Science and Technology Policy Rushmore University

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Overview

Most advanced human activity in our times, whether for work in the private, nonprofit, or public sectors, leisure activities, or broader community organizations, could not take place without a foundation in science, technology, and engineering. Rushmore University’s Faculty of Science is committed to provide today’s and tomorrow’s leaders and decisionmakers with the basic tools needed to understand the policy principles relevant to science and technology, to apply them for improving societal outcomes and for achieving a more sustainable environment.

The Faculty of Science draws on experienced professionals from multiple disciplines spanning all geographic regions so that students can benefit from diverse approaches to science and technology policy and management. Instruction centers on key topics in science and engineering, such as food, climate change, global security, technology transfer, space exploration, energy development, entrepreneurship, pharmaceuticals and medicine, pandemics, and other subjects.

Our commitment to exceptional online teaching methods means that your instructors have a truly global background, enabling them to address the most important scientific and technological issues that are critical to students’ career goals. The course offerings are tailored to be accessible for (1) students and mid-career professionals who haven’t previously received formal science, engineering, mathematics, or technology training with completion of the certificate-qualifying lectures and instruction; (2) advanced students with strong science, engineering, mathematics or technology education, with the option to complete requirements for a Master of Science and Technology Policy degree; and (3) individuals who desire instruction in specific subjects to supplement their education and background and to improve opportunities for life objectives or career advancement.

Admission Requirements

Any student admitted to another Program of Rushmore University is already eligible to enroll in any class or lecture offering by a Faculty member. Because many Faculty of Science professors are appointed as faculty at other institutions and universities around the globe, a student who has already been admitted to the home institution of the course/lecture series instructor, is considered admitted for that specific Rushmore course/lecture.

Admission of other students depends on the outcome objective. The Faculty of Science will admit students for the following categories: (1) Master of Science and Technology Policy degree candidates; (2) Science and Technology Policy Certificate candidates; and (3) individuals only intending to enroll in a single lecture, lecture series, or course.

Master of Science and Technology Policy:

The Master of Science and Technology Policy degree meets equivalent standards for an academic degree for a Masters of Science, Masters of Public Administration, or Masters of Public Policy. The program would include courses and individualized instruction that would normally comprise full-time work over at least one year, but with online instruction and rolling admission, the requirements can be met by students who want flexible scheduling options

Required application materials are as follows:

  • Official course transcripts from all colleges and universities attended, with the date of receiving a 4-year baccalaureate degree (or international equivalent including some 3-year baccalaureate degrees such as those obtained from European educational institutions under the Bologna protocol), a professional degree (such as PharmD, MBBS, MD, DVM, etc.), or an appropriate U.S./Canadian alternative degree from a regionally accredited (US) or recognized (International) college or university;
  • Three letters of recommendation and recent resume; and
  • Statement of purpose: The statement of purpose should reflect the culture of Rushmore University’s Faculty of Science which promotes diversity, service for the public good, respect for the value of students’ life experiences, and collaboration. Please include any information from your background substantiating community volunteering and outreach, important life experiences, civic clubs and activities, interest in science and technology, leadership, entrepreneurship, and public service.
Science and Technology Policy Certificate:

Rushmore University will award a Science and Technology Policy Certificate to applicants who provide:

  • documentation that the candidate successfully completed 3 course offerings or lecture programs of the Faculty of Science with a passing score and
  • submission of a paper of at least 10 pages (with standard formatting requirements provided to applicants) and references considered to demonstrate competence by one member of the Faculty on a specific subject using the language, logic, and/or tools of science and technology policy formulation and analysis.
Single course or lecture enrollment:

For individuals interested in one course or lecture series and not intending to be a candidate for either the Science and Technology Policy Certificate or the Masters of Science and Technology Policy, the Faculty of Science does not have admission criteria, unless the instructor for the course has added specific requirements.

Courses and Lecture Series

The Faculty of Science has been expanding course and lecture series offerings, and students should check this web page periodically to find the most up-to-date listing of available learning opportunities. Rushmore University also encourages independent study projects, and if that pathway is of interest to explore other topics than those subjects covered with the courses or lecture series, then students should contact specific professors or Dr. David Altman for additional information and guidance.

  • Issues in Biotechnology: Dr. Albert Kausch
  • Principles and Analytical Methods for Science and Technology Policy: A core curriculum required course for the Master’s degree program with multiple instructors. Contact Drs. Albert Kausch or David Altman
  • Regulatory Policies for Experimental and Commercial Release of Advanced Science Technologies: Dr. Trine Hvoslef-Eide
  • The Precautionary Principle: Dr. David Songstad
  • All Things COVID-19: Where Are We, and Where Are We Going: Dr. Henry Miller
  • Disaster Risk Management within a Holistic View of Resilience: Dr. Maurizio Indirli
  • Food Security and Sustainability: Dr. Kazuo Watanabe
  • Science Journalism and Communication: Dr. Lucia Martinelli
  • Transboundary Diseases: Dr. Amor Yahyaoui
Meet Our People David W. Altman, PhD MBA

David Altman is President of IPR Consulting, Inc., a financial services firm providing project development primarily for under-served, low-income communities in the United States using New Markets Tax Credits. Dr. Altman had a prior academic career in genetics, attaining the rank of Professor at Cornell University and Associate Professor at Texas A&M University, with more than 140 scientific and policy publications. Dr. Altman has served as Vice-Chair of the Faculty of Genetics at Texas A&M University, and also has been an instructor at other educational institutions, including the University of Minnesota, Metropolitan State University, Vanderbilt University’s Owen Graduate School of Management, West Bank School of Music, and Linn-Benton Community College. Dr. Altman was the Founder and Executive Vice President of Profigen, Inc. which brought traditional and cutting-edge science applications to grape cultivation and the wine industry. Dr. Altman has provided leadership for nonprofit boards such as with the Oregon Child Development Coalition and the Editorial Advisory Council of CAB International (UK), and he was recognized as a Fellow of the Society for In Vitro Biology and the Royal Society of Medicine (UK). Dr. Altman has been featured in Forbes, a prime-time CNN report, and in various front-page stories in U.S. newspapers for his genetic contributions in the collaborations that eliminated the need for many of the pesticides in cotton production. Early in his career, Dr. Altman was a volunteer for the US Peace Corps in Tunisia. Dr. Altman holds a PhD from the University of Minnesota, MBA and BA degrees from Vanderbilt University, and MS and BS degrees from Oregon State University.

Trine Hvoslef-Eide, PhD

Professor Trine Hvoslef-Eide is a professor of Applied Biotechnology of the Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU) in Ås, Norway. She teaches courses in the science of biotechnology, laws and regulations with regards to biotechnology in Norway and internationally, as well as practical courses in greenhouse production and urban agriculture. She has previously been a senior advisor in the Norwegian Ministry of Environment. In this capacity, Prof. Hvoslef-Eide was dealing with applications for deliberate release and marketing of genetically modified organisms in Norway and the EU through the European Economic Agreement (EEA). She was also serving as the Head of the Norwegian delegation to meetings with the Competent Authorities in Biotechnology in the EU Commission in Brussels and in OECD in Paris. Professor Hvoslef-Eide has been active over the past 3 decades on issues relating to GMOs of plants, by taking part in the public debate through interviews in newspapers, radio and television, letters to the main newspapers and public meetings organized by the Norwegian Biotechnology Advisory Board. She has now herself become a member of the Norwegian Biotechnology Advisory Board (2019-2023). During her career, she has taken a particular interest in educating scientists from third world countries and has been active in biotechnology projects in the Eastern part of Africa. Her previous PhD students are now back in Malawi, Ethiopia and South Sudan, as well as in Ghana, to make their impact in their home countries, some of which have reached high offices. Her publications are within biotechnology, renewable energy, and urban agriculture, including also socio-economic aspects of these disciplines. She has co-edited books and been the author or co-author of book chapters and peer-reviewed publications, particularly within biotechnology.

Maurizio Indirli, PhD

Maurizio Indirli is Director of Research at ENEA, which is the Italian National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development (SSPT-MET-DISPREV Technical Unit), specializing in seismic engineering, multi-hazard/resilience assessment, and protection of cultural heritage. Dr. Indirli has been the ENEA representative for several in situ investigations immediately after great seismic events (examples: Northridge 1994, California, USA, European team EEFIT-Earthquake Engineering Investigation Team; Kobe 1995, Japan, Italian Government Official Team; Chile 2010, EU-COST C26 team, with ICOMOS-ISCARSAH patronage). He has also organized and coordinated ENEA teams supporting the Italian Civil Protection in the emergency phases after earthquakes: Reggio Emilia-Modena, 1996; Umbria-Marche, 1997/1998; Molise-Puglia, 2002/2003; Abruzzo, 2009; and Emilia-Romagna, 2012. Dr. Indirli obtained an MS in Nuclear Mechanics Engineering from the University of Bologna and a PhD from the University of Trento concentrating his studies in Structural Engineering, Modelling, and Preservation and Control of Materials and Structures. He is an author or co-author of over 130 publications.

Albert Kausch, PhD

Dr. Albert Kausch is currently a Professor at the Univ. of Rhode Island in the Department of Cell and Molecular Biology, with a research and educational focus on biotechnology. Dr. Kausch’s research program concentrates on molecular improvement and gene discovery in grasses and cereal crops. He conducts research on improved transgenic technologies in cereal crops, and has directed diverse research projects on corn, rice, sorghum, switchgrass, turfgrasses and other crop plants working to introduce traits including herbicide and insect resistance, drought tolerance and yield stability, nutritional improvement, gene regulation, transformation technology development, and others. He has authored or co-authored over 65 research publications and is an inventor or co-inventor on over 45 patents in fields of molecular and agricultural biotechnology. He is also Founder and President of lifeedu.us, a nonprofit organization that develops educational materials on biotechnology for a broad audience range. He teaches a well-received course titled Issues in Biotechnology as a General Education course available to majors, and non-majors, and now also for secondary students seeking college credit. His creative works include three books of poetry, one novel, a play for voices, and two children's books. Dr. Kausch received a BS in Biology from the State University of New York, and the completed an MS and PhD in the Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology at Iowa State University. He conducted postdoctoral work at The Rockefeller University in New York working in the laboratory of Dr. Tony Cashmore on early gene transfer methods to plants, in collaboration with Dr. Marc Van Montague’s laboratory in Ghent, Belgium. That work conducted seminal research on chloroplast protein targeting in transgenic plants covering the use of the transit peptide sequences for protein import to chloroplasts. Dr. Kausch worked as a Senior Research Scientist for Pfizer Pharmaceuticals and DeKalb Genetics Corp., and was part of the team that generated the first fertile transgenic maize plants and contributed other technologies including pioneering uses of magnetic nanoparticles for separation of biological materials, drought tolerant maize, various molecular technologies, and vectors.

Henry I. Miller, MS MD

Henry I. Miller, MS, MD, is a Senior Fellow at the Pacific Research Institute in San Francisco. His research focuses on public policy toward science, technology, and medicine, encompassing a number of areas, including pharmaceutical development, genetic engineering, models for regulatory reform, precision medicine, and the emergence of new viral diseases, including COVID-19. Following his clinical training at Harvard University's Beth Israel Hospital (now Beth-Israel-Deaconess Hospital) and three years as a Research Associate at the U.S. National Institutes of Health, Dr. Miller served for fifteen years at the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in a number of posts. He was the medical reviewer for the first genetically engineered drugs to be evaluated by the FDA and thus instrumental in the rapid licensing of human insulin and human growth hormone. Thereafter, he was a special assistant to the FDA commissioner and the founding director of the FDA's Office of Biotechnology. As a government official, Dr. Miller received numerous awards and citations. During more than two decades as the Robert Wesson Fellow in Scientific Philosophy & Public Policy at Stanford University's Hoover Institution, Dr. Miller became well known for both his contributions to scholarly journals and for articles and books that make science, medicine, and technology accessible. His work has been widely published in many languages. Monographs include Policy Controversy in Biotechnology: An Insider's View; To America's Health: A Model for Reform of the Food and Drug Administration; and The Frankenfood Myth: How Protest and Politics Threaten the Biotech Revolution. Barron's selected The Frankenfood Myth as one of the 25 Best Books of 2004. In addition, Dr. Miller has published extensively in a wide spectrum of scholarly journals and popular publications worldwide, including The Lancet, Journal of the American Medical Association, Science, the Nature family of journals, Chronicle of Higher Education, Forbes, National Review, Wall Street Journal, New York Times, the Guardian, and the Financial Times. He appears regularly on the nationally syndicated radio programs of John Batchelor and Lars Larson.

Dr. Miller was the first recipient of an award named after him from the American Council on Science and Health and was selected by the editors of Nature Biotechnology as one of the people who had made the "most significant contributions" to biotechnology during the previous decade. He serves on several editorial boards.

Lucia Martinelli, PhD

Dr. Lucia Martinelli is a Researcher and Head of the program for Science in Society at the Science Museum (MUSE) of Trento, Italy. During a 30-year career as a researcher in Italy (Bologna University; Agrimont R&S, Montedison group Company; Fondazione E. Mach – IASMA; Museo delle Scienze – MUSE) and abroad (Wageningen Agricultural University, NL; The Plant Cell Research Institute, California, USA; University of Santiago de Compostela, Madrid and Bilbao, Spain), in public and industrial research institutes, she developed and coordinated research on plant biotechnology, gene transfer and GMO traceability, risk perception and assessment, and communication. Her pioneering successful foreign gene transfer into grapevine was awarded with the 1994 first prize by the Rudolf Hermanns Foundation. Dr. Martinelli received a Laurea in Biological Sciences from the University of Bologna, an MS from the University of Ferrara in Science Journalism and Communication, and a PhD from Wageningen Agricultural University (The Netherlands). Dr. Martinelli has also had professional experience as a musician and has taken on a prominent role advocating for increased career opportunities for women in sciences.

Stig Sølvhøj, PhD

Dr. Stig Sølvhøj, PhD, Associate Professor Rushmore University within the field of Psychology. He has a Masters of Neuro Linguistics, a Masters of Psychology & Communication, and a Bachelor of Organizational Psychology, and he is a certified Psychotherapist with specialties of metacognitive psychology in the period from 1995 – 2020. He has done PhD research on unwarranted stress, and methods to cope with that condition in collaboration with Rushmore University 2018 – 2020. Also, he is the COO at the company MINDstrain located in Denmark, educating doctors, psychologists, psychotherapists, and certified coaches within the field of stress. Dr. Sølvhøj developed the psychological method MINDstrain to treat stress in the period 2013 – 2015, and has invented a digital platform to work with stress-related issues, MYstrain. Dr. Sølvhøj has been teaching within several institutions and companies since 2000, and has provided more than 14,000 sessions of individual coaching and therapeutic work. He is the author of the book, The Better You, and the book, STRAIN – No More Stress.

David Songstad, PhD

Dr. David Songstad is a pivotal leader in science where he contributed to the research success for companies including Monsanto, Pioneer Hi-Bred, and Cibus. He also founded FemtoGen and served as President of the Society for In Vitro Biology (SIVB) and the Council for Agricultural Science and Technology (CAST). David discovered immature embryo bombardment to genetically transform maize which was the enabling technology for Roundup Ready Corn and Yieldgard Corn. He led the Monsanto corn transformation team that produced the first commercial Agrobacterium-derived transgenic corn event containing traits for glyphosate tolerance and corn rootworm resistance. He was also the Global New Products Lead for Monsanto supporting the launch of drought tolerant corn by establishing key collaborations with 3rd party stakeholders including involvement with Monsanto’s participation in WEMA (Water Efficient Maize for Africa). At Pioneer Hi-Bred, he produced some of the early transgenic results leading to the SPT system for producing male sterile female inbreds for hybrid corn production. In 2011, David became the Director of Cell Biology for the gene editing company Cibus which recently launched the first product consisting of Sulfonylurea-resistant canola which has received both USDA and Canadian PNT approval as non-GMO. More recently, David founded Songstad Consulting where he provides consulting services in the plant biotech community. In addition to his efforts in the private sector, David was elected Vice President of the SIVB for two consecutive terms covering 2002 to 2006. He also received the 2005 SIVB Fellow Award for his contributions to science and to the society. In 2010, he became President-Elect of the SIVB which began a six-year term on the SIVB Board of Directors which included serving as President of the SIVB from 2012 to 2014. Under his leadership, he authorized the 2014 World Forum on Biology in Savannah, Georgia, a collaboration event between the SIVB and the Society for Cryobiology. In 2019, David was selected as Editor in Chief of In Vitro Plant. David became President of CAST in 2014 which carries on a long tradition of science-based issue papers that were initiated in 1972 by Nobel laureate. Dr. Norman Borlaug. Separate from SIVB and CAST, David promoted scientific outreach by publishing a book on Biofuels that was also re-published in Asia due to popular demand. He also has been invited to speak at various venues, including being the first recipient of the University of Tennessee Plant Science Distinguished Alumnus Award (2016), a workshop at MIT focused on gene editing, food security and climate change (2018) and a United Nations Convention on Biodiversity in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt (2018) to discuss genome editing.

Odd Arne Rognli, PhD

Dr. Odd Arne Rognli is Professor at the Faculty of Biosciences, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Ås, Norway. He is currently Head of Department of Plant Sciences and Vice-Dean for Research at the faculty. He has been teaching genetics with a focus on population genetics and plant breeding. The focus of his research activities has been genetic diversity and plant adaptation to climate and abiotic stress, developing and employing genomic tools to dissect and understand complex traits. He was a member of the first Norwegian expert group developing a report on the risk of deliberate release of GMOs (1991-92), he made a first risk assessment of a field trial of GMO potato in Norway (1992), conducted a research project on pollen- and gene flow in grasses as part of a national research program, and he has participated in a number of public discussions and outreach activities on GMOs. He also served on the National Committee on the Ethics of Science and Technology in Norway (1997-2000). Prof. Rognli is a member for the board of EPSO (European Plant Science Organization), and he has been member of several scientific advisory boards in the EU. He is a Fulbright Fellow (Univ. of Minnesota) and has been a visiting scientist to academic institutions in Japan and China. Prof. Rognli holds a PhD in genetics and plant breeding from the Norwegian University of Life Sciences, and MSc and BSc in Crop Science from the same university.

Kazuo Watanabe, PhD

Prof. Dr. Kazuo N. Watanabe is a research professor at the Gene Research Center within Tsukuba Plant Innovation Research Center & Faculty of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Tsukuba, Japan. He had completed the doctoral course at University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1988, and has worked both in South and North America on international agriculture, food security and sustainable development with international agricultural research centers. He has been serving as an Adjunct Professor on Plant Breeding and International Agriculture at Cornell University since 1992. He also had been affiliated with the United Nations University and the International Plant Genetic Resources Institute as an honorary member up to 2015. After being based in Japan, he has been working on multidisciplinary research on genetic resources and biotechnology with the concept of biodiplomacy ELSI for sustainability. He also has served on a part-time basis at various international organizations for technical consultation on biotechnology, genetic resources and rural development, such with AFDB, FAO, and CGIAR. Also, with his professional experience, technical consultation has been provided to public organizations on agricultural and biotechnological development in developing countries via bilateral ODA through JICA. Generally, he has a global working experience in over one hundred nations and territories.

Amor Yahyaoui, PhD

Dr. Amor Yahyaoui is a dual citizen of Tunisia and the United States, and he earned a BS (Agronomy) and an MS (Plant Breeding) at Oregon State University and a PhD in Plant Pathology at Montana State University. Dr. Yahyaoui carried out teaching responsibilities as Professor at the University of Tunis (1987-1998); taught courses on epidemiology, plant breeding, and plant pathology; and supervised MS & PhD students in the area of host-pathogen interactions on key economic cereal diseases. While in Tunisia he also worked as Director of the College of Agriculture (École Supérieure d’Agriculture du Kef, University of Tunis II) and Director of the regional development program covering Northwestern Tunisia. Joining ICARDA (International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas) in 1998, he was Cereal Pathologist and Leader of the Plant Protection Project (1998-2010). Dr. Yahyaoui coordinated and guided research on fungal diseases of wheat & barley in Central Asia, West Asia, and North and East Africa, and he also coordinated the joint ICARDA - CIMMYT Wheat Improvement Program (2009-2012) in the same region. While working for ICARDA, Dr. Yahyaoui was the Lead Scientist in transboundary diseases to include cereal rust, namely Ug99 & recurrent yellow rust outbreaks. He joined CIMMYT (Centro Internacional de Mejoramiento de Maíz y Trigo) as full-time Wheat Training Officer (2010-2018); enhanced academic and hands-on training on wheat improvement for junior scientists from over 20 countries annually; and developed a modular advanced wheat improvement course for mid-career scientists that encompassed 3 modules (pathology, breeding, biotechnology). In collaboration with Cornell University, he managed the Women in Triticum program (Jeanie Borlaug Fellowship for Young Women in agriculture); initiated the CRP-Wheat Septoria Precision Phenotyping Platform in Tunisia (2015-to date); and was an active member and founder of the Borlaug Training Foundation (BTF). Dr. Yahyaoui currently is a Board Member of BTF; is launching a Farmer-to-Farmer Program to link Tunisian farmers within the country and to extend linkage with farmers globally in the area of crop production; and continues to supervise PhD students and to train young scientists on epidemiology and host resistance, as well as on responsible use of pesticides and integrated disease management and food safety.

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