LAURELS: Research Parks Association Honors Aggie Square Personnel

Man and woman at UC Davis construction site
Mark Romney, chief industry alliance officer, and Mary Mumper, project coordinator, are pictured outside the Aggie Square construction site in Sacramento. (Wayne Tilcock/UC Davis)

Aggie Square and the people making it happen are continuing to attract attention in the Association of University Research Parks, or AURP.

The association, which presented its Leadership Award to Chancellor Gary S. May and Sacramento Darrell Steinberg in 2019, when Aggie Square was still in the planning stage, recently honored three more key figures in the UC Davis-led innovation hub:

  • Mary Mumper, project coordinator, received the Rising Star Award, given to an individual exhibiting significant contributions to the development and success of communities of innovation. She has been involved in Aggie Square since its formative stages and has been an active member of the AURP community, attending conferences and serving on committees.
  • Jim Berens headshot
    Jim Berens
    Jim Berens, CEO of Wexford Science + Technology, one of the Aggie Square development partners, received the Vision Award, given to an individual who has made an exceptional contribution to the AURP network and the innovation ecosystem. Under his leadership, Wexford has helped drive the development of research and lab spaces for universities, university-based research parks and health care systems.

Mumper was in attendance for the awards presentation at the AURP’s International Conference held Sept. 19-22 in the MaRS Discovery District in Toronto.

Also during the conference, the association elected Mark Romney, chief industry alliance officer for Aggie Square, as vice president for 2023. He joined the AURP board of directors in 2018, gained a seat on the executive council and subsequently won election to a second three-year term on the board. He has chaired AURP conferences and given presentations, and he has spoken on behalf of the association around the United States, China and France, about the ideation and evolution of Aggie Square.

Romney also serves as the director of research development and industry alliances in the School of Medicine’s Office of Entrepreneurship and Industry Alliances, where he started working on Aggie Square before it became known as Aggie Square.

Mumper went to work for Romney in the Office of Entrepreneurship and Industry Alliances in April 2018, the day before Chancellor May and Mayor Steinberg announced the Aggie Square project. Mumper joined the planning team and eventually became Aggie Square’s first employee in September 2021 when the project broke off from the Office of Entrepreneurship and Industry Alliances.

Read more about Aggie Square.

Dateline UC Davis welcomes news of faculty and staff awards, for publication in Laurels. Send information to

Media Resources

Dateline Staff: Dave Jones, editor, 530-752-6556,; Cody Kitaura, News and Media Relations specialist, 530-752-1932,

Primary Category

Secondary Categories