Megan is a Licensing and New Ventures Manager for Kentucky Commercialization Ventures. In this role, her primary responsibilities include outreach and education on matters related to commercialization, along with assessing, managing, and licensing intellectual property developed at KCV Partner Institutions. Megan is excited to be in Kentucky, her husband’s home state, to help advance innovation for the Commonwealth.
Megan’s work allows her to pursue a lifelong passion: connecting people together to make healthcare and medicine easy. She is motivated by hearing people say “yes, I can help get that to market” and “yes, I have access to the technology I need to live the life I want.” In her free time, she enjoys volunteering with various animal welfare organizations to help pets find new homes.
What experience do you have working on or with a strategic Board of Directors?
As the founding Chair of AUTM’s EDI Committee, I have been closely engaging with the AUTM Board of Directors. Outside of AUTM, I serve on my UofL’s YEP ERG Executive Committee as the Diversity Coordinator and prior on the Diversity Council for UofL.
Please include a brief description of your volunteer experiences within AUTM.
I began volunteering for AUTM as co-Site Chair for the Central Region Meeting in 2019. Following the meeting, I joined the Committee as Program Co-Chair and supported the planning and execution of the Central Region Meeting in 2021 and 2022. I also founded and served as the first Chair for AUTM’s EDI Committee, I was a founding member of the D&I and Social Innovation SIGs and an active participant in the WI SIG. In 2021, I was honored to be given AUTM’s Volunteer of the Year Award.
Why do you want to join the AUTM Board of Directors?
I have served AUTM in several capacities and I see the Board as a way to bring together my efforts more holistically. I am passionate about creating opportunities for new voices to be involved, whether that be through stronger international engagement and collaborations, closer partnerships with federal agencies such as the USPTO in the United States, or bringing forward the next generation of technology transfer professionals through fellowships and internships. AUTM is at the precipice of technology transfer/knowledge exchange and has an opportunity to lead the future of social innovation, EDI, and stronger advocacy for inclusive entrepreneurship nationally and globally. With my role on the Board, I will be positioned to create these strategies and collaborations such that our profession, innovators, and stakeholders will have more chances to thrive.
Have you served in a volunteer leadership role for other organizations? If so, please explain.
I served as Treasurer of my college sorority. In this role, we developed a scholarship to reduce the barrier of membership dues and developed a fundraiser to help cover the gap in the budget. In graduate school, I served as a member of the Graduate Student Council. I currently serve on the Executive Council for our Young Emerging Professional ERG at the University of Louisville where I spearhead diversity related initiatives.
If elected by the Membership to the Board, would you consider serving as Chair? Please explain.
If the Board considered me to be the best candidate for the role, I would be happy to support the Board and the AUTM community as the AUTM Chair.
Please share personal strengths that you believe would be valuable to the AUTM Board and/or the strategic direction of the Association.
My first strength I bring to the Board and Association is my passion for the future of the profession. I have connections across the globe and enjoy expanding my network to find people to advise and support the needs of the community. My second strength is advocacy; I have a drive to create more inclusive innovation ecosystems and consider AUTM to be a leader in this space. My third strength is EDI experience; with my guidance, the AUTM Board and leadership have developed strategic directions of the Association for a more equitable and diverse organization.
What special experience do you have in driving and implementing a strategic plan?
I served on the AUTM Cabinet from 2021-2022 and in that role, helped in the development of the 2022-2024 strategic plan. I have supported the EDI Committee and AUTM staff in implementing changes to strengthen the new pillar, EDI, as well as international engagement. In my TT role, I helped to develop and implement a new statewide initiative to support regional universities/community colleges in commercialization. I was instrumental in obtaining buy-in from our champions at 22 institutions to engage with the program and to drive a culture of innovation at the campuses. In the 2 years of the program, we have increase disclosures from 3 to 20, filed the first provisional patents for the institutions, and created two new companies. I have also supported the launch of “IDEA” for Praxis Auril and led strategy conversations related to EDI for ASTP.
How do terms of the position (both responsibilities and time commitment) fit with your other responsibilities? Will you have any conflicts of commitment between your full-time position and your volunteer time on the AUTM Board?
As I have already been serving AUTM in multiple roles, I am confident that I can allocate the time and energy to balance my full-time position and volunteer commitments.
AUTM is committed to addressing issues of equity, diversity, and inclusion both on the Board and on behalf of our Members. Briefly describe how your experiences can contribute to the Association’s growth in this area.
Having founded and led the EDI Committee, I feel confident that I will be able to continue to bring that commitment to EDI and propel the growth of it on behalf of the Association and all the members. My goal is to continue to execute on the EDI strategy that we have put in place to increase engagement, membership, and AUTM’s global reputation as a leader in EDI.
Advocacy for the innovation ecosystem is something AUTM has promoted recently. How do you think AUTM should continue to be involved?
Having served on the Council for Inclusive Innovation Working Group on AUTM’s behalf, I think AUTM’s role in advocacy is key to the success of our profession and the greater ecosystem. With AUTM’s support, we have seen several new initiatives in the United States, such as the NSF TIPS program and the SUCCESS Act. I would like to see these types of programs continue to grow and replicate at national and international scales. AUTM can play a key role by providing testimony, advocating within the arena, and supporting granting agencies in implementation. Additionally, by partnering with sister associations worldwide, AUTM can help to create inclusive innovation ecosystems for more and more TT/KE professionals.
Is there anything else you would like AUTM Members to know about you before they vote?
I am Team Cat, but dogs are great too! My two cats are both flame point Siamese, but they were rescued from different states. I enjoy showing them off so ask for a picture next time you see me!