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Arkansas Speaker List

The University of Arkansas and UIDP are hosting an NSF-supported workshop in Fayetteville, Arkansas. The workshop brings together thought-leaders from academic, corporate, government and non-profit sectors to discuss and consider practical and effective strategies that can be used to propel university-industry partnerships and advance local innovation ecosystems. More are being added as the workshop gets closer; check back to see the latest!

Joseph Shields, Ohio University

Joseph C. Shields is Vice President for Research & Creative Activity and Dean of the Graduate College at Ohio University.  As Vice President he oversees units including Ohio University’s Technology Transfer Office; the Innovation Center, an award-winning on-campus business incubator for technology startup companies; the Edison Biotechnology Institute; the Industry Partnership Office; the Research Compliance Office; and the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs.  As Dean he is responsible for administrative support for over 5000 graduate students pursuing masters and doctoral degrees at the institution. Shields joined the OHIO faculty in 1996 and is a professor and former chair in the Department of Physics & Astronomy. He holds a Ph.D. in astronomy from the University of California at Berkeley, with a research focus on the consequences of supermassive black holes in galaxies.

Cynthia Sagers, Arizona State University

Cynthia Sagers is Vice President of the Research Office of Knowledge Enterprise Development at Arizona State University. Sagers joined Arizona State University’s Office of Knowledge Enterprise Development in September as the vice president for research. Sagers is responsible for research development activities; growing the university’s proposals, awards and expenditures; and overseeing specialized research development projects. Sagers previously was vice president for research at Oregon State University, and associate VPR at University of Arkansas. She also served as a senior research associate with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and as program officer for the National Science Foundation’s Office of International Science and Engineering and Division of Environmental Biology. She earned two bachelor’s degrees in biological sciences from the University of Iowa and a PhD from the University of Utah in ecology and evolutionary biology. In addition to her work in ASU’s KED, Sagers also will be a professor in ASU’s College of Integrative Sciences and Arts.

Amy Jo Jenkins, UAMS

Amy Jo Jenkins, MS, has served as the Executive Director of the Translational Research Institute at UAMS since 2016 and has taught courses through the Colleges of Public Health and Pharmacy as part of a program in Regulatory Sciences since 2012. She is also active as an Administrator in the national Clinical and Translational Science Award consortium. In addition to her local roles, Ms. Jenkins currently serves as president-elect of the Board of Directors for the Society of Clinical Research Associates (SOCRA), where she has been a board member since 2016. In 2011, she became the founding member and chairperson of the Arkansas SOCRA Chapter, a group that has won awards for the past seven years for offering the most research education opportunities out of all the chapters worldwide. Ms. Jenkins holds a master’s degree in clinical research organization & management from Drexel University. She earned a bachelor’s degree in molecular biology from Grove City College.

Laura Schoppe, Fuentek

Laura A. Schoppe is president of Fuentek, LLC, a consulting firm that provides intellectual property (IP) management and technology transfer services to universities, government labs, and corporations worldwide. Schoppe has an extensive background in all aspects of IP management. She has been a lead negotiator for major licensing agreements, strategic relationships, and collaboration agreements at top universities, government agencies and Fortune 500 companies around the world. Her expertise includes building efficient and effective technology management organizations; IP portfolio management; open innovation; technology marketing and strategic communications; negotiating licenses, collaborative R&D partnerships, sponsored research agreements (SRAs), and other deals; and entrepreneurship training for innovators/researchers. Prior to founding Fuentek in 2001, Schoppe worked as an engineer and manager for several defense contractors, leading multi-million-dollar projects. She earned her MBA with an emphasis in technology marketing at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; her MSE in mechanical and aerospace engineering at Princeton University; and her BSE in mechanical engineering at Carnegie Mellon University. She currently serves as the board chair of the Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM) Foundation.

Alex Primis, Thermo Fisher Scientific

Alex has been with Thermo Fisher Scientific for 17 years. He worked in Finance for seven years and spent the last ten years in commercial roles. For the past three years he has been in Corporate Accounts representing the entire Thermo Fisher Scientific portfolio bringing the total company value proposition to executives in the Academic Market to drive partnership and innovation. Alex graduated from Allegheny College with a degree in Managerial Economics.

Andrew Crain, University of Georgia

Andrew Crain is the Director of Experiential Professional Development at the University of Georgia Graduate School. In this role, he helps to connect UGA graduate students to career paths in industry, government, and the non-profit field. Andrew has nearly 10 years of experience in student advising, talent management and career development programming, with previous work in the UGA Career Center and UGA Development & Alumni Relations. Andrew is also a doctoral student in the Institute of Higher Education at UGA and a Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach.

Anthony Boccanfuso, UIDP

Since July 2007, Tony has provided strategic leadership to the UIDP including its successful graduation from the National Academies in 2015. His insights on strategic university-industry matters are regularly sought by academic, government and private sector organizations. Tony is married to Dr. Laura Boccanfuso, who founded Van Robotics; along with their three children, they reside in Columbia, SC.

Brad Fenwick

Dr. Fenwick is a Professor of Pathobiology and Microbiology. He has received numerous awards and recognition for his research and leadership, holds several patents, founded a biotechnology company, and consults globally with companies, universities, and governments. He is a Fellow with the American Council on Education, Fellow with the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Distinguished Fellow with National Academies of Practice, and a Jefferson Fellow and Science Advisor with the U.S. Department of State. He has held numerous senior administrative positions, including Graduate Dean, Vice President for Research, President for Intellectual Properties, Vice Chancellor for Research and Engagement, and Chief Scientist for the USDA. As Senior Vice President with Elsevier, he is charged with forging non-commercial partnerships and productive collaborations with and between universities, research centers, industry, governments, and funding bodies to enhance higher education and academic research productivity and success.

Cynthia Sides, University of Arkansas

Dr. Cynthia Sides is the Director of Industry Engagement in the Office of the Vice Provost for Research and Innovation at the University of Arkansas. In this role, she facilitates a unique network of relationships between industry, non-profits, communities, and the university with a focus on strengthening the university’s land-grant and flagship missions and building Arkansas’ knowledge-based economy through university research and innovation. Sides was also recently the Associate Director for Entrepreneurship at the U of A and continues to mentor graduate students and faculty in idea generation and commercialization. Sides is a native Arkansan and grew up in the Fort Smith area. She graduated from Arkansas Tech University with a B.S. in Chemistry and a B.A. in English. She earned her Ph.D. and completed a postdoc in the Chemistry and Biochemistry Department at the University of Arkansas. She currently serves on the board for Startup Junkie Foundation and works closely with other universities and K-12 schools across the state.

Daniel Calto, Elsevier Inc.

Daniel Calto is Director of Solution Services for the Research Intelligence group at Elsevier Inc. He currently oversees a global consulting team and works on special projects internationally. He has a strong professional interest in R&D policies and their relation to economic growth, university-industry partnerships and economic development issues, R&D trends in Asia, and how the changing global research landscape is reshaping the scientific enterprise. Prior to joining Elsevier, he was Director of Research Strategy and Director of Research Administration at Columbia University. He also worked as Director of Sponsored Programs at NYU School of Medicine, and in a variety of clinical positions at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York. He has an MBA in Finance and International Business from Stern School of Business at New York University, and lives in New York.

Jackie Serviss, University of Waterloo, Canada

Jackie has eight years of experience working for the University of Waterloo, Canada’s most Innovative University, to develop collaborative research and commercialization projects with aerospace, defense, and manufacturing partners. In addition, she has managed large scale projects with international, cross-functional teams, including the development of a data acquisition system for testing gas turbines and the design of a personal jet.  Jackie has a mechanical engineering degree from Carleton University, an MBA from the University of Ottawa and is a registered Professional Engineer in Ontario.

Jeff Fortin, Penn State University

Jeff Fortin was appointed associate vice president for research and director of the Office of Industrial Partnerships at Penn State in October 2014. In this role, Fortin is responsible for developing and nurturing strategic relationships with industry partners and supporting Penn State’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. Jeff has 20 years of experience in industry prior to his role at Penn State, including 15 years at General Electric, starting as a scientist at the Global Research Center, moving into a lab manager role, and then moving on to executive engineering leadership in the GE business units. Jeff received his bachelor’s degree in Physics from the University of Southern Maine and an M.S. in Physics and Ph.D. in Engineering Science from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.  Jeff holds over 20 US patents, has published multiple peer-reviewed journal articles, and co-authored 2 books.

Kevin Byrne, The University Financing Foundation

Mr. Byrne is currently the President of The University Financing Foundation (TUFF), a national 501(c)(3) private operating foundation whose mission is to assist institutions of education and research in obtaining facilities and equipment at below market cost. TUFF is a blend of real estate, capital markets, investment banking, and public finance with the primary focus to create facilities for institutions which can use those facilities to expand programming at the institution. Through the growth of operations at TUFF, Kevin has become nationally recognized in the areas of public- private partnerships, real estate financing structures and the economic development initiatives surrounding university research parks and innovation districts.  TUFF has emerged as a leading resource for institutions of education and research relative to the creation of active innovation communities, in addition to real estate development and finance. He previously served as the President of the Association of University Research Parks (AURP) in both 2012 and 2014. He was appointed by Georgia Lieutenant Governor Casey Cagle to the Georgia Public Private Partnership Guidelines commission. He also serves on two Brookings Institution advisory committees – the Innovation District initiative and the Bass Placemaking initiative.

Krista Mallory, Central Okanagan Economic Development Commission

Krista Mallory is a Business Development Officer with the Central Okanagan Economic Development Commission. She joined the Commission in 2016 after a decade of experience in the financial sector and nonprofit sector supporting entrepreneurs as a loans analyst/business advisor. A believer in the power of working together, Krista supports the region’s dynamic economy by developing relationships and connecting newcomers, businesses and entrepreneurs to resources and networks. In addition to acting as a connector, Krista manages COEDC programs in workforce recruitment/retention, sector development and regional promotion. Krista holds an Economics degree from UBC and serves as the Vice Chair of Community Futures of Central Okanagan.

Laura Frerichs, University of Illinois

Laura Frerichs oversees the University of Illinois Research Park, entrepreneurship activities at EnterpriseWorks technology incubator, and supports the University’s economic development efforts. There are 120 companies at the Research Park in a development including 17 buildings on the University campus. EnterpriseWorks incubator clients have raised more than $1 billion in venture capital and capture 25% of the state’s SBIR/STTR federal small business awards annually. Laura helped attract large corporate centers including innovation centers for AB InBev, Abbott, Abbvie, ADM, Caterpillar, Yahoo, Synchrony, John Deere, Capital One and more. She is on the board of the Association of University Research Parks, Champaign County Economic Development Corporation, the Illinois Technology Association, and the Illinois Science and Technology Coalition. She is a member of the Chicago Economic Club, the ChicagoTech Initiative of the Civic Committee of the Commercial Club in Chicago, and the ChicagoNEXT council.

Todd Cleland, University of Washington

Todd is Director, Industry Relations, at the UW.  In this role, he develops and supports research-based engagements with industry, with a focus on the College of Engineering.  Outcomes include industry sponsored projects, company involvement on government-funded programs, industry affiliate programs, and connections for capstone projects and consulting.  He also leads strategic projects to help make the University easier for companies to do business with. Prior to joining the UW, Todd had a 20+ year career at Hewlett-Packard, where he worked in R&D, management, and business development roles.  He is an inventor on Todd holds a B.S.E from Princeton and a Ph.D. from UC Berkeley, both in chemical engineering; he also has a master’s in management from MIT’s Sloan School.

Lisa Lorenzen, Iowa State University

Lisa Lorenzen is the Executive Director of the ISU Research Foundation and Director of the Office of Intellectual Property and Technology Transfer OIPTT), focused on technology transfer and economic development. The ISU Research Foundation owns and manages intellectual property on behalf of Iowa State University. The OIPTT markets and licenses intellectual property and negotiates contracts related to sponsored research with industry and manages grant programs related to economic development. Before joining ISU in March 1999, Lisa worked for five years as a computational biologist in the bioinformatics group at Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc.

Patricia Bou, CannonDesign

Patricia Bou leads CannonDesign’s education practice in the firm’s Virginia office and is a member of the Board of Directors. Patricia has a long history of identifying and implementing planning solutions by providing thought leadership on emerging trends in education and aligning future development with her client’s institutional goals. Her leadership spans all higher education typologies from early master planning to innovative academic design solutions across North America. Her broad expertise in university architecture, strong commitment to integrated strategies and solid client relationships make her an invaluable partner with her clients.

Peter Dorhout, Kansas State University

Dr. Peter K. Dorhout serves as Professor of Chemistry and Vice President for Research at Kansas State University, where he had also served four years as dean of the College of Arts & Sciences. He is a recognized expert in solid state and nuclear materials science and environmental chemistry.  He has had active research programs in solid-state f-element and radiochemistry, and nanomaterials science. He has published over 115 peer-reviewed journal articles, book chapters, and reviews while presenting over 130 international and national invited lectures on his chemistry. Dr. Dorhout earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a doctorate in inorganic chemistry from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  His list of professional awards includes Fellow of the American Chemical Society, Research Corporation Cottrell Scholar, Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar, A. P. Sloan Foundation Fellow, National Science Foundation CAREER Fellow, and the ACS-ExxonMobil Faculty Award in Solid State Chemistry.

Jim Baker, Michigan Technological University

Jim Baker is Associate Vice President for Research Administration and Co-Director of the Innovation Center for Entrepreneurship at Michigan Technological University. His responsibilities include technology commercialization, startup business development, economic engagement, administration of sponsored research programs, and student-focused innovation and entrepreneurship initiatives. He is actively involved in the economic development and business service provider community as a board member of Operation Action U.P. and the Michigan Small Business Development Center, Past President of the Keweenaw Economic Development Alliance, and a former Board Member of the Michigan Business Incubator Association. In addition to the University responsibilities, Jim is joint owner and director of a small Michigan-based manufacturing company and has been involved with a number of early stage technology companies as a board member, founder, or advisor. Jim is a registered U.S. Patent Agent, Certified Licensing Professional, and holds a Ph.D. in Engineering from Michigan Technological University.

Bob Wilhelm, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Bob Wilhelm, Ph.D., is Vice Chancellor of Research and Economic Development and Kate Foster Professor of Mechanical and Materials Engineering at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. A recognized expert in precision engineering and advanced manufacturing, he began his career at Cincinnati Milacron, the Rockwell Science Center and his own advanced manufacturing company. Wilhelm held important leadership roles nurturing and growing innovation as Vice Chancellor for Research and Economic Development at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte and Executive Director of the Charlotte Research Institute. He is a Fellow of the International Academy for Production Engineering and the National Academy of Inventors.

Christine Dixon Thiesing, South Carolina Research Authority

Christine Dixon Thiesing, MBA, is the Director of Academic Programs at the South Carolina Research Authority (SCRA), which fosters South Carolina’s innovation economy by accelerating technology-centric growth in academia, entrepreneurship and industry. Christine maximizes the economic impact of the state’s higher education system by coordinating commercially relevant research across academic institutions, bringing industry insight to academic research, and supporting nascent academic startups. Christine is the Principal Investigator on a $1.8M Economic Development Administration i6 grant to grow South Carolina’s medical device ecosystem. The Medical Device Alliance will advance technologies to market by designing solutions to unmet clinical needs, determining initial commercial feasibility, de-risking innovations, and launching startups that have been rigorously evaluated by seasoned industry experts.

Mike Paulus, ORNL Technology Transfer Office

Mike Paulus has led the ORNL Technology Transfer Office leaders and laboratory scientists to translate ORNL inventions into commercially successful products. ORNL has more than 150 active technology licenses. Prior to joining the ORNL Technology Transfer Office, Mike served as Vice President of Product Management with Siemens Molecular Imaging, where he and his team were responsible for defining the product portfolio for this world-wide market leader in clinical PET and SPECT diagnostic imaging. He also served as co-founder and CEO of ImTek, Inc, an ORNL spin-out and market leader in laboratory animal x-ray CT imaging before its acquisition by CTI, Inc, and Siemens. He has nineteen years of experience as a research and development engineer with the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, CTI, Georgia Tech and The United States Air Force, where he served as a commissioned officer. He has co-authored more than 100 peer reviewed publications, book chapters, and conference proceedings and holds 14 patents. Mike holds a PhD in electrical engineering from the University of Tennessee, a master’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Dayton and a Bachelor’s Degree in electrical engineering from the University of Tennessee.

Terri Goss Kinzy, Western Michigan University

Dr. Terri Goss Kinzy joined Western Michigan University in 2018 as Vice President of Research and Professor of Biological Sciences. Dr. Kinzy is recognized as a world leader in the study of protein synthesis. Dr. Kinzy is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and is a member of the APLU Council on Research Executive Committee. In her current role as Vice President for Research she oversees the offices responsible for research and sponsored programs, contracts, compliance, research IT, internal grant programs, radiation safety, animal facilities, research communications and facilitation of research initiatives.

Chinonye Nnakwe Whitley, EPSCoR Program

Chinonye “Chi-Chi” Nnakwe Whitley, Ph. D. is a molecular biologist and studied DNA repair and DNA damage signaling pathways, which offer insights toward the molecular genetics of neuroscience, immunology and cancer biology. Dr. Nnakwe Whitley now works in the government as a Program Officer for the EPSCoR Program after completing an AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellowship where she worked on innovation policy programs such as the I-Corps™ and SBIR / STTR programs. In her federal work, she focuses on building research capacity, promoting economic development and broadening participation. She also serves as adjunct faculty within the Grove School of Engineering at the City University of New York (CUNY) where her research interests focus on the intersection of entrepreneurship education and efforts to broaden participation in STEM fields.   She particularly is interested in understanding how providing innovation training to scientists and engineers may promote the inclusion of founders from underrepresented populations in tech entrepreneurship, entrepreneurship education and the STEM workforce. Dr. Nnakwe Whitley is knowledgeable of NSF’s policies and programs, entrepreneurship education and has experience managing national broadening participation initiatives. Dr. Nnakwe Whitley obtained her B.S. in Biochemistry with departmental distinction from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and her Ph. D. in Pathology from the University of Chicago.

Patrick Christiansen, Inova Fairfax Medical Campus

Patrick Christiansen, Ph.D. CEO, Inova Fairfax Medical Campus EVP, Inova Health System. Patrick Christiansen, PhD, was the Chief Executive Officer of Inova Fairfax Medical Campus and Executive Vice President of Inova Health System from June, 2012 through his retirement in November, 2018. As CEO, Dr. Christiansen leads the campus’ four hospitals — Inova Fairfax Hospital, Inova Women’s Hospital, Inova Children’s Hospital and Inova Heart and Vascular Institute. In addition to his role as CEO, Dr. Christiansen serves as executive vice president, with responsibility for the clinical areas of neuroscience, heart and vascular, women’s and children’s service lines within the Inova Health System. In addition, Dr. Christiansen is part of the executive team responsible for formulating the strategic direction for the health system and has the executive responsibility over Supply Chain for the health system.

Matthew Roberts, Ohio University Advancement

Matthew Roberts is the Senior Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations at Ohio University Advancement. Since 2015, his primary role is to administer giving relationships with both corporations and foundations on behalf of Ohio University, its regional campuses, and various external programs. He holds a master’s degree in public administration from Ohio University and has worked in non-profit, healthcare and academic fundraising.

Krishan Arora, The National Institutes of Health

Krishan Arora, Ph.D., is a program director in the Division for Research Capacity Building at the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, the National Institutes of Health where he administers the IDeA Networks of Biomedical Research Excellence (INBRE) component of the Institutional Development Award (IDeA) program. He also manages a portfolio of Centers of Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE) and IDeA Clinical and Translational Research (IDeA-CTR) Centers grants. He is also responsible for a new initiative designed to promote and foster biomedical entrepreneurship in the IDeA states by creating one shared “Regional Technology Transfer Accelerator Hub” in each of the four IDeA regions (Central, Northeastern, Southeastern and Western). Dr. Arora has been serving as an NIH program director for 20 years. Before joining NIGMS, he worked first in the Division of Research Infrastructure at the former National Center for Research Resources and later in the Division of Scientific Programs at the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities. He received his Ph.D. in biochemistry from the Australian National University. He conducted postdoctoral research at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

Charlie Riordan, University of Delaware

Charlie Riordan serves as Vice President for Research, Scholarship and Innovation at the University of Delaware with responsibility for advancing the University’s research enterprise, including oversight of the University’s Research Office, University-wide research institutes, core facilities and the Office of Economic Innovation and Partnerships. Riordan is an internationally known inorganic chemist whose research has been supported primarily by the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health. He is the recipient of a 1994 National Science Foundation Young Investigator Award. An elected fellow of both the Royal Society of Chemistry and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, he received the 2013 American Chemical Society Delaware Section Award for his scholarly research. Riordan was elected into Texas A&M University’s College of Science Academy of Distinguished Former Students. He earned his bachelor’s degree at the College of Holy Cross, his Ph.D. at Texas A&M University and was a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Chicago.

Joseph Heppert, Texas Tech University

Joseph A. Heppert, Ph.D. Vice President for Research and Professor of Chemistry at Texas Tech University Dr. Heppert is currently Vice President for Research at Texas Tech University. Previously, he served as Associate Vice Chancellor for Research at the University of Kansas (KU). He chaired the KU Chemistry Department from 2005-2009 and was the founding director of the University’s Center for Science Education from 2001-2009. He is a Fellow of the American Chemical Society, and currently serves as chair of the American Chemical Society’s Committee on Budget and Finance. Dr. Heppert’s initial research focused on organo transition metal chemistry. This research resulted in the isolation and characterization of the first class of air stable terminal transition metal carbide compounds. Dr. Heppert has also been active in projects to improve science teaching and science teacher preparation. He is past chair of the American Chemical Society’s Committee on Education. In this role he testified before the U.S. House of Representatives’ Committee on Science and the National Science Board on science education policy issues. Dr. Heppert received a B.S. in Chemistry from San Jose State University in 1978, where he participated in heavy elements research at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. He was awarded a Ph.D. in Inorganic Chemistry from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1982, studying under Donald Ganies. He completed postdoctoral training at Indiana University under the direction of Dr. Malcolm Chisholm. He joined the chemistry faculty at KU in 1985 and moved to Texas Tech University in 2017.

Jennifer Tedman-Jones, University of Waterloo

Jennifer Tedman-Jones has served as Director of Business Development for Mitacs since 2011, originally posted at the University of Waterloo, she is currently based the University of British Columbia’s Okanagan campus, supporting the BC Interior. She helps companies and not-for-profit organizations expand and innovate by connecting them with leading researchers at University of British Columbia’s Okanagan campus, Thompson Rivers University and the University of Northern British Columbia. As a member of the National Mitacs Business Development team she also coordinates partnerships across Canada. Prior to joining Mitacs Jennifer worked in Applications Support for Roche Diagnostics; she has a B.Sc. in Biology from McGill and a Ph.D. from the University of East Anglia. Mitacs is a national, not-for-profit organization that is committed to supporting innovation by connecting any industry sector with a wide variety of academic disciplines. Solve your organizations challenges with research expertise, matching funds and one-to-one support whether you need an individual intern or a multi-disciplinary team.

Martin Cronin, Patriot One Technologies

Martin is CEO President and Director of Patriot One Technologies Ltd, a high-profile public (TSX) company in the security technology space, bringing forward solutions for public safety. He also serves on the board of two private companies and is a Regional Director of the Canadian Forces Liaison Council and Honorary Colonel of a Canadian Forces Armoured Reserve Regiment. Originally from the United Kingdom, Martin is a graduate of Leeds University and enjoyed a 20-year career with the British Diplomatic Service. Before settling in Canada, Martin was British Consul General to Western Canada.