IPaT Staff

BethMynattExecutive Director
Elizabeth Mynatt is the executive director of Georgia Tech’s Institute for People and Technology, a College of Computing distinguished professor, and the director of the Everyday Computing Lab. Mynatt is also the Chair of the Computing Community Consortium, and serves as member of the National Academies Computer Science and Telecommunications Board (CSTB). She has been recognized as an ACM Fellow, a member of the SIGCHI Academy, and a Sloan and Kavli research fellow. Mynatt is an internationally recognized expert in the areas of ubiquitous computing and assistive technologies. Her research contributes to ongoing work in personal health informatics, computer-supported collaborative work and human-computer interface design.

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LeighMcCookDeputy Director
Leigh McCook is deputy director of the Institute for People and Technology, and Division Chief of the Socio-Technical Division within the Georgia Tech Research Institute Information and Communications Laboratory (GTRI-ICL). As deputy director, Leigh works to strengthen industry and international partnerships and build new research collaborations across the Georgia Tech campus. While she continues to conduct research, McCook's focus is on growing IPaT’s research portfolio of federal and industry projects, particularly in education and humanitarian systems.

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RenataLeDantecAssistant Director
Renata LeDantec is the assistant director of the Institute for People and Technology. Renata oversees IPaT’s business operations including administrative, marketing communications, finance, HR and events. Previously, she served as the marketing director for the GVU Center, an interdisciplinary research center that brings together people from all six Georgia Tech colleges to solve complex research problems. Renata has 18 years of experience in project management, brand strategies and marketing communications in positions in the United States, Australia and the Czech Republic.

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DebraLamManaging Director for Smart Cities and Inclusive Innovation
Debra Lam is managing director for Smart Cities and Inclusive Innovation at Georgia Tech’s Institute for People and Technology. She has over a decade of experience in urban innovation and resilience, strategy and management, and previously served as Chief Innovation and Performance Officer for the City of Pittsburgh. Lam is a founding leader of the MetroLab Network and serves on their executive steering committee. She’s also a World Cities Summit Young Leader, a Leadership Pittsburgh alumni, and has spoken nationally and internationally on inclusive innovation, performance management, data-driven decision-making, and cultural change. Management Today named Lam to its “35 Women Under 35” list, and she was also a finalist for Women of the Future, Science and Technology.  

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MattSandersDirector of Research Operations
Matt Sanders is the director of research operations at IPaT. Matt works with Georgia Tech students and researchers, along with industry partners in the creation of innovative mobile and converged applications and services. He is also the Associate Director, and co-founder, of the Georgia Tech Research Network Operations Center (GT-RNOC), a unique research center supporting industry and student engagement through research and operational projects; and the wireless services manager for Georgia Tech in the Office of Information Technology.

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SherryFarrugiaManaging Director, Health Research Partnerships
Sherry Farrugia is the Managing Director for Health Research Partnerships at Georgia Tech and and Director of the Pediatric Technology Center, a research collaboration between Georgia Tech and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. In this dual role she works to build and sustain public-private partnerships, and spends half her time at Georgia Tech and the other half at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta where she manages the multi- million research portfolio. Farrugia has nearly 25 years experience in the Health IT field, working in data analytics, data visualization, and clinical and financial outcomes. She owned a health IT company that she sold to McKesson HBOC, and was involved in several other successful start up companies.

Before coming to Georgia Tech she owned a healthcare consulting company focusing on predictive health and risk mitigation in the area of chronic disease prediction, prevention, and management.

Farrugia is a member of: TAG Health Board, Gwinnett Tech HIT Advisory Board, an active member of the Bioscience HIT council at the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce, Health Connect South Advisory Board, HIT Leadership Summit Innovation Committee, HIMSS, Atlanta Ronald McDonald House Charities Advisory Council, and Emory Board of Visitors. Ms. Farrugia received her B.S. in Chemistry with a minor in Physics from Auburn University.

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LeanneWestChief Engineer for Pediatric Technologies
Leanne West is the chief engineer for pediatric technologies for Georgia Tech and the Director of the Landmarc Research Center. As Chief Engineer, she coordinates all research activities across campus that are related to pediatrics. She helps manage the formal relationship with Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. As the Director of Landmarc, she coordinates a team of researchers who focus on mobile and wireless system development, database development, and system integration.

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DianeOwenFinancial Manager II/HR Manager
Diane Owen is the Financial Manager and Human Resources Manager for Institute for People and Technology. She is responsible for financial operations, post-award grants management and personnel transactions across IPaT’s six departments. Diane is a Certified Research Administrator, holds a Masters degree in Accounting and has over 30 years of experience sponsored project and human resources management experience at Georgia Tech, Emory University, the Chattahoochee Hill Country Conservancy and Merrill Lynch.

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AlysonPowellCommunications Officer
Alyson Powell is IPaT’s communications officer. She assists with copywriting and marketing IPaT by creating communications materials such as videos, newsletters, and graphics. Alyson also works closely with the rest of the team to maintain and develop the IPaT website. She has nearly 15 years experience in marketing, web development, and broadcasting.

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RaulPerezGraphic Designer
Raul Perez is the graphic designer for IPaT’s Marcom Team. He ensures that all of IPaT and their clients have the best visually represented designs needed for marketing and communications. Raul joins IPaT from South Florida where he graduated from the Art Institute of Ft Lauderdale, winning best print portfolio. He has worked in the e-commerce field as well as designing for a sports nutritional company making tradeshow displays, booklets, business cards, website landing pages and promotional emails.

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AshtonPellomCommunications Officer
Ashton Pellom is a communications officer with IPaT and GTRI where he leads in the development of communications materials and promotional efforts with media representatives. Ashton was a news reporter for WBTV (CBS Charlotte affiliate) for three years, and before that he reported for WALB-TV (NBC/ABC affiliate) for two years. In 2015, he was nominated for two Midsouth Emmy Awards for Best Morning Newscast and Best Breaking News for his coverage of the Charleston Church shooting in Charleston, South Carolina. In 2011, Ashton won two Georgia Associated Press Awards, one for Best Spot News Reporting and the other for Best Use of Sound. He graduated Cum Laude with a BS in Broadcast News at West Virginia University.

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PaulDiederichSystems Support Engineer
Paul Diederich is a systems support engineer responsible for the day to day IT operations supporting our users. He also helps create IT solutions and played a key role in creating the Protected Health Data Infrastructure at IPaT.

Paul graduated from Kennesaw State University with a bachelor degree in Information Security Assurance. Prior to Georgia Tech, Paul did freelance IT providing technical support to individuals and companies including medical offices. He also worked at Mesa Community College as a media technician while he lived in Arizona.

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RobbieGoreSystems Support Engineer
Robbie Gore is a systems support engineer with IPaT. He graduated from Louisiana Tech University in 2009, and while there worked with the Institutional Research and Web Development teams to build an updated online presence and content management system. Robbie has worked with multiple universities, including University of New Orleans and Louisiana State University. His roles have included user support, web development, and server administration.

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RichardStarrResearch Scientist
Richard Starr is a research scientist responsible for the Protected Health Data infrastructure at IPaT. He is developing a common infrastructure to work with Health Care data. This secure environment will be able to be employed across campus to house research data to maintain compliance with HIPAA, IRB, and partnership agreements.

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