Program Management

Executive Leadership Team

Winthrop B. Phippen, Ph.D.
Project Director

Dr. Win Phippen currently serves as the Project Director for IPREFER a multi-institutional $10M National Institute for Food and Agriculture project focused on commercializing pennycress as a viable new cash cover crop for the Midwest Corn Belt. The IPREFER project (Integrated Pennycress Research Enabling Farm and Energy Resilience) focuses on optimizing agronomic protocols, breeding line development, assessment of environmental impacts, supply chain requirements, and community outreach.

Dr. Phippen is a professor of Plant Breeding and Genetics in the School of Agriculture at Western Illinois University in Macomb, IL. He received his master’s degree from Cornell University in plant breeding and a doctorate degree from Purdue University. His research for the last 20 years has focused on agronomic and breeding improvement of alternative and new crops such as: milkweed, cuphea, hemp, and most recently pennycress.

310 Knoblauch Hall
University Circle
Macomb IL 61455
wb-phippen@wiu.edu

Rebekka Darner, Ph.D.
Co-PI

Professor and Director, Center for Mathematics, Science & Technology
Illinois State University
Campus Box 4120
Normal IL 61790
rldarne@ilstu.edu

Michaela McGinn Ph.D.
Co-PI

Michael McGinn

Director of External and Regulatory Affairs
CoverCress, Inc.
1249 N. Warson Rd.
St. Louis MO 63132
mmcginn@covercress.com

CoverCress Logo

David Marks, Ph.D.
Co-PI

Professor (Ret./Active)
University of Minnesota
411 Borlaug Hall
St. Paul, MN 55108
marks004@umn.edu

William (Bill) Perry, Ph.D.
Co-PI

Professor of Aquatic Ecology
Campus Box 4120
School of Biological Sciences
Illinois State University
Normal, IL 61790-4120
wlperry@ilstu.edu

John C. Sedbrook, Ph.D.
Co-PI

Professor of Genetics
School of Biological Sciences
Illinois State University
Campus Box 4120
Normal, IL 61790
jcsedbr@ilstu.edu

Samantha S. Wells, Ph.D.
Co-PI

Assistant Professor of Agronomy and Plant Genetics
College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences
University of Minnesota
College of Biological Sciences Building
St. Paul, MN 55108-6026
SSWELLS@UMN.EDU

Anne Kinzel, Program Manager