John Meslow

Founder and Chair

Envisioning the opportunity at Mayo Clinic for undergraduates to work on real life projects and inventions through Mayo Clinic Ventures, Meslow designed this program from the ground up. As a retired executive for Medtronic, Inc., he has many years of experience operating at the interface of science, medicine and business and brings this expertise to the program. Meslow works closely with the graduate faculty and licensing managers at Mayo Clinic.

Rebecca Hawthorne

Rebecca Hawthorne, Ph.D.

Program Director

Hawthorne serves as Innovation Scholars Program Director, focused on building a sustainable, cutting-edge, experiential learning model that engages liberal arts students at the intersections of disciplinary learning and real life problem-solving. She holds a doctorate in program design and evaluation from Stanford University’s School of Education. A professor emerita in organizational leadership at St. Catherine University, Hawthorne directed the Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership for over a dozen years. She relishes the leadership development aspects of Innovation Scholars programming and the cross-section of students, faculty, staff, funders, and companies that together create unique learning opportunities.


Liz Jansen, Ph.D.

Academic Program Director

Jansen is a faculty liaison to the Science and Research Office and adjunct professor of biology at Macalester College where she teaches courses in her home discipline of neuroscience, as well as courses in reproductive biology and community and global health. She enjoys the multidisciplinarity of the program and sees it as a fruitful application of a liberal arts education. Liz works closely with undergraduate faculty mentors on each campus.