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CareerTech State Director Named To EPSCoR Advisory Committee

CareerTech State Director Named To EPSCoR Advisory Committee

Robert Sommers

Jan. 16, 2014

CareerTech State Director Robert Sommers was recently appointed to the Oklahoma Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research Advisory Committee.

Gov. Mary Fallin appointed Sommers, who is also Oklahoma secretary of education and workforce development, to replace Phyllis Hudecki on the committee.

Sommers became the seventh state director of the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education in April 2013. Fallin named him the secretary of education and workforce development in July 2013.

The National Science Foundation established Oklahoma EPSCoR in 1985 to strengthen Oklahoma’s exploration and growth in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The program’s goal is “to increase the state’s research competitiveness through strategic support of research instruments and facilities, research collaborations and integrated education and research programs,” according to its website.

EPSCoR provides support for research at Oklahoma’s public universities and establishes partnerships among higher education, government and industry.

The advisory committee was established to promote cooperative research efforts between public and private universities, to promote private sector involvement in research and encourage technology transfer, to promote human resource development in science and engineering in Oklahoma higher education, to recommend research projects and to appoint the EPSCoR director.

The Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education provides leadership and resources and assures standards of excellence for a comprehensive statewide system of career and technology education. The system offers programs and services in 29 technology center districts operating on 59 campuses, 393 comprehensive school districts and 13 Skills Centers campuses that include three juvenile facilities.

The agency is governed by the State Board of Career and Technology Education and works closely with the State Department of Education and the State Regents for Higher Education to provide a seamless educational system for all Oklahomans.

Laura Wilson, writer/editor