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Staff Directory

Innovation Hub

Tom Wavering

Executive Director, Innovation Hub
Email: wavering@ou.edu
LinkedIn: Tom Wavering

Tom Wavering leads the Innovation Hub in creating a culture change within the Oklahoma entrepreneurial ecosystem and in building collaborations across local, regional and statewide organizations to grow economic impact.

OU Startup Programs

Dayten Israel, JD, MSC

Interim Director, OU Startup Programs
Email: daytenisrael@ou.edu
LinkedIn: Dayten Israel

Dayten Israel is a business attorney and strategic communication professional who supports startups with business strategy, operations, legal transactions and revenue generation. In his role, he coaches company founders through early- and later-stage development and scaling. Dayten also leads all storytelling, creative content development and communications for OU Startup Programs and the Tom Love Innovation Hub. He has also played a critical role in launching the OU Entrepreneurial Law Center. 

OU Fabrication Lab

Brandt Smith

Director, OU Fabrication Lab
Email: brandt@ou.edu
LinkedIn: Brandt Smith

Brandt Smith oversees the Fabrication Lab and spearheads all Lab initiatives. His leadership has generated several internal and external projects for the Fabrication Lab, most notably the production of modified personal protective equipment during the initial Covid-19 outbreak.

Francisco Robles, MBA

Prototyping Manager, OU Fabrication Lab
Email: fcorobles@ou.edu
LinkedIn: Francisco Robles

Francisco Robles heads prototyping development for projects at the student and community level. 

OK Catalyst Programs

Sarah Hamby, MBA

Director, OK Catalyst Programs
Email: sarah.hamby@ou.edu
LinkedIn: Sarah Hamby

Sarah Hamby leads OK Catalyst's many initiatives, which provide networking, training and mentorship to budding entrepreneurs in hi-tech fields eligible for federal research and development funding. As Director, she works closely with entrepreneurial support and economic development organizations across the state to promote SBIR/STTR funding as a viable resource for early-stage startups.

Obum Ukabam

Associate Director - Tulsa, OK Catalyst Programs
Email: oukabam@ou.edu
LinkedIn: Obum Ukabam

Maya Nkouka, JD

Program Manager - Tulsa, OK Catalyst Programs
Email: mnkouka@ou.edu
LinkedIn: Maya Nkouka

Maya Nkouka leads SBIR training and outreach efforts in Tulsa and the surrounding areas. In 2020, she directed the development and execution of the first all-virtual SBIR Accelerator in the nation. Most recently, Maya began supporting OK Catalyst's Accelerators after formerly leading the OK Catalyst Endeavor program. 

Casey Farmer

Marketing & Communications Manager, OK Catalyst Programs
Email: casey.farmer@ou.edu
LinkedIn: Casey Farmer

Casey Farmer leads all storytelling, creative content development and communications for OK Catalyst. Prior to joining the OK Catalyst team, she curated relationships with community partners, managed outreach efforts and collaborated on the communication of events and programs for the Better Business Bureau.

INTENT Programs

Diana Varnes

Program Lead, INTENT Programs
Email: dvarnes@ou.edu
LinkedIn: Diana Varnes

Diana Varnes leads the Innovation Hub's satellite office in Tulsa. She coordinates several initiatives and programs that seek to inspire innovation and generate interest in technology and entrepreneurship at the community level.