< Back to Mentors

Focus Areas

Digital & Business Transformation, Media & Entertainment Technology Management, New Business Ventures

Don Marinelli

Dr. Donald Marinelli is a Senior Consultant at Point Park University and an Adjunct Professor at Northeastern University. Previously, he held the position of Director of Innovation for Inven Global Esports, the English-language website for Inven-Korea, the leading eSports and video game website in Korea with over an 80% market share. Dr. Marinelli also serves as the Associate Director of the Entertainment Technology Management program at Columbia University in the City of New York and as a Visiting Professor in the School of Arts, Media, and Engineering at Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona. 
Dr. Marinelli retired from Carnegie Mellon University in April 2012, concluding an illustrious 31 years of service to the university in a variety of capacities. He is renowned for co-founding the Carnegie Mellon Entertainment Technology Center (ETC) alongside the late computer science professor Randy Pausch, known for “The Last Lecture.” Additionally, Marinelli held a tenured position as a Professor of Drama and Arts Management at Carnegie Mellon University.
Dr. Marinelli played a pivotal role in the creation of several notable programs, including the Master of Arts Management program at Carnegie Mellon University, the Master of Fine Arts in Acting degree program with the Moscow Art Theatre School in Russia, and the Master of Entertainment Technology degree program within the ETC.
A native of Brooklyn, New York, Dr. Marinelli completed his undergraduate degree at the University of Tampa. He earned a Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology, specializing in Existential-Phenomenological Psychology, from Duquesne University. He later attended the University of Pittsburgh, where he received his Ph.D. in theatre history, literature, and criticism in 1987, with a dissertation focused on the early life and career of the Italian Futurist Filippo Tommaso Marinetti.
Dr. Marinelli authored a book titled “The Comet and the Tornado,” published in the spring of 2010 by Sterling Innovation, a division of Barnes & Noble. This book recounts the six years he spent alongside Randy Pausch, creating the Carnegie Mellon Entertainment Technology Center, which has gained international recognition as Carnegie Mellon’s “Dream Fulfillment Factory.” The book was named Barnes & Noble’s “Book of the Month” in April 2010.
In his current role, Dr. Marinelli serves as the EVP of Vissman Management, a merger, acquisition, and venture capital firm based in Pittsburgh. He has also been an adjunct professor at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, consulted for numerous clients, and is a sought-after motivational speaker on the impact of digital media in education and society.

Are you interested in learning more about our mentorship program? Would you like to become a mentor?