The Future of EPSCoR

Keynote Talk Details:

NSF EPSCoR is committed to engaging with its external stakeholder community to better understand the impacts of its investment strategies and leverage new opportunities for increasing its success. In March 2021, NSF EPSCoR embarked on a visioning process to provide space for NSF EPSCoR and its stakeholders to deeply and collaboratively assess how the program can work most effectively with its jurisdictional partners to achieve their shared goals in the context of the Nation’s changing STEM research landscape. A subcommittee was established to guide this visioning process and make recommendations to improve the program. The subcommittee collected data from available documents and reports, written comments, and six listening sessions and established four working groups to process the data and write a summary report focusing on four key areas related to the goals of the EPSCoR program: a) Research and Infrastructure Capacity and Competitiveness, b) Education and Workforce Development, c) Broadening Participation, and d) Economic Development. This presentation summarizes the data collected during the visioning process and overviews eight recommendations and associated suggestions on ways to achieve further progress in meeting the goals of the NSF EPSCoR.

Keynote Speaker Introduction:

Portrait of Kelly RuschDr. Kelly A. Rusch is an Associate Chair and Professor in the Department of Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering at North Dakota State University (NDSU) and the Executive Director of the North Dakota (ND) EPSCoR State Office. As Executive Director, Dr. Rusch oversees ND EPSCoR’s programming focused on building statewide STEM capacity in education, workforce development, research, outreach, and public communications. Additionally, Kelly serves as the Project Director/ Principal Investigator for ND’s NSF EPSCoR RII Track-1 and as the ND Principal Investigator on the NSF-funded CIRCLES (Cultivating Indigenous Research Communities for Leadership in Education and STEM) Alliance; a six-state (all EPSCoR) effort focused on native-based STEM activities for K12 and higher education. Dr. Rusch currently serves on the Board of Directors of the EPSCoR Foundation and as the Co-Chair for the NSF Committee on the Future of NSF EPSCoR. She is a past chair of the NSF EPSCoR Project Directors Council. From 2013-2018, Dr. Rusch served as the Vice President for Research and Creative Activity at NDSU. Prior to NDSU, Dr. Rusch was a faculty member and administrator at Louisiana State University. She earned her bachelor’s degree in biology and chemistry from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse (1986) and her master’s (1989) and doctorate (1992) in civil engineering from Louisiana State University. Kelly is a registered professional engineer in Louisiana, a board certified environmental engineer, and an ABET program evaluator for environmental engineering.