Meet the Innovation Fellows
The Faculty Innovation Fellows program aims to build and develop innovation and entrepreneurial
opportunities for students, faculty and community/industry partners.
Faculty Innovation Fellows will accomplish this in two ways: 1) each fellow will
lead their own innovation, start up, or entrepreneurial project and 2) serve as an
innovation ambassador to their respective college or University Library motivating
other faculty to engage in the process of innovating.
Five Fellows are selected to represent each college and the University Library, and
they will work to translate research, discovery, and entrepreneurial vision into applications
and processes that impact society.
College of Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics (CSTEM)
Carlos Luna Lopez - Assistant Professor, Biological Sciences
Innovation Project: Development of a face mask with targeted, aerosol-based drug delivery
Dr. Carlos Luna has a B.S. in Physics and a Ph.D. in Bioengineering both from the
University of Maryland and was a Postdoctoral Fellow at UCSD. His research laboratory
uses engineering and technology, such as bioprinting and microfabrication, to study
biological problems. He has been passionate about liposomes and their applications
in drug delivery since his days as an undergraduate researcher. He intends to pass
this passion for research to his students and use his knowledge to address today's
As a Faculty Innovation Fellow, Dr. Luna aims to incorporate drug delivery into face
masks. To do this, his lab will design aerosol generation devices to fit in a portable
face mask and then study the stability of lipid-based drug carriers after aerosolization.
He will work with CSUSM research students to take this important step towards incorporating
biotechnology into personal protective equipment.
Judy Opdahl – Buisness and Economics Librarian, University Library
Innovation Project: Entrepreneurial Research and the Embedded Academic Library
Judy has a Master of Library and Information Science from San José State University
and came to academic librarianship after having worked many years in Industry. She
joined the University Library in 2016 first as a Lecturer Librarian in the Teaching
and Learning Department and was selected the new Business and Economics Librarian
in February 2020. Her areas of research interests include practices of embedded librarianship,
which includes collaborations with disciplinary faculty in the development, teaching,
and integration of information literacy instruction throughout a course, and research
on accessibility, examining neurodiverse students in the academic library.
As a Faculty Innovation Fellow, Judy will engage in collaborations to embed the library
into the innovation ecosystem. Developing a research guide and user specific research
pathways for innovators and entrepreneurs use is an outcome of the fellowship. This
work will be informed by a review of the scholarly literature on library/librarian
practices of working with entrepreneurs and Innovation Labs along with along with
interviews of academic librarians who support entrepreneur students and innovation
spaces. Also important to this work is interviews of student entrepreneurs and leaders/directors
of local innovation hubs in order to understand the local and unique research and
information needs of these users.
College of Education, Health & Human Services (CEHHS)
Matthew Mincey - Lecturer, Nursing
Innovation Project: Exploring the Potential of a Mobile Health Clinic
Mr. Mincey has been a full-time lecturer with the School of Nursing since Fall 2015.
His responsibilities include both teaching clinical coursework and serving as the
clinical placements coordinator, which involves working with community partners to
arrange required clinical experiences for more than 500 undergraduate students. His
ability to problem-solve and generate novel solutions led to an innovative approach
for maintaining clinical experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic when many other
schools had to interrupt or pause their program.
As a Faculty Innovation Fellow, Mr. Mincey will explore the educational and community
benefits of incorporating a mobile health unit into student learning experiences across
all schools and departments within CEHHS.
College of Buisness Administration (CoBA)
Paola Ometto – Assistant Professor, Management
Innovation Project: Social Enterprises at CSUSM: Creating Opportunities for Social Innovation and for
Dr. Ometto is passionate about how businesses and organizations create social innovations
to tackle environmental and societal problems. In her research, she looked at how
university incubators deal with the conflicting goals of economic feasibility and
social impact when incubating social enterprises. Currently, she studies how community
characteristics impact the creation of social enterprises as well as how minority
individuals overcome barriers to become successful entrepreneurs. Prior to joining
CSUSM, she received her Ph.D. in Strategic Management and Organization at Alberta
Business School (University at Alberta) and a Ph.D. in Public Administration from
FGV-EAESP (Sao Paulo - Brazil). She has published her research at Business & Society,
Research in the Sociology of Organizations, and Social Responsibility Journals.
As a Faculty Innovation Fellow, she aims to develop a social enterprise incubation
program with two main goals: (1) to disseminate and train students on what is social
innovation and social enterprises, and (2) to help students to create and run their
own social enterprise.
College of Humanities, Arts, Behavioral & Social Sciences (CHABSS)
Lucy HG Solomon – Associate Professor, Media Design
Innovation Project: Ocean Biome Box
Lucy HG Solomon orients her teaching and research around the integration of art and
climate science, including working with students on the visualization of local and
remote climate data, the results of which are on display at the Data Stacks at Kellogg
Library. As a Fulbright scholar and collaborator with FeLT (Future of Living Technologies)
based out of Norway, Lucy HG Solomon is studying the microbiological terrain of the
Arctic. Cesar & Lois, her collective with collaborator Cesar Baio that integrates
art, science and technology, received the 2018 Lumen Prize in Artificial Intelligence,
a prize that celebrates digital art, and was recently selected for the 2022 Mercosul
Biennial in Brazil.
As a Faculty Innovation Fellow, Ms. Solomon seeks to convey the urgent dynamics of
the changing ocean, making global climate personal and inclusive. With the Ocean Biome Box, she will draw on the research of Dr. Betsy Read in Biological Sciences to simulate
the biotic elements of the ocean, including the unique algae that blooms in the sea
in response to environmental shifts. The project’s programmable water habitat will
reflect current oceanic readings to mirror a slice of ocean. She looks forward to integrating undergraduate research across art and science for
the development of this project.