Master Course Teachers

Learning from the world’s foremost leaders, entrepreneurs, and practitioners.

Teaching from experience.

Watson Master Course teachers are the world’s foremost leaders, entrepreneurs, and practitioners who serve as short-term entrepreneurs in residence. Each week a Master Course Teacher is invited to campus to share their entrepreneurial journey and experience as well as mentor the Watson students.

Master Courses may range from a fireside chat to an interactive workshop, and revolve around sharing best practices, as well as learnings and failures. This pillar of the Watson experience exposes students to inspiring individuals leading a life impact.


Through Master Courses, students are exposed to seasoned leaders and entrepreneurs from across industries, varying experiences, and diverse points of view.


A fundamental aspect of a Master Course is to bring entrepreneurial and leadership journeys to campus to serve as inspirations and field guides for success.


As short-term entrepreneurs in residence, students have the option to meet with Master Course Teachers for mentorship sessions.

Virtual Master Course Series

During the global COVID-19 pandemic we had the privilege to offer three open virtual master courses to our broader Watson Institute community:

Erin Boyd

Erin is designing a revolutionary disruption in the field of residential real estate: the first car-free neighborhood built from scratch in the US. She previously founded Ashoka U, the leading network of universities empowering changemakers, which she started as a student at Stanford during the height of the Great Recession.

Watch Erin Boyd’s virtual Master Course, Play as a Strategy in a Time of Uncertainty, below:

Jane Miller

Jane Miller’s open, virtual Master Course challenged participants to design their own ‘jobs’ that build their skills and resume during this unprecedented time of COVID-19.  A recognized leader in the natural and organic food industry, Jane is former CEO of Lily’s Sweets (sold to Hershey’s), co-founder of Haevn (with several Watson Institute alums!) and has 30 years of executive experience in PepsiCo, Heinz, and Rudi’s Bakery. Jane publishes the popular blog on the tips, tools, and truths to lead a meaningful career.

Watch Jane Miller’s virtual Master Course, Any Job is a Good Job, below:

Jerry White

Jerry White, a land-mine survivor and recognized leader of the International Campaign to Ban-Landmines, which co-received the Nobel Peace Prize, challenged participants to understand and practice a new definition of resilience and what it means to thrive during times of crisis.

Watch Jerry White’s virtual Master Course, Resilience in Times of Crisis, below:

Notable Master Course Teachers are:

Tom Chi

Tom has worked in a wide range of roles from astrophysical researcher to Fortune 500 consultant to corporate executive developing new hardware/software products and services.

He most recently served as the head of product experience at Google X developing technology such as Google Glass and Google’s self-driving cars.

Prior to that, he played a significant role in Yahoo! and Microsoft projects like Yahoo Answers and Outlook.

Felecia Hatcher

Felecia is on a mission to rid communities of innovation deserts by working with community leaders and government officials to create inclusive and diverse tech/startup ecosystems as the Co-Founder of Code Fever, Black Tech Week and Tribe Cowork and Urban Innovation Lab.

She has raised over 3 million dollars to support Code Fever’s work which sits at the intersection of economic development and inclusive innovation.

Chad Bernstein

Chad is the co-founder and CEO of Guitars Over Guns Organization, a music-mentoring program for at-risk youth; he has a doctorate from the University of Miami and teaches trombone and jazz arranging at FIU.

He is an active member of the South Florida music scene as a multi-instrumentalist, band leader, sideman, and writer, and has worked with Pharrell,, Pitbull, Shakira, Natalie Cole, Chaka Kahn, John Legend, and many more.

Erin Schrode

Erin is a citizen activist, entrepreneur and storyteller. Since co-founding Turning Green in 2005, she has developed eco education and action platforms to inspire, educate, and mobilize millions of students and the global public.

She became the youngest person to run for US Congress working to redefine civic engagement, reinvigorate public service, and expand the definition of politician for a generation and a nation.

Jeff Hoffman

Jeff is an award-winning entrepreneur, motivational speaker, bestselling author, Hollywood film producer, Producer of a Grammy-winning jazz album, and Executive Producer of an Emmy Award-winning television show. In his career, he has been the founder of multiple startups, he has been the CEO of both public and private companies, and he has served as a senior executive in many capacities. Jeff has been part of a number of well-known, successful startups including, and more.

Monica de Zelaya

Dean of UFM School of Economic Sciences; founder of UFM Kirzner Entrepreneurship Center; senior consultant for Franklin Covey; co-author of books on entrepreneurship and management; professor of management theory, leadership, and entrepreneurship; president of Antigua Forum 2015.

Monica also helped integrate the 7 habits of highly effective people curriculum into the national education system of Guatemala.