To be a valuable partner in Virginia’s maritime enterprise, contributing to the resolution of Naval sustainment challenges and the emergence of Hampton Roads as a national standard of maritime excellence.
Mark WhitneyExecutive Director
Mark brings his extensive industrial base and sustainment experience in shipbuilding, modernization, and repair, including tours as the 47th Commander of Puget Sound Naval Shipyard & Intermediate Maintenance Facility; Deputy Commander, Logistics, Maintenance and Industrial Operations (SEA04), Naval Sea Systems Command; Director, Fleet Maintenance, U.S. Fleet Forces Command, Vice President, Deputy General Manager, BAE Systems, Inc, Ship Repair, Vice President, General Manager BAE Systems Inc., Norfolk Ship Repair, and Vice President of Industrial Operations, R&P Technologies.
Robert Allen BakerStrategic Planning Lead
Allen has more than 30 years of defense sector experience in delivering innovative technologies, with emphasis on mission-based approaches to technology integration program planning and management and related policy formation, program health, and process improvements. Allen has degrees from Washington U. – St. Louis, UCLA and Harvard.
Russell CzackAssistant Director
Russell brings his extensive leadership skills and supply chain management expertise from his 25 years of service as a Navy Supply Corps Officer. He also served eight years as a Strategic Analysis Officer for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), including a tour as Special Assistant to Supreme Allied Commander Transformation, NATO’s North American Strategic Commander, responsible for the transformation of the Alliance’s military forces, structures, and capabilities.
Dr. Jessica JohnsonResearch Assistant Professor
Jessica’s work focuses on implementing user-centered approaches in the assessment, design, and development of immersive and simulated environments to augment learner performance. She has expertise in both cognitive and learning sciences, coupled with a background in human-computer interaction for use in field applications of learner autonomy and multi-modal training systems. She leverages learning engineering processes to maximize engagement, cognitive performance, and the design cutting-edge tools.
Dr. Katie SmithResearch Assistant Professor/Data Analytics Lead
Katie is a Research Assistant Professor and an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering at Old Dominion University. She holds a Ph.D. in Modeling and Simulation Engineering, an M.S. in Computational and Applied Mathematics, and B.S. degrees in Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mathematics, all from Old Dominion University. She was previously a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Mathematics & Statistics.
Jennifer RenneLearning Engineer
Jennifer Renne is a Curriculum Coordinator for the Virginia Digital Maritime Center at Old Dominion University's Office of Enterprise Research and Innovation. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Technology Education from SUNY Oswego and a Master of Arts in Education degree in Integrative STEM Education from Virginia Tech. She was previously a high school Technology Education teacher with Virginia Beach City Public Schools. She has served on state curriculum committees and is a member of several state and national engineering educator associations. She has developed maritime curriculum for grades K-12 as well as modeling and simulation curriculum for grades 9-12.
John SnellSenior Program Manager for Maritime Trades
John most recently served as the Training and Workforce Development Program Manager (Naval Shipyards) at Naval Sea Systems Command. Prior to NNSY, he served 26 years in the Navy, excelling in various leadership roles, including Command Master Chief onboard USS Nassau during Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom, and the Navy’s Command Master Chief of Naval Personnel Development Command, overseeing the training and education of over 320,000 Sailors.
Jason DudleyLearning Engineer
Jason is an enthusiastic educator that has successfully developed and delivered honors level math courses at the middle school level, taught Hampton’s S.T.R.E.A.M. Summer Program for three years, and has mentored several new teachers. Jason holds a Collegiate Professional License with 6-8 Mathematics, Algebra 1, and Visual Arts (PreK-12) endorsements. He also possesses a Master’s in Education with Mathematics Specialist Endorsement from Old Dominion University, and a B.S. in Christian Ministry from Lee University.
Gul AyazExtended Reality Developer
Gul Ayaz is a Game and Extended Reality Developer at the Virginia Digital Maritime Center at Old Dominion University's Office of Enterprise Research and Innovation. She has designed and developed serious and interactive games and immersive experiences relating to maritime skilled trades and coastal resilience across many disciplines. She has earned a M.S. in Modeling and Simulation Engineering and a B.S. in Computational Modeling and Simulation Engineering with a concentration in gaming from ODU.