, through her work as a member of the current GCSP Network interim Executive Committee, and her involvement in the Kern Entrepreneurial Engineering Network (KEEN). Amy loves working with students, and supporting them as they grow, achieve their goals, and get ready to change the world.
Stories Spotlight
Cristi Bell-Huff Wins National KEEN Rising Star Award
Posted May 14, 2020 
Receives the top award of a $25,000 grant from the Kern Family Foundation 

Cristi Bell-Huff, faculty member of the Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering at Georgia Tech and Emory University, was named the top winner of the second annual National KEEN Rising Star Award. 
The KEEN Rising Star Award recognizes individuals who have gone above and beyond to equip undergraduate engineers to create personal, economic, and societal value through the entrepreneurial mindset. ...

Surreal Engtanglements: Essays on Jeff VanderMeer's Fiction
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Research Initiation:Exploring the Role of Story-Driven Learning to Foster Empathy in the Professional Formation of Engineers
Engineers solve challenging problems to help other people and better society. In order to design effective solutions engineers must employ empathy not only in their design process but also in their collaborative approach to problems. Fostering empathy in engineering students is critical for the continuing tradition of technical excellence and service to society that has characterized the professional formation of engineers in the past. Although difficult to quantify financially, empathy is an economic necessity that goes beyond responsible product design or innovation. ...
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· Stay balanced in the face of attacks and accusations 
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The Narrative Gym

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Stories that Stick

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better small talk

Networking events suck, but they can suck less. What to say and when to say to be likable, connect, and make a memorable impression. 
Actionable and applicable verbal maneuvers for just about every phase of conversation. From hello to goodbye, with strangers or old friends, you'll learn how to simply go deeper. 
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Leaving LegaCy

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Think Again

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Spilling Ink

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The Elevated COmmunicator

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The Art of Gathering

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Pitch Perfect

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The Power of Moments

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Want to know more? You can contact us by this form.

Dr. Cristi Bell-Huff


Lecturer, Director of Faculty and Student Training 
Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering 
Georgia Tech and Emory University