Dr. Sohar is the director of the Collaboratory for Women Innovators.
Professionally, her experience spans both the public and private sectors, has a strong technology focus, and includes economic development, technology transfer, educational outreach, grant writing, and administration. A seasoned executive with more than 25 years of experience in the innovation arena, Dr. Sohar was an early employee in two technology startup companies (both acquired), managed an emerging tech collaborative representing 20+ land-grant universities, and has served as an evaluator and best-practice technical trainer for statewide grants. She is also the prior Assistant Director of UF Innovate | The Hub and co-founder of EWITS, an experiential program designed to educate, inspire and empower women to pursue leadership roles in technology-based companies.
Dr. Sohar served as the Chair for the AUTM Women’s Inventor Committee (WIC), which aims to increase women’s participation in the commercialization process, and she served as the Chair of the AUTM/WIC Metrics committee. In that role, she led the first baseline survey of university technology transfer offices regarding gender tracking, as well as successful follow-up outreach and advocacy efforts to engage more universities to begin innovator gender tracking. In addition, Dr. Sohar has participated in other large-scale team projects including research for the Florida Department of Health and the Florida Department of Education and has taught at the university level.
She is a mentor for Gainesville Girls Rock Camp, a weeklong program that teaches girls 8-17 empowerment through music each summer. Kathy holds a bachelor’s degree from UCONN and earned her master of arts in telecommunications and doctoral degree in mass communications at UF. She has won awards for her work on innovation projects and is a frequent guest speaker on innovation, entrepreneurship, and gender panels.
Austin oversees finances, marketing, and programming/event coordination for the Collaboratory for Women Innovators. On any given day, he could be monitoring annual budgets, planning and implementing strategic marketing efforts, analyzing financial statements and reports, designing and printing marketing materials, or interpreting social media analytics.
Before joining UF Innovate in 2019, Austin worked as a Business Administrative Specialist with UF/IFAS. He leverages many years of experience as a self-employed creative professional.
Austin holds a B.S. in Telecommunications and a B.A. in Business Administration with a minor in Entrepreneurship from the University of Florida.