Mandela Washington Fellowship at Purdue University Young African Leaders Initiative

2016 Institute Staff

Academic Director


Anne Dare

Anne Dare

Anne Dare earned her PhD in the number one-ranked agricultural engineering program in the nation here at Purdue. Her research advanced the understanding of the linkages between arid land water management, food security, and rural sanitation solutions while working across Palestine, Tunisia, and Qatar. Anne was co-founder and postdoctoral researcher for Purdue Engineering's Innovation for International Development (I2D) Lab. Anne served as an invited expert to the Farmer-to-Farmer program with Universidad de Los Llanos in Colombia, and has been a Fellow at the National Academy of Sciences. Currently, Anne is a AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellow at the US Agency for International Development in Washington, DC. Most relevant to the 2017 Institute though, she was the Academic Director for the 2016 Mandela Washington Fellowship at Purdue University.


Administrative Director


Nicole Finley

Nicole Finley

Nicole earned her Bachelor’s degree in Marketing from the Kelley School of Business through Indiana University at IUPUI. She currently works as an Engagement Coordinator for Discovery Park at Purdue University. In her position she serves as the central point of contact for internal and external constituents regarding visits and events at Discovery Park. She also leads and coordinates a group of 24 graduate student Ambassadors from two Discovery Park centers. Last year she served as the Administrative Director for the 2016 Mandela Washington Fellowship at Purdue University. In this role she assisted in coordinating a six week academic and leadership Institute specializing in business and entrepreneurship, a President Obama led initiative.


Additional Key Staff


Sarah Patel

Sarah Patel

Associate Director, Institute for Social Empowerment through Entrepreneurship and Knowledge (ISEEK), Krannert School of Management

As Associate Director for the Institute for Social Empowerment through Entrepreneurship and Knowledge (ISEEK) at Purdue’s Krannert School of Management, Sarah Patel leads ISEEK’s program development efforts and manages its team of graduate and undergraduate students. Sarah supports ISEEK’s goal of empowering young people in underprivileged communities worldwide through technology-enabled entrepreneurship education in two ways: by engaging with external stakeholders to grow the program, and by strengthening ISEEK’s technology through Purdue’s talented student body.

Prior to joining ISEEK in April 2015, Sarah worked in international development in Washington DC for several years, where she managed water and sanitation programs in East Africa for the Millennium Water Alliance, and specialized in Monitoring and Evaluation for private sector development at the International Finance Corporation. She has extensive experience working in social justice and micro-finance in India. Sarah holds an MA in International Economics from the Johns Hopkins University School for Advanced International Studies (SAIS), and a BA in International Development Studies from the University of California, Berkeley.

Sarah will be coordinating the business-related content of the summer curriculum for the Mandela Washington Fellows. She looks forward to getting to know the Fellows and sharing knowledge about what it takes to be a leader!


Joe Pekny

Joe Pekny

Professor of Chemical Engineering

Joe Pekny is a Professor of Chemical Engineering and former Interim Director of the Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship. Professor Pekny was a founding Director of Discovery Park and the Regenstrief Center for Healthcare Engineering. He leads the Cancer Care Engineering Project with Marietta Harrison and Pat Loehrer of IU School of Medicine. He is developing projects with Missile Defense Agency with Dan DeLaurentis and others; the United States Military Academy with Eric Dietz, Gabriela Weaver and others; and is developing a project with many others to evolve a Deliberate Innovation System at Purdue University by coalescing the many entrepreneurial subsystems on campus. He founded and advises Advanced Process Combinatorics, Inc. – a Purdue Research Park company. His research interests are in algorithm engineering for combinatorial optimization applications and in devising the best possible system for translating research into practical impact. His work includes applications in energy systems modeling, research pipeline management, and planning and scheduling.


Cliff Wojtalewicz

Cliff Wojtalewicz

Former Managing Director, Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship

Cliff Wojtalewicz is the Managing Director of the Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship within Purdue University’s Discovery Park. The Center is Purdue’s premier interdisciplinary hub for entrepreneurship with the mission to stimulate innovation in the Purdue community and serve as a resource for the citizens of Indiana and beyond through its sponsored initiatives. The Center also plays a key role in facilitating business development for emerging concepts and technologies stemming from Discovery Park research.

Prior to this assignment, Cliff has served in several managerial and leadership roles within the University which included Managing Director of the Purdue Homeland Security Institute, Executive Assistant to the President, and Deputy Director of the Indiana Department of Homeland Security. Before coming to Purdue University, he served 20 years in the U.S. Army Signal Corps with assignments at all levels of command from Platoon to echelons above corps. His background included the coordination, planning and operations of large scale voice and digital communications systems in duty locations that included Germany, Hawaii, and Southwest Asia. Cliff’s last military duty assignment was as the Purdue Professor of Military Science from 2000 to 2004 before retiring at the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.

Cliff earned his bachelor’s degree in business management from Kearney State College (University of Nebraska at Kearney) in 1983 and his master’s degree from the University of Southern California in 1994 in the field of systems management. He is currently pursuing his PhD at Purdue University in the area of deliberate innovation and entrepreneurship with an expected completion of spring 2016. Cliff resides in West Lafayette with his wife, Nina. He has two grown sons that have both received their bachelor’s degrees from Purdue University and a daughter currently studying journalism at Indiana University.

Cliff is looking forward to hosting the MWF at Purdue because of the vast entrepreneurial opportunities in Africa and to assist their young leaders in fostering and stimulating their understanding and application of entrepreneurship and innovation.

  • 2016 Institute Staff

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