ND EPSCoR State Steering Committee

The ND EPSCoR State Steering Committee is composed of individuals with representation from the North Dakota State Board of Higher Education; legislative branches; North Dakota Commerce and Public Instruction Departments; tribal college, primarily undergraduate, master’s college/university, and research university campuses; as well as private business and research university technology parks. The committee's directives are to

  • Provide direction to ND EPSCoR regarding research in focal areas that are based on the strengths of our research universities. 
  • Contribute to North Dakota's Science and Technology Plan (S&T Plan). One of the requirements of NSF EPSCoR is that each state develop and approve an S&T Plan that provides a broad perspective of the economic and educational goals of the state.
  • Ensure that North Dakota's NSF RII Track-1 efforts are meeting the needs of the state and reflect the priorities laid out in the S&T Plan.

John Warford, Committee Chair, DDS.
Member, State Board of Higher Education
Committee Appointed by NDUS Chancellor
Warford Orthodontics, Bismarck
john.warford.sbhe@ndus.edu

Representative Corey Mock
Democrat
Term End: 06/30/2023
District 18, Grand Forks
crmock@nd.gov

Twyla Baker, Committee Vice Chair, Ph.D.
President
Term End: 06/30/2026
Nueta Hidatsa Sahnish College
tbaker@nhsc.edu

Senator Merrill Piepkorn
Democrat
Term End: 06/30/2023
District 44, Fargo
mpiepkorn@nd.gov

Representative Vicky Steiner
Republican
Term End: 06/30/2026
District 37, Dickinson
vsteiner@nd.gov

Steve Snow
Assistant Director
Committee Appointed
School Approval & Organization
North Dakota Department of Public Instruction
fsnow@nd.gov

Andre DeLorme, Ph.D.
Professor and Chair, Science Department
Term End: 06/30/2026
Valley City State University
andre.delorme@vcsu.edu

Colleen Fitzgerald, Ph.D.
Vice President, Research and Creative Activity
Committee Appointed
North Dakota State University
colleen.fitzgerald@ndsu.edu

Megan Gelinske
Director, DNA Product Technology
Term End: 06/30/2026
Aldevron
meagandeegelinske@msn.com

Amy Whitney, Ed.D.
Director, Center for Innovation
Committee Appointed
University of North Dakota
amy.whitney@und.edu

Chris Nelson, Ph.D.
Associate Dean, Graduate School
Committee Appointed
Associate Professor, Graduate School
University of North Dakota
chris.nelson@und.edu 

Kelly A. Rusch, Ph.D., P.E.,  BCEE (ex-officio member)
ND EPSCoR Executive State Director and PI
Professor; Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering
College of Engineering
North Dakota State University
kelly.rusch@ndsu.edu

Senator Ray Holmberg
Republican
Term End: 06/30/2022
District 17, Grand Forks
rholmberg@nd.gov

John Mihelich, Ph.D. (ex-officio member)
ND EPSCoR Associate Project Director and Co-PI
Interim Vice President for Research and Economic Development/Faculty Fellow
Division of Research & Economic Development
University of North Dakota
john.mihelich@und.edu

Brian Kalk, Ph.D.
Executive Director
Committee Appointed
NDSU Research and Technology Park
brian@ndsuresearchpark.com

Jean Ostrom-Blonigen, Ph.D., CPA (ex-officio member)
ND EPSCoR State Project Administrator and Co-PI
ND EPSCoR State Office
North Dakota State University
jean.ostrom@ndus.edu

James Leiman, Ph.D.
North Dakota State Commerce Commissioner
Committee Appointed
jleiman@nd.gov