About April Heyward

April Heyward, MRA

April Heyward is a STEM Program Manager, Researcher, R Programmer (RStudio IDE), South Carolina Academy of Sciences (SCAS) President-Elect and Vice President (2nd Term), SCAS Councilor on the South Carolina Academy of Sciences Council (2nd Term), ASPA (American Society of Public Administration) Section on Science and Technology in Government (SSTIG) Officer (1st Term), ASPA PA (Public Administration) Times Author, and Consultant in the areas of Data Science, Machine Learning, and Academic and STEM Programs. She is the Program Manager for the SC EPSCoR (Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research) Program which is a science-driven state-based National Science Foundation (NSF) program. She develops, implements, and manages STEM programs and initiatives to increase research capacity, research competitiveness, and the STEM workforce pipeline in South Carolina. The aim is to engage and expose K-12 students to STEM (e.g., hands on activities, research experiences for K-12 teachers, research experiences for high school students) so they become STEM majors. As STEM majors (e.g., Bachelor, Master, Ph.D. levels), research experiences are provided to gain scientific research experience and communicate research results and experiences via publications and presentations. Student researchers apply their research experience and pursue STEM academic, government, or industry careers. SC EPSCoR fosters faculty development to aid in the pursuit of tenure and promotion (the rigorous process of moving from Assistant Professor to Associate Professor to Full Professor). Scientific research leads to discovery (new scientific knowledge), innovation (new products, services, processes, ideas), and economic development (business and job creation).

April is a Researcher. Her research interests are Broadening Participation in STEM, Data Science, E-Government, Machine Learning, Public Administration, Public Policy, Research Methods, Science and Technology, Science Diplomacy, Science of Science, Science Policy, and Social Media Research. She is a R Programmer (RStudio) and she integrates Data Science (wrangling, analyzing, and visualization), Machine Learning, and Natural Language Processing (NLP) algorithms into her research methods, research projects, and non-research projects. Data Science and Machine Learning are fascinating sub-disciplines of Artificial Intelligence, and their application can be adapted by a plethora of academic disciplines (e.g., Social Science). Employing Data Science and Machine Learning algorithms can inform and lend itself to solving complex, tame, and wicked problems. There is a global human resource challenge in finding individuals from various domains that do programming; statistics; data wrangling to a tidy format in preparation for data analysis and data visualization; and employ Machine Learning algorithms.

April is experienced in conducting literature reviews (including developing literature review matrix and literature synthesis matrix); developing research questions and study aims; developing independent variables and dependent variables; developing research hypotheses and null hypothesis; primary and secondary data collection; employing descriptive and inferential statistics (RStudio); data cleaning, data analysis, and data visualization (RStudio); and disseminating research progress and results. April’s teaching interests are Data Science, E-Government, Machine Learning, Public Administration, Public Policy, Research Methods, Science and Technology, Science Policy, and Social Media Research. Her education philosophy is to foster and facilitate a learning-centered approach where she as the instructor and students are both participating in the learning experience. Her aim is to educate students through her teaching, research, service, and professional experience. April is pursuing her Doctorate in Public Administration in the Department of Political Science in the College of Humanities and Social Science at Valdosta State University. She is in the Dissertation phase of her Doctoral Program. Her educational background includes a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Benedict College and a Master of Research Administration from the University of Central Florida. She is in the Dissertation phase of the Doctor of Public Administration program at Valdosta State University. April is a Riley Institute Diversity Fellow at Furman University.

April is a Consultant and provides Data Science consulting (data cleaning, data analysis, data visualization in RStudio), Machine Learning consulting (data retrieval, data cleaning, natural language processing, text analysis, sentiment analysis, data visualization, etc. in RStudio), and Program consulting (program development, primary and secondary data collection and analysis, program management, program evaluation) for academic programs and STEM programs in higher education and non-profit organizations. She is a member of the American Society for Public Administration (ASPA), ASPA Section on Public Administration Research, ASPA Section on International and Comparative Administration, ASPA Section on Science and Technology in Government (SSTIG), and the South Carolina Academy of Sciences. April is the President-Elect and Vice President (2nd Term) of the South Carolina Academy of Sciences and SCAS Councilor (2nd Term) on the South Carolina Academy of Sciences Council. She is an Officer (1st term) on the ASPA Section on Science and Technology in Government Executive Committee. She is a Author for ASPA (American Society for Public Administration) PA (Public Administration) Times and her articles focus on her research, public administration topics, and public policy topics. April is a HRSA Grant Reviewer and evaluates proposals in a fair, equitable, and objective manner to provide healthcare services for persons living with HIV (PLWH).

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