The Center for Entrepreneurship and Business Innovation (iCenter) in Marshall University’s Lewis College of Business welcomes Paige Leonard as its new assistant director. In her position, Leonard will mentor students from the Brad D. Smith Student Incubator and further develop programs to support innovation across the university and students pursuing an entrepreneurship pathway in West Virginian Career Technical Education (CTE) programs.
In her new role, Leonard will advance the iCenter’s mission of inspiring the innovator in everyone on campus and in the community, empowering them with the innovation knowledge they need to reframe the future of our state and region.
iCenter Executive Director, Dr. Ben Eng, noted Leonard’s background in entrepreneurship and innovation best practices. “In 2017, Intuit and President Smith, who was Intuit’s CEO at the time, brought design thinking to Marshall and kick-started a generation of innovative students who became fluent in design thinking. Paige emerged not only as leader of that cohort of natural design thinkers, but also as a leader on campus who demonstrated a burning passion to use a design thinking to make an impact.”
Provost Dr. Avi Mukherjee said he values Leonard’s history with Marshall University, “Paige is one of our own and we are excited that she will apply the knowledge she gained at Marshall. Her multifaceted experiences as a highly engaged undergraduate and graduate student, along with her work in the Office of University Communications and the Lewis College of Business, lends her a unique perspective of how to empower the various stakeholders on campus and support them in designing innovative solutions to transform Marshall.”
Leonard is a two-time graduate of Marshall University, having earned a bachelor’s degree in public relations in 2020 and master’s in business administration (M.B.A.) in 2022. During her time as an undergraduate and graduate student, she served as the iCenter’s innovation coordinator, a multimedia intern in Marshall’s Office of University Communications, a graduate assistant for the management and marketing departments in the Lewis College of Business, a summer intern for Coalfield Development Corporation and a Marshall University presidential ambassador.
She also holds certificates in Testing Business Models, as a LeanStack Coach, and as an Intuit Design for Delight Innovator.
“I am thrilled to have been selected as the iCenter’s assistant director,” Leonard said. “As a Marshall University graduate and former coordinator at the iCenter, I believe I have developed a skill set that has prepared me for this role. I am looking forward to utilizing and growing those skills to pay it forward and help our university, community and region innovate and reach new heights.”
Dr. Nancy Lankton, associate dean of the Lewis College of Business, is excited that Leonard will continue to bring her talents to the iCenter.
“Paige was an excellent student and now is a great employee,” Lankton said. “She brings energy, enthusiasm and a passion for helping others learn about entrepreneurship and design thinking. We are excited about her future with the iCenter, the college and Marshall University.”