Alex taught me so much about the unspoken aspects that go into building a killer team that will last a lifetime. He knows how to bring a group of strangers closer together in just a few minutes.
— Participant in "Entrepreneurship is the Connection Between People"
 

Selected Talks, Workshops, And Courses

"Essentials of Creative Problem Solving"

UVA Organizational Excellence
August 2018

As part of the CORE Quality training network, I was asked to talk to working professionals about the Creative Problem Solving process and illustrate how they may be able to use it in their own endeavors.

Key points of the talk:

  • Creative Problem Solving is a framework which can plug into many other frameworks like Design Thinking, Effectuation, and Six Sigma.

  • What differentiates CPS is its focus on two things:

    • the balance and separation of divergent and convergent thinking

    • framing problems as questions with positive language stems


"Did We Just Become Best Friends?": Bringing Strangers Closer in 45 Minutes

Creative Problem Solving Institute
June 2018

A workshop based on the "36 Questions to Make Anyone Fall in Love" that brings strangers closer in a short time frame. It always energizes the group and people love it! Read my full article here.


"What Does It Mean to Be a Man of Principle?"

Men of Principle Scholarship Banquet
Beta Theta Pi
December 2018

Know Thyself: Develop your own principles.

Personal Accountability: Keep these principles as your center.

Role Model: Change the world by using your inner strength to solve the problems around you.


Global Entrepreneurship Week: Growing Your Early Organization

Penn State University
November 2017

I had the pleasure of talking about what it is like to start a new initiative within the University for better supporting student entrepreneurs, and using the entrepreneurial principles to test its effectiveness, gain buy-in from stakeholders, and grow the program.


"Entrepreneurship is the Connection Between People"

Syracuse University Entrepreneurship Group
November 2017

 

Behind all of the nuts and bolts of starting and growing a new venture is the team, and their relationship to their customers. This talk highlighted the importance of trust and familiarity among co-founders, and how to seek out a co-founder with whom you will succeed.


All Recent Talks, Workshops, and Courses:

 

"Tips for Stakeholder Interviews" for the University of Virginia NSF I-Corps Site program, January 2019.

"Strong Teams are the Core of Entrepreneurship" Guest Lecturer and Teambuilding Facilitator in graduate course STS 6610: Technology Innovation: From Discovery to Product Concept at the University of Virginia School of Engineering and Applied Science, January 2019.

STS 3580: Creativity for Invention, Instructor and Facilitator, for the University of Virginia School of Engineering and Applied Science, Spring 2019.

ENGR 2595: Engineering Your Future, Co-Instructor, for the University of Virginia School of Engineering and Applied Science, Spring 2019.

“A Metric That Matters” Keynote at Lighthouse U Virginia University Entrepreneurship Summit, December 2018.

"STS 4580/5500: De-Risking Entrepreneurship", Instructor and Facilitator, for the University of Virginia School of Engineering and Applied Science, Fall 2018.

“Entrepreneurship and the Grand Challenges", Guest Speaker in STS 2993: Grand Challenges Scholars Program at the University of Virginia School of Engineering and Applied Science, November 2018.

"Metrics (or, You're Probably Tracking the Wrong Stuff)" at the Global Consortium of Entrepreneurship Centers Conference in Chicago, October 2018.

"Exploring the Impact of Internal and External Competitions on Student Entrepreneurial Aspirations" at the Global Consortium of Entrepreneurship Centers Conference in Chicago, October 2018.

"How to Get Higher Conversions after Large Entrepreneurship Events on Campus" at the Global Consortium of Entrepreneurship Centers Conference in Chicago, October 2018.

"Essentials of Creative Problem Solving" at the Global Consortium of Entrepreneurship Centers Conference in Chicago, October 2018.

"Tips for Stakeholder Interviews" for the University of Virginia NSF I-Corps Site program, October 2018.

"How to Succeed in De-Risking Your Startup" for the Community Investment Collaborative, September 2018.

SPARK: Faces of Technology Innovation 2018, Director and Emcee, for the University of Virginia Technology Entrepreneurship, September 2018.

"Strong Teams are the Core of Entrepreneurship" Guest Lecturer and Teambuilding Facilitator in graduate course STS 5610: Knowledge Entrepreneurship: Launching Your Career in Engineering Research at the University of Virginia School of Engineering and Applied Science, August 2018.

"Essentials of Creative Problem Solving" for University of Virginia Organizational Excellence Quality CORE Network, August 2018.

"'Did We Just Become Best Friends?': Bringing Strangers Closer in 45 Minutes" at the Creative Problem Solving Institute 2018 in Buffalo, June 2018.

"STS 3580: Creativity for Invention", Instructor and Facilitator, for the University of Virginia School of Engineering and Applied Science, Spring 2018.

"How to Succeed in NSF I-Corps" for the University of Virginia NSF I-Corps Site program, May 2018.

"Creative Problem Solving Basics" for the Young Women Leaders Program at the University of Virginia, March 2018.

"What Does It Mean to Be a Man of Principle?" Keynote at the Beta Theta Pi Men of Principle Scholarship Banquet at the University of Virginia, December 2017.

"Student Entrepreneur Roundtables" Facilitator for the University of Virginia, December 2017.

“Entrepreneurship is the Connection Between People” at the Entrepreneurship Club of the Syracuse University Falcone Center for Entrepreneurship, November 2017.

Scaling Your Early Organization” at Penn State University Global Entrepreneurship Week, November 2017.

"Remembering the 2010's" Alumni Speaker for the 50th Anniversary of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Virginia, November 2017.

"Student Engagement on Entrepreneurial Projects as a Direct Metric for New Venture Creation" at the Global Consortium of Entrepreneurship Centers Conference in Halifax, October 2017.

"In What Ways Might We Bridge the Entrepreneurial Ecosystems of the University & the Local Community?" Active CPS Session at the Global Consortium of Entrepreneurship Centers Conference in Halifax, October 2017.

"Strong Teams are the Core of Entrepreneurship" Guest Lecturer and Teambuilding Facilitator in STS 5610: Knowledge Entrepreneurship: Launching Your Career in Engineering Research and STS 6610: Technology Innovation: From Discovery to Product Concept graduate courses at the University of Virginia School of Engineering and Applied Science, October 2017.

"Developing Your Idea Into a Concept" workshop for the University of Virginia Entrepreneurship Cup, October 2017.

"Brainstorming Solutions" workshop for the University of Virginia Entrepreneurship Cup, September 2017.

"What Problem Should I Solve?" workshop for the University of Virginia Entrepreneurship Cup, September 2017.

SPARK: Faces of Technology Innovation 2017, Director and Emcee, for the University of Virginia Technology Entrepreneurship, August 2017.

"Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Sub-Saharan Africa" Panel Moderator, for the U.S. Department of State's Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders hosted by the Presidential Precinct, July 2017.

"The Social Mechanisms of Supporting Entrepreneurial Projects Beyond the Classroom" in Entrepreneurship and Innovation Beyond the Classroom at the 2017 American Society of Engineering Education conference in Columbus, June 2017.

"Creative Problem Solving Session for Identifying & Filling Gaps in Supporting Early Student Innovators" at the VentureWell OPEN conference, March 2017.

Alumni Go From Entrepreneur to Campus Initiative” Panel at the Collegiate Entrepreneurs Organization conference in Tampa, October 2016.

"The Basics of Building an Entrepreneurship Center and Curriculum" at the Global Consortium of Entrepreneurship Centers conference in Rochester, October 2016.

"Great Debate: Is a Bachelor's Degree in Entrepreneurship Worth It?" Opposing Panel, at the Global Consortium of Entrepreneurship Centers conference in Rochester, October 2016.

"Works in Progress: The Social Mechanism of Supporting Entrepreneurial Projects Beyond the Classroom" at VentureWell OPEN conference in DC, March 2016.

8-Week Biotechnology Entrepreneurship Accelerator Program, Director and Facilitator, for BioTrep, Fall 2014.

 
Very stimulating! I liked the activities and I appreciated the interactive approach used; it was a good way to learn the process.
— Participant in "Essentials of Creative Problem Solving"
I realized how alike people really are - we seem to have all the same needs and fears, and if we talk more openly about these, deeper, more trusting relationships can form.
— Participant in "Did We Just Become Best Friends?": Bringing Strangers Closer in 45 Minutes