Human Skills Workshop panel to include Christine Ortiz, Jean Hammond | MIT J-WEL

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Human Skills Workshop panel to include Christine Ortiz, Jean Hammond

J-WEL is pleased to announce the latest panel for our upcoming workshop, Human Skills: From Conversation to Convergence. Professor Christine Ortiz and Jean Hammond will participate in our panel, "Human Skills: Why are they important? What are they?". To see additional speakers, visit our program page. Get to know them below! 

To register for the workshop, visit the event site. Registration closes Wednesday, February 26th.

Human Skills: From Conversations to Convergence will explore “human skills” - the social and higher-order thinking skills that are essential to success in today’s dynamic organizations and in the future of work. 

Speaker Bios

Namrata Kala

Christine Ortiz

Morris Cohen Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, MIT
Founder, Station1

Christine Ortiz is a scientist, engineer, professor, scholar, former dean, philanthropist, and social entrepreneur. Ortiz is the (tenured and chaired) Morris Cohen Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at MIT. Ortiz is a distinguished scientist and engineer with over 180 scholarly publications, has supervised the research projects of more than 100 students from 10 different academic disciplines, and received 30 national and international honors, including the Presidential Early Career Award in Science and Engineering which was awarded to her at the White House by President George W. Bush. Ortiz served as the Dean for Graduate Education at MIT between 2010 and 2016, supporting approximately 7,000 graduate students from 100+ countries.

With over 25 years of experience in higher education, Dr. Ortiz has led cross-institutional initiatives in diversity, equity, and inclusion, global education, technology-enabled learning, new methods of learning assessment, and postsecondary financial models. Dr. Ortiz was the founder and principal investigator of the MIT University Center of Exemplary Mentoring sponsored by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. Ortiz has served on or chaired over 50 task forces, working groups, and committees in higher education. Ortiz is the founder and inaugural philanthropic benefactor of a new nonprofit higher education institution, Station1 (, that is building a new model of higher education through an inclusive, integrated, interdisciplinary approach to socially-directed science and technology education, research, and entrepreneurship. Read more.



Jean Hammond

General Partner

LearnLaunch Institute, Accelerator and Campus together support the growth of greater Boston’s edtech cluster. The goal is to drive innovation and transform learning by providing support for the creation and growth of education technology and learning companies in New England.

Jean is an active angel investor focusing on early-stage high tech start-ups. She was honored with the highest award for angels in the US, the Hans Severiens Award, in 2014. She was a founder of the Boston branch of Golden Seeds (focused on investing in women-managed businesses) and a member of Launchpad Venture Group and Hub Angels.

Jean is a serial entrepreneur with over 20 years of experience in the high-tech industry. Her entrepreneurial activities include co-founding and managing Quarry Technologies and AXON Networks and, following 3Com’s acquisition of AXON, focusing 3Com’s WAN strategy.

MIT Entrepreneurship Center, Entrepreneur in Residence, Mentor at MassChallenge and TechStars.

She has played an active board-level role with a number of her Boston-area investments including Crimson Hexagon, Hire Reach, Home Portfolio, Instream Media, iTeam, Peach Underneath, Pixibility, Playrific, Ten Marks, ZipCar, and a number of others. Her activities with nonprofits include being on the board of The Capital Network. Read more.