Rosanna Garcia, an expert in corporate innovation and marketing, has joined the faculty of the Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) as the Paul R. Beswick Professor of Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the Business School. She started her new role on July 1st.

Garcia, who holds a PhD in Marketing from Michigan State University’s Eli Broad Graduate School of Business, was most recently the Walter Koch Endowed Chair in Entrepreneurship at the University of Denver; She previously held positions as associate professor at North Carolina State University and Northeastern University. Her research on entrepreneurship, innovation and consumer behavior has been published in professional journals; She is the author of the textbook “Creating & Marketing New Products and Services”. She co-founded Vijilent Inc., a data science company serving the legal industry.

Rev. Deborah Jackson

“DR. Garcia is an accomplished leader with exceptional academic qualifications, a passion for promoting minority and undergraduate entrepreneurs, and extensive experience serving hundreds of undergraduate start-ups,” said Rev. Debora Jackson, Dean of the Business School. “She shares our common vision at WPI to transform business education and drive our progress towards societal impact while engaging different audiences. We are very excited to have Dr. Garcia at the business school and in the thriving innovation and Welcome to WPI’s Entrepreneurship Ecosystem. ”

The Beswick Professorship was launched in 2007 with a gift from Paul R. Beswick ’57 and his wife Siang Kiang. Beswick (deceased 2010) was the founder, president and chief executive officer of Beswick Engineering Inc. in Greenland, NH students to lead in a global business environment.

“I am excited to be working with the talented, innovative and entrepreneurial students at WPI and joining the business school at this crucial moment,” said Garcia. “Like all WPI faculties, my focus will be on helping our students overcome the world’s great challenges as they change their own lives. I am confident that this can also have a positive impact on the local economy for many students. I look forward to advancing WPI’s project-based learning and the rich and collaborative ecosystem of research, curriculum development and business partnerships both locally and globally. “

The Business School and the Beswick Professorship are part of the larger entrepreneurial environment of the WPI, which connects students and lecturers with numerous opportunities, experiences and networks through the University’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center. Programs include Tinkerbox seed funding and peer group mentoring, the Curtis and Dudley Carlson Value Creation Initiative, the WPI Sandbox for students pursuing start-up business ideas, and the Tech Advisors Network of alumni who participate in the Advice on setting up companies.

Curtis Abel old

Curtis Abel

“DR. Garcia is a great fit for the WPI culture of entrepreneurship in curricula, student activities outside the classroom, and research,” said Curtis Abel, WPI General Manager for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. “She has students through the process of starting businesses with social and global reach, and it is precisely these types of ventures that we encourage our students to consider. “

Garcia was visiting professor at the University of Münster and the University of Groningen and is listed as the inventor of three patents related to voicemail technologies. At North Carolina State University she was the faculty director of a cooperation for sustainable business, in which students, faculty and industry were involved; she co-founded an initiative to connect students with emerging charities; and she founded the group to promote women entrepreneurs. At Northeastern University, she was a faculty advisor for Jola Venture, a student-led initiative that connects farmers in Cameroon with innovation at US universities.

Garcia’s research interests include ethnic minority entrepreneurs, consumer resistance to innovation, the sharing economy, the commercialization of future technologies, and nonprofits, which are businesses that serve the public interest. She hopes to involve students in her research on social entrepreneurs in Cuba.

Garcia earned her MBA in Marketing and Finance from the University of Rochester and her BS in Chemical Engineering and BA in Business Administration from the University of California, Santa Barbara.