Dr. Cynthia Sides is the Director of Innovation and Industry Partnerships at the University of Arkansas, a unit in the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Innovation. In this role, she facilitates a unique network of relationships between industry, non-profits, communities, and the university with a focus on strengthening the university’s land-grant and flagship missions and building Arkansas’ knowledge-based economy through university research and innovation. She also leads the research development efforts at the university. Sides leads the PAAD (Professional Awareness, Advancement, and Development) program, which is an NSF-funded project that educates and prepares STEM graduate students for a variety of careers. She also teaches Emerging Technologies in Industry, an interdisciplinary graduate course that serves as a pipeline for students who wish to learn more about career opportunities and industries, generate ideas and solutions to company challenges, and explore the commercialization of research.