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Oklahoma State University
Riata Center for Entrepreneurship

Spears School of Business at Oklahoma State University

The Past Fellows

2014-2015 Faculty Fellows

Phil Choo

College of Arts & Science

Phil Choo, Associate professor and Designer, teaches graphic design courses at Oklahoma State University. Choo earned his MFA from Iowa State University and was an assistant professor at the University of Minnesota for three years before joining OSU in 2005. He creates body of work to challenge and value design as a creative problem-solving process, making objects, need finding, risk-taking, redefining lives, beauty combined with effectiveness, and the outcome of collaborations. After years of his success as a graphic designer, he is currently expanding his research interests to 3D functional objects and interdisciplinary study with Business, Engineering, and other disciplines. His work ranges from printed design to interactive design.

Adam Cobb

Adam Cobb

Department of Natural Resource Ecology and Management Project

Project: Improving the livelihoods of farmers by reducing fertilizer costs through ecological drivers

Adam is currently a Ph.D Candidate in the department of Natural Resource Ecology and Management. His research relates to sorghum and bean crops and their interaction with arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi in the soil. Adam completed his Master’s in International Agriculture in 2011. Because he grew up in the Philippine Islands, he has an interest in poverty reduction projects and sustainable agriculture methods. Riata funding is used to assess soil ecological drivers, like AM fungi, as a way to reduce the fertilizer cost of food crops while boosting nutritional content at the same time. Currently, research sites in Nicaragua are being prepared as a field study in partnership with Opportunity International.

Lloyd Caldwell

College of Arts & Science

Project: Writing a book on Arts Entrepreneurship

Lloyd Caldwell is a member of the Theatre Faculty of Oklahoma State University, and a Riata Fellow & Free Enterprise Institute Fellow in the Spears School of Business. In a career spanning 30 years he has appeared off-Broadway and regionally, and in feature films and television. His credits include roles at the American Place Theatre, The Roundabout Theatre, La Mama Theatre Company, and a national tour as John Adams in 1776. His acting film credits include The Group, Dropped Frames, Resistance, and A Great Day. Since 1986 Lloyd has choreographed stage combat for 93 professional productions and 120 university productions in Canada, the United States and Europe. His fight choreography credits include the Undermain Theatre, The Traverse Theatre of Glasgow, The Berlin Comic Opera, the Royal Norwegian Opera, and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Lloyd is one of the founders of the International Order of the Sword and Pen, and served a five year appointment as the Executive Director. Through his company, Bladework, he has provided a wide variety of services to clients such as Universal Studios, Kings Productions, NBC, CBS, the BBC, and RTE’. In August he completed fight choreography for his ninth production of MACBETH, produced by Shakespeare Dallas. Lloyd is currently directing the upcoming production of All in The Timing.

Mihyun Kang

Mihyun Kang

Department of Design, Housing, & Merchandising

Project: Development of Curricular for the Interior Design and Entrepreneurship Program

Mihyun Kang is an Associate Professor in the Department of Design, Housing and Merchandising at the College of Human Sciences. She focuses her scholarly work on sustainability in terms of both interior design and facility management to minimize negative effects and maximize positive effects on environmental, economic, and social systems over the life cycle of a building. She also has interests in design methodology for special populations to solve complex contemporary interior design problems. Her work as a Riata Faculty fellow will focus on the development of curricular for the Interior Design and Entrepreneurship program. A course assignment entitled Rebuilding Community: Value Proposition and Retail Space Design will be developed and implemented for Interior Design and Entrepreneurship students. It will allow interior design students to plan and execute an interior environment with an entrepreneurial perspective in the context of community, while entrepreneurship students will come to understand comprehensive retail environments that support and affect business.

Krishnan R. Vaidyanathan

School of Materials Science & Engineering

Project: Developing a major research and technology transfer thrust in polymers and composite materials

Dr. Ranji Vaidyanathan is presently the Varnadow Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at the Helmerich Research Center at OSU Tulsa. He was previously the Director of the New Product Development Center (NPDC) and the Inventors Assistance Service (IAS) at Oklahoma State University. At Oklahoma State University, Ranji works collaboratively with faculty members from various disciplines and colleges to develop products and solutions for Oklahoma small manufacturers. As the Varnadow Professor, Dr. Vaidyanathan works with the Helmerich Research Center faculty to develop a major research and technology transfer thrust in polymers and composite materials.

Mary Ruppert-Stroescu

Mary Ruppert-Stroescu

Design, Housing, & Merchandising Department

Project: Fostering entrepreneurship in the apparel industry, in both fashion and functional categories

Currently an Assistant Professor of Apparel Design and Textile Science, Mary Ruppert-Stroescu’s teaching and research centers around creative thinking. Current research and design topics include wearable sensing systems, sustainable textiles and apparel. She possesses international management and design experience. Applying creativity to apparel design for both fashion and function. Mary is most concerned with finding ways to develop ideas into reality. She began teaching full-time for ESMOD Casablanca, in Morocco, and has been teaching fashion design for over 15 years while designing for exhibit, winning the International Textile and Apparel Association Award for Excellence in Design Development using Draping. Mary served on the faculty of Stephens College for ten years, where she held the administrative positions of Study Abroad and Internship Coordinator as well as Fashion Chair. She has also directed fashion programs at the International Academy of Design and Technology in Chicago and LaSalle College, Morocco. Ruppert-Stroescu joined the faculty of Lasell College in August of 2008 as Associate Professor and Chair of the Fashion Department.

Nurhan Dunford

Nurhan Dunford

Department of Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering

Project: Development of a Wheat Biorefinery System for Oklahoma

Dr. Dunford is a professor in the Department of Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering. She is also on staff at the Robert M. Kerr Food & Agricultural Products Center. Dr. Dunford is a registered Professional Engineer, a Certified Food Scientist and a Fulbright Scholar. Dr. Dunford’s experience as an engineer and scientist encompasses over thirty years including positions in Turkey, Canada and U.S.A. She has been awarded numerous national and international awards and inducted into Phi Beta Delta Epsilon Upsilon, honor society for international scholars. She teaches graduate level bioprocessing courses and provides technical support to producers and processors in Oklahoma through her extension appointment. Dunford’s research focuses on improving existing and developing new bioprocessing technologies; examining potential of non-food biomass as biofuel and bioproduct feedstocks; and advancing utilization of by-products/waste streams for biofuel production and value-added product development.

Nathan Richardson

Nathan Richardson

Department: School of Architecture

Project: Establishing a cross-disciplinary academic collaboration between Architecture and the School of Entrepreneurship

Nathan Richardson is an associate professor in the School of Architecture. His work as a fellow is focused on the integration of design and entrepreneurship in teaching and scholarship. His current research addresses poverty-related concerns in developing countries through architectural interventions. One such project is focused on the design and construction of low-cost structures for residents and entrepreneurs in Nicaragua. Nathan teaches interdisciplinary coursework in architecture, entrepreneurship and real estate development. He received his Master of Design Studies with Distinction from Harvard University, a Bachelor of Architecture degree from Oklahoma State University and is a licensed architect in Oklahoma and Massachusetts.