Break Out Sessions

Pre-Conference Workshop

  • Aaron Thomas, University of Montana, Director of Indigenous Research and STEM Education
  • Holly Truitt, University of Montana, Director of the Broader Impacts Group
  • Lori Lambert, Montana State University (former faculty at Salish Kootenai College)
  • SciNation Representative
  • Jeff Hooker, Chief Dull Knife College

This workshop will address approaches and unique issues involved in inclusion of Indigenous communities in EPSCoR activities that work towards broadening participation of diverse individuals in science and engineering research and education. Content will cover community-based participatory research and indigenous research models, using Montana NSF EPSCoR and partner collaborations with Native tribes in Montana as a case study.

Workshop Agenda

1:00 – 1:20           Welcome and Icebreaker
1:20 – 2:20           Indigenous Research Methods
                             Speaker – Lori Lambert
2:20 – 2:30           Break                 
2:30 – 3:30           Co-creating programs with tribal communities
                             Speakers – Holly Truitt and SciNation Representative 
3:30 – 4:15           Policy changes within an Institution
                             Speakers – Aaron Thomas and Jeff Hooker 
4:15 – 5:00           Open discussion


Student Session

  • Melanie Sinche, NCC, Director of Education at Jackson Laboratory for Genomic Medicine

How can you maximize your time in graduate school and/or during postdoctoral training?  What strategies can you use for landing a job that’s right for you?  This presentation will provide an up-to-date assessment of the current career landscape facing science PhDs across a range of sectors, including education, industry, and non-profits. Author Melanie Sinche will share proven strategies based on her research and profiles of science PhDs across a wide range of disciplines.


Student Session: Poster Session

Student Poster Session: 4:30 - 6:00pm
Holiday Inn

Poster Abstract Submission Guidelines:

Please include the following in a Word document that can be uploaded on the conference registration platform

  • Poster Presenter: Name of student who will present the poster
  • Email:  Contact information for the poster presenter
  • Jurisdiction: EPSCoR Jurisdiction
  • Poster Title: 25-word limit
  • Authors and Affiliations: Please include the name of each author, their organization and indicate whether they are the primary or co-author. Do not include the department, division, address, etc. Please give each author their own line if possible.
  • Abstract text: (250 word limit). The title, authors, and jurisdiction are not included in this word limit. Please avoid including figures, photos, or diagrams as they will not be published.
  • Support: Enter the sources of research support within the Abstract Text. Include grant numbers here.


  • Sandra Blakelsee, former New York Times science reporter, book author

After a review of the state of American journalism with regard to scientists, the stories they tell, and ways to reach a broad audience, two veteran journalists (one print, one radio) will demonstrate, using volunteers from the audience, how to prepare for and handle interviews on all media platforms. Through role playing and audience feedback, all participants will get a feel for how to carry out this critical function -- which has never been more important.


Longitudinal Sustainability

  • Christopher Lawson, Alabama EPSCoR
  • Anupma Prakash, University of Alaska Fairbanks

The goal of this session is to explore best practices for promoting research competitiveness for NSF EPSCoR projects.


  • Todd Kipfer, Montana EPSCoR
  • Glen Page, SustainaMetrix

This session will address challenges with how to quantify and communicate project outcomes over time (across projects). Part of the challenge is that jurisdictions are funded for current projects, but impacts from previous projects generally continue successfully without being tracked.


  • Gwen Jacobs, University of Hawaii
  • Bill Michener, University of New Mexico

This workshop will explore the benefits and challenges of managing and sharing research data generated through EPSCoR Track 1 research programs. Examples of successful efforts from several jurisdictions will be showcased and the panel will discuss best practices and how they can be adopted in new and existing programs.



  • Gregory Chun, University of Hawaii Manoa, HI EPSCoR
  • Stephen Anthony, USGS Pacific Islands Water Science Center, Hawaii
  • Geoffrey Bothun, University of Rhode Island, RI EPSCoR
  • Bongsup Cho, University of Rhode Island, RI INBRE
  • Keith Goyne, University of Missouri, MO EPSCoR
  • Kristen Veum, USDA Agricultural Research Service, Missouri

This panel will explore the basis and development of agency partnerships and identify best practices for building the relationships that generate these partnerships. The discussion will include perspectives from both sides of these existing partnerships: Missouri EPSCoR and USDA, Hawaii EPSCoR and USGS, and Rhode Island EPSCoR and NIH. Content will include a discussion on NSF EPSCoR’s current and future role in these partnerships and address how to best work with agency partners on NSF EPSCoR RII projects.


  • Amalea Rassais, Assistant Director Office of Economic Innovation & Partnerships (OEIP) at the University of Delaware
  • Daniel Eliot, Manager of Technology Business Development Delaware Small Business Development Center

The Spin In® program partners entrepreneurs that are developing early stage innovations with teams of University students who have the skills to further develop the innovations and move them towards commercialization. The goal of the workshop is to describe the partnership process that produces economic and workforce development and stimulates innovation and entrepreneurship among students.


  • Pips Veazey, Alaska EPSCoR
  • Andy Leidolf, Utah EPSCoR

Representatives from an array of communities engaged in facilitating scientific teams, establishing partnerships, and building community will survey and discuss core competencies, best practices and lessons learned. This session will also explore points of connection, complementarities, and opportunities for synergy among respective communities. Audience members will be encouraged to ask questions, share experiences and participate in a dialogue about the strengths of EPSCoR communities and the connection points with other organizations that share similar goals. Panelists will include NSF EPSCoR and non-EPSCoR affiliates such as representatives from the Science of Team Science, AAAS, and The Community Roundtable.


Science & Innovation

  • Megan Jones (WV)
  • Jade Ortiz (ID)
  • Gurshagan Kandhola (AR)

Three students were selected to present their research in a Pecha Kucha ( like session. Each student will present 20 images, each for 20 seconds.


  • Malcolm J. D’Souza, Professor of Chemistry and Associate Dean of Interdisciplinary/Collaborative Sponsored Research, Wesley College

Through NSF EPSCoR, Wesley College strengthened its academic environment by developing a four-year progressive core curriculum with curricular materials that engage all students in STEM undergraduate research. This session will use this program as a case study to share ideas for development of interdisciplinary STEM undergraduate research curricula. Specific content will include discussion of the efficacy and impact of comprehensive intervention programs and activities such as first year seminars, common intellectual experiences, learning communities, undergraduate research, and extensive peer and faculty mentoring.


  • Sandra Blakelsee, former New York Times reporter, book author
  • Mary-Charlotte Domandi

After a review of the state of American journalism with regard to scientists, the stories they tell, and ways to reach a broad audience, two veteran journalists (one print, one radio) will demonstrate, using volunteers from the audience, how to prepare for and handle interviews on all media platforms. Through role playing and audience feedback, all participants will get a feel for how to carry out this critical function -- which has never been more important.


  • Justine Stadler, Director of Partnerships & Impact, New Hampshire EPSCoR
  • Michael Khonsari, Louisiana EPSCoR Project Director
  • Kathy Eneguess, New Hampshire EPSCoR Statewide Committee Chair
  • Blaine Ferrell, Kentucky EPSCoR Statewide Committee Executive Chair
  • Jan Taylor, Director of Science and Research at the WV Higher Education Policy Commission

This Challenge Session will facilitate discussion and sharing of best practices for the development of an effective Science & Technology Plan that aligns the state’s research capacity to industry strengths. A few case studies will be presented. Discussion will include 1) strategies for the scope of an S&T plan and methods of development (e.g. in-house, consultant; 2) the role of the jurisdiction’s State Committee in the development and implementation of the plan; 3) advocacy for science, technology and innovation funding, and involvement of the jurisdiction’s economic development office, and 4) lessons learned.


  • Claudia Bode, University of Kansas
  • Nelson Cardona Martinez, University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez
  • Kevin Gardner, University of New Hampshire
  • Nathan Hammer, The University of Mississippi
  • Susan Hendricks, Murray State University

This Panel will investigate the unique approach of the RII Track-2 program through a focus on five different Track-2 projects. The goals of this session are to (1) clarify the value of multi-jurisdictional partnerships, (2) consider the role of the Track 2 within the NSF EPSCoR program, and (3) assess its impact on early career faculty.


Inclusion & Diversity

  • Alicia Knoedler, Associate Vice President for Research, Executive Director, Center for Research Program Development & Enrichment, University of Oklahoma

This session will challenge participants to work together to incorporate evidence-based effective practices to design and/or assess hypothetical programs dedicated to broadening participation of underrepresented groups. Participants will have the opportunity to discuss collaborative and competitive approaches, especially considering an EPSCoR context, and potentially develop designs for new programs that can be competitive for NSF’s broadening participation funding opportunities.


  • Selena Connealy, New Mexico EPSCoR

This interactive session will highlight programs from three different jurisdictions - Guam, Arkansas, and New Mexico - and explore best practices to broaden participation by minority groups in STEM. Attendees will have the opportunity to contribute to the conversation and will leave with resources and tools.


  • Laurie Bragg, Maine EPSCoR
  • Dan Wildcat, Haskell Indian Nations University
  • Charlene Stern, University of Alaska
  • Jennifer Wellman, Wyoming EPSCoR
  • Sergio Maldonado, Wind River Native Advocacy Center

This panel will expand the focus of Sunday’s pre-conference workshop by discussing best practices and lessons learned from EOD leads from four different EPSCoR jurisdictions that are working with individuals, institutions, or organizations from Indigenous populations. Content will investigate (1) programs and best practices from four different jurisdictions (2) how approaches vary geographically, and (3) how programs that are effective in Native communities might be similar to or different than effective programming for other minority groups.