About Us

The College of Innovation and Design (CID) is about nurturing new ideas – born out of the best faculty, student, and community input to ensure the growth and value of a Boise State education.

From a cross-disciplinary major to new courses designed to build skills employers demand to re-imagining the future of a university, CID is looking to incubate the most innovative and exciting ideas facing Boise State and higher education today.

A description of our goals and how our programs are innovating in higher ed, look through our 2019 Annual Report. An accessible version is available at this link: http://bit.ly/2K8rkKL  

For the latest CI+D news, view our Fall 2019 newsletter and subscribe to future newsletters.

CONTACT US

Below is a list of our Program Directors and Dean’s Office staff. If you are not sure who to contact, please email cid@boisestate.edu and we will route you to the right person!

Meet the Dean's Office Team

  • Gordon Jones

    Gordon Jones

    Founding Dean

    Gordon Jones is the founding Dean of the College of Innovation and Design (CID) at Boise State University as of June 2015. CID is a diploma granting college tasked with identifying new pathways of learning (from new degrees to co-curricular learning experiences) that yield skills to meet emerging workplace needs for students across public higher education. Prior to his role at Boise State, Gordon served as the Evans Family Foundation Managing Director of the Harvard Innovation Lab. Hired as the inaugural Director in 2011, Gordon has led the i-lab from launch to maturity with 600 ventures incubated and $250M raised in professional funding since opening. Gordon has 20 years of experience with startups, mid-sized, and Fortune 500 companies across multiple industries. He has also served as an Adjunct Lecturer at Bentley University, teaching marketing to MBA and undergraduate students. Organizations with whom he has worked include: American Biophysics (purchased by Woodstream), Universal Pest Solutions, Gillette, Procter & Gamble, and The Orme School. He graduated from Brown University (BA) and earned an MBA from the Stanford University Graduate School of Business.

    Gordon Jones is the founding Dean of the College of Innovation and Design (CID) at Boise State University as of June 2015. CID is a diploma granting college tasked with identifying new pathways of learning (from new degrees to co-curricular learning experiences) that yield skills to meet emerging workplace needs for students across public higher education. Prior to his role at Boise State, Gordon served as the Evans Family Foundation Managing Director of the Harvard Innovation Lab. Hired as the inaugural Director in 2011, Gordon has led the i-lab from launch to maturity with 600 ventures incubated and $250M raised in professional funding since opening. Gordon has 20 years of experience with startups, mid-sized, and Fortune 500 companies across multiple industries. He has also served as an Adjunct Lecturer at Bentley University, teaching marketing to MBA and undergraduate students. Organizations with whom he has worked include: American Biophysics (purchased by Woodstream), Universal Pest Solutions, Gillette, Procter & Gamble, and The Orme School. He graduated from Brown University (BA) and earned an MBA from the Stanford University Graduate School of Business.

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    Shawn Benner

    Associate Dean

    Shawn Benner is the Associate Dean in the College of Innovation and Design and the Director of the Human-Environment Systems Program. Shawn received his BA from Colorado College, MS from the University of Montana and his PhD from the University in Waterloo. His scholarship focuses on student-oriented environmental research addressing problems of immediate value to society; he has authored over 50 peer-reviewed publications. Prior to joining Boise State, Shawn held a post-doctoral position at Stanford University and was a Research Scientist at the Desert Research Institute. As a professor in Geosciences at Boise State, Shawn helped build the innovative ‘sophomore core’ undergraduate curriculum, which helped more than double major recruitment and retention. He was the Boise State lead on the multi-institutional, $25,000,000, Idaho NSF-EPSCoR Program, managed the Trace Analytical Facility, and co-founded the Human-Environment Systems program.

    Shawn Benner is the Associate Dean in the College of Innovation and Design and the Director of the Human-Environment Systems Program. Shawn received his BA from Colorado College, MS from the University of Montana and his PhD from the University in Waterloo. His scholarship focuses on student-oriented environmental research addressing problems of immediate value to society; he has authored over 50 peer-reviewed publications. Prior to joining Boise State, Shawn held a post-doctoral position at Stanford University and was a Research Scientist at the Desert Research Institute. As a professor in Geosciences at Boise State, Shawn helped build the innovative ‘sophomore core’ undergraduate curriculum, which helped more than double major recruitment and retention. He was the Boise State lead on the multi-institutional, $25,000,000, Idaho NSF-EPSCoR Program, managed the Trace Analytical Facility, and co-founded the Human-Environment Systems program.

  • Veronica Cuppy

    Outreach Coordinator

    Veronica came to the College of Innovation and Design after working in the Advising and Academic Support Center (AASC) for the past three years. Prior to her time in AASC, she worked with international students on campus for five years in the Intensive English Program. She earned her Bachelor of Science Degree from California State Polytechnic University, and both a Graduate Certificate in Conflict Management and a Masters in Public Administration from Boise State University.

    Veronica came to the College of Innovation and Design after working in the Advising and Academic Support Center (AASC) for the past three years. Prior to her time in AASC, she worked with international students on campus for five years in the Intensive English Program. She earned her Bachelor of Science Degree from California State Polytechnic University, and both a Graduate Certificate in Conflict Management and a Masters in Public Administration from Boise State University.

  • Linda Easley

    Operations Manager

    Linda Easley is the first face you’ll see when you enter the College of Innovation and Design. Responsible for budgets, overseeing management of the college space, and coordinating closely with program directors regarding purchasing and program needs, the college couldn’t run without her. She’s responsible for all things human resources, including hiring, supervising student workers, and coordinating adjunct professors. Linda is from Boise, Idaho originally and has a BS in Nursing from Walla Walla University and an MBA from Boise State University.

    Linda Easley is the first face you’ll see when you enter the College of Innovation and Design. Responsible for budgets, overseeing management of the college space, and coordinating closely with program directors regarding purchasing and program needs, the college couldn’t run without her. She’s responsible for all things human resources, including hiring, supervising student workers, and coordinating adjunct professors. Linda is from Boise, Idaho originally and has a BS in Nursing from Walla Walla University and an MBA from Boise State University.

  • Jillana Finnegan

    Director of Programs

    As Director of Programs, Jillana Finnegan supports the Human Environment Systems research group, User Experience Research,  Vertically Integrated Projects, and the LEAD program for leadership development. Finnegan has worked at the university since 2006, working in service-learning and academice support programs.  She earned both her master’s degree in public policy and administration and a bachelor of science in history, psychology and health science at Boise State University.

    As Director of Programs, Jillana Finnegan supports the Human Environment Systems research group, User Experience Research,  Vertically Integrated Projects, and the LEAD program for leadership development. Finnegan has worked at the university since 2006, working in service-learning and academice support programs.  She earned both her master’s degree in public policy and administration and a bachelor of science in history, psychology and health science at Boise State University.

  • Heather Kimmett

    Director of Development

    Heather Kimmett is Director of Development for the College of Innovation and Design where she helps secure resources to advance the mission and vision of CID and the University. She joined University Advancement in May of 2018 after having spent eleven years coordinating the local giving program for a national bank. Heather holds a bachelor of science in Marketing Management from Western Governors University.

    Heather Kimmett is Director of Development for the College of Innovation and Design where she helps secure resources to advance the mission and vision of CID and the University. She joined University Advancement in May of 2018 after having spent eleven years coordinating the local giving program for a national bank. Heather holds a bachelor of science in Marketing Management from Western Governors University.

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    Amanda Ryan

    Advising & Career Coordinator

    Amanda joined the College of Innovation and Design in 2018 where she does academic and career advising for the Games, Interactive Media and Mobile technology degree, as well as supports special CI+D initiatives related to continuous improvement. Amanda earned both her Master of Arts in Technical Communication and Bachelor of General Studies from Boise State University. She also holds certificates in leadership from Idaho State University and technical communication from Boise State. She is currently working on her Ph.D. in Psychology with an emphasis on Cognition & Instruction. Prior to working in higher education Amanda spent 8 years working in management and operations in the craft beer industry.

    Amanda joined the College of Innovation and Design in 2018 where she does academic and career advising for the Games, Interactive Media and Mobile technology degree, as well as supports special CI+D initiatives related to continuous improvement. Amanda earned both her Master of Arts in Technical Communication and Bachelor of General Studies from Boise State University. She also holds certificates in leadership from Idaho State University and technical communication from Boise State. She is currently working on her Ph.D. in Psychology with an emphasis on Cognition & Instruction. Prior to working in higher education Amanda spent 8 years working in management and operations in the craft beer industry.

  • Alison Skilbred

    Director of Programs

    Alison serves as a Director of Programs in the Dean’s office over Bridge to Career, the ID:EA certificate, three emerging workforce development programs, and a variety of special projects in service of the college and the university. Prior to joining Boise State, Alison worked in media and financial services.

    Alison serves as a Director of Programs in the Dean’s office over Bridge to Career, the ID:EA certificate, three emerging workforce development programs, and a variety of special projects in service of the college and the university. Prior to joining Boise State, Alison worked in media and financial services.

  • Mark Woychick

    Director of Programs

    Mark Woychick is Director of Programs for Games, Interactive Media and Mobile Technology (GIMM), Harvard Business School Online, Venture College, Boise State X, and the Idaho Entrepreneur Challenge. During his career, Woychick has worked in several business functions, including Customer Service, Sales & Pursuit, Managed Services, IT, and Operations. Mark has been an adjunct faculty member for Boise State’s College of Business and Economics since 2009. He has earned a master of business administration at Boise State University in addition to a bachelor of arts in English at the University of Southern Maine.

    Mark Woychick is Director of Programs for Games, Interactive Media and Mobile Technology (GIMM), Harvard Business School Online, Venture College, Boise State X, and the Idaho Entrepreneur Challenge. During his career, Woychick has worked in several business functions, including Customer Service, Sales & Pursuit, Managed Services, IT, and Operations. Mark has been an adjunct faculty member for Boise State’s College of Business and Economics since 2009. He has earned a master of business administration at Boise State University in addition to a bachelor of arts in English at the University of Southern Maine.

  • Karen Pinto

    Karen Pinto

    Associate Research Professor

    Born and raised in Karachi, Pakistan, of Indian, Russian, and French-stock, educated at Dartmouth and Columbia, Associate Research Professor, Karen Pinto is into maps of all kinds and sizes in a big way. She specializes in the history of Islamic cartography and its intersections between Ottoman, European, and other worldly cartographic traditions and has spent the better part of two decades hunting down maps in Oriental manuscript libraries around the world. She has a 2000-strong image repository of Islamic maps—many that have never been published before.

    Her book Medieval Islamic Maps: An Exploration was published by The University of Chicago Press in November 2016 and won a 2017 OAT (Outstanding Academic Title) award from Choice. She has won numerous grants including a 2013-14 NEH fellowship for her work on Islamic maps of the Mediterranean. She has published articles on medieval Islamic and Ottoman maps and is working on books on “Islamo-Christian Cartographic Connections” and the “Mediterranean in the Islamic Cartographic Imagination.”

    Along with her work on Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies, she is interested in Digital Humanities and Spatial Studies and encourages students and scholars to contact her if they are interested in these subjects.

    Born and raised in Karachi, Pakistan, of Indian, Russian, and French-stock, educated at Dartmouth and Columbia, Associate Research Professor, Karen Pinto is into maps of all kinds and sizes in a big way. She specializes in the history of Islamic cartography and its intersections between Ottoman, European, and other worldly cartographic traditions and has spent the better part of two decades hunting down maps in Oriental manuscript libraries around the world. She has a 2000-strong image repository of Islamic maps—many that have never been published before.

    Her book Medieval Islamic Maps: An Exploration was published by The University of Chicago Press in November 2016 and won a 2017 OAT (Outstanding Academic Title) award from Choice. She has won numerous grants including a 2013-14 NEH fellowship for her work on Islamic maps of the Mediterranean. She has published articles on medieval Islamic and Ottoman maps and is working on books on “Islamo-Christian Cartographic Connections” and the “Mediterranean in the Islamic Cartographic Imagination.”

    Along with her work on Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies, she is interested in Digital Humanities and Spatial Studies and encourages students and scholars to contact her if they are interested in these subjects.

  • Andres Alcantara

    Graduate Assistant

    Andres Alcantara is currently in Boise State’s Masters of Business Administration program. He most recently worked for the College of Western Idaho as an Enrollment Counselor. Andres graduated from the University of Idaho with a degree in International Relations. At CI+D, Andres will be responsible for student outreach and interactions with the college.

    Andres Alcantara is currently in Boise State’s Masters of Business Administration program. He most recently worked for the College of Western Idaho as an Enrollment Counselor. Andres graduated from the University of Idaho with a degree in International Relations. At CI+D, Andres will be responsible for student outreach and interactions with the college.

  • Andrew O'Brien

    Creative Content

    Andrew joined the College of Innovation and Design to be responsible for online outreach, content creation, and strategy. He is a current Marketing student in the College of Business and Economics at Boise State. With time to invest since he’s graduating in May of 2021, he’ll be learning a lot while putting his interests and skills to task.

    Andrew joined the College of Innovation and Design to be responsible for online outreach, content creation, and strategy. He is a current Marketing student in the College of Business and Economics at Boise State. With time to invest since he’s graduating in May of 2021, he’ll be learning a lot while putting his interests and skills to task.

Meet the Program Directors

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    Shawn Benner

    Director

    Dr. Benner is the Associate Dean for CID and also the Director of the Human-Environment Systems (HES) group. HES is using community based research to find real world solutions to pressing environmental challenges.

    Dr. Benner is the Associate Dean for CID and also the Director of the Human-Environment Systems (HES) group. HES is using community based research to find real world solutions to pressing environmental challenges.

  • Anthony Ellertson

    Anthony Ellertson

    Director

    Dr. Ellertson is the Director of CID’s major, Gaming, Interactive and Mobile Media (GIMM). GIMM graduates use their skills in immersive ‘gaming’ technologies to solve complex challenges in industry, education, and the community.

    Dr. Ellertson is the Director of CID’s major, Gaming, Interactive and Mobile Media (GIMM). GIMM graduates use their skills in immersive ‘gaming’ technologies to solve complex challenges in industry, education, and the community.

  • Donna Llewellyn, STEM Station, Studio portrait

    Donna Llewellyn

    Director

    Dr. Llewellyn is the Director of the Institute for STEM & Diversity Initiatives and also serves as the Director of Vertically Integrated Projects (VIP). VIP enables research experiences for undergraduates that build technical and workplace skills on multisemester, cross-disciplinary teams.

    Vertically Integrated Projects

    Dr. Llewellyn is the Director of the Institute for STEM & Diversity Initiatives and also serves as the Director of Vertically Integrated Projects (VIP). VIP enables research experiences for undergraduates that build technical and workplace skills on multisemester, cross-disciplinary teams.

  • Miller_Nic

    Nic Miller

    Executive Director

    Nic leads the Venture College, where students acquire entrepreneurial skills and apply those skills in launching new ventures.

    Nic leads the Venture College, where students acquire entrepreneurial skills and apply those skills in launching new ventures.

  • Rebecca Morgan, SSPA, Studio Portrait, Tag

    Rebecca Morgan

    Director

    Rebecca leads the Boise State X  (BSX) initiative that seeks to increase access and lower the cost of earning a high quality degree for working and rural Idahoans. BSX includes the programs Passport to Education and Bronco Reconnect.

    Rebecca leads the Boise State X  (BSX) initiative that seeks to increase access and lower the cost of earning a high quality degree for working and rural Idahoans. BSX includes the programs Passport to Education and Bronco Reconnect.

  • heidi_reeder_head-square-far-200x250

    Heidi Reeder

    Director

    Dr. Reeder is the Director of the Certificate in Leadership and Human Relations and the Applied Leadership Certificate. LEAD certificates help student develop their leadership skills and awareness in a society hungry for leaders who can make a difference.

    Dr. Reeder is the Director of the Certificate in Leadership and Human Relations and the Applied Leadership Certificate. LEAD certificates help student develop their leadership skills and awareness in a society hungry for leaders who can make a difference.

  • Alison Skilbred

    Alison Skilbred

    Director

    B2C initiatives focus on empowering students to develop a sense of agency and the skills to help them navigate their time at the university and also prepare them for the workplace.

    B2C initiatives focus on empowering students to develop a sense of agency and the skills to help them navigate their time at the university and also prepare them for the workplace.

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    John Ziker

    Director

    Dr. Ziker is a professor and chair of the Boise State Anthropology Department and Director of the User Experience Research Certificate and User Research Professional Certificate. The UXR certificates adapt the knowledge and skills in anthropology for public and private sector employment.

    Dr. Ziker is a professor and chair of the Boise State Anthropology Department and Director of the User Experience Research Certificate and User Research Professional Certificate. The UXR certificates adapt the knowledge and skills in anthropology for public and private sector employment.

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