Cole’s “blue collar futurist” approach guides his interdisciplinary collaborative work. His personal interests in family, music, comedy and social justice mix effortlessly with his professional background of rehabilitation, neuroscience, child development, human-machine interaction and open source culture. His research and prototype development work — focused on the key role of social mobility in life — serves to directly challenge the out of date culture of pediatric and adult rehabilitation with a highly hopeful set of alternative products and processes. As the Founder of Go Baby Go (GBG) – a +90 chapter research, education and advocacy movement — he invents and studies assistive devices for children and adults with severe mobility issues. His approach of combining high tech and low tech into “go tech” has garnered funding, awards and partnerships with top tier organizations including the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, Department of Education, the Smithsonian’s American History Museum, the medical and toy industries such as Fischer Price, and the American Physical Therapy Association. His latest push is to exponentially scale up GBG curriculum into primary and secondary STEM/STEAM education in the US and abroad.
Rita Landgraf joined the University of Delaware’s College of Health Sciences in early 2017 as professor of practice and distinguished health and social services administrator in residence. She also serves as director of the UD Partnership for Healthy Communities (PHC), a cross-college, cross-state initiative.
Prior to joining the faculty at UD, she served as Cabinet Secretary of the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services from Jan. 22, 2009 through Feb 6, 2017, under Governor Jack Markell’s administration. As Secretary, she led the principal agency charged with keeping Delawareans healthy, ensuring they get the health care they need, and providing children, families, individuals with disabilities and seniors with the essential services they depend on. She managed one of the largest departments in Delaware’s government, with an annual budget of more than $2 billion.
Rita currently serves as a member of the Democrat Governor’s Association Healthcare Advisory Council and is on the Board of multiple state organizations focused on advancing the health and well-being of our citizens. She is a former executive director of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Delaware and of The Arc of Delaware, which advocates for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. She is also a former president of AARP Delaware.
Charles Heckscher is a Distinguished Professor at Rutgers University and co-Director of the Center for the Study of Collaboration. His research interests include societal trust, organization change, and the changing nature of employee representation. He has also worked as a practitioner and consultant on processes of organizational development, primarily in the telecommunications industry. Before coming to Rutgers he worked for the Communications Workers’ union and taught Human Resources Management at the Harvard Business School; he has also taught at the Wharton School and Sciences-Po (Paris). His books include The New Unionism, White-Collar Blues, Agents of Change, and The Collaborative Enterprise. His latest book, Trust in a Complex World, won the 2016 George R. Terry prize from the Academy of Management as “the book judged to have made the most outstanding contribution to the global advancement of management knowledge during the last two years.”
Allison Karpyn, PhD is Senior Associate Director of the University of Delaware at the Center for Research in Education and Social Policy (CRESP) and Associate Professor in the Department of the Human Development and Family Studies at the University Delaware. Dr. Karpyn, in her 20 years of practice, has published widely in journals across sectors from health to education and the environment including the journal Pediatrics, Preventive Medicine and Educational Leadership. Her work spans the areas of program evaluation methods, uses qualitative and quantitative menthols and addresses issue of healthy food access and equity in education.
Dr. Karpyn has hands-on experience working in community settings alongside residents, retailers and schools to test how interventions can be implemented, to understand community interests and concerns and to ascertain impacts of programs intended to make changes in communities At highest risk for health and education inequities.
Most recently, Dr. Karpyn was named a Fulbright Scholar to study food insecurity in the Bahamas. In addition to her position at the University of Delaware, she is a Fellow at the University of Pennsylvania’s Center for Public Health Initiatives. Allison earned her Bachelor’s degree in Public Health at The Johns Hopkins University and her Masters and Doctorate degrees in Policy Research Evaluation and Measurement at The University of Pennsylvania. She is mother to two girls aged 14 and 9.