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ND EPSCoR adds staff to state office

Photo of Janelle Smith

Janelle Smith

Photo of Paul Keidel

Paul Keidel

Photo of Joyce Eisenbraun

Joyce Eisenbraun

Photo of Austin Allard

Austin Allard

The Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research in North Dakota, known as ND EPSCoR, has added staff to the recently created state office, housed in the NDSU Research and Technology Park. 

Janelle Smith is the business office manager, Paul Keidel, is the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) manager and Joyce Eisenbraun is the communication manager. Austin Allard has been added to the NDSU EPSCoR staff as the new American Indian STEM mentor.

Smith has a strong background in both project and operations management, with more than 20 years of experience with a global technology company. 

Keidel has more than 30 years in science education, most recently in the Bismarck area. He is chair of the ND STEM Network executive committee, and has served as the District IX director and National Council member for the National Science Teachers Association. He has represented North Dakota on the National Council of State Science Supervisors and as coordinator of the state’s Presidential Awards program in Science and Math.

Eisenbraun’s background includes extensive public speaking and training in teamwork and communication. She previously was the marketing/development director for a long-term care facility and was the owner of a strategic marketing firm.

Allard earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in civil engineering at NDSU and his doctorate at Texas A&M University. He is helping students build technical and emotional skills needed to successfully complete undergraduate and graduate degrees.

The goal of ND EPSCoR is to increase the competitiveness of North Dakota for merit-based grants and contracts in support of research in the STEM disciplines from federal funding agencies. Funded through federal-state sector partnerships, ND EPSCoR, under the direction of executive director Kelly A. Rusch, manages a research development plan that involves: 

·      Infrastructure improvement programs

·      Educational support beginning with K-12

·      Workforce development programs

·      Science outreach 

·      Recruitment programs including new faculty

·      Technology transfer and commercialization programs

·      Tribal colleges research and primarily undergraduate institutions research and broader impact initiatives

 As a student-focused, land grant, research university, we serve our citizens.


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Vice President for University Relations
North Dakota State University
Phone: +1 (701) 231-1068 - Fax: (701) 231-1989
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