dropped the smallest Star Wars action figure I could find, dangling from suspension lines made of thread, as it glided to the grass below.
I’ve always loved creating and innovating. When I wasn’t in school, I spent my free time experimenting – using tin cans, buttons, and string to build a neighborhood phone network, creating new civilizations with Legos, synthesizing laser blast sounds using a Slinky while recording a sci-fi drama I wrote with my childhood friend, Freddie, and modifying metal coat hangers to extend the range of our walkie-talkies. In college, I continued to innovate as I pursued a career in journalism, publishing several hundred photos and articles, covering anything from local politics to the Olympics, producing multimedia for websites, and managing teams for various media companies. These experiences led me to further challenge my imagination as I founded a social media network for outdoor travelers called Uncharted and taught workshops for Columbia University.
Then the University of Maryland gave me an incredible opportunity to take my imagination, talents, and skills to a new level with its master program in technology entrepreneurship. Graduate school opened a whole new world for me as I suddenly realized how I could use everything I had learned up to that point to create, lead, and manage innovative endeavors for startups, educational institutions, and established corporate ventures. And while U of M taught me the fundamentals of business modeling, corporate finance, business law, marketing, and innovation management strategy, the greatest value came from learning how to use design thinking, a human-centered approach that applies concept development, storytelling, prototyping, and experimentation to empathize with people and transform ideas into viable solutions that deliver value and solve real problems.
So whether I’m developing a new website, producing persuasive storytelling through written and visual communication, envisioning a better user-experience, designing curriculum, conducting market research, formulating a business strategy, or working with teams to design better ways to lead, to create, to manage, to innovate, and to motivate, I’m always excited about new challenges where I can work with others to find solutions that lead to improving experiences and creating value that makes a difference.