Arts & Sciences Advisory Board
WPI's Arts & Sciences Advisory Board offers the expertise of dedicated professionals who are devoted to robust Arts & Sciences offerings at WPI. Their invaluable insights help shape and guide the experiences and opportunities for WPI's Arts and Sciences students.
Sergio Salvatore ’02 (Co-Chair) is Vice President of Engineering for Vimeo, Inc. An accomplished pianist who recorded two albums by the time he was thirteen, Mr. Salvatore is an entertainment and information industry executive who has loaned his musical talents to WPI for past events. He was the lead architect of a start-up while still at WPI; upon graduating, he joined Sony Music's Mobile Technology efforts, moving to Direct To Consumer engineering and on to a senior executive position. Prior to joining Vimeo in 2017, Mr. Salvatore led engineering teams at Steinway & Sons and Barnes & Noble's Nook Media division. Mr. Salvatore received his bachelor's degree in Computer Science from WPI.
Kimberly Warren (Co-Chair) is a Vice President at MITRE. In her role as SP and Director of the Health Federally Funded Research and Development Center, Ms. Warren leads MITRE’s strategy to identify, shape, accelerate, and implement research, development, and critical program work for the Department of Health and Human Services. She advises leaders across government, academia, and private industry to bring strategic and practical solutions to meet our nation’s goals to transform health and healthcare. Having worked across multiple federally funded research centers (FFRDCs) at MITRE over the last 25 years, Ms. Warren brings that expertise to bear for the health domain. Earlier, Ms. Warren was the director of MITRE’s health-related research and technical capability development. She was responsible for broad academic, industry, and sponsor stakeholder partnerships to accelerate innovation in health and healthcare. She served as chief technologist of the Homeland Security Systems Engineering and Development Institute FFRDC, developing independent and sponsor-directed research program to advance the homeland security enterprise. As chief architect for MITRE’s Center for Advanced Aviation System Development, she played a key role in evolving software processes and establishing strategic directions for software modeling, simulation, and laboratory assets that still serve the Federal Aviation Administration and the aviation community. Ms. Warren spent several years in industry as a software product development lead for Fortune 500 and international clients. She was the global director for Electronic Product Development at General Motors. Ms. Warren earned her B.S. in computer science from Syracuse University in New York and a M.Sc. in artificial intelligence from Edinburgh University in Scotland.
Lauren Baker ’82 serves as Chief Executive Officer and President of Boston Biomedical Associates (BBA), where she directs all aspects of the company’s clinical research practice and a team of consultants who assist clients with regulatory strategy, clinical trial development and implementation. Prior to founding BBA, Dr. Baker had a distinguished career in academia and industry, including positions of Director of International Clinical Research and Director of Corporate Clinical Affairs at Boston Scientific Corporation (BSC). Prior to joining BSC, she was employed as a Research Assistant Professor at the University of Massachusetts Medical School where she worked in the Cardiac and Vascular Surgery Departments. She has served as a Professor in Mechanical Engineering at Worcester Polytechnic Institute and has established herself as a leader in clinical research in a variety of medical areas including cardiovascular, neurovascular, orthopedics, GI and GU. Dr. Baker is a licensed Professional Engineer and holds a BS in Chemistry and a Masters and PhD in Mechanical Engineering with an emphasis in Biomedical Engineering. She has received her degrees from Worcester Polytechnic Institute and her research was performed in the Vascular Surgery Department at UMASS Medical School.
Neal Cappellino ’87 is a Producer/Engineer, originally from Rochester, NY who now calls Nashville, TN home. As a lifelong musician and creative, he combines both his enthusiasm for the arts and a technical education in his career in the recording industry that spans more than 30 years. Neal is a multiple Grammy® Award recipient with a selected discography that includes platinum artists Dolly Parton, Alison Krauss, Vince Gill, and Brad Paisley. He is the owner and principal engineer of The Doghouse Studio and is a member of The Recording Academy, the Audio Engineering Society, and Leadership Music ’15. Neal is an educator and mentor within the industry with a philosophy towards giving back. He previously served on the board of directors for The Melodic Caring Project, a non--‐profit organization that dedicates live--‐streamed music events into the hospital rooms of critically ill children. Neal is also active in the field of energy work and the healing arts as an Usui Tibetan Reiki Master practitioner utilizing mixed modality applications of frequency and vibration through sound immersion. Most importantly he is a dedicated father to his two daughters.
John Gabranski ’75 is a retired partner from PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP. While at PwC, he lead the Hartford office Assurance practice while also serving SEC, higher education, and health care provider clients. John currently provides consulting services to several companies, including due diligence, M&A, financial analysis, contracting, internal controls, accounting and external reporting services. He graduated from WPI with a degree in computer science and went on to complete his MBA at the Columbia Business School. With his sister, John established the Adam and Agnes Gabranski Memorial Scholarship Fund in 1990; the Fund has assisted WPI to attract and graduate bright, promising students ever since.
Maryann Goebel ’73 is a member of the Board of Directors, the Enterprise Risk Management Committee, Technology Committee and Audit Committee and chairs the Compensation and Governance Committee for Seacoast National Bank, providing business and technology expertise and insight. She is also a member of the Board of REPAY, where she chairs the Technology Committee. In July 2012, Ms. Goebel retired from Fiserv, Inc. where she had served as executive vice president and chief information officer. In this role, she was responsible for all internal Fiserv IT systems, as well as IT infrastructure, operations, engineering, and middleware services for Fiserv clients who chose to outsource the processing of their Fiserv applications. Prior to Fiserv, Ms. Goebel served in the role of CIO for DHL Express (2006 to 2009), General Motors North America (2003 to 2006), General Motors Europe (1999 to 2001), General Motors Truck Group (1997 to 1999), Bell Atlantic NYNEX Mobile (1995 to 1997), and Frito-Lay (2001 to 2002). She has also held senior leadership positions at Texas Instruments, Aérospatiale Helicopter Corporation, and the Southland Corporation, among others. In recognition of her distinguished career, WPI awarded Ms. Goebel with the Robert H. Goddard Award for Outstanding Professional Achievement in 2008. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Mathematics from WPI.
Jennifer Kamara ’12 is the founder of Lioness Ventures and a coach partner to CEOs and executives at Series A+ technology and media companies. Jenn trains her clients to be great leaders and empowers them and their teams to drive game-changing results. Prior to coaching and investing, Jenn built a healthcare organization, that in partnership with the Gates Foundation and Harvard Medical School, helped thousands of women survive childbirth in Sierra Leone. She also led operations for health-technology companies in San Francisco, New York, and Paris. Jenn graduated with a BSc in Chemical Engineering from WPI, a Master of Business Administration from Stanford, and a Master in Public Administration from Harvard. She currently lives in Austin, Texas with her husband.
Mary Ellen Lane, PhD is the current Dean of the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at UMass Medical School. Before Dr. Lane, associate professor of neurobiology, was associate dean for curriculum and academic affairs, and senior director of administration in the GSBS, has been a member of the faculty since 2011. Among many pivotal initiatives and accomplishments, Lane created the Office of Academic Affairs within the GSBS; led a team of faculty in remodeling the first year student experience in the Basic Biomedical Sciences program and in implementing the new problem-based learning “Foundations” curriculum; created and convened the Academic Advancement Committee; and implemented structural improvements to the Pathways to Graduate Study program. She holds an AB from Colgate University and a PhD in biological sciences from Columbia University. Prior to joining UMass Medical School, she was on the faculty of Rice University in Houston, and served as assistant dean for admission at the MD Anderson University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences in Houston.
Kenneth Maynard, PhD is a Senior Director at Takeda Pharmaceuticals, Inc., with 21 years pharmaceutical industry experience. Dr.Maynard previously led a research laboratory centered on cerebral ischemia and stroke as an Assistant Professor in Surgery (Neurosurgery) at Massachusetts General Hospital & Harvard Medical School. His doctorate in neurobiology is from University College, London, U.K., and he is a Fellow of the American Heart Association, and is a certified coach and member of the John Maxwell Team. Dr. Maynard formerly served on the Executive Committee of the International Dose-Response Society, the External Scientific Panel of the NIH Director’s program on Broadening Experiences in Scientific Training and on the committee on the Next Generation Initiative Board on Higher Education and Workforce Policy and Global Affairs, which published a recent National Academies of Sciences Engineering and Medicine sponsored report titled, The Next Generation of Biomedical and Behavioral Researchers: Breaking Through. Currently, Dr. Maynard serves on the National Advisory Neurological Disorders and Stroke Council (NINDS, NIH) and the advisory board of Broadening the Representation of Academic Investigators in NeuroScience (BRAINS), which is a national program dedicated to advancing diversity and inclusion in neuroscience. Dr. Maynard’s leadership experience positions him to combine academic and pharmaceutical research and development (R&D) and business knowledge.
Ellen McCaskill ’89 recently retired from ExxonMobil Global Projects Company. During her 33+ years with the company, she supported engineering and operations of numerous oil and gas facilities, but was most involved with execution of domestic and international projects of varying sizes and complexities. She lived internationally in Japan, Papua New Guinea, England, and Kazakhstan to execute projects, and supported STEM activities wherever she was assigned. In her final role prior to retirement, she was the Senior Project Manager for the Guyana Payara Project, the third project to be executed for the country of Guyana as they grow their oil production capability. Mrs. McCaskill holds a B.S. in Civil Engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute.
Travis McCready is the head of life sciences markets in the Americas for JLL, one of the largest commercial real estate advisories in the world. In this capacity, he leads a multi-country platform that includes brokerage, capital markets, project management, consulting & advisory, and valuation services for life sciences companies, developers and investors. He also co-leads the firms Innovation Districts Practice, helping plan, build and finance innovation districts all over North America. Travis has over 25 years of experience leading public, private, and non-profit ventures with a focus on technology and innovation based economic development. The former President & CEO of the $1.6 billion life sciences funding agency Massachusetts Life Sciences Center, Travis is passionate about supporting tech-based entrepreneurship and is a frequent speaker on the evolving role of technology-based economic development at the community and regional level. He remains active in the life sciences community serving on the boards of the global business accelerator MassChallenge, the global life sciences business enabler Nucleate, and Wentworth Institute of Technology in Boston. He also serves in advisory capacities at Harvard University, MIT, and Johns Hopkins University. No stranger to public service, Travis has served on the Economic Development Planning Council under three Massachusetts governors, has been appointed to state and national initiatives ranging from the arts to advanced manufacturing. Travis received his B.A. in Philosophy from Yale University, and J.D. from the University of Iowa.
Eliza Jane Reilly, PhD is the Executive Director of the National Center for Science and Civic Engagement (NCSCE). The NCSCE is a national educational network committed to empowering citizens as responsible, lifelong learners who can apply the knowledge, values, and methods of science to complex civic challenges facing their communities. Its primary work focuses on professional development for faculty and community-based educators that helps them link STEM learning outcomes to broader civic and social challenges. She was formerly a Research Professor in Technology and Society at Stony Brook University, and faculty member and administrator at Franklin & Marshall College where she served Director of the Phillips Museum of Art and Director of the Center for Liberal arts and Society. Prior positions included Director of Programs in the Office of Science, Health, and Student Engagement at the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) and Executive Director of the American Conference of Academic Deans (ACAD), a national organization of chief academic officers and other academic administrators committed to improving undergraduate liberal education. Dr. Reilly received an MA in the History of Art and a PhD in US History from Rutgers University. Since 2001 she has been a Senior Scholar with the NSF funded project Science Education for New Civic Engagements and Responsibilities (SENCER), is the general editor of the SENCER Models series and Co-Editor of the journal Science Education and Civic Engagement: An International Journal. For her work advancing civically engaged STEM learning, Dr. Reilly was elected a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS, Division Q) in 2019.
Richard Resnick ’98 (Former Co-Chair) is the CEO of Cureatr, a telehealth company that helps patients as they are being discharged from the hospital to reconcile and manage their medications so that their return to home is permanent. Prior, he led GQ Life Sciences, a venture-backed software and data company, through a successful turnaround and acquisition in Q4 2016 by Aptean, Inc. He was previously CEO of Harmony Line, Inc., an MIT Media Lab company, where he partnered with the famous composer/technologist Tod Machover to develop and commercialize Hyperscore, a unique software tool to enable anyone to compose music. Prior to Harmony Line, Resnick was the CEO of Mosaic Bioinformatics which he sold to NetGenics in 2000. Resnick was the global bioinformatics software head for Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, and got his start in genomics working on the Human Genome Project under Eric Lander at the MIT Whitehead Institute, authoring software applications like primer3, still widely in use some 20 years later.
Sharon A. Savage, MD ’91 is the Director of the Clinical Genetics Branch and Clinical Director of the Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics (DCEG) at the National Cancer Institute (NCI). She earned an MD from the University of Vermont College of Medicine, completed residency in Pediatrics at Children’s National Medical Center, Washington, DC, and fellowship in Pediatric Hematology-Oncology in the combined NCI-Johns Hopkins program.
Dr. Savage leads clinical, genetic, and epidemiologic studies of individuals and families at high risk of cancer. Dr. Savage leads the NCI’s clinical and genetic study of Li-Fraumeni syndrome (LFS), a highly penetrant cancer susceptibility syndrome often caused by germline mutations in TP53, that is evaluating pediatric and adult cancer-screening regimens and studying the underlying molecular biology of LFS. She is a co-founder of the Li-Fraumeni syndrome exploration (LiFE) research consortium.
Her research program in telomere molecular epidemiology incorporates population-based studies of telomere length and disease with genetic studies of telomere biology. Telomere Biology Disorders (TBDs), a spectrum of cancer-prone inherited bone marrow failure syndromes, are caused by pathogenic germline variants in genes encoding key telomere biology proteins. She co-founded the Clinical Care Consortium of Telomere-associated Ailments (CCCTAA). Dr. Savage has discovered numerous genetic causes of TBDs and other IBMFS. This work has formed the foundation for numerous basic science studies. Her clinical studies of TBDs have led to improvements in the diagnosis of TBDs and advanced understanding of the clinical complications of TBDs.
Naveen Selvadurai ’02 is Co-founder, Director and Advisor of Foursquare Labs, Inc. He stepped down from day to day operations in March 2012. Founded in 2009, Foursquare is a venture funded smart telephone applications company. The company’s product is a social network friend-finder, social city guide and a game that challenges users to experience new things, and rewards them for doing so. Mr. Selvadurai is now a Partner at Expa, a startup studio working on lauching new products. He has also been an Adjunct Professor at The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art since 2009. Prior to founding Foursquare, he was Lead Architect and VP of Engineering at Socialight located in New York, NY. Founded in 2005, Socialight is a location-based social media platform for smart phone and web based applications. Previously he was a Senior Software Architect with the Global Digital Business group at Sony Music Entertainment. In this role, he oversaw and developed various applications that dealt with content management and distribution of mobile products and was the lead developer of Sony's Music Box mobile application. Before Sony, he consulted for New York-based Run Tones which was later acquired by Sony in 2002 and worked at Sun Microsystems and Lucent Technologies while at WPI.
Nina Simon '02 is an author and arts advocate who has been described as a “museum visionary” by Smithsonian Magazine for her community-based approach to design. She has wide-ranging experience as a former NASA engineer, exhibit designer, museum director, and founder of OF/BY/FOR ALL, a global nonprofit that helps civic and cultural organizations become more inclusive, relevant, and sustainable. Nina is the best-selling author of The Participatory Museum (2010) and The Art of Relevance (2016). Her first novel, Mother-Daughter Murder Night, will be released by William Morrow in September 2023. Nina lives off the grid in the Santa Cruz mountains with her family.
Jeffrey Tenney, MD, PhD ’97, ’99 is an Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Neurology at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. Dr. Tenney received his B.S. and M.S. from WPI and his M.D./Ph.D. from the University of Massachusetts Medical School. He completed his pediatric neurology residency and pediatric epilepsy fellowship at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, where he has been a faculty physician since 2012. Clinically, Dr. Tenney maintains an outpatient epilepsy clinic, works in the epilepsy monitoring unit, and interprets clinical neurophysiology studies. He is the Director of the Magnetoencephalography (MEG) lab, which is a test used to evaluate patients for epilepsy surgery and is the current President of the American Clinical MEG Society (ACMEGS). Jeff also has an active research program focused on understanding brain networks leading to epilepsy with several past and current projects funded by the National Institutes of Health. In addition to these academic pursuits, Jeff enjoys spending time with his wife Nicole (whom he met while a WPI student), homebrewing beer, pretending to play the mandolin, and coaching his children’s LEGO robotics team.
Urvashi Tyagi ‘01 is Chief Technology Officer at ResMed, responsible for leading Digital Health to enable world-leading cloud-based platforms, as well as investments in emerging technologies including artificial intelligence and machine learning. Urvashi has over 25 years’ experience in software development and delivery, product strategy, finance, business development, and executive leadership. Before joining ResMed, she was chief technology officer and senior vice president for ADP, responsible for its technology vision and strategy, products modernization, and enterprise technology. She was also the global head of commercial data engineering for American Express, along with senior roles at Amazon, Microsoft, and IBM. Urvashi holds a Master’s of Science in information technology from Worcester Polytechnic Institute; an MBA in finance and entrepreneurship from South Gujarat University in Surat, India; and a Bachelor’s of Engineering from Sardar Patel University in V.V.Nagar, India.
Michael Wallent ’91 works at Microsoft in Redmond,Washington and is the Corporate Vice President of the Enterprise Management team. His team develops Intune, which is a service to help companies manage employee use of PCs and mobile devices. Intune is used by tens of thousands of customers worldwide on nearly 200 million devices of all kinds. Michael joined Microsoft in 1996 and worked on Internet Explorer, Windows and Windows Server. Michael lives in Seattle with his wife Anh, and kids Peri, John and Daniel. Even though he’s been in Seattle for more than 25 years now, he’s a die-hard Pats and Sox fan (root for where you are from!). Michael grew up mostly in Rhode Island, where his parents taught him about east coast perseverance and how to quickly clean lobsters. He’s often found in the mountains, spending time with skis and friends.
Christina Willwerth '92 has been Chief Operating Officer at Nido Biosciences since April 2023 and has 30 years of experience in biopharmaceutical development and business operations. Prior to joining Nido Bio, she was Chief Strategy Officer at Flexion Therapeutics, leading corporate strategy and business prioritization, program/portfolio management and human resources. Christina spent over 12 years in executive leadership roles building Flexion from its early financing, through pipeline evolution, development and commercialization of Zilretta®, and acquisition of the company, with influence across all business areas. Prior to joining Flexion, she was Vice President, Product Development and a member of the Executive Management team at Viacell, Inc. with cross-functional responsibility for the company’s cellular therapy and fertility preservation development programs. Christina also previously served as Senior Director, Product Development at The Medicines Company (TMC), focused on cardiovascular therapy clinical and product development (Angiomax®), and held ascendant clinical/product development roles at TMC, Astra Pharmaceuticals and Biopure Corporation. Christina holds a bachelor’s degree in biology with high distinction from Worcester Polytechnic Institute.
Steven Davi ’85 (1963-2022) was Senior Vice President at Synacor, Inc. which provides a technology platform to telecom companies that allows end-users to receive digital entertainment services and apps. He was formerly Senior Vice President of Advanced Technology and CTO at SeaChange International, a global multi-screen video software company. Mr. Davi received an Emmy for his work in video software while at SeaChange. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science from WPI and his Master of Science degree in Computer Science from Northeastern University. Mr. Davi previously served as a member of the WPI Provost’s Global Task Force. In 2013, Mr. Davi established the Steven M. Davi ’85 Endowed Scholarship to help provide promising students the opportunity to attend WPI.
David Johnson ’82 is CEO and President of Jenne Distributors, a leading value-added distributor of business telephony, data, audio and video conferencing, and security technology products, including equipment and software for the SMB and Enterprise markets. He previously held many senior executive positions at Avaya, with his most recent role as Senior Vice President of Global Alliances and Channel. Before his work with Avaya, Mr. Johnson was Senior Vice President, International Sales and Service for Lucent Technologies' Enterprise Networks business, where he was responsible for all sales and service operations outside the United States. Mr. Johnson also served as Lucent's Business Communications Systems (BCS) Regional President for the Asia/Pacific region, residing in Hong Kong for three years. Before his assignment in Hong Kong, Mr. Johnson was Strategic Marketing Director for BCS. Mr. Johnson began his communications career in 1982 with New England Telephone, where he worked in the Field Services Organization supporting business customers. Mr. Johnson earned his bachelor's degree in Engineering from WPI in 1982. He previously served as a member of the WPI Provost’s Global Task Force. In 2013, Mr. Johnson established the David P. Johnson ’82 Global Fund to support WPI’s strategic initiatives in Asia.
Emeritus Members (Life Sciences Advisory Board)
Marni Hall ’97 serves as Director of Regulatory Science, Office of Surveillance and Epidemiology, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, Food and Drug Administration. In this role, Dr. Hall leads post-market drug safety activities focused on adverse event signal detection and characterization. Dr. Hall leads pharmacoepidemiology research programs, pharmacovigilance innovative tool development efforts, and regulatory science policy initiatives to support post-market drug safety. Prior to being selected as Director of Regulatory Science, Dr. Hall served as Program Director for Regulatory Research in the Office of Surveillance and Epidemiology, and as Senior Analyst conducting strategic planning for translational sciences and for data standards in the Office of Planning and Informatics. Before joining FDA in 2008, Dr. Hall was a Program Director at Pfizer, in the Public Health Group of External Medical Affairs. Dr. Hall continues to lecture at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, where she has been an adjunct professor since 2007. Dr. Hall holds a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and in society, technology, and policy from Worcester Polytechnic Institute, a master’s of public health from Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, and a master’s in biochemistry and Ph.D. in toxicology from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.
David LaPré ’74 is currently Head of Pharma Global Technical Operations at Roche. Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, Roche is a leader in research-focused healthcare with combined strengths in pharmaceuticals and diagnostics. Roche is the world’s largest biotech company and the world leader in in-vitro diagnostics. Technical Operations at Roche is a global organization tasked with ensuring the availability of Roche medicines worldwide. This involves activities ranging from the scale-up of production processes for new molecules from lab to commercial scale; to manufacturing; and, ultimately to the delivery of medicines to more than 150 countries around the world. Mr. LaPré joined Roche in 1997 as Vice President of Materials Management for the Pharmaceuticals division in the US. He moved to Basel in 2002 where he led a major supply chain initiative and subsequently became Head of Global Supply Chain. Mr. LaPré returned to the US in 2007 to head Technical Operations for North America. After a special assignment as program leader for the Roche-Genentech integration, he moved to the Diagnostics division to run Global Operations in 2010. Mr. LaPré moved back to Switzerland in 2013 to assume his current role heading Pharma Global Technical Operations. Prior to joining Roche, he held various operations, supply chain and general management roles with Proctor & Gamble and other consumer packaged goods companies. Mr. LaPré received a Bachelor of Science degree from Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Worcester, Massachusetts and an MBA from New York University.