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Caltech Entrepreneurs Forum Speakers Biographies

Salomón Dávila
Dean of Career Technical Education, Pasadena City College (PCC)

Salomón Dávila is currently Dean of Career Technical Education at Pasadena City College (PCC), where he has been championing innovative programs that have enormously increased completion rates in the program. He has been extensively networking to tie his programs into the local technology business community and to increase the expectations and success of community college students. Before his stint at Pasadena City College he as an entrepreneur in the CAD/CAM design space and worked as an engineer in the telecommunications industry. Dávila has an undergraduate degree from MIT in mechanical engineering and a graduate degree in education from Harvard.

S. George Djorgovski
Professor of Astronomy, Caltech

S. George Djorgovski is a Professor of Astronomy at Caltech. After receiving his PhD from UC Berkeley, he was a Harvard Junior Fellow, before joining the Caltech faculty in 1987. He was a Presidential Young Investigator, an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Fellow, among other honors and distinctions, and he is an author or a coauthor of several hundred professional publications. He was one of the founders of the Virtual Observatory concept, the Chairman of the US National Virtual Observatory Science Definition Team, and one of the founders of the emerging field of Astroinformatics. His current interests include the questions of how information technology and computing are changing the ways we do science and scholarship in general, including education. Recently, he has been fighting in the MOOC trenches as well.

Hope Kandel
Project Management, LearningTimes

Hope Kandel is currently responsible for the day to day project management of LearningTimes’ online programs, conferences and events as well as fostering new client relationships and partnerships. Hope has produced successful LearningTimes online conferences for a wide variety of organizations ranging from libraries to health professionals to historical interpreters. Most recently Hope has been tasked with project management duties for LearningTimes' sister company, Credly, which is an open digital credential and engagement system used in K-20 settings, museums, libraries and community centers.

Before joining LearningTimes, Hope Kandel was the Executive Producer of live online library programs for LearningWeek, a weekly interactive webcast examining the people, technology and business of education. Library editions covered virtual reference desks, censorship and First Amendment issues, as well as a range of professional development topics reaching thousands of library and education professionals. Prior to her return to New York, Hope managed all of the Electronic Marketing and Communications functions for the data integration software company, Evolutionary Technologies International, ETI. Hope’s interest in effective teaching and learning online began while she was in graduate school. Among her responsibilities in running The University of Texas at Austin’s School of Information Multimedia lab, Hope designed media-rich CD and web based tutorials and taught various short courses.

Hope holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Rutgers University and a Masters in Library and Information Science from The University of Texas at Austin. With 20 years of experience in education, technology, and online learning, Hope Kandel is inherently excited by the path of technology and education. Where once these two areas seemed to meet at one point of intersection, technology and education are becoming increasingly parallel and blended. While some questions about this path have been sufficiently answered, important queries concerning efficacy, disruption, access, engagement and mastery still remain.

Artia Moghbel
Co-Founder & CEO, Glean

Artia Moghbel Artia is the co-founder and CEO of Glean, a personalized learning platform for online educational videos. Glean features over 1,200 teachers and 15,000 video lessons in subjects ranging from Algebra to Organic Chemistry, and matches students with the best teacher based on their learning style and abilities.

Prior to starting Glean, Artia was an investor at Greycroft Partners, a digital media venture capital fund investing in Internet startups. Before Greycroft, Artia worked for L.E.K. Consulting as a management consultant, where he served clients in the media & entertainment, technology, and consumer products industries. Additionally, Artia is a two-time entrepreneur, having built and sold SchoolRack, a learning management system for K-12, and Trezr, an online social shopping platform.

Joan Horvath
Vice President of Business Development, Deezmaker 3D printing

Joan Horvath Joan Horvath is vice president of business development at Deezmaker 3D printing, where she draws on her background as a rocket scientist to explore new markets and collaborations. She also has current appointments as a National University Community Research Fellow and as Core Adjunct faculty for National University’s College of Letters and Sciences. She has taught at the university level in a variety of institutions both in Southern California and online. Prior to that, she spent sixteen years at the NASA/Caltech Jet Propulsion Laboratory, where she worked in programs including the technology transfer office, the Magellan spacecraft to Venus and the TOPEX/Poseidon oceanography spacecraft. She holds an undergraduate degree from MIT in Aeronautics and Astronautics, and an engineering Master’s degree from UCLA. She coauthored an art book on Saturn, authored a book about what scientists actually do, and is the author or coauthor of various technical papers. She is President of the MIT Class of 1981, VP Communications of the MIT Club of Southern California, a member of the Executive Committee of the Caltech Entrepreneurs Forum, and a full-garden docent and member of the Botanical Volunteer Board at the Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens.

Goran Matijasevic, Ph.D.
Executive Director, Chief Executive Roundtable, UC Irvine

Goran Matijasevic, Ph.D. Goran Matijasevic is Executive Director of the Chief Executive Roundtable at the University of California, Irvine. In that capacity, he oversees and advances research collaborations and strategic initiatives associated with Roundtable programs, protocol and mission objectives. He also serves as UC Irvine's ambassador to the local business community, establishing partnerships and opportunities that serve to enhance leader-to-leader connections across all campus interdisciplinary fields. Prior to this position, he was director of research development at The Henry Samueli School of Engineering at UC Irvine and also research coordinator of the Integrated Nanosystems Research Facility, where he worked on formation of new industry-university and academic collaborations, especially focusing on new interdisciplinary research initiatives. Prior to UCI, he worked as a senior engineer at QPlus, a telecommunications start-up company, and Director of Research at Ormet Technologies, a developer of electronic materials and technologies. He managed multiple SBIR projects that led to several industry consortia projects, as well as a license agreement with a Fortune 100 company. He has 4 U.S. patents, 3 book chapters, and over 40 conference and journal publications and has served on the NEMI Industry Roadmap committee. He is currently on the OCTANe (Orange County Technology Action Network) Tech and Biomedical Industry Leadership Councils and on the Boards of Southern California Biomedical Council and TriTech Small Business Development Center. Goran received his PhD from UC Irvine in Electrical and Computer Engineering and his MBA from Pepperdine University. He may be reached at goran@uci.edu.

Julie-ann Pina

Julie-ann Pina is a startup executive who often handles the CFO/CXO role for organizations in their infancy. Julie-ann has a unique ability to improve the financial and operational results of small, rapid-growth businesses. Her clients can position themselves to secure better funding and partnerships because product development and delivery, marketing, and operations are more aligned for business results and financial feasibility. Julie-ann provides whole-enterprise analysis and integration as a financial executive. Her insight also allows Julie-ann to protect clients from the hidden mistakes that startups can face when seeking funding. With a commitment to fostering a team environment, she has a history of working in both an established corporations and startups where her ingenuity, creativity and flexibility have provided the spark that ignites organizations to greater levels of achievement.

Julie-ann has worked with a range of Southern California organizations including Edwards Life Sciences and Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. Prior to starting her consulting practice, Julie-ann was a Vice President at Bank of America where she worked in originating public securities offerings and project finance. She has also interned with Chase Capital Partners (a large venture capital firm). Julie-ann is a supporter of STEM education, has coached several FLL competition robotics teams and is also involved with the Rock n’ Roll Robots team. Her garage projects include a small consumer robot and an improvement to an in-home electrical device. Julie-ann earned her MBA from the University of Southern California, with a certificate in Technology Commercialization. At USC, she achieved Beta Gamma Sigma honors, was a CGSM Fellow, and invested a portion of the University endowment for a year. Julie-ann’s BA is in Quantitative Economics from UC Berkeley. She is an active member of the USC alumni association including acting as a judge for business plan competitions and offering her services to members of the AIM incubator. She has been a member of the Caltech Entrepreneurs Forum since 2012 and joined the Pasadena Angels in 2014.