SHEPHERDSTOWN — Dr. Jason Best, a professor of astronomy and astrophysics at Shepherd University and deputy provost for institutional effectiveness and academic strategic partnerships, has been appointed by Governor Jim Justice to a four-year term at West Virginia Science and Research Council.
The council provides expertise and policy guidance to the Science and Research Division of the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission 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 expand public understanding of science and technology.
“We are very proud to have Dr. Best Shepherd represent this important board and bring her expertise to help the state advance research initiatives,” said Dr. Mary JC Hendrix, president of Shepherd.
Best said, “I am deeply honored by my appointment to the Board. I look forward to contributing to the Council’s mission to increase research capacity within the state’s institutions of higher learning as well as to promote science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) at all levels of education and I look forward to working with the other distinguished members of the Council to help encourage and facilitate STEM initiatives within the framework of workforce development in the public and private sectors.
Best’s research publications and presentations span areas as diverse as galactic evolution, the large-scale structure of the universe, virtual reality, and the evolution of Renaissance cosmology. In addition, he has received numerous research grants from federal and state agencies, served as a grant reviewer and research referee for numerous national and international journals and agencies, and on national task forces and advisory committees on science education and undergraduate research. He has been a guest speaker at numerous national, national and international scientific conferences and events.
Best was also president of the West Virginia Academy of Sciences and a member of the Board of Governors of Shepherd University. He currently serves on the Shepherd University Foundation as a member of the Board of Trustees and Executive Committee. He is a member of the Peer Review Corps of the Higher Learning Commission. Best was a member of the American Council on Education Fellows Class 2015-2016, focusing his fellowship project on research efforts at primarily undergraduate institutions.