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Meet the Innovation Fellows

The CSUSM Faculty Innovation Fellows program aims to build and develop innovation and entrepreneurial opportunities for students, faculty and community 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 Library motivating other faculty to engage in the process of innovating.

 Five Fellows are selected to represent each college and the Library, and they will work to translate research, discovery, and entrepreneurial vision into applications and processes that impact society.

The Library

Holly Hampton – Head of User Services, Library
Innovation Project: Social Innovation in Academic Libraries
Ms. Hampton’s philosophy includes ensuring the staff and faculty within her unit feel supported, empowered, engaged, and fulfilled. Her research examines the endless ways this philosophy can be applied and how each initiative changes the experience of library employees and library users. Since starting at CSUSM in 2019, Holly has pursued this philosophy by assisting with the implementation of Library Lockers, co-leading the Cougars Affordable Learning Materials initiative, serving on the Executive Board of the Black Faculty & Staff Association, co-creating the #BlackLivesMatter and Stop Asian Hate Resource Guides, collaborating with various departments on campus to teach students, staff, and faculty about CSUSM Library and the library profession, and much more.
As a Faculty Innovation Fellow, Holly seeks to investigate and implement social innovations in academic libraries which will result in a number of select innovations that can be pursued by CSUSM Library as well as address a gap in the research in the library profession. Upon identifying the types of social innovation in academic libraries and the common challenges, Holly will work with a new Library Student Advisory Board and other stakeholders to determine how they would like to pursue social innovation at CSUSM Library. Specific interests include initiatives related to sustainability and student services. 


carlos luna
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 problems.
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. 


matt mincey
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. 


paola ometto
Paola Ometto – Assistant Professor, Management
Innovation Project: Social Enterprises at CSUSM: Creating Opportunities for Social Innovation and for Experimental Learning  
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.



lucy solomon
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.