• academic science and engineering research
  • primary through secondary school teaching and learning
  • industry science and engineering
  • industry and university outreach
  • STEM, innovation and economic development policy and best practice

How Do Advisors Offer Their Expertise?

Here are some specific examples:

  • help in curricular decision making, lesson plan review (including helping us to develop engineering design challenges that incorporate elements of their daily work)
  • provide expertise and relevance in the classroom to make a topic come alive, whether through virtual or live visits to our classes
  • serve as role models for our students so that each young person can see themselves able to pursue similar paths
  • advise on strategic decision-making for Ti2. 

Who Are Our Advisors?

Our advisory group is still growing. At present, it includes: 

Arkhat Abzhanov, PhD; Reader, Evolutionary Biology and Genetics, Imperial College, London; London Museum of Natural History

Al Diaz, MS, Physics; MS, Management, MIT; Executive Vice President for Business and Finance, Treasurer, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN

Ron DeFronzo, National Presidential Award for Excellence in Science Teaching; Science Specialist, East Bay Educational Collaborative, Warren RI

Katharina Eikermann-Haerter, MD, PhD, Neuroscience; Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA

Brad Harkavy, BS, Software Engineering; COO, Sagewell Inc, Entrepreneur, Cambridge, MA

Marilyn Jackson, MBA, Marketing Director, Chicago Architecture Foundation, Chicago, IL

Samira Kiani, MD, Assistant Professor, Synthetic Biology, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ

Donna Milgaten, BS, Biochemistry; AP Chemistry Teacher, Basic High School, Henderson, NV

Kelly Dare Moynihan, PhD, Bioengineering; Third Rock Ventures, Boston, MA

Lawrence Neeley, PhD, Mechanical Engineering; Assistant Professor of Design and Entrepreneurship, Olin College of Engineering, Needham, MA

David Pierce, BS, MALS; AP Physics Teacher, Tabor Academy, Marion, MA

Timothy Stearns, PhD, Coleman Foundation Chair in Entrepreneurship; Executive Director, Lyles Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, California State University, and Co-Founder, KidsInvent!, Fresno, CA

Kim Walesh, MPP; Chief Strategist and Director, Economic Development, City of San Jose, CA


Our team knows that collaboration leads to excellence. The Innovation Institute engages leading thinkers and practitioners to ensure excellence in how and what we teach. We have local and global networks, and they are always evolving.