Board of Directors

Richard C. Hackney, Jr., Chairman

Richard Hackney has led organizations in both the biotechnology and investment sectors. Mr. Hackney has served as CEO, President and Director for BRT Laboratories, Inc. & Baltimore Rh Typing Laboratory, Managing Member, Hackney & Company LLC, Senior Vice President and Portfolio Manager for U.S. Trust, Partner and Portfolio Manager for Alex Brown and Sons, and Senior Vice President and Portfolio Manager for JP Morgan in addition to participating as an early stage investor for numerous start-ups in cable television, telecommunications, and various business services.

Richard received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from Morehouse College, his MBA in Finance from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, and his JD degree from the Boston College Law School. He has served board, trustee and membership roles in a variety of organizations including: Mayor of Baltimore’s Task Force on Solar Power,The Howard County Equal Business Opportunity Commission, The Maryland Institute of College Art, The Glenelg Country School, The Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research, The Alvin Ailey Dance Theater Foundation of Maryland, The College Savings Plans of Maryland, The Maryland Venture Capital Trust, Gamma Boule, Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity, The Baltimore Guardsmen, and The National Association of Corporate Directors.

Dr. Mabel Jones Matthews, Secretary

Dr. Mabel Jones Matthews has worked within the higher education community for 40 years, including over 15 years of focus on enhancing Federally responsive research and development at Minority Serving Institutions (MSI). She has senior-level service at several higher education institutions and in the Federal government. At St. Augustine’s University and Trinity College of Vermont, Dr. Matthews held senior-level positions as Professor, Division of Business Chairperson, Dean of Academic Affairs and Vice President for Enrollment Management.

In Federal service she has provided strategic leadership, as an MSI Program Manager, Higher Education Manager and Director, Office of Education Infrastructure Division, for NASA. She designed systems and research pathways for student and faculty researchers in STEM.

Dr. Matthews provided global vision and leadership in Warwick, England; Nassau, Bahamas; Dakar, Senegal; Banjul, Gambia; Paris, France; Montreal, Canada; Deajeon, South Korea; Prague, Czech Republic; Bremen, Germany; Glasgow, Scotland; Cape Town, South Africa. She served on the International Space Education Board (ISEB) – International Astronautical Congress (IAC) and was featured in Diverse (2014) “30 Visionary Women in Higher Education. She received the Distinguished Alumni Award of Excellence from the College of Education, University of Cincinnati.

Lonnie Johnson, BS, MS

President and founder of Johnson Research and Development Co., Inc., a technology development company, and its spin-off companies, Excellatron Solid State, LLC; Johnson Electro-Mechanical Systems, LLC; and Johnson Real Estate Investments, LLC. He worked as a research engineer at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and then joined the U. S. Air Force, serving as Acting Chief of the Space Nuclear Power Safety Section at the Air Force Weapons Laboratory. He later became a Senior Systems Engineer at the NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), where he worked on the Galileo mission to Jupiter.

After returning to the Air Force he served as an Advanced Space Systems Requirements Officer at Strategic Air Command (SAC) headquarters and as Chief of the Data Management Branch, SAC Test and Evaluation Squadron at Edwards Air Force Base. He was awarded the Air Force Achievement Medal and the Air Force Commendation Medal on two occasions. He returned to the JPL and worked on the Mars Observer project during the the Cassini (Saturn) project.

Johnson formed his own engineering firm and licensed his most famous invention, the Super Soaker® water gun, to Larami Corporation. The Super Soaker® generated over $200 million in retail sales and became the number one selling toy in America. Larami Corporation was purchased by Hasbro Corporation and Super Soaker® sales have totaled close to one billion dollars. Johnson holds over 80 patents, with over 20 more pending, and is the author of several publications on spacecraft power systems. Johnson holds a B.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering, an M.S. degree in Nuclear Engineering, and an honorary Ph.D. in Science from Tuskegee University.

Lueny Morell, MS, PE

Founder and CEO of Lueny Morell & Associates and Director of InnovaHiEd, a world-class team of experts with extensive academic and industry experience offering services to higher education leaders for transforming their institutions to better respond to stakeholders’ needs and the socioeconomic development challenges they face. With a BS and MS in Chemical Engineering from University of Puerto Rico and Stanford University, Lueny is a co-founder of NEU, a novel platform to teach engineering in Silicon Valley, California.

From 2002 to 2013 she was part of the HP Labs Strategy, Open Innovation and University Relations teams and a full professor of Chemical Engineering at University of Puerto Rico – Mayagüez for 24 years, where she had various academic and administrative positions, including Director of R&D. She is an IEEE Senior Member, an ASEE Fellow and ABET Program Evaluator and has received various awards for her work, including the prestigious US National Academy of Engineering Gordon Prize for innovations in engineering education.

Recognized as one of the Engineering Education Pioneers in the US in 2014, and certified International Engineering Educator (Ing.Paed) by IGIP, Lueny is passionate about engineering education and innovation as fundamental pillars for economic and social well-being. She is a co-founder of IFEES (Past President), GEDC and SPEED and maintains a blog on topics associated with innovation and engineering education.

Dr. Isiah M. Warner

Vice President for Strategic Initiatives, Philip W. West Professor of Chemistry and a Boyd Professor of the Louisiana State University system. He is one of the world’s experts in the area of fluorescence spectroscopy and has been a renowned researcher for over 35 years. He has more than 300 refereed publications in a variety of journals relevant to the general areas of analytical and materials chemistry. His particular expertise is in the area of fluorescence spectroscopy. More recently, his research has focused in the area of ionic liquid chemistry applied to solid phase materials for applications in materials chemistry and nanomaterials.

Research interests include the development and application of improved methodologies (chemical, mathematical, and instrumental) for studies of complex chemical systems including environmental chemistry, using tools such as fluorescence spectroscopy, separation science, nanomaterials, automated methods of analysis, and chemistry in organized media.

One of Professor Warner’s greatest passions is mentoring. He has been involved in developing new educational models involving metacognitive learning strategies and the use of a mentoring ladder that extends the impact of an individual mentor. He has also conducted educational research that focuses on mechanisms for maintaining and enhancing student education in STEM, with a focus on getting these students to pursue terminal degrees. Professor Warner has earned numerous awards from many prestigious institutions. He has recently been honored with the 2014 Oesper Award and the 2013 American Chemical Society (ACS) Award in Analytical Chemistry.