A former research scientist and current associate professor will now take on a new challenge with a leadership role in public higher education.  

Juliana Serafin, Ph.D., was named Director of Science and Research for West Virginia Science & Research (WVSR), a division of the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission (Commission). Her appointment will officially be announced during Undergraduate Research Day at the Legislature on Friday, February 7 at the State Capitol. 

Serafin spent 19 years as a researcher in the Research & Development Technology Center at Union Carbide and The Dow Chemical Company in South Charleston. She has most recently worked as an associate professor of chemistry at the University of Charleston.

“Living in Charleston and being a part of the science community, I have been able to directly benefit from many of the activities of the Division of Science and Research including the Chancellor’s STEM Speaker Series, The Neuron magazine and EPSCoR grants,” Serafin said. “I’m really excited to now be a part of the organization that has had an impact on my community and state.”

A native of Philippi, W.Va., Serafin earned her bachelor’s degree in chemistry at West Virginia University in 1982. She then gained both her master’s and doctorate degrees in physical chemistry from Harvard University in 1985 and 1989.

“We are excited to have a person of Dr. Juliana Serafin’s caliber joining our team,” said Sarah Armstrong Tucker, Ph.D., Interim Chancellor of the Commission and Chancellor of the Community and Technical College System. “She will no doubt be an asset to our state’s higher education system, students and researchers.”

WVSR administers both state and federal research grant programs. Federal programs include the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) and the NSF Inclusion across the Nation of Communities of Learners of Underrepresented Discoverers in Engineering and Science (INCLUDES). WVSR also manages the Research Challenge Fund, established by the state legislature in 2004 to further build research capacity and competitiveness at state colleges and universities.