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University of Wisconsin-Parkside Chancellor Dr. Deborah Ford was selected to join the Board of Trustees for WiSys.

The nonprofit organization promotes research, innovation and entrepreneurship on the campuses of the 11 regional comprehensive University of Wisconsin System schools, including UW-Parkside.

“We’re excited to have Dr. Ford’s support, energy and enthusiasm to carry out our mission of inspiring Wisconsin innovation,” said WiSys President Arjun Sanga. “Dr. Ford has been a champion of innovation at UW-Parkside and a great partner on WiSys programs.”

WiSys and Ford worked together to boost the UW-Parkside App Factory—a creative, professional, interdisciplinary group at UW-Parkside that develops mobile apps for community clients throughout southeastern Wisconsin.

Ford also assisted WiSys in launching the organization’s ambassador program, which employs students to help bring together the research, innovation and entrepreneurship communities on UW System campuses.

Recently, Ford co-authored a case study with Sanga, and other UW System leaders, that was presented at the international University-Industry Interaction Conference.

The main theme of the presentation, “Innovation and the Wisconsin Idea: Undergraduate Research, Entrepreneurship and Technology Transfer,” was that “innovation doesn’t just happen in big cities and at large universities.”

“We are delighted that Dr. Ford will be joining the WiSys Board. She has been a great advocate for innovation and research and has supported faculty and student innovators on her campus and across the System,” said WiSys board chair David J. Ward.

Ford fills a specific role on the board set aside for a chancellor from a WiSys university. She was recommended for the post by former UW System President Ray Cross.

Additionally, Ford will step into the role of chair of the WiSys Advisory Committee. She has served on that committee since April 2014.

Ford is UW-Parkside’s sixth Chancellor. Previously, Ford served as Vice President for Student Affairs at the University of West Florida, and Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students at Spalding University, Kentucky.

WiSys is a nonprofit organization that works with faculty, staff, students, and alumni of the UW System to facilitate cutting-edge research programs, develop and commercialize discoveries and foster a spirit of innovative and entrepreneurial thinking across the state. 


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