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EPSCoR Directors by State/Jurisdiction

The EPSCoR program is directed at those jurisdictions that have not participated equably in competitive aerospace and aerospace-related research activities. Twenty-five states, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Guam currently participate. Five federal agencies, including NASA, conduct EPSCoR programs.

Alabama EPSCoR
University of Alabama, Huntsville

L. Dale Thomas, Ph.D. 
Director, Alabama EPSCoR
Olin B. King Technology Hall
301 Sparkman Drive
Room N151
Huntsville, AL 35899
Phone: 256-824-4243

Jurisdiction Profile: The purpose of the Alabama NASA EPSCoR RID program is to build core capabilities at Alabama’s universities and other collaborative institutions, which build competitive research and technology development capabilities in areas of interest to both NASA and  Alabama. The interests of  Alabama in this regard are defined by the Alabama State EPSCoR Committee, which oversees all EPSCoR programs within the state. The PI of this proposal is Dr. L. Dale Thomas, the Alabama NASA EPSCoR Director, the Alabama Space Grant Consortium Director, and a professor at the University of Alabama in Huntsville.

In July 2017,  Thomas was appointed director of the Alabama Space Grant Consortium, the Congress-created body that implements a portfolio of programs in research, education, and public service projects in science and engineering.  Thomas’s core objective in  the role is to strengthen ties between academic researchers and industry. Read more here.

“As an update on the success we have had with this grant, we recently used the results to secure a collaborative $15 million DARPA proposal with GE, Berkeley, and U. Chicago (U. South AL’s portion is $360,000 and starts this fall) in addition to funding from a private petroleum company. None of this would have been possible without the NASA EPSCoR funded equipment and results.” – Dr. Grant Glover, The University at South Alabama

Biography: L. Dale Thomas is director of both the Alabama NASA EPSCoR and the Alabama Space Grant Consortium Director, as well as a professor at the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH).   He joined ISEEM in fall 2015 as a full professor and was board-appointed as the eminent scholar in systems engineering. Within a year,  Thomas established the UAH Complex Systems Integration Laboratory , the university’s advanced systems engineering research facility focusing on model-based systems engineering. Among several projects, the lab assisted the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center with cube satellites  that were deployed during the first Space Launch System in 2019. In July 2017, he was appointed as the deputy director of the UAH Propulsion Research Center. In that role, he leads the Propulsion Systems Engineering research team and engages in strategic planning activities.

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Alaska EPSCoR
University of Alaska, Fairbanks

Denise Thorsen, Ph.D.
Director, Alaska NASA EPSCoR
University of Alaska Fairbanks
306 Tanana Loop
Duckering Hall 201
Fairbanks, AK 99775-5919
Phone: 907-474-7052
Fax: 907-474-5135

Jurisdiction Profile: Alaska NASA EPSCoR awards support research in earth system science, technologies for space and extreme environments, and aeronautics research. The goal of NASA EPSCoR is to provide seed funding that will enable jurisdictions to develop an academic research enterprise directed toward long-term, self-sustaining, nationally-competitive capabilities in aerospace and aerospace-related research.

Biography: Denise Thorsen is director of the Alaska NASA EPSCoR program. She completed her undergraduate degree in electrical engineering at the University of Illinois (UIUC) in 1985,where she was nominated for the Harold L. Olesen Award in 1991 for “Excellence in undergraduate teaching by graduate students.” She continued her studies at UIUC where she obtained her Ph.D. in electrical engineering  in 1996. 

Thorsen’s other research interests include: Development of digital instrumentation and computer interfaces for acquisition of radar backscatter data; scattering mechanisms and propagation of radio signals through random media; radar techniques for observing the middle atmosphere, including neutral atmospheric wind motions, turbulence, temperature, and electron densities; wave dynamics and their interaction with the background atmosphere, including coupling of atmospheric regions, interactions between large-scale and small-scale wave motions, and global scale energy flux distributions. Read more here.

 “The NASA EPSCoR Research Infrastructure Development seed grants provides a large return on investment both for the state and for NASA.” – Denise Thorsen, Ph.D.

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Arkansas EPSCoR
University of Arkansas at Little Rock

Constance Meadors, Ph.D.
Director, Arkansas EPSCoR
University of Arkansas at Little Rock
2801 S. University, Ave, FH 506
Little Rock, AR 72204-1099
Phone: 501-916-3213

Jurisdiction Profile: Arkansas now appears to be poised to become the “center” of the lithium industry in North America.  The state is also home to aerospace industry leaders in rocketry, defense systems, and propulsion, with a focus on rocketry and propulsion. EPSCoR serves as a catalyst for NASA’s presence in Arkansas and serves as the nerve center for the Arkansas NASA EPSCoR. Thus, it is contributing to Arkansas’ economic viability and also increasing aerospace and NASA research by means of the concurrent Arkansas Space Grant programs, which are both contributing to the economic viability of Arkansas. In addition to providing outreach and research capabilities, it contributes to a NASA STEM identity throughout the state. With the help of EPSCoR funding, several undergraduate institutions have submitted an inaugural proposal for a science project. Arkansas NASA projects include BallonSat, a hybrid rocket, and ArkSat, a CubeSat that flew to the International Space Station. As a result of NASA’s EPSCoR program, Arkansas affiliates have been involved in a variety of NASA and non-NASA projects.  Faculty and students are recruited and trained as part of the Arkansas NASA EPSCoR program, mentorship is provided, partnerships are established, and collaborations with other institutions are established to provide opportunities for research.  

Biography: Dr. Constance Meadors earned her master’s and doctoral degrees from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock (UALR) in Applied Science with a concentration in Engineering Science and Systems. She graduated from Grambling State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Physics. During her time as a NASA graduate fellow, she conducted research on hybrid rockets and instrumentation. Additionally, she developed micro thrusters on a chip and conducted research on microelectromechanical systems (MEMS). In the Office of STEM Engagement, she served as the first Minority Serving Institution (MSI) STEM Engagement Liaison-Faculty Fellow for NASA Intergovernmental Personnel Assignees (IPA). NASA EPSCoR advisory council was established and led by her. She was part of the team to develop the first Predominantly Black Institution (PBI)/Historically Black College or University (HBCU) Minority University Research Education Program (MUREP) solicitation, Diversity Equity Accessibility Priority for Research and Education (DEAP), and she created the MUREP Kennedy Space Center Courageous Conversations. She hosted the first NASA Juneteenth Celebration, one day before it became a national holiday. Dr. Meadors’ research includes hybrid rockets, combustion, micro-thrusters, biomedical engineering, and more. She is the president of the National Technical Association (NTA), the oldest minority technical association in the country that was home to the Hidden Figures.

“Ultimately, this research lays the groundwork for the transfer of NASA space science and technology around the world.”-Constance Meadors, Ph.D.

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Delaware EPSCoR
University of Delaware

William H. Matthaeus, Ph.D.
Director, Delaware EPSCoR
Department of Physics and Astronomy
217 Sharp Lab
Bartol Research Institute
Newark, DE 19716
Phone: 302-831-2780
Fax: 302-831-1843

Jurisdiction Profile: Delaware aims to help  contribute to the technically literate workforce, which NASA will need in the years ahead. Funds are also provided for research infrastructure, which will assist in the training of students and post-doctoral fellows in a variety of NASA-related fields. Funding is also provided for a significant number of programs aimed at professional development of pre-college teachers.

Biography: William H. Matthaeus is a unidel professor of physics and astronomy at the University of Delaware and a member of the Bartol Research Institute, where he joined the faculty in 1983. He served as interim director of NASA’s Delaware Space Grant Consortium and the NASA EPSCoR program in Delaware since January 2016 and was appointed director in September 2016. Matthaeus has been the principal investigator on grants from NASA, NSF, and the DOE.  He is co-investigator on Cluster-PEACE, on the MMS mission, and on the energetic particle instruments on Solar Probe Plus. He is author and co-author of nearly 400 publications with a total of over 17,000 citations and a Hirsch h-factor of 71.  He is a fellow of the American Geophysical Union, the American Physical Society, and the Institute of Physics.

Matthaeus’ research interests include: space plasma physics, theoretical plasma physics, hydrodynamic and magnetohydrodynamic turbulence theory, global and local relaxation processes in turbulence, scattering and transport of charged particles in turbulence, magnetic reconnection in a turbulent environment, acceleration mechanisms for charged particles, computer simulation of turbulence, analysis of turbulence and plasma properties using solar wind and magnetospheric space craft data, and computational methods.  Read more here.

 “All four of the major NASA EPSCoR collaborative programs have been extremely valuable in the Delaware jurisdiction and have stimulated the number of exciting new research programs.” – William H. Matthaeus, Ph.D.

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University of Guam (Unibetsedat Guahan)

Leslie J. Camacho Aquino, Ph.D.
Director, Guam EPSCoR
Chair, Division of Math & Computer Science
College of Natural and Applied Sciences (CNAS)
University of Guam
Mangilao, GU 96923
Phone: 671-735-2832

Jurisdiction Profile: The Guam NASA EPSCoR program supports the NASA Earth and Ocean Science Mission by developing capacity at the University of Guam (UOG) to utilize remote sensing data from NASA satellite imagery, and to provide real-world localities to test geospatial data and methodologies, including NASA Synthetic Aperture Radar and the newly developed MIDAR technology. UOG partners with NASA scientists at JPL/CALTECH and Ames Research Centers to address critical challenges in water security, coral reef conservation, terrestrial land change, and biodiversity in the Pacific Islands.

Biography: Leslie J. Camacho Aquino became the executive director of Guam NASA EPSCoR in  2019 and an associate professor of mathematics at UOG. Prior to joining UOG, she worked in the federal government for 13 years in several disciplines, including mathematics, software application development, computer forensics, and cybersecurity. She is the first Chamorro woman to receive her doctorate in mathematics and is a strong supporter of STEM opportunities for underrepresented students in local and regional communities. Learn more here.

“The University of Guam is at the cusp of a rapid expansion of capacity for scientific research, especially in the areas of marine and geospatial studies. The recent award of a National Science Foundation EPSCoR program and a NASA EPSCoR Research Infrastructure Development grant provide the focus and the resources to build cyberinfrastructure, STEM education capabilities, workforce development, and coral reef genomic research.” – Leslie J. Camacho Aquino, Ph.D.

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Hawaii EPSCoR
University of Hawaii, Manoa Campus, Oahu

Luke Flynn, Ph.D.
Director, Hawaii EPSCoR
1680 E West Road
Room 504
Honolulu, HI 96822-2327
Phone: 808-956-3154
Fax: 808-956-6322

Jurisdiction Profile: The objectives of Hawaii NASA EPSCoR Research Infrastructure Development proposal is three-fold: (1) Assist and lead the development of a new aerospace economy in Hawaii that is centered on small satellites and UAVs. (1a)  Support new DoD and commercial launch requests from the Pacific Missile Range Facility rail launcher on Kauai and co-manage the development of the Pacific Spaceport Complex “Hawaii (PSCH) -a new small launch site on the Big Island of Hawai’i. (1b) In addition to the development of PSCH, management of other aerospace-related projects include planning the $12 million  (state funded) Innovation and Manufacturing Center  for Hilo, augmenting the infrastructure of UH-Hilo and Hawaii Community College to support local aerospace workforce development, and upgrading the Kauai CC ground station with software defined radios. (2) Encourage new NASA infrastructure development in Hawai’i by providing seed grants and travel grants to investigators willing to work with NASA Centers or mission directorates. (3) Continue to partner with Guam on NASA research projects  to increase collaborative efforts.

Biography: Luke Flynn is the director of the Hawaii NASA Space Grant Program, the Hawaii NASA EPSCoR Program, and the Hawaii Space Flight Laboratory. He received a Ph.D. in geology and geophysics at the University of Hawaii at Manoa with a research focus on thermal imaging of active volcanoes using remote sensing data. Flynn has served as a science team member on NASA’s Landsat 7 and Earth Observing-1 satellite missions. HSFL’s objectives are to design, build, test, launch, and operate small satellites from the Hawaiian Islands and establish a new aerospace economy in Hawaii. Flynn was a co-project manager of the Operationally Responsive Space-4 Mission that launched from Kauai, Hawaii in November 2015. Luke continues to develop small launch and small satellite mission opportunities for Hawaii and the nation. Read more here.

“The Hawaii NASA EPSCoR RID helped  fund the development of the Neutron-1 CubeSat that was delivered for launch to the International Space Station. Neutron-1 carries an Arizona State University Luna H-Map neutron detector that will be used in a future mission to the Moon.” – Luke Flynn, Ph.D.

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Iowa State University

Sara Nelson, Ph.D.
Director, Iowa EPSCoR
Department of Aerospace Engineering
1234 Howe Hall
Ames IA, 50011
Phone: 515-294-2612

Jurisdiction Profile: The Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research, or EPSCoR, establishes partnerships with government, higher education and industry that are designed to effect lasting improvements in Iowa’s research infrastructure, R&D capacity and hence, its national R&D competitiveness. Proposed research projects must be in an area that is aligned with a new or continuing NASA research priority or technology need, and the proposal narrative must make an explicit connection with NASA and NASA Mission Directorate’s goals and objectives as identified in NASA 2018 Strategic Plan and the STEM Education Strategic Plan -2018.

Biography: Dr. Nelson serves as Iowa Space Grant Consortium (ISGC) and Iowa NASA EPSCoR Director and previously served as the Assistant Director for Education and Outreach for ISGC. Nelson also holds a faculty position at the School of Education and conducts research in STEM Education.  Dr. Nelson also uses her expertise to work alongside the Iowa 4-H Youth Development Program, developing STEM educational programs and STEM literacy outreach across the state of Iowa.  Nelson received her Ph.D. in education and M.Ed. in science education from Iowa State University. She also holds a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Luther College. In addition to her work at Iowa State University, Nelson serves as Co-Chair for the Governor’s STEM Advisory Council, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Working Group. She also serves on the North Central STEM Advisory Board for the Governor’s STEM Advisory Council, the State Science Leadership Team, and the Science and Children Advisory Board of the National Science Teaching Association.

Innovating in research to grow Iowa’s fields of opportunity.” – Sara Nelson

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Idaho EPSCoR
University of Idaho

Matthew Bernards, Ph.D.
Director, Idaho EPSCoR
Chemical & Materials Engineering
875 Perimeter Drive MS1021
Moscow, ID 83844-1021
Phone: 208-885-2150
Fax: 208-885-1399

Jurisdiction Profile: Idaho NASA EPSCoR programs promote research and economic development in Idaho, including workforce development in NASA related fields. Idaho NASA EPSCoR works in concert with the NASA Idaho Space Grant Consortium to provide educational opportunities for underrepresented students, including first-generation college students from rural areas. Idaho NASA EPSCoR research projects are designed to increase and enhance the state’s workforce in science and technology fields by providing hands-on research experience to students and faculty. Gaining valuable research expertise positions Idaho-based researchers to compete nationally in areas of strategic importance to NASA’s mission. In addition to the core funding for the Idaho NASA EPSCoR program, Idaho has competed and won seven awards from the National NASA EPSCoR major research competition, which supports three-year, interdisciplinary, multi-institutional research projects. 

Biography: Matthew Bernards is the director of the Idaho NASA EPSCoR Program and associated professor of chemical engineering at the University of Idaho (U of I). Prior to joining U of I, he served as an assistant professor of chemical engineering at the University of Missouri, where he also held appointments in the Nuclear Engineering Program and Bioengineering Department. Bernards graduated with his doctorate in chemical engineering and nanotechnology from the University of Washington in 2008. His research group is focused on multiple aspects of materials science and engineering. One aspect is understanding the interactions that occur between biological entities and material interfaces and using this knowledge to design biomaterials that facilitate healing at the molecular level. The other is  developing micro- and nano-scale power generation systems based on nuclear energy. Read more here.

“The Idaho NASA EPSCoR program’s portfolio of research programs have fostered increased interest in NASA research activities among Idaho’s researchers and created new partnerships throughout the state and the nation.” – Matthew Bernards, Ph.D.

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Kansas EPSCoR
Wichita State University

Linda Kliment, Ph.D. 
Interim Director, Kansas EPSCoR 
Campus Box 42 
1845 Fairmount Drive 
Wichita, KS  67260-0042 
Phone: 316-978-6334

Jurisdiction Profile: A jurisdiction of the NASA Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) program, the Kansas NASA EPSCoR Program is managed through the NASA in Kansas office. The goal of NASA EPSCoR is to provide seed funding that will enable jurisdictions to develop an academic research enterprise directed toward long-term, self-sustaining, nationally competitive capabilities in aerospace and aerospace-related research. This capability will contribute to the jurisdiction’s economic viability and expand the nation’s base for aerospace research and development. Since its inception, NASA EPSCoR has been closely linked to the NASA Space Grant Program.  

Biography: Linda Kliment is an Associate Professor in the Department of Aerospace Engineering at Wichita State University.  Her teaching and research interests are in the areas of experimental aerodynamics and flight dynamics.  Linda has served as Associate Director of the Kansas NASA Space Grant Consortium and EPSCoR Program since 2015 and was named Interim Director in 2023. 

“NASA EPSCoR helps to build Kansas research infrastructure in current and emerging areas of strengths.  This program has resulted in new partnerships and an educated workforce needed to establish research capabilities within Kansas.” -Linda Kliment, Ph.D.

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Kentucky EPSCoR
University of Kentucky

Alexandre Martin, Ph.D. 
Director, Kentucky EPSCoR
College of Engineering
112 RMB (Robotics)
Lexington, KY 40506-0108
Phone: 859-323-6272
Fax: 859-257-0035

Jurisdiction Profile: The Kentucky NASA EPSCoR Program’s mission is to enhance the research and intellectual capacity of the state’s universities and colleges by building and coordinating strategic investments in human capital necessary for Kentucky to excel in federal R&D funding competitiveness. This mission aligns with Kentucky’s economic development strategy, which stresses the transition to advanced manufacturing, leveraging growth areas like aerospace, and the development of an innovation economy driven by the strengths of its educational system: cutting-edge R&D and a highly educated workforce.  Supporting this statewide mission, Kentucky NASA EPSCoR’s goals are to enhance capacity through strategic investments in NASA-priority research areas and to increase researcher competitiveness for non-EPSCoR NASA funding. A key factor in achieving the latter goal is initiation of relationships between Kentucky’s and NASA’s researchers that can develop into partnerships. Every aspect of the current Research Infrastructure Development (RID) portfolio emphasizes this process of relationship-building, including pursuing collaborations that enable commercial space partnerships.

Biography: Dr. Martin received his Bachelor of Science in Physics from the University of Montréal in Québec, Canada, and his M. Sc. A. and Ph.D. from École Polytechnique, also in Montréal. During his graduate studies, he worked on ablation modeling, heat transfer by arc-wall interactions and mesh adaptation applied to industrial circuit breakers. His work has been directly used in the industry, especially by Areva T&D in France, where he spent a year implementing his work. For the last four years, he’s been working on the modeling of ablation and gas-surface interactions, applied to hypersonic flows, mostly involving re-entry vehicles. During that period, he worked closely with the Reactive Flow environment, as well as the Thermal Protection branch at NASA Ames Research Center. Find out more here.

“NASA EPSCoR programs help Kentucky support a network of opportunities that fund research grants, workshops and conferences to develop collaboration with NASA missions and personnel. This benefits the growing aerospace sector of the state economy by offering Kentucky faculty support they need to build NASA-related research capability in-state, and undertake projects that train Kentucky students and contribute to industry.” – Alexandre Martin, Ph.D.

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Louisiana EPSCoR
Louisiana State University

T. Gregory Guzik, Ph.D.
Director, Louisiana EPSCoR
Department of Physics and Astronomy
Louisiana State University
Baton Rouge, LA 70803-4001
Phone: 225-578-8597
Fax: 225-388-1222

Jurisdiction Profile: Louisiana’s commitment to Aerospace Science and Technology development has been well established over the decades. We have a diverse cadre of researchers working on active NASA and NASA-related projects across institutions and facilities in the state, and there is an increasing understanding that a highly skilled technical workforce is necessary for our long-term goals. Louisiana’s strategy for NASA EPSCoR success involves engagement, collaboration and partnership. We engage faculty, post-docs, and students in performing research projects; develop collaborations/mentorships between NASA scientists/engineers and the Louisiana research community; and establish partnerships between educational institutions (minority and majority) and with external facilities and other agencies. We are currently working with most of the designated research universities in the state, many of the smaller and less research-intensive institutions, the Michoud Facility in New Orleans, and Stennis Space Center through both NASA EPSCoR and the Louisiana Space Grant, also known as LaSPACE. The NASA EPSCoR Research Infrastructure Development award provides financial support and a framework to improve the research infrastructure in Louisiana, while supporting the mission goals at NASA.

Biography: Dr. Guzik received a Ph.D. in Physics from the University of Chicago in 1970. He has been with Louisiana State University for more than 30 years, and is now a professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy. He is also a director-elect of the Louisiana Space Grant Consortium. He has been involved with scientific ballooning since the early 1990s, and was the flight operations lead for the LSU ATIC balloon experiment during its LDB flights in Antarctica. Dr. Guzik led the development of the Louisiana Aerospace Catalyst Experiences for Students sounding balloon program, also known as LaACES, for entry level undergraduates. That program now includes eight other Louisiana institutions and has been adapted to teacher training, minority institution and community college programs. He also led the development of the HASP system and currently directs the HASP program. Read more here

“This effort is directly related to the NASA Science Mission Directorate Earth System Division to understand the response of the Earth system to disasters, as well as to further the use of Earth system science research to inform decisions and provide benefits to society.” – Greg Guzik, Ph.D.

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Maine EPSCoR
Maine Space Grant Consortium

Terry Shehata, Ph.D.
Director, Maine EPSCoR
87 Winthrop St., Suite 200
Augusta, ME 04330
Phone: 207- 622-4688
Fax: 207-622-4548

Jurisdiction Profile: Maine’s NASA EPSCoR goal is to contribute to the development of a new space economy in Maine as envisioned by the Maine Spaceport Complex. Our strategy is to leverage the investments made by Maine NASA EPSCoR in the research themes over the last decade, to build the core strengths needed to increase competitive research and technology development methods and activities to solve scientific and technical problems of importance to the new Space Value Chain. Our objective for the next three years is to annually seed up to three potential ground-breaking research and technology development projects around opportunities in the Space Value Chain.

Biography: Dr. Shehata has been involved in economic development over the past 30 years, specifically focused on building the state’s science and technology infrastructure. Following his postdoctoral work, he was the first Maine state toxicologist from 1982 to 1985. To further his education and experience, he left Maine to become the director of environmental health at the New Jersey Department of Health from 1985 to 1988. While there, he was involved in researching the health impact of human waste and HIV syringes that were illegally disposed off New Jersey beaches.

“NASA EPSCoR has been vital to building Maine’s research infrastructure that will be vital to our proposed Maine Spaceport Complex.” – Terry Shehata, Ph.D.

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Mississippi EPSCoR
University of Mississippi

Nathan Murray, Ph.D.
Director, Mississippi EPSCoR
University of Mississippi 
145 Hill Drive
P.O. Box 1848
University, MS 38677-1848
Phone: 662-915-3190
Fax: 662-915-3927

Jurisdiction Profile: The Mississippi NASA EPSCoR goal is to provide initial funds to set in motion the maturation of innovative research and technology ventures that are relevant to NASA and NASA-related Mississippi industry. The competitive seed grant opportunities are focused on developing and/or maturing research activities that explore promising research avenues, establish or strengthen collaboration between researchers in the jurisdiction, and enhance Mississippi research relevance to NASA through communication/collaboration with NASA scientists. Mississippi NASA EPSCoR builds on the current strengths of individual members of the Mississippi Space Grant Consortium, focuses these strengths on issues of relevance to NASA, and increases the applicability of Mississippi’s research to areas of interest within NASA. The Consortium uses the Research Infrastructure Development program to fill a unique role by infusing NASA investment into human research asset development.

Biography: Dr. Murray has been with the Aero-Acoustics Group at the National Center for Physical Acoustics, or NCPA, since 2001. He started as a graduate student and research assistant to Dr. Lawrence Ukeiley, and became a research scientist in 2007, following one year as an assistant professor of mechanical engineering at Harding University. Dr. Murray began working in acoustics research as a summer intern at the NCPA in 1998. Prior to beginning graduate school, Dr. Murray was an engineer with the Acoustic Signatures Division at General Dynamics Electric Boat in Groton, Connecticut. Read more here.

“The Mississippi NASA EPSCoR programs provide competitive awards that strengthen Mississippi’s research productivity and competitiveness. The goal of these awards is to set in motion the maturation of innovative research and technology ventures that are relevant to NASA and NASA-related Mississippi industry.” – Nathan Murray, Ph.D.

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Montana EPSCoR
Montana State University

Angela Des Jardins, Ph.D.
Director, Montana EPSCoR
Physics Department
264 Barnard Hall
Bozeman, MT 59717-3835
Phone: 406-994-6172
Fax: 406-994-4452

Jurisdiction Profile: Since the beginning of the NASA EPSCoR program in Montana in 1994, great strides have been made in developing and coordinating Montana research activities aimed at solving current technical and scientific problems facing NASA and the aerospace community. These accomplishments and their resulting infrastructure have given many Montana researchers opportunities to work with NASA that were not present prior to the implementation of the NASA EPSCoR program. Due to the success achieved thus far, the goals for the Montana NASA EPSCoR Research Infrastructure Development program will remain consistent with those of the earlier program.

Biography: Dr. Des Jardins is the leader of the NASA Eclipse Ballooning Project and an assistant research professor in the physics department at Montana State University in Bozeman, Montana. She received her Bachelor of Science in Physics with minors in Mathematics and German at MSU. She later received her Master of Science and Ph.D. in physics from MSU. Dr. Jardins was appointed as the director of the Montana Space Grant Consortium and Montana NASA EPSCoR in 2009 and elected chair of the NASA EPSCoR Caucus in 2013. Her mission is to “use the ability of space to ignite the human sense of wonder; to engage Montana students, teachers and researchers in aerospace activity, capitalizing on our inherent fascination with discovery and exploration to further the drive to achieve great strides in STEM fields; to conduct research in solar astrophysics with an emphasis on student involvement; and to cultivate a spirit of service.” Read more here.

“Montana NASA EPSCoR supports junior faculty researchers with seed grants, mid-career researchers with Rapid Response Research awards, more established researchers with Research Awards, and our successful small satellite group with International Space Station Flight Opportunity awards.” – Angela Des Jardins, Ph.D.

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North Dakota EPSCoR
University of North Dakota

Caitlin Milera, Ph.D.
Director, North Dakota EPSCoR​
University of North Dakota
Clifford Hall Room 512
4149 University Ave Stop 9008
Grand Forks, ND 58202-9008
Phone: 701-777-4855
Fax: 701-777-3711

Jurisdiction Profile: The overall goal of North Dakota NASA EPSCoR is to increase the competitiveness of North Dakota for merit-based grants and contracts in support of science and technology research from federal funding agencies. This mission statement is the guiding principle for all North Dakota NASA EPSCoR program activities. North Dakota NASA EPSCoR has established goals, objectives, and priorities to train the North Dakota workforce in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics — or STEM — disciplines of relevance to NASA.

Biography: Caitlin Milera joined the Space Studies Department in 2013 as the coordinator for North Dakota NASA EPSCoR and the North Dakota Space Grant Consortium. She was promoted to deputy director of those programs in 2015. She began in her current role as a faculty member in the department and director of these programs in 2020. Milera’s educational background includes a Bachelor of Science from the University of Minnesota and a Master of Arts from the University of North Dakota. Read more here

“The overall goal of the North Dakota NASA EPSCoR program is to increase the competitiveness of North Dakota for merit-based grants and contracts in support of science and technology research from federal funding agencies.” – Caitlin Milera

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Nebraska EPSCoR
University of Nebraska, Omaha

Scott Tarry, Ph.D.
Director, Nebraska EPSCoR
Nebraska Space Grant
6001 Dodge Street
Omaha, NE 68182-0589
Phone: 402-554-3772
Fax: 402-554-3938

Jurisdiction Profile: NASA Nebraska EPSCoR has established an outstanding record of success and demonstrated its commitment to developing research capabilities that are long-term, self-sustaining, and nationally competitive. The proposed Research Infrastructure Development program for FY2019 to FY2021 will continue to support and sustain unique research activities that address the priorities of NASA and Nebraska. NASA Nebraska EPSCoR’s philosophy of using strategic investments in seed projects to develop competitive proposals for the national NASA EPSCoR competitions has been incredibly successful in developing Nebraska’s aerospace infrastructure. Industry partnerships have been, and will continue to be, vital to the program’s success.

Biography: Dr. Tarry is distinguished professor and director of the University of Nebraska, Omaha, or UNO, Aviation Institute. He is also director of the NASA Nebraska Space Grant Consortium. He joined the UNO faculty in 2000 after teaching at Southern Illinois University and American University. Dr. Tarry teaches a variety of aviation policy and administration courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels, and is the treasurer for the Board of Directors for the National Space Grant Alliance. He has served as secretary of the National Council of Space Grant Directors and co-chair of the Aeronautics Working Group, and was a Faculty Research Fellow at NASA Langley Research Center in 2000. Dr. Tarry earned his bachelor’s in Politics and Government from the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington, and his master’s and Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. Read more here

“NASA EPSCoR has been essential to the development of research capacity and capabilities across our state. Nebraska researchers have leveraged the support received from NASA EPSCoR to successfully compete for other significant grants and contracts.” – Scott E. Tarry, PhD

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New Hampshire EPSCoR
University of New Hampshire

Antoinette “Toni” Galvin, Ph.D.
Director, New Hampshire EPSCoR
EOS Space Science Center
Morse Hall Rm 416
Durham, NH 03824
Phone: 603-862-3511
Fax: 603-862-1915

Jurisdiction Profile: In 2004, the National Science Foundation designated New Hampshire an EPSCoR state. That designation qualified N.H. researchers to apply for other federal agency EPSCoR funds.

Biography: Before working at the University of New Hampshire, Dr. Galvin was a research faculty member at the University of Maryland, where she received her Ph.D. in 1982. Her undergraduate studies were at Purdue University. Her research includes solar wind composition, including charge states and relative abundances during different types of solar wind flows (e.g., coronal mass ejections, interstream, and coronal hole-associated) and the implications for the solar coronal processes (e.g., the elemental abundances of solar wind compared to photospheres’ abundances, and coronal temperature gradients inferred from charge states). Recent studies include isotopic abundances of the solar wind using results from SOHO. Read more here

“New Hampshire is recognized for its top-tier research universities in large part due to the infrastructure made possible through NASA EPSCoR programs.” – Antoinette “Toni” Galvin, Ph.D.

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New Mexico EPSCoR
New Mexico State University

Paulo A. Oemig, Ph.D.
Director, New Mexico EPSCoR
New Mexco State University
Office of the Vice President for Research 
Las Cruces, NM 88003-8001
Phone: 575-646-6414

Jurisdiction Profile: New Mexico State University, the University of New Mexico, and NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center are teaming to find a way for two CubeSats, toaster-sized spacecraft, to work together to produce big science. The Virtual Telescope for X-ray Observations mission, or VTXO, is developing the next-generation, X-ray telescope using a diffractive optics lens and a high-tech camera sensitive to X-rays. The lens is based on the design of a Fresnel lens, often seen added the rear windows of RVs, but modified to work with X-rays. Much of the work for VTXO is performed by students from New Mexico, who are getting the opportunity to be at the forefront of NASA-sponsored innovation.

Biography: Dr. Oemig has taught science in the Las Cruces Public Schools District in Las Cruces, New Mexico for 10 years. He has also taught an integrated elective class introducing students to engineering design. Dr. Oemig has been the advisor and coach to after-school programs such as Mathematics, Engineering and Science Achievement, or MESA, Science Olympiad, New Mexico Best Robotics, Project GUTS (Growing Up Thinking Scientifically), and Science, Engineering, Mathematics, and Aerospace Achievement. All of these programs share the goal of exposing students to enriched curricula, field trips, speakers, academic competitions, scientific design, problem solving and systems modeling. Read more here

 “At the thrust of NASA’s needs and universities’ and colleges’ capabilities, NASA EPSCoR has made it possible for states historically receiving less research funding to contribute to NASA’s wealth of knowledge and states’ research infrastructure. New Mexico has benefitted tremendously from being an EPSCoR state. Faculty have been able to send experiments to the International Space Station, develop smart materials for structural health monitoring, design heat exchangers with no moving parts, study the interior of the outer planets, and produce membranes for the conversion of carbon dioxide into oxygen, just to name a few. Faculty produce relevant products, and, along the way, their students gain invaluable experience. It would be nearly impossible to achieve such breakthroughs in states like New Mexico without NASA EPSCoR.” – Paulo A. Oemig, Ph.D.

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Nevada EPSCoR
Nevada System of Higher Education

Eric M. Wilcox, Ph.D.
Director, Nevada EPSCoR
5550 W Flamingo Rd
Las Vegas, NV 89103-2334
Phone: 775-673-7686
Email: eric.wilcox

Jurisdiction Profile: The State of Nevada has had a long history of collaboration with NASA missions based on its aridity and largest percentage of Federally-owned, non-populated land within the United States. The goals of the Nevada NASA EPSCoR program include enhancing research infrastructure in the state through seed grants and facilitating new research collaborations among NASA Center scientists and faculty within the Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE). Recently, NASA EPSCoR activities by NSHE faculty and students have made contributions in the areas of battery development, materials research, aerosol research, life in extreme environments, robotics and vision research, earth systems sciences research, planetary surface processes, and UAS hardware, software, and applications. Read more here.

Biography: Starting in December 2022, Dr. Eric Wilcox was appointed director of the Nevada NASA Space Grant Consortium and NASA EPSCoR programs. Dr. Wilcox is Research Professor in the Division of Atmospheric Sciences of the Desert Research Institute (DRI). His research addresses the interactions among aerosols, clouds, and precipitation towards a goal of improved understanding of weather and climate at regional and global scales. This work relies on satellite and in-situ observations, as well as simulations with numerical models of the atmosphere and climate. Dr. Wilcox is a member of the NASA MODIS Science Team and has been the principal investigator of projects in the Atmospheric Composition and Atmospheric Radiation programs of the Earth Science Division of the NASA Science Mission Directorate. Prior to joining DRI, Dr. Wilcox was a physical scientist at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. In addition to his role at DRI, Dr. Wilcox is appointed to the graduate faculty in the Interdisciplinary Program in Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Nevada, Reno where he advises graduate student research and teaches courses in atmospheric physics and atmospheric modeling. Read more here.

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Oklahoma EPSCoR
University of Oklahoma

Andy Arena, Ph.D.
Director, Oklahoma EPSCoR
School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
201 GAB
Oklahoma State University
Stillwater, OK 74078-5014
Phone: 405-744-5900
Fax: 405-447-8455

Jurisdiction Profile: EPSCoR establishes partnerships with government, higher education, and industry that are designed to effect lasting improvements in Oklahoma’s research infrastructure, research and development (R&D) capacity and, hence, its national R&D competitiveness. The goal of Oklahoma NASA EPSCoR is to provide seed funding that will enable researchers in Oklahoma to develop an academic research enterprise directed toward long-term, self-sustaining and nationally competitive capabilities in aerospace and aerospace-related research

Biography: Andy Arena holds the TJ Cunningham Chair in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Oklahoma State University and is the director of the NASA Oklahoma Space Grant Consortium and NASA EPSCoR. His 27 years of experience in teaching and research have been focused in the areas of aeronautics and aircraft design. Learn more here

“NASA EPSCoR is the most effective way for researchers from our state to participate in NASA’s mission in a diverse and meaningful way.” – Andy Arena, Ph.D.

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Puerto Rico EPSCoR
University of Puerto Rico, Central Administration

Gerardo Morell, Ph.D.
Director, Puerto Rico EPSCoR
Resource Center for Science and Engineering
P.O. Box 23334
San Juan, PR 00931
Phone: 787-282-7047
Fax: 787-756-7717

Jurisdiction Profile: The Puerto Rico NASA EPSCoR program was created in 1986 with a grant from the National Science Foundation. Since then, it has grown to include EPSCoR programs from the following agencies: NASA, the Department of Energy, Department of Defense, and National Institutes of Health. The EPSCoR programs identify, develop, and use academic science and technology resources to increase Puerto Rico’s research and development competitiveness and support economic growth through innovation in the jurisdiction’s colleges and universities, their science and engineering faculty, and their students. The Puerto Rico NASA EPSCoR program helps create infrastructure to enhance the research capabilities of the jurisdiction.

Biography: Born in Arecibo, Puerto Rico, Gerardo Morell obtained a doctorate in chemical physics from the University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras Campus (UPRRP), in 1995. He is a competitive researcher and faculty member in the Department of Physics at UPRRP, where he develops nanoscience and technology projects sponsored by NASA, the Department of Energy, Department of Defense, and National Science Foundation. These projects involve local and external collaborators and graduate and undergraduate students of physics, chemistry, and chemical physics. Morell’s research team develops new knowledge and innovative concepts for the fabrication of cost-effective, rugged, and brighter flat-panel displays based on nanostructured materials synthesized at the University of Puerto Rico. They also work on the optimization of rechargeable lithium batteries by employing nanocrystalline electrodes that improve their charge capacity and extend their lifetime use.

 “NASA EPSCoR enables researchers in Puerto Rico to devise technology development projects in collaboration with NASA scientists and engineers that support the NASA mission and propel the scientific enterprise in the jurisdiction.” – Gerardo Morell, Ph.D.

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Rhode Island EPSCoR
Brown University

Ralph Milliken, Ph.D.
Director, Rhode Island EPSCoR
Brown Univeristy
324 Brook St.
Geological Sciences, Box 1846
Providence, RI 02912
Phone: 401-863-2417
Fax: 401-863-3978

Jurisdiction Profile: Rhode Island’s eligibility to participate in EPSCoR and EPSCoR-like programs (the state first joined NSF EPSCoR in 2004) does not deny its considerable strengths in science and technology. The state boasts nationally recognized research in fields such as oceanography and marine science, public health and medicine, and advanced manufacturing. It has a well-educated and skilled workforce (with 40 percent of workers in the private sector employed in the high-wage industry sector). It is home to a number of elite universities, including Brown University and the Rhode Island School of Design. The University of Rhode Island is a national leader in oceanographic research and education, and Roger Williams University has established a national reputation in marine law. Defense-related research in Rhode Island is driven by the U.S. Naval College and the Naval Undersea Warfare Center in Newport, both world-class military research institutions. Read more here

Biography: Dr. Ralph Milliken, Associate Professor in the Department of Earth, Environmental, and Planetary Sciences at Brown University, received his B.S. in Geology from Indiana University in 2001 and Ph.D. in Geology from Brown University in 2006. After receiving his doctorate, he spent four years at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab. After two years on the faculty at the University of Notre Dame, Dr. Milliken joined the faculty at Brown in 2012. His research interests include understanding the origin and role of water in the formation and evolution of the Solar System, the use of remote sensing techniques to determine the composition and geologic history of planetary bodies, and unraveling the sedimentary rock record of Mars. He is the science manager of the NASA Reflectance Experiment Laboratory (RELAB) at Brown University and a science team member for the JAXA Hayabusa2, NASA OSIRIS-REx, and NASA Curiosity rover teams. Dr. Milliken is also deeply interested in increasing access to high quality STEM education in underserved communities, engaging the public about what we are learning from NASA missions, and promoting the benefits of space exploration.

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South Carolina EPSCoR
College of Charleston

Cassandra “Cass” Runyon, Ph.D.
Director, South Carolina EPSCoR
College of Charleston
Department of Geology & Environmental Geosciences
202 Calhoun St Suite 224 
Charleston, SC 29401
Phone: 843-953-8279
Fax: 843-953-5446

Jurisdiction Profile: In South Carolina, the NASA EPSCoR program’s goal is to foster academic research that enables faculty to meet NASA mission objectives and develop a self-sustaining, nationally competitive research program that can successfully compete for non-EPSCoR funds. A partnership between the South Carolina NASA EPSCoR/South Carolina Space Grant Consortium Office and the South Carolina EPSCoR/Institutional Development Award, or IDeA program, helps South Carolina researchers establish contacts with and access resources from NASA. The South Carolina NASA EPSCoR opportunity provides seed grant support for competitively selected projects of benefit to both NASA and the South Carolina jurisdiction. Each proposal receives a high-quality external peer reviews as part of the competitive process. Proposals selected for funding include strong research components and successfully demonstrate: 1) strong NASA ties; 2) the significance of their research to South Carolina’s vision for competitiveness in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM; and 3) make evident their potential for growth and sustainability.

Biography: Cassandra “Cass” Runyon graduated from the University of Hawai’i in 1988 with a doctorate in geology and geophysics. Following graduation, she was a National Research Council postdoctoral fellow at NASA’s Johnson Space Center. Her research focused on understanding the nature and origin of volcanic features on terrestrial planets. Later, as an employee of POD Associates, she used laboratory and remote-sensing data to interpret and model near-Earth space debris for the National Space Council and Department of Defense. This research led to a better understanding of the effects of space debris on various spacecraft materials. As a faculty fellow working with her colleagues at NASA’s Johnson Space Center, Runyon helped to explore and define the initial field requirements for future human-robotic missions to the Moon and Mars. Read more here

“Our work has the potential to significantly impact human health, both for space travelers and for the general public.” – Cassandra “Cass” Runyon, Ph.D.

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South Dakota EPSCoR
South Dakota School of Mines and Technology

Edward Duke, Ph.D.
Director, South Dakota EPSCoR
South Dakota Space Grant Consortium
501 E Saint Joseph Street
Rapid City, SD 57701-3901
Phone: 605-394-2388
Fax: 605-394-3366

Jurisdiction Profile: The implementation strategy to achieve the four major objectives of the NASA EPSCoR program focuses on the major STEM-doctorate-granting institutions in South Dakota, but also seeks to develop collaborations between those institutions and additional institutions of higher education in the state, including with tribal universities. Because Research Infrastructure Development resources are limited, the allocation of these investments in the state is guided by the following criteria: 1) alignment with NASA research and development (R&D) priorities; 2) development of NASA research contacts; 3) support for state R&D priorities; 4) formation of multi-institution collaborations; 5) meaningful involvement of minority-serving institutions in research; and 6) potential for economic development and industry partnerships.

Biography: Edward Duke’s research has included work on granites and pegmatites, carbon migration and graphite deposits, geochemistry of metamorphic rocks, and mineral reactions in concrete. He has been the principal investigator or project director on roughly $15 million in grants and contracts. Much of this funding is related to NASA Space Grant and EPSCoR activities, but it also includes competitive research and equipment awards from the National Science Foundation, Department of Energy, NASA, American Chemical Society Petroleum Research Fund, mining companies, South Dakota Department of Transportation, South Dakota’s Office of Economic Development, and Earth Resources Observation and Science Data Center. Read more here

 “Though NASA EPSCoR is a relatively small program in terms of its funding level compared to other EPSCoR-like programs, it has had an important impact on research infrastructure in the state and is widely recognized for its contribution to state research and development efforts. Multi-university, interdisciplinary collaborations have emerged that address needs of both NASA and the state. The NASA program management consistently demonstrates flexibility and creativity in its efforts to make these partnerships successful.” – Edward Duke, Ph.D.

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U.S. Virgin Islands EPSCoR
The University of the Virgin Islands 

Tyler Smith, Ph.D.
Director, Virgin Islands EPSCoR
#2 John Brewer’s Bay Road
St. Thomas, USVI 00802
Phone: 806-438-1394
Fax: 340-693-1391

Jurisdiction Profile: The dramatic growth in NASA-related research activities in the U.S. Virgin Islands (UVI) was initiated through a 2013 NASA EPSCoR research award that supported the revitalization of research instrumentation at UVI’s Etelman Observatory and provided student funding for authentic research experiences at the observatory. With its NASA partner, Goddard Space Flight Center, it provided funding to hire the first-ever full-time astrophysics resident observer-researcher at UVI (stationed at the Etelman Observatory). The success of this project coincided with an unprecedented growth in interest and enrollment in physics and astronomy courses at UVI from 2009 to 2014 (see Figure 1, below) as well as a dramatic increase in scientific production in physics and astronomy.

Biography: Tyler B. Smith is a coral reef ecologist interested in the dynamics of coral reef populations, physical and anthropogenic forcing of ecological systems, and human health aspects of coral ecology. He is a researcher, teacher and student mentor at the University of the Virgin Islands and research coordinator for the US Virgin Islands Coral Reef Monitoring Program.

His current research focuses on the impacts of natural and man-made disturbances on coral reefs, the ecology of deeper coral ecosystems that form below 30m of water depth, reef refugia, and ecological aspects of Ciguatera Fish Poisoning. He has been studying the impacts of degraded water quality on coral reef ecosystems since 2005 and application of remote sensing to understanding water quality in the Virgin Islands since 2016.

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Vermont EPSCoR
University of Vermont 

Bernard “Chip” Cole, Ph.D.
Director, Vermont EPSCoR
Department of Mathematics and Statistics
82 University Place
Burlington, VT 05405
Phone: 802-656-0054

Jurisdiction Profile: The Vermont NASA EPSCoR Program operates at the intersection of both NASA priorities and the state’s vision for technology and economic development. According, all activities are part of a coordinated strategy to develop research infrastructure in areas of importance to NASA’s mission while creating ties between Vermont’s academic researchers, its technology-based companies, and NASA centers. A multi-faceted approach is taken to foster NASA-relevant research among faculty, graduate students, and the industrial sector while also strengthening collaborative ties with NASA personnel. The main project elements proposed for Vermont’s Research Infrastructure Development project include faculty research pilot grants for initiating new projects; faculty research small-scale grants for more mature projects; and NASA center travel grants for exploring new — or strengthening existing — research collaborations. In addition, the Industrial Partners Initiative, or IPI, based on a Small Business Innovation Research phase concept, fosters links between Vermont’s knowledge/technology-based private sector companies, academia, and NASA.

Biography: Bernard “Chip” Cole is the interim dean and professor of statistics in the College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences at the University of Vermont. His career as a biostatistician spans 18 years and is distinguished by more than 125 published articles in peer-reviewed methodological literature and biomedical research literature. Cole’s articles have been cited nearly 3,000 times in the scientific literature. Cole earned a doctorate in mathematics at Boston University in 1992, and he completed post-doctoral training in cancer biostatistics at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Harvard School of Public Health in 1993. Cole joined the faculty at Brown University in 1993, where he worked on early phase cancer clinical trials. In 1997, he joined the faculty at Dartmouth College, where he became director of biostatistics at the Norris Cotton Cancer Center and began working on large-scale cancer trials. Cole was director of statistics at the University of Vermont, a post he has held from 2007 until 2009. He is now the interim dean of the College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences. Read more here

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West Virginia EPSCoR
West Virginia University

Melanie Page, Ph.D.
Director, West Virginia EPSCoR
P.O. Box 6070
West Virginia Univesrity
Morgantown, WV 26506-6070
Phone: 304-293-4099
Fax: 304-293-4970

Jurisdiction Profile: NASA West Virginia EPSCoR programs are designed in conjunction with the menu of programs offered by the West Virginia Space Grant Consortium. However, to preserve the independence and separation of Space Grant and NASA EPSCoR programs, we have avoided any duplication of the offerings of Space Grant in this three-year proposal. Our mosaic of programs covers all aspects of the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, or STEM, education pipeline and research in West Virginia. Our partners in academia, high-tech industry, and government are hard at work to ensure that we have a highly cost-efficient and seamless transition between our programs and those of our partners. In summary, we have included new offerings to foster and enhance connections and collaborations between our faculty and NASA centers and missions, as well as help our relatively new faculty to conduct research of interest to NASA and train graduate students in STEM disciplines.

Biography: Melanie C. Page received her Ph.D. in Quantitative Psychology from Arizona State University in 1998. Page is the Associate Vice President for Creative and Scholarly Activity and is a professor in the Department of Psychology at West Virginia University. She assumed the Directorship of the WV NASA Space Grant and EPSCoR programs in August 2021.

Page started her academic career as an Assistant Professor at Oklahoma State University where she was promoted to full professor in 2010. She joined WVU as the Assistant Vice President for Creative and Scholarly Activities in October 2013.

Page has participated as a principal or co-investigator on a number of NSF and NIH grants. As a statistician, her role on projects was study design and data analysis. Her academic interests centered around girls’ interest in STEM and the treatment of women in the academy. In her roles at WVU she has maintained this focus on girls and women in STEM, expanding to considering how other identities and contexts intersect.

Page’s primary responsibility is to facilitate the success of faculty in the Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences (AHaSS) in achieving greater external support and recognition for their creative and scholarly work, generally captured under the “research” part of the faculty member’s workload assignment. She leads the development of projects that incorporate faculty from various colleges to address state, regional, national, and international issues while increasing recognition for the University in faculty scholarship.

Page served on the WV NASA Space Grant and EPSCoR Board for 8 years prior to be named director. In her role as director she has participated as a major partner in a SciAct proposal, partnered with Virginia Space grant on a project to train STEM teachers to use NASA data within the curriculum, started a partnership with Mary C. Snow elementary school to increase diversity in STEM, and will be hosting a NASA EPSCoR-funded Hack Week this summer.

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Wyoming EPSCoR
University of Wyoming

Shawna M. McBride, Ph.D.
Interim Director, Wyoming EPSCoR
Wyoming NASA Space Grant Consortium
Dept of Physics and Astronomy, Dept 3905
1000 E. University Ave.
Laramie, WY 82071-2000
Phone: 307-766-2987

Jurisdiction Profile: The University of Wyoming (UW) is the only doctorate-granting research institution in the state and, therefore, scientific activities that address key areas of state concern are concentrated at UW. In recent UW academic plans, areas for development in critical sectors of science and technology have been identified — one being materials science research. Additionally, there is continued focus on materials science and engineering research through the UW Tier 1 engineering and science initiatives, both of which are involved in developing and identifying high-priority areas for research and economic focus for Wyoming and the university. The Wyoming governor’s UW Top-Tier Science Programs and Facilities Task Force also identified materials science as an area for future development, so there is considerable interest in this area within our jurisdiction. With support from previous Wyoming NASA EPSCoR Research Infrastructure Development awards, the Materials Science and Engineering (MSE) program at UW has become a recognized and cohesive campus research group. The MSE program brings together students and faculty with research interests and expertise in MSE from physics, chemistry, chemical engineering, electrical engineering, environmental engineering, geology, and mechanical engineering.

Biography: Shawna McBride is the director of NASA STEM engagement programs in Wyoming, Wyoming NASA Space Grant, and NASA EPSCoR. She has a Bachelor of Science in biology, a Master of Science in zoology and physiology, and a doctorate in neuroscience. During graduate school, McBride was very involved in teaching and science outreach and engagement. She has been able to continue those pursuits in her career and through her work with NASA’s Office of STEM Engagement, providing opportunities for students, teachers, and faculty to further their interest in and excitement about science. Read more here

“The NASA EPSCoR program in Wyoming has been invaluable in advancing materials science and engineering research in the state and at the University of Wyoming. NASA EPSCoR provides research opportunities and collaborations that enable our faculty to be successful and competitive in an otherwise difficult funding environment. We are grateful for the support and leadership from the NASA EPSCoR program, which allows a sparsely populated state like Wyoming to compete on the national level.” – Shawna M. McBride, Ph.D.

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