The center has a transdisciplinary focus and seeks to advance the university’s strategy by fostering cross-campus applied learning and embedding innovative thinking more deeply in the university culture. The center is built on the belief that students from the arts and sciences, engineering, nursing, business, informatics, and law can all learn from one another how to become more well-rounded innovative and creative thinkers. The center fosters opportunities for this transdisciplinary applied learning to occur.
At The Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship we design our programs to ignite passion for an entrepreneurial mindset, fuel desires by providing students with the resources and education to make their dreams a reality, and fan the spirit and culture of innovation and entrepreneurship across campus and the region.
Sally Allen is the Coordinator for the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. She provides assistance to the Director of the Center in all areas of its operations. A vital part of the center since its inception, Sally leads the operational management, policy development, project management, budgeting, and strategic planning sectors. Sally has been recognized for her service and leadership, as she has received the GCEC (Global Consortium of Entrepreneurship Centers) Distinguished Service Award, the STLP (Student Technology Program) Ambassador Award, the Dean's Citation for Outstanding Staff Member, and the Haile Staff Achievement Award for Collaboration.
Zac Strobl is the Interim Co-Director for the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Zac has been working with startups and small businesses since the age of 19. Zac’s experience includes working as a business consultant with the Small Business Development Center at NKU, as well as a startup medical supply company in Chicago where he worked his way up to the management team, has ran his family business, and is the co-founder of The INKUBATOR. Zac is an NKU alumnus with a BS in Entrepreneurship and Marketing.
Jeff Varrone is the Interim Co-Director for the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, and serves as a faculty member in Entrepreneurship. He also works with students on various events and academic programs to prepare them for business opportunities and to help create awareness of entrepreneurship across campus and in the community. He joined the Entrepreneurship Program while completing his Master’s Degree with a focus on Entrepreneurship at NKU.
Originally from Saint Louis, Missouri, Jeff graduated from Northern Kentucky University with a Bachelor of Science in Geography and a Minor in Entrepreneurship. While attending college, he successfully started and managed an entrepreneurial business venture for three years.
Jeff is also a faculty-in-residence at Callahan Hall (a residential building on NKU’s campus). He is proud to have won several awards, including the NKU Indelible Spirit Award, the NKU Outstanding Coach/Advisor of the Year, the Outstanding Part-Time Geography Faculty Member Award, and the IdeaStateU Business Plan Competition Faculty Advisor Award.