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Michael Carolina, executive director of the Oklahoma Center for the Advancement of Science and Technology (OCAST), will discuss efforts underway to develop and increase science and technology in Oklahoma on Wednesday [FEB. 24] during the College of Health and Sciences' Spring Student Leadership Series at East Central University.

Photo of Michael CarolinaHe also will describe OCAST's funding opportunities available for businesses, individuals and universities.

Carolina's presentation will be from 2:30 to 4 p.m. in the Estep Multimedia Center in the University Center. It is open to the public as well as ECU students, staff and faculty.

He will discuss growing industries within Oklahoma and opportunities for local involvement, said Dr. Vivian Whitney, director of ECU's Institute for Environmental Science Education and Research.

"His insight will be beneficial to both the university and community," she said. "He will address what students need to do in order to prepare for internships or careers, how local business and industry can benefit from OCAST initiatives and ways that the community can become more involved in advancing Oklahoma's science and technology efforts."

OCAST was created in 1987 to be Oklahoma's technology-based economic development agency. It oversees the programs necessary for the development, transfer and commercialization of technology.

Some of the programs receiving funds from OCAST are the Inventors Assistance Service, Oklahoma Alliance for Manufacturing Excellence, Oklahoma Applied Research Support, Oklahoma Health Research, Oklahoma Nanotechnology Applications Project, Oklahoma Seed Capital Fund, R&D Intern Partnerships, Small Business Research Assistance and the Technology Business Finance Program.

Before Carolina joined OCAST in August 2005, he held management and executive positions with the Western Electric Company, AT&T and Lucent Technologies, where he worked for 25 years in the telecommunications industry. He worked in several of AT&T's New Jersey-based operations, including technology transfer of Bell Laboratories-designed telecommunications products to AT&T's and Lucent Technologies' joint ventures in Korea, Taiwan, The Netherlands, Spain and Brazil.

He also was engineering director for Lucent Technologies' Oklahoma City Global Provisioning Center, leading an engineering force of more than 200. After his retirement in 2001, he became an economic development consultant with the Oklahoma State University Center for Innovation and Economic Development Foundation. He also was an adjunct professor in the College of Engineering, Architecture and Technology.

Carolina earned a bachelor of science degree from Oklahoma State University and a master of science degree from the University of Oklahoma. He also completed AT&T's Executive Development Program at Princeton, N.J.

He serves on the boards of directors for the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation, the National Memorial Institute for the Prevention of Terrorism, the Governor's International Team and the Advisory Committee of the Oklahoma Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research. He also serves on engineering advisory committees at Oklahoma State University, the University of Oklahoma and the University of Central Oklahoma.

Since joining OCAST, Carolina has delivered numerous presentations on technology-based economic development, including presentations to the Oklahoma Legislature, regional technology and economic development conferences and the National Governors Association. His presentation to the National Governors Association's 2006 spring conference in Washington, D.C., was aired nationally on C-Span television.

Carolina and his wife Sharon reside in Edmond.

For more information, call Dr. Bruce Weems, Dean of the College of Health and Sciences, at 580-559-5410.

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