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.
“Georgia Tech has a long-standing commitment to helping students develop entrepreneurial confidence,” said Georgia Tech President Ángel Cabrera. “Cristi Bell-Huff does that through leading curriculum development in the Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering and in the way she teaches the entrepreneurial mindset to engineering students. Her innovative thinking has inspired numerous students, and we congratulate her on this well-deserved award.”
As the top winner, Bell-Huff will receive the top award of a $25,000 grant from the Kern Family Foundation to advance KEEN’s mission, sponsored attendance to the 2021 KEEN National Conference, a professional video of her story, and a KEEN guitar - the Rising Star award.
“We have been extremely proud of the work that Dr. Bell-Huff has done across a number of our engineering schools to bring entrepreneurial skills to students,” said Georgia Tech College of Engineering Dean Steve McLaughlin. “Her leadership in this has been a tremendous asset to the College and has helped countless engineering students acquire leadership and entrepreneur-focused skills which they can use for the rest of their lives.”
KEEN is a national partnership of universities with the shared mission to graduate engineers with an entrepreneurial mindset so they can create personal, economic, and societal value through a lifetime of meaningful work. KEEN was created by the Kern Family Foundation whose mission is to empower the rising generation of Americans to build flourishing lives anchored in strong character, inspired by quality education, driven by an entrepreneurial mindset, and guided by the desire to create value for others.
Two additional winners of the award included Cheryl Bodnar of Rowan University, and Blake Hylton of Ohio Northern University. Bodnar and Hylton will each receive a $10,000 grant from the Kern Family Foundation to advance KEEN’s mission.
Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering
Georgia Institute of Technology