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 new cross-disciplinary majors 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.

Meet the Team

  • Gordon Jones, College of Innovation and Design, Studio Portrait

    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 got his start in the geosciences at Colorado College, where he received an undergraduate degree. He then attended the University of Montana where his master’s thesis work focused on surface-groundwater interaction in the mine-impacted floodplain of the upper Clark Fork River. Benner received a Ph.D. from the University of Waterloo, where he conducted research on reactive barriers to remediate mine drainage. Prior to joining the faculty at Boise State he was a post-doc at Stanford University and a Research Scientist at the Desert Research Institute.

    Shawn got his start in the geosciences at Colorado College, where he received an undergraduate degree. He then attended the University of Montana where his master’s thesis work focused on surface-groundwater interaction in the mine-impacted floodplain of the upper Clark Fork River. Benner received a Ph.D. from the University of Waterloo, where he conducted research on reactive barriers to remediate mine drainage. Prior to joining the faculty at Boise State he was a post-doc at Stanford University and a Research Scientist at the Desert Research Institute.

  • College of Innovation and Design Faculty Portraits, Photos by Emma Thompson

    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.

  • College of Innovation and Design Faculty Portraits, Photos by Emma Thompson

    Jillana Finnegan

    Director of Programs

    As Director of Programs, Jillana Finnegan supports the Human Environment Systems research group, Design Ethnography,  Vertically Integrated Projects, and the LEAD program for leadership development. Finnegan has served in previous roles within the university, most recently as Associate Director of Advising and Academic Support Center. 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, Design Ethnography,  Vertically Integrated Projects, and the LEAD program for leadership development. Finnegan has served in previous roles within the university, most recently as Associate Director of Advising and Academic Support Center. 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.

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    Mark Woychick

    Director of Programs

    Mark Woychick is Director of Programs for Gaming, Interactive Media and Mobile Technology (GIMM), HBX CORe, Bridge to Career, 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 Gaming, Interactive Media and Mobile Technology (GIMM), HBX CORe, Bridge to Career, 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.

  • College of Innovation and Design Faculty Portraits, Photos by Emma Thompson

    Alison Skilbred

    Director, Bridge to Career

    Alison works in the College of Innovation and Design Dean’s office and oversees the Bridge to Career and University Innovation Fellows programs. Both these 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. Prior to joining Boise State, Alison worked in the media and financial industries.

    Alison works in the College of Innovation and Design Dean’s office and oversees the Bridge to Career and University Innovation Fellows programs. Both these 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. Prior to joining Boise State, Alison worked in the media and financial industries.

  • College of Innovation and Design Faculty Portraits, Photos by Emma Thompson

    George Thoma

    Assistant Director, Communications

    In his role as Assistant Director, George supports the communication and marketing outreach for the various college programs, including web pages, printed and digital collateral. George has a background in sports and content marketing, working for companies in the outdoor and cycling industries. He has a bachelor of arts in film studies from the University of California, Santa Barbara.

    In his role as Assistant Director, George supports the communication and marketing outreach for the various college programs, including web pages, printed and digital collateral. George has a background in sports and content marketing, working for companies in the outdoor and cycling industries. He has a bachelor of arts in film studies from the University of California, Santa Barbara.

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    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.

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    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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    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.

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