Debbie Headshot

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 economic development.

Phone: 316-978-5209

Tracee Headshot

Tracee Friess
Director of Communication
Tracee leads communication and publicity initiatives for WSU Initiatives, and is the Director of Communication and Special Programs for Wichita State University’s Office of Research and Technology Transfer and National Institute for Aviation Research. She has more than ten 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.

Phone: (316) 978-5597

Sherry Headshot

Sherry Gegen
Business Development and Innovation Manager
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. She specializes in workforce development, recruitment and retention strategies and customized training programs.

Phone: (316) 978-6359

Maddie Headshot

Maddie Domebo
Project Specialist
Maddie just graduated with her BA in Integrated Marketing Communications from Wichita State University in the Fall of 2019. She previously worked in the Marketing & Research Assistant position as a student, and when she graduated she transitioned into a full-time accounting/project management position. Maddie's duties include providing office, clerical and administrative support duties for WSU Strategic Initiatives, and assisting/leading various grant projects as needed. 

Phone: (316) 978-6358

Jen Headshot

Jennifer Koster
Partner Relations
Jen comes to the University with more than 10 years of supporting roles within aviation and a local non-profit. Jen is the contact point for many of our Industry partner’s needs and helps coordinate many of the activities that take place in the EEB. She is also the first face many visitors will see when coming into the Strategic Initiatives office.

Phone: (316) 978-5362