Two Biology Professors Serve with National Science Foundation

Professors Sophie B. George, Ph.D., and Laura B. Regassa, Ph.D., are serving prestigious terms as program directors for the National Science Foundation (NSF) in Washington, D.C.

“It is quite an achievement to have one professor asked to serve    at NSF; it is unusual to have two there,” said Carl L. Reiber, Ph.D., Georgia Southern provost and vice president for academic affairs. “This is a testament to the quality of the faculty we have at Georgia Southern. The experiences they will bring back to our students will be invaluable.”

Regassa, who is serving as director of the Innovations in Graduate Education program is into the fourth year of her appointment. This is unusual at the NSF, as faculty typically rotate in for three years.

During her three-year rotation, George will manage the Research Coordination Networks-undergraduate Biology Education (RCN-UBE) program in the Division of Biological Infrastructure. She also served in this role from 2012-2015.

“The Department of Biology is proud to have two faculty members serving as program directors at the NSF,” said Steve Vives, Ph.D.,  chair of the Department of Biology. “Their participation in these service roles is critical to the peer-review process, in enhancing STEM education and promoting interdisciplinary research.”

The NSF is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering. With a budget of $8.1 billion, the agency funds the work of principal investigators at nearly 2,000 universities and institutions across the United States.