Home » EKU names executive director for Center for Economic Development, Entrepreneurship and Technology

EKU names executive director for Center for Economic Development, Entrepreneurship and Technology

Also names director of regional programming

RICHMOND, Ky. (Oct. 27, 2015) — Dr. Thomas M. Martin has joined Eastern Kentucky University as executive director for its Center for Economic Development, Entrepreneurship and Technology (CEDET). He was previously the senior fellow for research and economic policy at the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education (CPE),

Thomas M. Martin
Thomas M. Martin

Martin, a two-time EKU graduate, joined CPE in 2011 as senior associate for academic affairs. He served as senior policy adviser for research and economic engagement from 2012 to 2014, when he was named senior fellow. He also has experience in store management and taught political science at EKU for three years.

“Dr. Martin brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to the EKU team,” said David McFaddin, executive director of the Office of Engagement and Regional Stewardship at EKU. “We view his appointment as a sign of our commitment to being the leading institution of higher education in our region. The need for new ideas and creative solutions to complex problems in our region led us to look for a leader with a passion for innovation and a dedication to exceptional service. We are very fortunate that we were able to find someone of Tom’s caliber to fulfill this role.”

Martin, a Danville resident, is a member of the Kentucky Statewide EPSCoR Committee and Kentucky Campus Compact, and serves on the Board of Advisors for At the Gap Solutions and as president of the EKU International Alumni Association. He earned a bachelor’s degree in organizational communication from EKU in 1993 and a master’s of business administration degree in 2001, and later added a doctoral degree in political science from the University of Kentucky.

“What’s exciting is that none of us know for sure what the ‘next big thing’ will be in our communities, or the local and global economy,” Martin said. “For example, the U.S. gets more than half of its economic growth from industries that barely existed a decade ago, while Apple Inc. gets over 70 percent of its revenues from products that didn’t exist in 2005.  So, it is my view that innovation and entrepreneurship, in all its forms, ignites passion in students, the faculty respond to it, and it engages and excites alumni, while we try to figure that next big thing.”

Dr. Ryan Wilson named director of Regional Programming

Dr. Ryan Wilson, a Clay County native and three-time graduate of EKU, has been named director of regional programming at EKU.

Most recently, Wilson served as program director of Student Success for EKU’s College of Education, leading EKU’s undergraduate advising, retention, recruitment and marketing efforts. Under his leadership, the freshman fall-to-fall retention rate increased 5.2 percent in two years.

“EKU’s Engagement and Regional Stewardship team is excited to welcome Dr. Wilson as our Director of Regional Programming,” said McFaddin. “He is a leader with great integrity, intelligence and energy. Ryan brings a commitment to our region and a passion for students that is unmatched. His leadership within the institution and throughout the region will be critical in helping Eastern continue to be a premier university, dedicated to student engagement and success.”

In addition to a bachelor’s degree in public relations and master’s degree in sports administration, Wilson completed a doctoral degree in educational leadership and policy studies from EKU in 2013.

“I have a vested interest in EKU’s service region,” Wilson said. “I grew up in Manchester, and my family and many friends live there. I completed my freshman year at the EKU Manchester campus so I know what it is like to be a student at a regional campus. My experience working with the academic colleges on campus and our partners at the KCTCS campuses helps me to understand the challenges and opportunities. My ability to build and maintain relationships will be beneficial as we work to increase academic programming and build upon student success at our regional campuses.”

In his new position, Wilson will serve as the Richmond campus liaison for the regional campuses and collaborate with academic and student success departments to manage and coordinate all educational programming for the regional campuses. He will also work to develop and implement student success and retention programs for regional campus students.