Karen Crofton, Stephen M. Dunn Director of Engineering Entrepreneurship & ESCEND™
Karen Crofton has joined the College of Engineering and Applied Science as an entrepreneur in residence. Crofton brings a wealth of experience as an investor in data and financial technology startups, a former principal at the Rocky Mountain Institute dedicated to the transformation of energy systems, an intrapreneur at Air Products & Chemicals, and a lecturer at the Leeds School of Business at CU Boulder.
She holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Bucknell University, an MBA from Rice University, and a master’s in data analytics from CU Boulder.
Since joining the CU Boulder staff in fall 2020, Crofton has taken the helm of ESCEND™, the college’s entrepreneurship initiative. ESCEND combines entrepreneurship courses taught by experienced founders from the Colorado startup ecosystem with co-curricular experiences and cross-campus resources to give students a launchpad for entrepreneurial ventures.
She also leads Catalyze CU, a summerlong startup accelerator program for all CU students, faculty and staff that combines mentorship, funding and dedicated coworking space to help launch promising ventures from across the CU Boulder campus.
Fernando Rosario-Ortiz, Associate Dean for Faculty Advancement
Fernando Rosario-Ortiz began a four-year appointment as associate dean for faculty advancement in July.
This position is responsible for providing leadership and oversight of the college’s program to support faculty members across their career stages to accomplish their core missions. The associate dean supports faculty recruitment; manages the annual faculty review process; oversees the First Level Review Committee; advances diversity, equity and inclusion among the faculty; and allocates the necessary resources to those programs.
Rosario-Ortiz joined the CU Boulder faculty in 2008 and has served as director of the Environmental Engineering Program. His research focuses on environmental chemistry, including the impact of wildfires on water quality.
He was selected as a CU Boulder Research and Innovation Office fellow in 2017 and earned the Provost’s Faculty Achievement Award in 2016. He earned his bachelor’s degree in chemistry from the University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras, a master’s degree in chemistry from CalTech, and a doctoral degree from the Environmental Science and Engineering Program at UCLA.
Rosario-Ortiz succeeds JoAnn Silverstein, who became the first faculty member to hold this role in the college in 2017.