“go … where there is no path and leave a trail.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson
Students who pursue a path to an engineering degree know what they seek is not easy, but it is worthwhile. The same could be said for study abroad as a component in education—especially for engineers.
The Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) states that engineering schools must demonstrate that their graduates have “the broad education necessary to understand the impact of engineering solutions in a global and societal context.” Nobody knows that better than David Allen.
Eight years ago, when Allen became dean of the UNL College of Engineering, he saw an opportunity to develop an important experience for students: engineering study abroad. Allen has been a study abroad advocate since his own undergraduate experience that included three months in Italy.
Nebraska Engineering’s Study Abroad Program grew from five students in 2003, to 52 participants in a 2005 summer session, and 113 participants in 2006-07. During the past 13 years, Allen led more than 750 university students in 27 study abroad programs in 19 countries, most recently to Greece in 2009 and Egypt in 2010.
A scholar of engineering through the ages, Allen served as chief tour guide on several of these trips, and kept an ambitious pace before and during the visits with reading lists and related assignments for student travelers.
Allen was honored with the 2008 Michael P. Malone International Leadership Award from the National Association of State Universities and Land Grant Colleges for his initiatives.
This summer, as Dean Allen joins the University of Texas-Pan American to lead the College of Engineering and Computer Science, we reflect on his time at UNL. Seven study abroad trips in one year serve as just one of the achievements positively affecting the lives of Nebraska Engineering students.
Ray Moore, COE associate dean for undergraduate affairs, said: “Around our college, Dean Allen will be remembered for his research expertise and most widely for his advancement of our Engineering Study Abroad program.”