NSF-Funded Epicenter Appoints Two Higher Education Leaders to National Advisory Board


(February 11, 2015) - The National Center for Engineering Pathways to Innovation (Epicenter) announced the appointment of two new members to its National Advisory Board: Diana Natalicio, President of the University of Texas at El Paso, and Shankar Sastry, Dean of the College of Engineering at the University of California, Berkeley.

With the two new members, the Board is now comprised of 14 leaders in academia and industry with expertise in engineering, entrepreneurship and innovation education. The Board members provide recommendations on how to address the opportunities and challenges in 21st century engineering education, connect engineering students and faculty with the evolving needs of industry, and scale Epicenter’s unique programming.

Funded by the National Science Foundation, Epicenter has taken on the mission to empower U.S. undergraduate engineering students to bring their ideas to life for the benefit of our economy and society.

“We believe that infusing entrepreneurship and innovation into undergraduate engineering education can attract more and better students to the field, retain them, and help young engineers gain the knowledge, skills and attitudes they need to solve the complex problems of humanity,” said Tom Byers, Director and co-Principal Investigator of Epicenter and professor at Stanford University.

“The members of our National Advisory Board are essential to help us connect with students, faculty, administrators and industry leaders to achieve this vision. We are thrilled to welcome these two higher education leaders to our Board.”

Epicenter’s National Advisory Board members are:

  • Cammy Abernathy - Dean, College of Engineering, University of Florida
  • Steve Blank - author, entrepreneur and educator
  • Susan Brennan - Chief Operations Officer, Bloom Energy
  • Jim Breyer - Partner at Accel Partners and Founder/CEO of Breyer Capital
  • Carlton Brown - President, Clark Atlanta University
  • Leah Jamieson - Dean, College of Engineering, Purdue University
  • Kristina Johnson - CEO, Enduring Hydro, and former Under Secretary of Energy
  • Gary May - Dean, College of Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Richard K. Miller - President, Olin College of Engineering
  • David Munson - Dean, College of Engineering, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
  • Diana Natalicio - President, University of Texas at El Paso
  • Shankar Sastry - Dean, College of Engineering, University of California, Berkeley.
  • Beverly Daniel Tatum - President, Spelman College
  • Karan Watson - Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs, Texas A&M University


The Board is co-chaired by Gary May and Kristina Johnson.


About Epicenter:

The National Center for Engineering Pathways to Innovation (Epicenter) is funded by the National Science Foundation and directed by Stanford University and VentureWell (formerly NCIIA). Epicenter’s mission is to empower U.S. undergraduate engineering students to bring their ideas to life for the benefit of our economy and society. To do this, Epicenter helps students combine their technical skills, their ability to develop innovative technologies that solve important problems, and an entrepreneurial mindset and skillset. Epicenter’s three core initiatives are the University Innovation Fellows program for undergraduate engineering students and their peers; the Pathways to Innovation Program for institutional teams of faculty and university leaders; and the research program Fostering Innovative Generations Studies, which contributes to national knowledge of entrepreneurship and engineering education. Learn more and get involved at epicenter.stanford.edu.


Media contact:

Laurie Moore
Communications Manager, Epicenter
(650) 561-6113

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