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Majors & Degrees

DSU is partner in NSF traineeship award

September 10, 2018

The National Science Foundation (NSF) Research Traineeship (NRT) program recently awarded $51 million to 17 projects, programs which will develop and implement graduate education traineeship models in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields. The awards will help train the next generation of scientific leaders to develop the skills necessary to tackle complex societal problems.

Dakota State University’s Dr. Ashley Podhradsky is a partner in one of the projects, titled “Cyber-Physical-Social System for Understanding and Thwarting the Illicit Economy.” Other partners in the group include: Jon Kellar, South Dakota School of Mines and Technology; Brian Logue, South Dakota State University; and Paul May, University of South Dakota. The project is the only STEM-focused graduate-level program focused on anti-counterfeiting.

“The underground illicit economy is a $1.5 trillion global enterprise which threatens our national security,” said Podhradsky. “The collaboration between the four institutions will bring unique expertise to each of the NRT students.” The DSU contribution is investigating the deep web, and creating approaches for data identification and extraction, she stated.

"Innovative approaches are vital to transforming STEM graduate education," said Jim Lewis, acting assistant director for NSF's Education and Human Resources Directorate. "By supporting approaches that utilize evidence-based learning practices, immersing students in interdisciplinary research and providing students with opportunities to develop career-aligned skillsets, NRT projects are helping change the landscape of graduate education and better prepare future STEM scientists for diverse careers."

Podhradsky said about 20 graduate students at DSU, SDSU, SDSMT and USD will be impacted by the five-year, $2,995,676 grant.

“I look forward to working with my research partners at SDSU, SDSMT and USD to help thwart the illicit underground economy and develop students who graduate with in-demand technical skills,” she said.

Additional titles, principal investigators and institutions for the new NRT awards went to:

  • NeuroTech - Bringing Technology to Neuroscience: Eduardo Chichilnisky, Stanford University
  • Enhancing Conservation Science and Practice: An Interdisciplinary Program: Sandra De Urioste-Stone, University of Maine
  • Preparing Future Leaders: Rural Resource Resiliency (R3): Melanie Derby, Kansas State University
  • NRT-INFEWS: Agricultural Biotechnology in Our Evolving Food, Energy & Water Systems (AgBioFEWS): Fred Gould, North Carolina State University
  • Technology-Human Integrated Knowledge Education and Research (THINKER): Laine Mears, Clemson University
  • A Team-based Training Paradigm Integrating Informatics and Ecology: Kiona Ogle, Northern Arizona University
  • Citizen-Centered Smart Cities and Smart Living: Sethuraman Panchanathan, Arizona State University
  • The DataFEWSion Traineeship Program for Innovations at the Nexus of Food Production, Renewable Energy and Water Quality: Sarah Ryan, Iowa State University
  • UMD Global STEWARDS (STEM Training at the Nexus of Energy, WAter Reuse and FooD Systems): Amy Sapkota, University of Maryland, College Park
  • Interdisciplinary Training, Education and Research for Food-Energy-Water Systems (InTERFEWS) in Semi-Arid Regions: Sybil Sharvelle, Colorado State University
  • Intersecting Computational and Data Science to Address Grand Challenges in Plant Biology: Shin-Han Shiu, Michigan State University
  • A Bioelectronics Incubator for Training Students (BITS) at the Cell/Material Interface: Jonathan Silberg, William Marsh Rice University
  • Landscape-U, Impactful Partnerships among Graduate Students and Managers for Regenerative Landscape Design: Erica Smithwick, Pennsylvania State University, University Park
  • A Graduate Traineeship in Cyber Physical Systems: John Stankovic, University of Virginia
  • Modeling and Understanding Human Behavior: Harnessing Data from Genes to Social Networks: Wei Wang, University of California Los Angeles
  • Graduate Student Education: Reducing Energy Barriers for Novel Water Supply Use in Sustainable Agriculture: Charles Werth, University of Texas, Austin

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