Wednesday, December 13, 2017

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John Eger has served as the Van Deerlin Endowed Chair for Communication and Public Policy at SDSU for more than 20 years. John Eger has served as the Van Deerlin Endowed Chair for Communication and Public Policy at SDSU for more than 20 years.
 


John Eger Named First Zahn Professor of Creativity

His role is to better prepare SDSU students for the innovative economy.
By Coleen L. Geraghty
 

A noted authority on global technology, innovation and communication has been named the first Zahn Professor of Creativity and Innovation at San Diego State University.

John Eger’s appointment is in addition to his existing position as the Van Deerlin Endowed Chair for Communication and Public Policy, a post he has held for more than 20 years.

In his new role, Eger will encourage campus-wide collaboration that expands and diversifies entrepreneurial opportunities for students through both curricular and experiential learning. He will work closely with faculty and staff at SDSU’s entrepreneurial hubs, the Zahn Innovation Platform Launchpad and the Lavin Entrepreneurship Center.

Incubator for innovation

The Zahn Professor of Creativity and Innovation is supported by the Moxie Foundation. In 2015, The Campaign for SDSU received a significant gift from the foundation, led by Irwin and Peter Zahn.

The gift has helped SDSU better prepare students for work in the innovative economy by growing the Zahn Innovation Center into the Zahn Innovation Platform (ZIP) Launchpad and hiring a director for its new Idea Lab; supporting the Zahn professorship; and creating the Irwin Zahn Spirit of Innovation Prize for a graduating student. The Zahn Professor will serve for a two-year term.

The Idea Lab, together with the ZIP Launchpad—an incubator that helps students, faculty and staff turn their ideas into viable commercial enterprises—will be relocated to SDSU’s Engineering and Interdisciplinary Sciences Complex when the building is completed in 2018.

Leader in entrepreneurship

Eger, in his role as the first Zahn Professor of Creativity and Innovation, will build on SDSU’s success in incorporating entrepreneurial initiatives into the curriculum. The university currently ranks in the top 25 on the Forbes list of America’s Most Entrepreneurial Universities and on similar lists published by Fortune and U.S. News and World Report.

“Serving as the Zahn Professor of Creativity and Innovation, John Eger will personally pursue work that infuses creativity and innovation throughout our campus and lead the charge for campus-wide collaboration around this topic,” said Chukuka Enwemeka, provost and senior vice president for Academic Affairs. “This will further advance our efforts to enable our students to gain the requisite skills needed to meet the challenges of the new economy.”

About John Eger

Eger has served in Washington, D.C., as principal adviser to the president for telecommunications policy, legal assistant to the chair of the Federal Communications Commission, and director of the White House Office of Telecommunications Policy, where he helped spearhead the restructuring of America's telecom industry. Later, he was senior vice president of CBS, responsible for opening the Chinese market to commercial television.

He has written extensively on the need for reforming higher education to teach students the skills they will need in the workforce and is an advocate of STEAM—that is, a broad-based education including science, technology, engineering, the arts and mathematics.

“We need to get universities and students thinking about how innovation and creativity can be taught on a strong foundation of digital, knowledge-based education,” Eger said. “At the same time, we need to encourage project-based learning, which allows students to work with experts in their fields.”