Please join us in welcoming Ren Mao,  The Michelson Institute for Intellectual Property (Michelson IP) Program Coordinator. 

Ren Mao considers herself a multidisciplinary scholar with a background in Higher Education, Leadership Development, Peace Studies, and Mass Communications. After graduating with her bachelor’s degree in Mass Communications at Point Park University, Ren worked in marketing and human resources for a small start-up. Her experiences in this position made her realize her deep desire to seek out more meaningful work, which led to her pursuit of further education in Peace Studies.

While studying at Golden West College, Ren discovered her passion for social justice issues and the inequities that plague our world. She found herself particularly drawn to education as she attended many K-12 schools as a child and recognized the gaps in educational quality within neighborhoods of differing affluence. Ren also realized how those gaps affected the trajectory of her peers’ lives—despite having seen the same levels of passion, curiosity, and potential in each of them.

She then pursued her Master’s degree in Leadership Development at Chapman University, focusing on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) in educational leadership. There, Ren worked as a Graduate Assistant Program Coordinator for the Cross-Cultural Center, where she led a team of undergraduates to plan and execute programs and events throughout the year focusing on social justice education. Additionally, Ren served as a Research Assistant for the Attallah College of Education, where she examined education-related topics that included culturally responsive programming, equitable access to STEM, and social change (the education of the whole person by integrating the inner and outer life by actualizing individual and global awakening, and by participating in compassionate communities).

Having worked as a freelance graphic designer and creative, Ren recognizes the importance and impact of Intellectual Property (IP) education has on budding artists and communities of color. As Program Coordinator, Ren hopes to contribute to Michelson IP’s work by growing awareness, access, and IP education support within all educational spaces.

Ren is excited to begin this next chapter of her career with Michelson IP. She is eager to dive into the world of IP and work toward closing the education gap as we move toward a more technological future.

“I feel fortunate to work with an organization with initiatives like Open Educational Resources and Smart Justice, in which I believe my values of educational equity align,” Ren shared. “I’m immensely honored to have the opportunity to contribute to and learn from the Michelson 20MM and Michelson Philanthropies team.”

Michelson 20MM is a private, nonprofit foundation seeking to accelerate progress towards a more just world through grantmaking, operating programs, and impact investing. Co-chaired and funded by Alya and Gary Michelson, Michelson 20MM is part of the Michelson Philanthropies network of foundations.

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