Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Announces Three New Board Members

January 19, 2022

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Announces Three New Board Members

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute has named three dynamic new members to the Rensselaer Board of Trustees. The new members, who will serve 4-year terms effective January 1, 2022, are: John M. Capek, B.S. ’83, M.E. ’84, M.E. ’85, MBA ’87, Ph.D. ’88; Mary Humiston, MBA ’90; and Roderic “Rod” I. Pettigrew, M.S. ’73.

“The Board is delighted to welcome these eminent trailblazers to the leadership team,” said Arthur F. Golden, B.S. ’66, JD, and Chair of the Board. “Their experience, expertise, and wisdom will provide crucial guidance as we shape the future of health care through engineering and precision medicine.”

“I am pleased these distinguished individuals have become members of the Board of Trustees,” said Dr. Shirley Ann Jackson, President of Rensselaer. “As graduates of the Institute, these leaders each bring unique strengths and important perspectives in engineering, human health, and business, and will make significant contributions to the university as it continues to address the pressing issues facing society, as we near our 200th anniversary in 2024.”

Dr. Capek is executive vice president of ventures at Abbott Laboratories. He currently leads Abbott’s venture investment organization as well as new ventures, including Abbott Electrophysiology. Previously, he served as executive vice president, medical devices, and senior vice president, Abbott Vascular, heading up Abbott’s global vascular business.

Before joining Abbott, Dr. Capek served in various management roles at Guidant Corporation, including president, Guidant Vascular Intervention, and vice president and general manager of Bioabsorbable Vascular Solutions. He also served as vice president and general manager of Guidant Germany and vice president, marketing, Guidant Cardiac Rhythm Management Group. Before joining Guidant, Dr. Capek was manager of New Product Technology at Eli Lilly & Company.

He has a bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering, a master’s degree in biomedical engineering, a master’s degree in electrical engineering, a doctorate in biomedical engineering, and a master of business administration degree, all from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

Mary Humiston is senior advisor with Accenture. She was the executive director for Accenture’s CHRO Forum, a collaboration of the world’s top chief human resources officers. She is also the founder of Modern Career, which offers career coaching, workshops, and a career podcast enabling professionals to more successfully navigate the ever-changing world and workplace environment.

Prior to joining Accenture, Ms. Humiston was chief human resources officer for Rolls-Royce plc., headquartered in London, where she oversaw a workforce of 55,000 across 30 countries, partnered to lead the company’s transformation, and in 2016 established a leadership academy with Oxford University.

Ms. Humiston has held a variety of senior positions in human resources across a number of companies and sectors, including senior vice president human resources at Applied Materials, a global leader in semiconductor technology. Prior to joining Applied Materials, she was vice president human resources at Honeywell Inc. She started her career at General Electric (GE) on the Human Resources Leadership Program and spent seven years in human resources and GE’s Corporate Audit Staff. She has a master of business administration degree from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Siena College. She also studied at Oxford University as an undergraduate.

Roderic I. Pettigrew is the inaugural dean of the Intercollegiate School of Engineering Medicine at Texas A&M University, in partnership with Houston Methodist Hospital. He previously served as chief executive officer of Engineering Health (EnHealth) and executive dean for Engineering Medicine (EnMed), also at Texas A&M. Dr. Pettigrew also holds the endowed Robert A. Welch Chair in Medicine at Texas A&M.

An internationally recognized leader in biomedical imaging and bioengineering, Dr. Pettigrew served for 15 years as the founding director for the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Prior to his appointment at the NIH, he joined Emory University School of Medicine as professor of radiology and medicine (cardiology), and Georgia Institute of Technology as professor of bioengineering. He is known for pioneering work in four-dimensional imaging of the cardiovascular system using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

Dr. Pettigrew is a member of the National Academy of Medicine, the National Academy of Engineering (NAE), the National Academy of Inventors, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the National Academy of Sciences, India. His awards include gold medals from the Academy of Radiology Research and the Radiological Society of North America, the Arthur M. Bueche Award from the NAE, and the Vannevar Bush Award from the National Science Board.

Dr. Pettigrew earned a bachelor’s degree in physics from Morehouse College, a master’s degree in nuclear science and engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, a doctorate in applied radiation physics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a doctor of medicine degree from the Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine at the University of Miami. He completed a residency in nuclear medicine at UC-San Diego.


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About Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Founded in 1824, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is America’s first technological research university. Rensselaer encompasses five schools, over 30 research centers, more than 140 academic programs including 25 new programs, and a dynamic community made up of over 6,800 students and 104,000 living alumni. Rensselaer faculty and alumni include upwards of 155 National Academy members, six members of the National Inventors Hall of Fame, six National Medal of Technology winners, five National Medal of Science winners, and a Nobel Prize winner in Physics. With nearly 200 years of experience advancing scientific and technological knowledge, Rensselaer remains focused on addressing global challenges with a spirit of ingenuity and collaboration. To learn more, please visit