Students Earn Innovation Engineering Black Belts

Published 03.02.2018

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Pennsylvania College of Technology recently recognized its first Innovation Engineering Black Belt recipients. The credential, issued by Eureka Ranch, is available to students who successfully complete five innovation courses at the college and then pursue an extended project.

The recipients, Chet Beaver, of Muncy, and Diane H. Bubb, of Hughesville, received certificates in applied innovation leadership from the college. The college also offers a bachelor’s degree in entrepreneurial innovation, a bachelor’s degree in applied innovation, and a minor in innovation leadership, all of which can lead to an Innovation Engineering Black Belt.

Chet Beaver, of Muncy, and Diane H. Bubb, of Hughesville, are the first Penn College graduates to receive Innovation Engineering Black Belts from the Eureka Ranch in Cincinnati. Both are also Penn College employees. Beaver is coordinator of veterans affairs; Bubb is a workforce development consultant. Likened to a manufacturing system that transforms raw materials into products, innovation engineering provides a consistent means to process raw ideas into realities.

To reach Black Belt status, after their required classes were complete, Bubb and Beaver used the concepts from their innovation coursework to create real-life project proposals.

“It all starts with a problem you want to solve,” Beaver said. “You have a structured way to discover a problem … and a structured way to solve the problem.”

Beaver, who is also the coordinator of veterans affairs at the college, explored how to get information to students in a timely way. He brought together 20 people to collaborate and spent several weeks using the ideas to form a proposed solution. His proposal is to convert typical college-issued emails to text messages sent to students’ phones. He is testing the concept with the students he works with on a regular basis through his veterans affairs work.

Bubb, who is a workforce development consultant for Penn College, sought to reinvigorate participation at her church, and following collaboration sessions with others, chose to pursue a “Don’t Look Back, Just Come Back” homecoming event for her church’s current and former members.

Bubb explained that the college’s innovation coursework – offered in connection with the Eureka Ranch and the Innovation Engineering Institute – teaches a scientific approach to inspire the spontaneity of creative thinking, as well as skills in communicating, testing and implementing new products, services or processes.

This systematic approach was pioneered by the Eureka Ranch, which issues the Black Belt certificates. The Eureka Ranch, headquartered in Cincinnati, is an innovation systems company that teaches courses, leads projects and develops tools that ignite innovation within people and organizations. Penn College offers the only Bachelor of Science degrees connected to the Eureka Ranch.

To learn more, call 570-327-4505 or visit the School of Business & Hospitality's Innovation page.

For information about Penn College, a national leader in applied technology education and workforce development, email the Admissions Office or call toll-free 800-367-9222.