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Speakers 

 

Amber Balakian

Entrepreneurship Instructor/Owner & Manager

Fresno City College/Balakian Farms 

Amber Balakian oversees the Entrepreneurship and Fashion Merchandising programs at Fresno City College and is the advisor for the Entrepreneurs Club. She helps manage her family farm in Reedley, CA which produces organic tree fruit, heirloom tomatoes and squash. Amber  manufactures and distributes Organic Blended Heirloom Tomatoes and Not So Bloody Mary Mixes under the Balakian Farm’s label. 

     
 

Fatima Baldiwala

Curriculum Entrepreneur

Nearly a decade of highly diversified English teaching experience at the community college level. Highly experienced in teaching composition, reading, critical thinking, and debate. Specialized in teaching writing. An emphasis on writing for different genres, with a focus on research. A structuralist when it comes to organizing content in writing. An expert in creating contextualized classes that meet the needs of a diverse population while adhering to Student Learning Outcomes.

     
   

Noreen Balos

Doctoral Student

UCSB Gevirtz Graduate School of Education

Noreen Balos is a doctoral student at UCSB’s Gevirtz Graduate School of Education. She is an education management professional with experience in military, nonprofit, and higher education industries. Her prior experience in student affairs relates to program and partnership development in college preparation, academic enrichment, and STEM initiatives.

     
     

Deborah Bird

Technical Assistance, Advisor

CCC Maker Initiative

     
   

Denise Bushnell

NFN Regional Entrepreneurship Coordinator

Sierra College/Hackerlab

     
   

Silvia Calderon

Community Education Supervisor

San Joaquin Delta College

     
 

Alese Campbell

Business and Entrepreneurship Deputy Sector Navigator

Central Valley

     
   

Janet Catalan

Director, Multicultural Strategy

Verizon

     
   

Michael Cima

Professor, MIT

Faculty Director, Lemelson-MIT Program

Dr. Michael J. Cima is the David H. Koch Professor of Engineering and Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He was appointed faculty director of the Lemelson-MIT Program in 2009 and named the Associate Dean for Innovation and co-director of MIT's Innovation Initiative in 2018. 

     
 

Dr. Rebecca Corbin

President & CEO

NACCE 

Rebecca Corbin is president & CEO of the Entrepreneurship (NACCE), a leading non-profit membership organization dedicated to increasing entrepreneurship offerings and thinking at over 300 community colleges across the country. Prior to NACCE, Rebecca served as Vice President of Institutional Advancement and Executive Director of the BCC Foundation at Burlington County College (BCC). 

     
 

Angela Cordell

Business and Entrepreneurship Deputy Sector Navigator

Far North Region 

With 11 years of small business, non-profit and economic development experience, Ms. Cordell’s focus is equipping the workforce and entrepreneurs in rural California to realize and define their global vision and goals. She began her career in Sacramento in 2005 and has since worked with clients throughout the state, helping them develop and strategize new programs, products and services. In 2016, she became the Far North Deputy Sector Navigator of Global Trade and Logistics and the Director of The Far North Center for International Trade Development, based at Feather River College. In January of 2018, Ms. Cordell joined Shasta College as the Deputy Sector Navigator of Business & Entrepreneurship and offers a variety of education tools, business development projects and global entrepreneurship efforts that foster economic sustainability and growth.

     
 

Stephanie Couch

Executive Director

Lemelson-MIT Program

Stephanie Couch is Executive Director of the Lemelson-MIT Program. She is working to expand LMIT’s invention education and student prize programs through partnerships so that more young people from diverse backgrounds have opportunities to develop as inventors. She has dedicated her career to K-12 and higher education policy and technology in teaching and learning.

     
   

Joshua Danielson

Co-founder

Loconomics

Joshua co-founded Loconomics, the first “platform cooperative” in the US. Loconomics has reverse engineered the business models of existing gig platforms, creating a just and sustainable model that gives full platform ownership and control to independent workers in various professions, ranging from home and child care to small business services.

     

 

Leah Deppert

Manager of Marketing & Communications

NACCE

Leah Deppert is the Manager of Marketing & Communications at the National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship (NACCE). After graduating from Miami University of Ohio, Leah worked at Junior Achievement to help accomplish their mission of inspiring and preparing young people to succeed in a global economy. After working with k-12 entrepreneurial partners, Leah has enjoyed seeing the continuum of entrepreneurial efforts in the community college sector.

     
 

Tony Donen

Principal

STEM School Chattanooga

Dr. Tony Donen has worked for over 15 years as a high school principal. He is the founding principal for STEM School Chattanooga and is committed to helping improve STEM education throughout the country. He leads the Tennessee Innovative Leaders Institute and was named the 2018 TN STEM Innovator of the Year.

     
   

Tom Downs

Principal

Downs Government Affairs

Thomas C. Downs is an attorney and advocate based in Washington, DC for more than 30 years.  Tom represents statewide community and technical college systems and individual public colleges and universities throughout the country in connection with multi-state consortium advocacy initiatives – working with Congress, the White House and federal agencies.

     
 

Charles Eason

Business & Entrepreneurship Sector Navigator

CCC Doing What Matters for Jobs and the Economy

Charles Eason is the Business and Entrepreneurship Sector Navigator for the California Community Colleges Economic and Workforce Development Program under the Doing What Matters for Jobs and the Economy Initiative. He coordinates business and entrepreneurship programs of the 114 community colleges across the state of California serving 2.1 million students.

     

 

Leigh Estabrooks

Invention Education Officer

Lemelson-MIT Program

Leigh Estabrooks joined Lemelson-MIT in 2006 to manage the national InvenTeams™ initiative. She has overseen K-12 initiatives as the LMIT invention education officer since 2008. Previously, Estabrooks held positions in product development at Fortune 500 companies and was a secondary school educator. She received her doctoral degree in education from Northeastern University.

     
 

Maria Filsinger Interrante

2017 LMIT Student Prize winner

As a Stanford undergraduate, Maria Filsinger Interrante won a 2017 Lemelson-MIT Student Prize for work to develop a protein therapeutic for antibiotic-resistant “superbugs.” She also conducted research in metabolic engineering and synthetic biology. She received a bachelor’s degree in bioengineering in 2016 and is now enrolled in Stanford’s Medical Scientist Training Program. 

     
   

Jeffrey Forrest

VP Economic and Workforce Development

College of the Canyons

 Jeffrey Forrest is Vice-President of Economic and Workforce Development at College of the Canyons in Santa Clarita, California.  He is currently working to implement the GIG Economy Project for California’s Community Colleges. In addition, Jeffrey oversees the Economic Development Division of the college which offers programs to support training and development for companies in Southern California.

     
 

Gregory Franklin

Superintendent

Tustin Unified School District

Dr. Gregory A. Franklin has worked in public education for 32 years and has served as the superintendent of Tustin Unified School District since 2011. In 2014, he was named California and Orange County Superintendent of the Year. He is Chair of the USC Rossier School of Education Dean’s Superintendent Advisory Group.

     
 

Dr. Linda Gerber

Director

Center for Global Business/CIBER

As Director of the Center for Global Business/CIBER, Linda has championed international business education on multiple fronts.  Her proudest accomplishments are creating study abroad opportunities across the University, fostering business language instruction, cultivating cultural analysis programs, and, most importantly, working to make impactful resources available to colleges across the U.S. 

     
 

John Graulty

Dean of Visual, Applied, and Performing Arts

Cabrillo College 

John Graulty, Dean of Visual, Applied, and Performing Arts at Cabrillo College, is passionate about the role the arts play in expressing and improving the human condition, and in promoting creativity, innovation, and critical thought. His expertise and interests lie in interdisciplinary collaboration, strategic planning, fostering arts entrepreneurship, promoting academic makerspaces, and expanding arts engagement and access.

     
   

Ana Greif

Business Development Program Manager

Pima Community College

Ana has over 25 years’ experience supporting startups, and has started several companies of her own. Currently, she is the liaison between the College and regional business and industry stakeholders. Ana also coordinates the College’s innovation and entrepreneurship initiatives including the launch of its Integrated Entrepreneurship program and the development of a network of makerspaces.

     
   

Ed Hernandez

Teacher

Tustin High School

Ed Hernandez led the 2017 Tustin High School Lemelson-MIT InvenTeam, and is currently a Lemelson-MIT Master Teacher. He is also the director of Tustin High School’s award-winning T-Tech Academy of Technology and Engineering. In 2015, he was named the California Career and Technical Education Teacher of the Year.

     
   

Rob Herndon

Vice President of Strategic Partnerships

Entrepreneurial Learning Initiative

As Vice President of the Entrepreneurial Learning Initiative, Rob nurtures partnerships that empower individuals, organizations and communities with an entrepreneurial mindset.  His significant experience in education at the university, community college, and high school levels and in various leadership positions as an Air Force officer brings a diversity of perspective to any education reform initiative.

     
   

Aaron Iffland

Faculty, Business, Computers & IT, San Diego Continuing Ed

San Diego Community College District

     
   

Caleb Jonas

Senior Director

Samaschool

     
 

Gayla Jurevich

Business and Entrepreneurship Deputy Sector Navigator

South Central Region

     
 

Joe Kapp

Founder & President

National Center for Resource Development (NCRD)

     
 

Nathan Khalil

Professor

Santa Monica College

Nathan received his B.S. in Civil Engineering at UCLA and his J.D. at Cornell Law School. He is an adjunct professor at Santa Monica College, where he teaches Business Law, Advanced Business Law, and Law for the Entrepreneur. He is a former law-firm associate, specializing in patent law, at Jones Day, New York.   

     
 

Lisa Kiplinger Kennedy

Business and Entrepreneurship DSN

Inland Empire

With over 25 years of business experience, Lisa brings valuable knowledge serving as the Deputy Sector Navigator of Business and Entrepreneurship in the Inland Empire/Desert Region.  Lisa owns and has been involved with the start-up of three small businesses, and has been in top management positions for several other small corporations in the Inland Empire. This experience gives her a broad understanding of the challenges facing entrepreneurs and existing businesses owners, and she is eager to assist them in productivity and success.

     
   

Dr. Jens-Uwe Kuhn

Dean for Mathematics, Sciences, Languages & ESL

Santa Barbara City College

Dr. Jens-Uwe Kuhn is currently Dean for Mathematics, Sciences, Languages, and ESL at Santa Barbara City College.  Prior to that, he served as a faculty member and Department Chair in the Department of Chemistry.  He collaborates extensively with the Center for Science and Engineering Partnerships at the University of California Santa Barbara.

     
     

Brie Lindsey

Senior Program Associate

California Council on Science & Technology

     
 

Mayra Lombera

Director, Strategic Initiatives & Operations

The Michelson 20MM Foundation

 As a former educator, Mayra Lombera has experience with personalized learning, student engagement, and curriculum & resource development. With a long-standing student-centered approach, she joins 20MM in its efforts to bring higher education into the digital age and address issues like access, affordability, and student access. Mayra is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley and holds degrees in Political Science and Education, in addition to a teaching credential from California State University, Northridge.

     
   

Dr. Douglas Marriott

Dean of Adult/Community Education & Workforce Development

Los Angeles Valley College

Dr. Douglas Marriott has taught in both the Psychology and English Departments at Los Angeles Valley College (LAVC) and directed Specially Funded Workforce Development projects for the LAVC Workforce Training Program. His academic preparation includes coursework from North Seattle Community College, three Bachelor’s Degrees from the University of Washington, a Master’s in Education from Chapman University, and a Doctorate in Educational Leadership from UCLA.

     
 

Steve Meyer

Manager of STEM Education and Development

Fox Valley Technical College

Steve Meyer is the Manager of STEM Education at Fox Valley Technical College in Appleton, WI.  His role is to work with the college, the K-12 sector, and business and industry to promote and enhance best practices in STEM education.  Steve previously taught STEM and innovation for the past 20 years at the K-12 level.  During his tenure he has led many STEM initiatives at local, state, national, and international levels.

     
 

Dr. Jessica Milli

Study Director

Institute for Women’s Policy Research

Jessica Milli is a Study Director at the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR) and a Scholar in Residence at American University. She conducts research on a variety of issues including women in patenting, STEM, and entrepreneurship, paid leave, and the status of women in the United States. 

     
   

Joseph Molina

Executive Director

Veterans Chamber of Commerce

Currently serving as the Executive Director for the Veterans Chamber of Commerce. Mr. Molina is an Army Vet. Served as the Training Manager while stationed in Alaska. Received a BA Degree with emphasis in Psychology while in Active Duty.  He holds and a Master’s degree in Management with HR focus. Mr Molina started MetroCollegeOnline a Private Training platform that provides Entrepreneurship and Leadership training.

     
   

Cheryl Monzon, MBA, CDFM-A

Intellectual Property and STEM Program Manager

Naval Facilities Engineering and Expeditionary Warfare Center

Cheryl is the Intellectual Property and STEM Program Manager for the Naval Facilities Engineering and Expeditionary Warfare Center. She holds a Master’s in Business Administration from California Lutheran University and Bachelors in Business Management from University of Maryland. She is a certified Defense Financial Manager with Acquisition specialty (CDFM-A), and a DoN certified Lean/Six Sigma Black Belt. Her career spans private industry, Local Government, and Federal Service. 

     
 

Maria Napoli

Community College Programs Manager

University of California, Santa Barbara

Dr. Maria Teresa Napoli holds a Ph.D. degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California at Santa Barbara. Her research interests include nanofluidic technologies for medical applications, modeling and control of large arrays of MEMS, and educational strategies to increase STEM diversity. She serves as Community College Programs Manager for the Center for Science and Engineering Partnerships at UC Santa Barbara. 

     
 

Dana Nasser

Professor

Santa Monica College

Dana is a professor at Santa Monica College where she teaches Business Law, Advanced Business Law and courses in the Administration of Justice. She is one of the leaders for SMC's Pathway to Law School Program. She has taught on ground and online classes at the community college level for over 12 years. Dana received her J.D. from Loyola Law School. She is a licensed attorney in California and formerly practiced in the area of civil litigation.

     
 

Rob Newman

Instructor

Glendale Community College

Rob Newman is an instructor of Entrepreneurship & Aviation at Glendale Community College. He has started, advised and managed, early-stage, turnaround, corporate, family, bootstrap and venture capital-backed ventures in a variety of industries. He holds an MBA from UCLA's Anderson School and a BSBA in Entrepreneurship from USC.

     
   

Carlos Osorio

CEO

Yuken

Carlos Osorio is the CEO and co-founder of Yuken, a global design and innovation capability-building impact research lab. His work focuses on innovation processes and innovation in complex socio-technical systems. He has experience in the biotech, finance, telecom, energy, natural resources and utility sectors. He holds a PhD in Technology, Management and Policy from MIT.

     
   

Tony Perry

Invention Education Coordinator

Lemelson-MIT Program

Tony Perry is the invention education coordinator for the Lemelson-MIT Program. He supports teams of high school students, teachers, and mentors throughout the invention process from problem identification through building a prototype during their InvenTeam grant year. Perry is also a PhD student in Curriculum and Instruction at Texas Tech University. 

     
   

Jie Qi

Co-founder & Creative Director

Chibitronics

Jie Qi is cofounder and creative director of Chibitronics, which makes hardware kits that blend paper craft, circuit building, and programming. She is also a Fellow at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society at the Harvard Law school, where she founded openinventors.org. Jie holds a BS in mechanical engineering from Columbia University.

     
   

Maria Renard

Chief Design Officer

Yuken

Maria Renard is the cofounder and Chief Design Officer of Yuken, a global design and innovation capability-building impact research lab. She has focused her career on editorial design, innovative design processes, Human Centered Design solutions, and strategic visual communication for academic settings. She is a designer and holds a master’s degree in Innovation.

     
   

Matthew Rivaldi

Faculty, Business Administration & Information Technology

San Diego Community College District

     
   

Mason Sage

Student

Sierra College

     
   

Gabriela Sapp

Business and Entrepreneurship Deputy Sector Navigator

San Francisco Region

     
 

Dr. Amy Schulz

Dean, Career, Continuing, & Technical Education

Sierra College

     
   

Celina Shands

Cofounder

Business U, Inc.

     
 

 

Dr. Tasos Sioukas

Professor & Chair, Business Administration

Los Angeles Valley College

 

Tasos Sioukas is a Professor and the Chair of Business Administration at Los Angeles Valley College.  He has supported numerous organizations and start-ups in designing effective solutions and is the author of The Solution Path. Sioukas holds a master’s from the University of California, Berkeley and a doctorate from the University of Southern California.  

     
   

Megan Smith

Teacher

Lathrop High School

Megan teaches Physics and STEAM at Lathrop HS for Manteca Unified School District. She is also the science department chair at her school, advisor for the class of 2020, and STEM club advisor. She is a STEM instructor for Teachers College of San Joaquin for their STEM masters program. She is also the lead teacher for the Delta College Verizon Innovative Learning Program. 

     

   

Michael Stone

Director of Innovative Learning

Public Education Foundation

Michael Stone is the Director of Innovative Learning at the Public Education Foundation and is a former NSF Albert Einstein Fellow. In his current role, he leads the Volkswagen eLab work in southeast Tennessee and is the coauthor of “Let Me Try It: Enhancing Maker Education through Digital Fabrication."

     
   

Katelyn Sweeney

Former InvenTeam member and MIT graduate

Katelyn Sweeney graduated in June with a Bachelor's in Mechanical Engineering and Innovation from MIT and is a former InvenTeam Lead with the Lemelson-MIT Program. She aspires to unite cutting-edge technologies with accessible design and is currently working as a Mechanical Engineer at OneWeb designing communications technologies for developing countries.

     
 

 Rachel Thibault

Teacher

Antelope Valley Union HSD

Rachel Thibault has served as a dedicated STEM teacher in the Antelope Valley Union High School district for over 16 years. She has led two Lemelson-MIT InventTeams to earn grant awards, one of whom showcased their invention at the White House Science Fair. She holds master’s degrees in Global Health and in Educational Psychology. 

     
 

 Van Ton Quinlivan

Executive Vice President

CA Community College Chancellor’s Office

     
 

 Jesse Torres

Deputy Director and Small Business Advocate

CA Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development

     
   

Dr. Darcie Tumey

Director for Business Administration

Catawba Valley Community College

     
 

 Savanna Turner

Student

Sierra College 

     
   

Lawrence J. Udell

Founder/Chairman, Silicon Valley Chapter

Licensing Executives Society

Larry Udell is the Founder/Chairman of the California Invention Center. He has served as a Lecturing Professor at U.C. Berkeley and at other universities throughout the U. S. and Canada. Larry is a member of the Licensing Executives Society and is the founder and Chairman of the Silicon Valley Chapter of LES. 

     
 

 

Sal Veas

Business Professor & Chair, Business Department

Santa Monica College

As a faculty member since 1992, Sal has held various academic leadership positions, including chairmanships of the campus-wide curriculum, career education, professional development, information services, technology planning and distance education committees. Sal served as chair of the Business Department from 2003-05 and again since 2015.

     
   

Diane Walker

Director of Industry Liaison and Post-Secondary Partnerships

Antelope Valley Union HSD

After 15 years as a litigator, Diane Walker began her career in education with the Antelope Valley Union High School District in 1999. Currently, she is the Director of Industry Liaison and Post-Secondary Partnerships for the district, liaising with Antelope Valley College and other post-secondary institutions to create opportunities for students. 

     
   

David Wilson

Teacher

STEM School Chattanooga

David Wilson joined the STEM School Chattanooga as an entrepreneurship and marketing teacher. He strives to transform education by creating opportunities to critically think, collaborate, and innovate. He has extensive experience in using technology to improve the classroom experience. Wilson holds a master’s degree in Education Curriculum and Development and Education Leadership.

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