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The mission of Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) is to assist the National Science Foundation in its statutory function "to strengthen research and education in science and engineering throughout the United States and to avoid undue concentration of such research and education." West Virginia State University is honored and excited to be part of West Virginia EPSCoR. Here’s how we’re doing it:

TRACK I: Bionanotechnology for Public Security and Environmental Safety (NSF 09-570 - EPS-1003907)

The mission of EPSCoR Track 1 is to improve the research competitiveness of jurisdictions by improving their academic research infrastructure in areas of science and engineering.” At WVSU, along with Marshall University, we are focusing on Biotechnology & Cell Biology, an area where investment in infrastructure will lead to new avenues of competitive research and expanded options for STEM students. Our researchers are focusing their efforts on investigating the mechanisms by which specific external cues exert control over the growth, development and adaptation of unicellular and/or multicellular organisms. In addition to developing our research capabilities, we are also providing educational outreach initiatives through the Learning Assistants and TREK programs described below.
 
Learning Assistants
The Learning Assistant (LA) Model uses the transformation of large-enrollment science courses as a mechanism for achieving four goals: to recruit and prepare talented science majors for careers in teaching; to engage science faculty in the recruitment and preparation of future teachers; to improve the quality of science education for all undergraduates; and to transform departmental cultures to value research-based teaching for ourselves and for our students.
 
Teacher Research Experience for the advancement of Knowledge (TREK)
This eight-week summer research experience is designed to give teachers and students an opportunity to work together with leading researchers in the fields of nano/biotechnology. Each TREK participant is assigned to a researcher working on the emerging themes identified in WVSU’s EPSCoR Research component. Biology and Chemistry researchers at WVSU work each summer with selected local high school teachers and students to provide this research experience. 
  

TRACK II: Cyberinfrastructure for Transformational Scientific Discover (NSF 08-595 - EPS-0918949)

The mission of EPSCoR Track II isto support innovation-enabling cyberinfrastructure of regional, thematic, or technological importance.” Through this program, WVSU is now home to a high-performance computing (HPC) system with enough processing speed to equal 120 standard desktop computers. The system, nicknamed Stinger after the WVSU mascot, allows students, faculty and researchers to compete more favorably with other institutions in their chosen fields and, administrators hope, attract additional faculty and students into the academic areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM. The University’s Internet bandwidth has been increased to meet the demand resulting from the new system. The HPC is located in the University’s Drain-Jordan Library and features a visualization tile display (viz-wall) of nine 52” high-resolution monitors, as well as classroom seating and conference space.

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