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Our Staff

Elizabeth Drotleff

Elizabeth Drotleff
Director, Industry Research Collaborations

Elizabeth is responsible for business development in the research domain; identifying and establishing university-industry relationships to meet customer’s research-related needs while ensuring value creation for Ohio State faculty and for the company. Elizabeth helps companies articulate their technical challenges and then identifies faculty with the appropriate expertise to generate solutions. She works closely with university researchers to expand their understanding of industry touching on topics such as the Triple Constraint, budget cycle, risk profile and industry proposal development. Elizabeth continues to be instrumental in shaping Ohio State’s industry research ecosystem to create more efficient and effective mechanisms for both faculty and our external partners. 

Prior to joining the College of Arts and Sciences in January 2022, Elizabeth managed a portfolio of over 150 life sciences, engineering, and physical sciences technologies in Ohio State’s Technology Commercialization Office, identifying commercial potential, managing the patent protection process, and executing license agreements to companies and entrepreneurs. She then moved to the university’s Industry Liaison Office, and for seven years worked with faculty and companies interested in engaging in high-value research collaborations. 

Before joining the Ohio State community, she was a competitive intelligence analyst for CAS, examining the competitive landscape of the scientific information industry and identifying threats to the company’s bottom line.   

After earning her PhD in organic chemistry from the University of California, Santa Cruz, Elizabeth worked as a research scientist at Battelle in the Advanced Materials Applications group. She joined Optimer Photonics, a Battelle spin-off as the senior chemist, creating novel electrooptic chromophores for use in optical devices. Elizabeth holds several patents, one of which, covering a biodegradable soy toner, was awarded the 2008 ACS Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award. During her tenure at Optimer Photonics, she earned her MBA from The Ohio State University’s Fisher College of Business. 

Cheryl Yeack

Cheryl Yeack
Director, Industry Partnerships

Cheryl is responsible for developing and fostering large-scale, comprehensive, university-industry partnerships to create value for both the industry partner and the college. She serves as the central point of contact for the industry partners, providing concierge level service and identifying opportunities for student engagement, experiential learning, research and grant support, specialized testing and services, innovation and entrepreneurship, technology commercialization, alumni engagement, and new pathways for philanthropic support. She regularly sends newsletters to all industry partners to communicate engagement opportunities, spark the development of new ideas, and highlight potential areas for continued partnership. Working in tandem with the director of industry research collaborations, Cheryl seeks to maximize the value to our industry partners while supporting faculty and students and the mission of the college. 

Cheryl has been in the higher education sector for over 20 years, joining Ohio State in 1987 as an academic advisor and managing the student services operation in the Department of Computer and Information Science. She left the workforce in 1998 to raise her children, returning to the College of Engineering in 2009 where she managed the BS/MS program, scholarship programs and degree certification, participated in enrollment management planning, and performed data analysis. She joined the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry in 2013, supporting the activities of the chair and managing events, administrative support and alumni development, before transitioning to developing Ohio State’s first ever industry partnerships program in a department. She joined the College of Arts and Sciences in March 2022, transferring the programs developed and industry relationships to the college. 

After earning her BS in Business Administration, she worked in industry for a year before returning to The Ohio State University to earn her MBA. She also serves on the Board of Directors for BCMI Corporation.