Dr. Sandra Richardson is the Section Head for the Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) in the Office of Integrative Activities (OIA) at the National Science Foundation. She began her term as EPSCoR Head in February 2022. In this role, she serves as a member of the OIA senior leadership team in the Office of the NSF Director and is responsible for carrying out EPSCoR’s mission of strengthening the STEM capacity and capability of U.S. jurisdictions through broadening geographic participation in the Foundation’s research and education programs. Dr. Richardson joined OIA after serving as the Acting Deputy Division Director in the Division of Undergraduate Education in the NSF Directorate for Education and Human Resources and Program Lead for the NSF Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program. While serving as an NSF Program Director, she planned and administered programs aimed at advancing research and training in undergraduate education, including managing hundreds of grants to comprehensive, primarily undergraduate, minority-serving, research-intensive, and two-year institutions across the Nation.
Before joining NSF in 2016, Dr. Richardson served as an Associate Professor of Mathematics at Virginia State University (VSU), where her work focused on overseeing undergraduate research, broadening participation in undergraduate STEM education, and preparing preservice mathematics teachers. She received a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics from Dillard University and Master of Science and PhD in Mathematics Education from Purdue University.
Her research and scholarly interests have been motivated by the intersection of her personal, professional, and scholarly experiences as a student, teacher, research professor, and academic. In addition to STEM education, her research includes examining effective tools for undergraduate mathematics curricula, mathematics teacher education, and broadening the participation in undergraduate and graduate STEM majors and STEM careers.
Dr. Richardson has been recognized nationally for her mentoring, teaching, leadership, and service to the STEM and STEM education communities, including being the recipient of several NSF Special Act awards, a 2022 National Honoree of Mathematically, Gifted & Black, a recipient of a University Excellence in Teaching and Research Merit Award, and a graduate of the Federal Executive Institute. She is Chair of the Federal EPSCoR Interagency Coordinating Committee, a Mathematical Association of America Project NExT Fellow, and serves in the Blacks in Government RXI President’s Administration as an RXI Council Representative and the VA-MD-DC STEM expert.
Dr. Richardson enjoys family time, traveling, board and card games, sports, and participating in community service with her sorority, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.