The Baker Institute team is a small group of talented individuals who are dedicated to our students' success. The Institute is an entrepreneurial venture itself and we practice what we preach: we look for opportunities to create value for our customers by understanding their needs and providing solutions that are transformative.
Lisa Getzler is Executive Director of Lehigh University's Baker Institute for Entrepreneurship, Creativity & Innovation, which was launched in 2010 to create a culture of entrepreneurship across the university, promote innovative thinking and foster the realization of entrepreneurial ideas.
Lisa is responsible for the Institute's strategy, mission driven program design, internal and external partnerships and developing the resources needed to provide students from all disciplines with opportunities to develop their entrepreneurial mindset and actionable skills as well as their early stage ventures. Design Thinking is at the heart of Baker Institute programming and Lisa has been a DT practitioner and facilitator for over a decade. Lisa has worked to champion forward looking approaches to students' intellectual property and is nationally known for developing assessment tools to directly measure student performance in multi-disciplined, team-based, immersive learning environments. The assessment measures she developed for the Integrated Product Development Capstone Program at Lehigh University, have been recognized as best practices in assessment of student performance and adopted by similar programs across the country.
These works have been the basis for partnerships with peer institutions, garnering National Science Foundation funding and have been recognized by ABET, the accrediting agency for academic programs in applied science, computing, engineering and engineering technology.
In 2017 she spearheaded Lehigh@NasdaqCenter, a partnership between Lehigh and the Nasdaq Entrepreneurial Center in San Francisco, providing Lehigh a permanent, year-round academic presence on the West Coast, particularly in the globally renowned startup hub of nearby Silicon Valley. Lisa is a co-founder of TEDxLehighRiver where she serves as curator and speaker coach. Lisa was named a Lehigh Valley Business Women of Influence and is the recipient of Lehigh U's Hillman Award for her major impact on advancing the role of entrepreneurship at Lehigh, and has served on the executive board of directors at the Nasdaq Entrepreneurial Center.
Director of Lehigh Ventures Lab
Dr. Andrew A. Hill is the first Director of Lehigh Ventures Lab. He joined Lehigh after co-founding an ed-tech startup that provides leadership and management training programs and content to non-profit organizations. Prior to that, Andrew was the Chair of Strategic Leadership and a Professor at the United States Army War College, which provides leadership education to leaders in the U.S. national security community, and conducts research and advisory work for senior national security leaders. During his 8 years at the War College, Andrew founded War Room, the online journal of the Army War College, and the Carlise Scholars Program, a special program for select students who focus on consulting and advisory projects on current national security challenges. In 2014, Andrew served as a special advisor to the head of the UN Mission for Emergency Ebola Response.
His research interests focus on strategic analysis, and on the intersection of strategy, innovation, and organizational behavior. He has been published in Harvard Business Review and top national security journals. Before pursuing his doctorate, Andrew worked for several years in international finance.
Andrew holds a Doctorate from Harvard Business School, a Master's in Public Policy from the University of California, Berkeley, a Bachelor's degree in Latin from Brigham Young University, and a "World's Greatest Dad" tie from his kids. He and his wife, Kristin, reside in Lancaster County, PA.
Innovation Programs Manager
In this role, Renée is responsible for building the entrepreneurship community at Lehigh through Baker's many programs and initiatives. She brings two decades of entrepreneurship to the Baker team. Through Renée Baran Presentations, she designed and presented student development workshops for high school and college students as well as professional teams. She is a 1994 graduate of Elizabethtown College with a B.A. in Communications/Public Relations and received her M.Ed in Higher and Postsecondary Education in 2012 from Argosy University.
Chris Kauzmann teaches entrepreneurship and design thinking at Lehigh University. Chris's main focus is to assist and encourage students at any and every point in their entrepreneurial journey in and out of the classroom. Chris graduated from Lehigh University in 2013 with a Mechanical Engineering degree and Entrepreneurship Minor, followed by a Master's of Engineering in Technical Entrepreneurship in 2014.
Senior Administrative Coordinator
With over a decade of service at Lehigh, Catherine is a highly visible, key player within the Baker Institute. Her duties are wide-ranging and cut across numerous programs and events. She provides support and assistance to the Executive Director as well as managing day-to-day operations within Baker, including financials for all programs. Catherine is also responsible for managing its flagship LehighSiliconValley program as the Logistics Manager for LSV.
Young Entrepreneur in Residence
Brian Quispe graduated from Lehigh University in 2020 with his Bachelor’s of Science in Finance and Economics followed by a Master’s Degree in Applied Economics in 2022. As a student he participated in several Baker Institute programs including the Hatchery and EUREKA! Pitch night events with his venture OcuTrap eventually winning the Thalheimer Grand Prize in 2021. In Brian's role he helps early stage student startup teams through the EUREKA! Ventures Project Program. He runs the "What to do with an Idea" sessions in which he offers pre-pitch coaching and direct support to teams.
Media and Marketing Associate
Alex Copits is a senior at Lehigh majoring in Marketing and Management Consulting and minoring in Entrepreneurship. She currently works at the Baker Institute as a marketing intern and has participated in a number of Baker programs such as Lehigh Silicon Valley and the Global Entrepreneurial Fellowship in addition to taking many of the Entrepreneurship classes offered at Lehigh. She is hoping to use this experience to develop her marketing knowledge and to connect the study body of Lehigh to the world of entrepreneurship.
Cedrique Wafula is a sophomore at Lehigh University's College of Business. Cedrique supports the Baker Institute's R.I.S.E. (Rightful Inclusive Student Entrepreneurship) associate in conducting primary research and qualitative data collection with the goal of understanding the why and the how behind the explicit, implicit, and systemic barriers that students must navigate on their path to entrepreneurial thinking and doing. In his current role , Cedrique will continue to inform the institute’s language, practices, and program design to foster the intentional creation of equitable and inclusive opportunities for students from under-represented groups on Lehigh University’s campus.