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Office of the Vice President for Research

The 26th NSF EPSCoR National Conference Brought Attendees from Around the Country to the Palmetto State

Last week, the Office of the Vice President for Research, in conjunction with the South Carolina Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) Office and the National Science Foundation, hosted the 26th NSF EPSCoR National Conference in Columbia, South Carolina.

I am so pleased with the outcome of the conference, and so grateful to everyone who helped to make it such a smashing success.

— Prakash Nagarkatti, UofSC Vice President for Research

The conference, which was open to students, postdocs, faculty and others from all 28 EPSCoR jurisdictions, drew more than 400 attendees to the Palmetto State’s capital city for two days of informative sessions organized around the theme of “Science and Partnerships Across Disciplinary Boundaries.” With daily student sessions, a variety of timely session topics, renowned speakers from across the nation and presentation opportunities for faculty, postdocs, students and others, the 26th NSF EPSCoR National Conference truly had something for everyone.

UofSC Vice President for Research Prakash Nagarkatti said, “I am so pleased with the outcome of the conference, and so grateful to everyone who helped to make it such a smashing success. I want to recognize my outstanding staff and the wonderful UofSC Continuing Education and Conference Services team, along with our partners at the SC EPSCoR Office, the event venues and all the others who came together to pull off this amazing event.”

One major highlight of the conference was the plenary speech presentation (pdf) by Kelvin Droegemeier, the Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and the Science Advisor to President Trump. Dr. Droegemeier also spent time listening and responding to questions from UofSC faculty, and other research leaders from institutions across the Palmetto State.

Attendees were also fortunate to hear from keynote speaker Dr. Sharon Glotzer, a renowned material scientist from the University of Michigan. Dr. Glotzer’s speech, “Engineering on Demand: Solving Grand Challenges Through Convergent Research,” focused on how bringing together a variety of expertise can provide novel solutions to problems the world faces today.

The conference drew other major research influencers, as well, making for a vital and exciting event. Organizers were happy to welcome Dr. Loretta Moore, the national Director of the NSF EPSCoR Program as an honored guest. University of South Carolina President Bob Caslen also joined the event, welcoming attendees to the Palmetto State and sharing remarks about how the NSF EPSCoR Program has supported research infrastructure in South Carolina, to the benefit of all citizens. Tayloe Harding, UofSC's Interim Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost, joined the conference on Tuesday evening, offering warm send-off remarks at the conference closing reception.

 

7 November 2019


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