Meet the Focus Week Instructors


Michael Zentner, PhD, MBA

Michael is co-PI of the SGCI, leading the Incubator effort. Michael is also a Senior Research Scientist and Director of HUBzero® Platform for Science and Engineering, co-PI on the project (a science gateway serving over 1.4 million visitors annually), and an Entrepreneur in Residence at the Purdue Foundry. Michael has previously been a technology company founder or senior team member for 18 years, has worked extensively to apply research in industry, and currently oversees the development and deployment of the HUBzero® science gateway platform, a self-sustaining business unit comprised of 25 full-time professionals at Purdue University.

Juliana Casavan

Juliana is the Entrepreneurial Programs Manager at The Foundry at Purdue University. Juliana provides educational and workshop opportunities for clients of The Purdue Foundry, a nationally recognized leader in the translation of research to market, with the primary workshop called LaunchBox. She has been providing the LaunchBox program to faculty, staff, students and community members for over 4 years.

Sandra Gesing, PhD

Sandra is a research assistant professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering and computational scientist at the Center for Research Computing at the University of Notre Dame. Sandra’s research focuses on science gateways, workflows, and distributed computing and she has organized and chaired dozens of international workshops and conferences. Additionally, she has perennial experience as project manager and system developer in industry and is the founder of a start-up company.

Mark Krenz

Mark is the Lead Security Analyst at Indiana University's Center for Applied Cybersecurity Research with over two decades of experience in information security and system administration spread across multiple sectors. His interests at CACR include policy development, operational security development, security auditing, and security education. He contributes to the NSF Cybersecurity Center of Excellence, which partners with SGCI.

Nancy Maron, MA

Nancy is founder and principal of BlueSky to BluePrint, a strategic research and consulting organization. She is the author of several research reports and guides on business strategy and sustainability including A Guide to the Best Revenue Models and Funding Sources for your Digital Resources (2014), Sustaining the Digital Humanities: Host Institution Support Beyond the Start-up Phase (June 2014) and many case studies of sustainable initiatives. She created and regularly leads workshops in sustainability and business strategy, including the Sustaining Digital Resources course.

Suresh Marru, MS

Suresh is Deputy Director of the Science Gateway Research Center at Indiana University and vice-president of the Apache Airavata project. Suresh is an avid advocate of applying meritocratic governance principles to open source communities and is a nominated Member of the Apache Software Foundation. His research interest is to advance the deep and wide boundaries of computational and data sciences empowered by Science Gateways.

Rick Mouser

Rick is the Business Development Specialist for HUBzero® at Purdue University. Rick works to develop new business relationships for those interested in using the services provided though HUBzero®. Since graduating from Purdue University in 2010, Rick has worked to develop business relationships for the Purdue Sports program through sponsorship sales and also to generate major gift donations for the College of Health and Human Sciences at Purdue University. 

Nayiri Mullinix, MA

Nayiri is the Community Engagement and Exchange Coordinator for the Science Gateways Community Institute (SGCI). Based at the University of Michigan, Nayiri oversees community engagement for SGCI, which includes overseeing marketing and communications efforts, organizing a variety of opportunities for exchange, and providing diverse resources and professional development opportunities.

Paul Parsons, PhD

Paul is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Computer Graphics Technology at Purdue University. Dr. Parsons’ research is in the area of human-computer interaction (HCI) with a focus on interaction design, visualization, and cognition. He is interested in designing interactive systems that are useful, effective, and usable. He teaches several classes at both the undergraduate and graduate levels in the User Experience (UX) Design program at Purdue University.

Nate Snodgrass

Nate is the Program Manager for HUBzero® at Purdue University. Nate oversees the financial and business operations of HUBzero® as well as managing the group’s project portfolio and client relationships. After graduating from Purdue University in 2002, he worked in private industry at General Electric as a financial analyst before returning to his alma mater in 2006 to work in various financial management roles within the central Information Technology organization and the College of Health and Human Sciences. 

Claire Stirm, MS

Claire Stirm is the Engagement Manager for the Science Gateways Community Institute (SGCI) and HUBzero® platform at Purdue University. She has consulted with over 85 science gateways through HUBzero® and SGCI. She manages the SGCI Incubator consulting engagements regarding cybersecurity, UX, business, marketing, licensing, and project sustainability. Claire also coordinates Gateway Focus Weeks, a week-long workshop for research teams, which has worked with over 210 attendees.