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Dr. Jason Best appointed to statewide council

ISSUED: 13 July 2022

SHEPHERDSTOWN, WV — Dr. Jason Best, Shepherd University professor of astronomy and astrophysics and assistant provost for institutional effectiveness and academic strategic partnerships, has been appointed by Gov. Jim Justice to a four-year term on the West Virginia Science and Research Council.

The Council provides expertise and policy guidance to the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission’s Division of Science and Research as it develops competitive research opportunities in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. The division directs the National Science Foundation’s Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) in West Virginia, coordinates scientific research grants to academic institutions from federal and state agencies, and conducts outreach activities to broaden the public’s understanding of science and technology

“We are so proud to have Dr. Best represent Shepherd on this important council and contribute his expertise to help the State advance research initiatives,” said Dr. Mary J.C. Hendrix, Shepherd president.

Headshot of Dr. Jason Best.“I am deeply honored by my appointment to the Council,” Best said. “I look forward to contributing to the Council’s mission of increasing research capacity within the state’s institutions of higher education as well as promoting science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) at all levels of education and am eager to work with the other distinguished members of the Council to help encourage and facilitate STEM initiatives as part of workforce development within the public and private sectors.”

Best’s research publications and presentations are in fields as diverse as galactic evolution, the large-scale structure of the universe, virtual reality, and the evolution of Renaissance cosmology. In addition, he has been awarded many research grants from federal and state agencies, has served as a grant reviewer and research referee for numerous national and international journals and agencies, and on national task forces and advisory committees in science education and undergraduate research. He has been an invited speaker at numerous state, national, and international science conferences and events.

Best has also served as president of the West Virginia Academy of Science and as a member of the Shepherd University Board of Governors. He currently serves on the Shepherd University Foundation as both a board and executive committee member. He is a member of the Higher Learning Commission’s Peer Review Corps. Best was a member of the 2015-16 American Council on Education Fellows Class, focusing his fellowship project on research efforts at primarily undergraduate institutions.

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