Three SMC professors honored for leadership

The Michelson Institute for Intellectual Property (Michelson IP) recently presented three faculty members at Santa Monica College with the first Michelson IP Educator of Excellence Award for their leadership roles in promoting intellectual property (IP) and entrepreneurship education.

The award is presented in partnership with the National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship (NACCE) and recognizes individuals who have demonstrated outstanding commitment to IP education for aspiring entrepreneurs, inventors, doers and creators. The award winners, from SMC’s Economics Department, are: Chairholder Sal Veas, Department of Economics and Justice Administration Dana Nasser, and Department of Economics and Justice Administration Nathan Khalil.

“It was an honor to lead this movement to get the message across about the importance of intellectual property education. I can’t tell you how rewarding it was and introduce our students to the IP curriculum, ”said Nasser. “You are excited to learn these basic practical principles of intellectual property. It has also been a pleasure to help Community College faculty from many different backgrounds incorporate intellectual property into their curriculum. We have courses that not only include the obvious business law, but also an introduction to business, marketing, photography, fashion, I mean, it’s hard to imagine that it doesn’t touch so many different areas. “

The award was presented at the NACCE annual conference following a keynote by Dr. Gary K. Michelson, founder and co-chair of the Michelson 20MM Foundation and sole named inventor of nearly 1,000 patents worldwide.

“Students are able to drive disruptive innovation,” said Michelson. “By providing students and lifelong learners with the right IP training and resources, we can help inventors and entrepreneurs on their way to solving the world’s greatest challenges.”

In 2017, Santa Monica College was selected as the lead institution in a multi-campus pilot program launched by NACCE and Michelson IP. They developed a model curriculum to incorporate the free Michelson IP resources into courses at community colleges.

“Lots of people – students, entrepreneurs, artists – go into the real world, work for years, do everything right and earn a touch of success, only to put everything at risk with a little IP misstep that could have easily been done with just one little IP awareness avoided. And that’s what this is about, ”said Khalil.

Today, over 80 NACCE member quorums use Michelson’s IP materials.

“Santa Monica College is a leading advocate of IP education and a visionary champion in bringing IP curricula to bachelor’s programs across our country,” said Phillip Kim, CEO of the Michelson 20MM Foundation. “Sal, Dana and Nathan have worked with us on numerous mission-oriented projects from the start. We cannot imagine this work without their valuable contributions and expertise. It is a great honor to present them with this award. “

In addition to public recognition at the annual NACCE conference, the Michelson IP Educator of Excellence Award includes a cash grant of $ 5,000 to the Santa Monica College Department of Business.

“Meeting the Michelson 20MM team at the 2016 NACCE National Conference was a stroke of luck,” said Veas. Little did we know that this was the beginning of a relationship that would have tremendous depth and scope to help community colleges incorporate intellectual property into their curriculum. We are very honored to be the first college to receive this distinction and recognition. “

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