The University of Tennessee Research Foundation recently welcomed Rebecca Latura as its new Patent Coordinator. In the role, Latura coordinates activities to execute current intellectual property operational processes and future strategic initiatives.
I’m so glad Rebecca has joined us,” said UTRF Vice President Kusum Rathore. “UTRF is made up of a small but hard-working team dedicated to advancing UT technologies and supporting innovators on their commercialization journeys. She is a great addition.”
Originally from Florida, Latura received her bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Central Florida. During a year-long study abroad, she completed a bachelor’s degree in business administration focused on international business from ICN Business School in Nancy, France. She received her Paralegal Certificate from the University of California, Santa Cruz.
Rebecca’s family moved to Knoxville after her husband left the military. Before moving, she knew she wanted to work at the university and “jumped” at the position when it opened. It was a good fit for her interests and unique skill set.
There’s an amazing team here. I don’t think I could have started with a more supportive team or in a more supportive environment,” Rebecca said. “Everyone has been willing to show me the ropes. There’s been a lot to do, but it’s a great feeling knowing that I have this whole team to back me up as I learn.”
Before her role at UTRF, Latura spent several years teaching third, fourth and fifth grade. Though she didn’t have a teaching degree, a school near her husband’s military base in Arizona needed teachers.
It was perfect timing,” she said. “It just pulled on my heartstrings. They really needed a fifth-grade teacher, so I got a temporary emergency teaching certificate.”
While she never intended to become a teacher, she loved building relationships with her students and their families. She enjoyed witnessing all their “light bulb” moments and helping them learn news things.
Previously, Latura was a paralegal focused on trusts and estate planning in California. In her role – much like teaching – she enjoyed working with her coworkers and elderly clients.
The attorney I worked under was a huge advocate for elderly people. I loved meeting with them, hearing their stories and doing what we could to help them. They weren’t always able to come into the office, so we would make house calls,” said Rebecca. “It was my first foray into paralegal work and seeing how the law can be used to help people.”
Ultimately, Latura’s family relocated to the region to be closer to friends and family to raise their three-year-old son.
The mountains and the weather were also a huge draw for us – my son loves being outside. We try and go out as much as possible,” said Rebecca. “There aren’t many places in the country where the weather is amenable to being outside so often. Here, it’s gorgeous.”