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
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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
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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
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Deb Headshot

Deb Wagner-Kirmer
Administrative Accounting Specialist
Deb has more than 15 years of experience in manufacturing, working with customer service, document control, accounts receivables, accounts payable, supplies and shipping. She provides  office, clerical and administrative support duties for WSU Strategic Initiatives including documentation control, grant and project support.

Phone: (316) 978-6358
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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
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Maddie Domebo

Maddie Domebo
Marketing & Research Assistant
Maddie is the student intern at WSU Strategic Initiatives. She tracks funding for the Shocker I-Corps program at Wichita State along with managing the teams. She organizes and updates various spreadsheets for different reports. She also designs different media and promotional material for various events and makes website designs and updates.


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