Brandy Salmon, M.B.A., Ph.D.

Executive Director

With over 20 years of experience at the intersection of research and business, Brandy serves as executive director of LINK. Prior to Virginia Tech, Brandy was a director with RTI’s Innovation Advisors, where she led strategic consulting engagements for federal and corporate clients and served as program manager for a global technology testing and commercialization accelerator on behalf of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Brandy joined RTI from Duke University, where she led a full spectrum of commercialization and technology transfer activities within the Office of Licensing and Ventures. Brandy earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Virginia, a Ph.D. in microbiology and immunology from Cornell University, and an M.B.A. from the Duke University Fuqua School of Business.  

Brad Fravel, M.B.A., Ph.D.


As a seasoned professional with two decades of experience in science and business, Brad is responsible for identifying and creating strategic, long-term collaborations with the private sector to advance innovation, improve communities, and strengthen tomorrow’s workforce. Prior to Virginia Tech, he held positions as executive director, corporate relations, at Indiana University and served as the business development manager for the university’s technology transfer arm, IU Research & Technology Corporation. Brad earned a Ph.D. in physical organic chemistry from Indiana University. He also holds a bachelor’s degree from Southern Methodist University and an M.B.A. from the Butler University Lacy School of Business.

Karin Clark

Karin Clark

Associate Director

With a focus on developing mutually beneficial partnerships, Karin builds strategic relations with corporations to support teaching, research, and service at Virginia Tech. Prior to joining LINK, Clark served as assistant director for corporate and foundation relations in the College of Engineering. In the private sector, Clark led the marketing, communications and public relations for a variety of technology companies and worked on executive teams as well as with project engineers and scientists. She has served on multiple civic and business organizations in the local community including the Roanoke-Blacksburg Technology Council, the New River Valley United Way, and the Rotary Club of Blacksburg. She holds a bachelor's degree in business administration from Radford University.

Justin Watts

Justin Watts, M.B.A.

Associate Director

Through his combination of professional, research, and academic experience, Justin brings a strong business skillset to LINK. An alumnus of Virginia Tech with a bachelor’s degree in engineering science and mechanics, Justin returns with six years of increasing responsibilities in private industry and government contracting, most recently as a lead development engineer. As a high-performing and engaging technical lead, Justin has a firsthand understanding of industry and customer relations in both the public and private sectors. In addition to his bachelor’s from Virginia Tech, Watts has an M.B.A. from Lynchburg College.

Johanna Cricenti

Johanna Cricenti, M.S.

Project Coordinator

With her broad range of experience, from small enterprise startups to community based research and engagement, Johanna has expertise in experiential and service learning, entrepreneurship, and project management. Prior to joining Link, she worked at the Office of International Research, Education, and Development as program manager of a USAID-sponsored global agricultural education systems project led by Virginia Tech. Johanna brings a multicultural perspective to the table from a broad range of international experiences and supervisory and advisory roles with diverse groups of faculty, administrators, government representatives, immigrant workers, and students over her career. Johanna holds a master’s degree in agricultural and life sciences from Virginia Tech and bachelor’s degree in government from Smith College.  

Lisa Young

Lisa Young

Project Coordinator

With over two decades of experience at Virginia Tech, Lisa has worked with every audience, including senior administrators, corporate executives, staff, faculty, alumni, donors, students, and the general public. Lisa strengthens relationships between the university and its partners while serving as a point of contact for internal and external parties; coordinating special events and meetings; and assisting with logistical, fundraising, and management functions. For the past 12 years, she served as the development associate with the College of Engineering dean’s office Advancement Group, working with Corporation and Foundation Relations and alumni on philanthropy efforts and cybergrant development. Lisa has an associate’s degree in secretarial science from New River Community College.

Hannah Greene

Hannah Green

Administrative Assistant

Bio coming soon.