The White House honored Dr. Olga Koper Wednesday morning as one of eleven people who are Immigrant Innovator “Champions of Change.”
The event highlights immigrant innovators and entrepreneurs—the best and brightest from around the world who are helping create American jobs, grow the economy and make the nation more competitive, the White House said in a media release for the honorific event.
All across the country, ordinary Americans are doing extraordinary things in their communities to out-innovate, out-educate, and out-build the rest of the world, boasted a website promoting the event and today’s honorees. The White House said it will invite more Champions of Change to the White House each week to share their ideas to win the future.
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“Immigrants have long made America more prosperous and innovative, and the Champions we are celebrating today represent the very best in leadership, entrepreneurship, and public service,” US Chief Technology Officer Todd Park said. “We are proud to recognize these leaders who work every day to grow our economy, advance science and technology, and support their home communities.”
The Champions of Change program was created as an opportunity for the White House to feature groups of Americans—individuals, businesses and organizations—who are doing extraordinary things to empower and inspire members of their communities.
Steve Case, founder of America Online and chief of the Case Foundation, was on-hand today in Washington to laud today’s immigrant innovator recipients.
Immigration isn’t a problem to be solved, case said of an issue trying to work its way through congress now, it’s an opportunity to take advantage of.
“You are symbols to help others follow in your path,” he told those attending today’s White House event.
Olga B. Koper, Ph.D., born in Poland, who was not one of the six people honored today, works in the Business and Open Innovation group for Energy and Environment, at Columbus, Ohio’s Battelle Memorial Institute, the largest nonprofit research organization in the world.
She is a holder of more than 30 U.S. and international patents to improve environment, energy, and health using nanomaterials. Previously, she was the first employee and became the CTO and Vice President of NanoScale Corporation, a spinoff of Kansas State University.
In 2007 she was selected as Pipeline’s Innovator of the Year award in the Charter Class of Pipeline, and in 2013 Entrepreneur Magazine chose Koper as one of seven “Entrepreneurial Woman to Watch.” Koper received an M.S. in general chemistry from the University of Silesia in Poland and a Ph.D. from Kansas State University, where she holds an Adjunct Professor position. [Source: White House].
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