working at the intersection of science, healthcare & entrepreneurship


Innovation Scholars Staff. Read about the people who manage the program.

John Meslow

John Meslow, a retired Medtronic executive, envisioned the opportunity for undergraduates to work on real life projects and inventions through Mayo Clinic Ventures in 2006 and designed the flagship Mayo Innovation Scholars Program from the ground up. During the pandemic, John and his team pivoted to a virtual format …..John has many years of experience operating at the interface of science, medicine and business and brings this expertise to the program.

Rebecca Hawthorne, Ph.D.
Program Director

Hawthorne serves as Innovation Scholars Program Director, focused on building a sustainable, cutting-edge, experiential learning model that engages liberal arts students at the intersections of disciplinary learning and real life problem-solving. She holds a doctorate in program design and evaluation from Stanford University’s School of Education and is a professor emerita in organizational leadership at St. Catherine University.

Liz Jansen, Ph.D.
Academic Program Director

Jansen is a professor of biology and Director of the Olin Rice Hub at Macalester College. She teaches courses in her home discipline of neuroscience, as well as courses in reproductive biology. She enjoys the multidisciplinarity of Innovation Scholars and sees it as a fruitful application of a liberal arts education. Liz works closely with undergraduate faculty mentors on each campus and curates projects for the program each year.

Lisa McCarthy
Program Administrator

McCarthy is the Chemistry Department Coordinator at Macalester College and works with students pursuing a variety of pathways. Her background is in academic administration and support, and she serves as the “glue” that holds Innovation Scholars program together. Lisa is a strong supporter of liberal arts education and has two children studying at small liberal arts colleges right now.