Debra Franklin AVP, Strategic Initiatives Debbie coordinates, prioritizes, and pursues resources for the regional advanced manufacturing
strategic plan initiatives, collaborates with partner institutions to provide technical
assistance to existing businesses and startup firms for technology transfer and transition/migration,
and develops university-level proposals for government grants and contracts. She is
committed to advancing an innovation ecosystem with industry that promotes technology-based
Tracee Friess Associate Vice President of Strategic Communications and Marketing Tracee leads communication and publicity initiatives for WSU Initiatives, and is the
Associate Vice President of Strategic Communications and Marketing for Wichita State
University’s Industry and Defense Programs. Tracee is working with univeristy innovators
and engineers to form strategic industry partnerships centered on solving problems
and providing applied learning opportunities for Wichita State University students.
She has more than fifteen years of experience in communications; specializing in public
relations, news and copywriting, event planning, advertising and social media. She
is adept at grasping complex technical details and communicating them to a broad audience.
Her industry experience and knowledge of university resources allow her to skillfully
navigate both arenas.
Sherry (Gegen) Whitson Strategic Initiatives Program Director Sherry facilitates interactions with external inventors, entrepreneurs and small/medium
size businesses to facilitate collaboration with community and industry partners.
Her extensive knowledge of state and federal-funded training programs, economic development
and workforce development strategies and resources allows her to successfully connect
Kansas business with Wichita State University resources, government resources and
the local workforce system.
Angie Myrtle Project Manager Angie brings over 15 years of experience in administration and education to the department.
She strives to embody the WSU principles of being Professional, Responsive, Open,
Dependable and Understanding.
Angie supports staff, faculty, students and community partners at Wichita State University,
daily. Her role at Strategic Initiatives includes project management primarily focusing
on expanding financials, grant funding, procurements, payments, and assets. Angie
aids in office administrative duties as well.
Hannah Domebo Marketing & Research - Student Assistant Hannah Domebo is the student assistant at WSU Strategic Initiatives, she handles all
kinds of initiatives, such as, working closely with the American Manufacturing Communities
Collaborative, assisting with grant research, and promoting and planning events hosted
by WSU Strategic Initiatives. Hannah is currently studying Forensic Science at Wichita
State and wants to be a Crime Scene Investigator (CSI). Hannah will graduate with
her BS in Spring 2024.
Macy Carney Partner Relations Coordinator Macy provides quality hospitality and logistical support to WSU's Industry Partners,
Internal Departments, and individual students, connecting them with resources and
providing direction on available facility services, ensuring building standards and
procedures are being met in the process. She handles event and program scheduling
requests, updates management systems, and organizes, reviews, and evaluates inventory
and program schedules to ensure efficient and effective use of resources. She also
utilizes her customer service skills when providing technical support with AV equipment,
aiding in grant application screenings, and circulating media and other marketing
tools to meet customer expectations.
Dana Schirer IDP Grant Development Specialist Dana collaborates with internal and external partners to research, lead, write, and
develop competitive grant applications to support the Industry and Defense programs.
Her extensive experience in building relationships with industry, education, and community
organizations and knowledge of state and federal funding opportunities provides the
ability to develop competitive economic and workforce development projects.
Diann Gregg IDP Project Manager Diann develops project plans, creates schedules, and ensures task deliverables meet
expectations by collaborating with project contributors to assess and ensure successful
program outcomes. Her extensive experience in workforce funded training, file monitoring,
registered apprentice program coordination, and connections to local business and
industry are instrumental in managing the details, collaborating with partners, and
ensuring successful grant project compliance and completion.