Alumnus Takes “IDEAS” to Elon

Alumnus Takes “IDEAS” to Elon

When Chris Arena (BME ’08) was an undergraduate, he particularly enjoyed the hands-on teamwork he encountered in Associate Professor Timothy Allen’s IDEAS Lab, the integrative design and experimental analysis course for U.Va.’s third-year biomedical engineering majors.  Now as an assistant professor of engineering in Elon University’s Dual-Degree Engineering Program, Arena is adapting topics and techniques he observed Allen using for the Bioinstrumentation course he introduced this semester.

“I have really fond memories of building an EKG in the IDEAS Lab,” Arena said.  “I contacted Dr. Allen this fall to get a copy of the lab module and get his thoughts about whether it would be suitable for the curriculum here.”

Arena also admired the way Allen ran the course.  “He uses an approach that in business is called ‘management by walking around,’” Arena says. “Instead of giving students answers, you check in with each team and provide guidance as it’s needed.”

Arena joined Elon after his doctorate  from Virginia Tech and postdoctoral fellowship at the University of North Carolina’s SPIRE program.