October 30, 2015
DALLAS (SMU) – Jonathan Stolk begins his appointment at SMU as executive director of the Caruth Institute for Engineering Education and professor in the Simmons School of Education and Human Development.
This cross-disciplinary appointment takes full advantage of SMU’s strengths in the Lyle School of Engineering, home to the Caruth Institute, and the Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development. In addition, Professor Stolk holds an appointment as the Texas Instruments Distinguished Chair in Engineering Education and a courtesy appointment in the Mechanical Engineering Department.
“With the arrival of Professor Jonathan Stolk to SMU-Lyle, the Caruth Institute for Engineering Education is poised to have an impact extending across all levels of education throughout the country,” said Marc P. Christensen, dean of the SMU Lyle School of Engineering. “Professor Stolk brings vast and relevant experience from Olin College and a passion for improving education. He is a perfect fit as the Caruth Institute’s executive director.”
Stolk previously served as a professor at Olin College of Engineering, where he enjoyed the unusual experience of co-creating an entirely new engineering school. He joined Olin in 2001, before the college had buildings, programs, or students. Alongside 15 faculty and 30 student “partners,” Stolk engaged in prototyping new curricular ideas and establishing a new learning culture. While at Olin, he collaboratively developed numerous project-based courses, designed hands-on learning spaces, and explored how students and faculty learn differently in non-traditional pedagogical settings.
"Professor Stolk’s considerable expertise in engineering education, student motivation, self-regulated learning, and project-based learning will bring much needed expertise to the critical mission of the Caruth Institute,” said David Chard, dean of the SMU Simmons School of Education and Human Development. “His role within the Simmons and Lyle Schools will strengthen the collaborations that have been developed between our two schools as well as establish exciting new opportunities throughout SMU.”
Jon Stolk strives to design and facilitate extraordinary learning experiences. He creates project-based and interdisciplinary courses and programs that invite students to take control of their learning; grapple with complex systems; engage with each other and the world in new ways; and emerge as confident, agile, self-directed learners. Stolk’s research aims to understand how students develop growth-oriented motivations and mindsets and how learning culture, instructor interactions, and pedagogy influence these developmental processes.
Stolk strives to translate education research into practice and to assist other instructors in creating innovative student experiences and driving educational change. A core aspect of his professional work involves equipping instructors with design tools and conceptual frameworks, enabling them to understand their classrooms in new ways and to gain confidence in trying new approaches and deploying course prototypes. Stolk consults with a wide range of academic institutions on the design of unconventional curricula, and he offers hands-on workshops to faculty around the world.
SMU is a nationally ranked private university in Dallas founded 100 years ago. Today, SMU enrolls approximately 11,000 students who benefit from the academic opportunities and international reach of seven degree-granting schools.
About the Lyle School of Engineering
SMU’s Bobby B. Lyle School of Engineering, founded in 1925, is one of the oldest engineering schools in the Southwest. The school offers eight undergraduate and 29 graduate programs, including master’s and doctoral degrees.
About the Caruth Institute for Engineering Education
The Caruth Institute for Engineering Education is dedicated to increasing the number and diversity of students who graduate from U.S. high schools with both the enthusiasm and knowledge to pursue the engineering careers that are necessary for the U.S. to compete in a global economy.