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iCenter welcomes Shives as new entrepreneur in residence

Marshall’s iCenter in the Lewis College of Business has welcomed a new entrepreneur in residence. Ariana Shives is a UX and UI (user experience and user interface) designer. As entrepreneur in residence, Shives mentors students from the Brad D. Smith Student Incubator and supports the iCenter with innovation across the university. She also advises on curriculum for Career Technical Education (CTE) students pursing an entrepreneurship pathway in West Virginia.

The mission of the iCenter is to inspire entrepreneurship by empowering individuals with the innovation and entrepreneurial knowledge they need to reframe the future of the state and region. 

Shives is the head of product design at Kairos, a financial technology startup on a mission to provide simple and proven financial education and resources. She is a social entrepreneur and product designer focused on design thinking and social impact. With an emphasis on education, she aims to help startups and small businesses develop their brands and meaningfully engage with their customers.

“Ariana has a deep background in skills that we value such as design thinking and innovation, but even more than that, we believe that who she is as a person – her energy, positivity, and drive to make a difference — is what will truly make her impactful to our students and to our community for years to come,” said Dr. Ben Eng, executive director of the iCenter.

“The iCenter is fortunate to add Ariana to our team,” said Paige Leonard, the iCenter’s innovation coordinator. “The talent she brings will help us further our mission of inspiring and empowering entrepreneurs in West Virginia and Appalachia.”

Shives graduated from the University of Southern California in 2017 with a bachelor’s degree in neuroscience and in 2019 with a master’s degree in social entrepreneurship. She lives in Kenova, West Virginia.
“I am so thrilled to partner with Marshall University’s iCenter as an entrepreneur in residence,” Shives said. “I’m passionate about social entrepreneurship and its potential to positively affect people and systems and can’t wait to bring my knowledge and expertise to Marshall. I am honored and excited to work with the students and greater community and continue to elevate the impact of the iCenter and its initiatives.”

Shives joins current entrepreneurs in residence Brandon Dennison, founder and CEO of Coalfield Development Corporation; Collin Meadows, founding member of Tech 304; and David Wiley, chief academic officer and co-founder of Lumen Learning. For more information about the iCenter, visit  or e-mail