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Radford, NCI partner for research collaboration, talent pipeline development

Radford University and NCI Information Systems, Inc. (NCI), have established an agreement to build a collaborative and close working relationship that will further the goals and initiatives of both NCI and Radford students and faculty through joint academic, education and project-execution activities.

  • NCI CFO & COO Chuck Hicks signs an MOU with Radford University.

  • Radford University President Brian O. Hemphill, Ph.D., and Chuck Hicks

Radford University President Brian O. Hemphill, Ph.D., and NCI executive vice president, chief operating officer and chief financial officer Chuck Hicks signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on January 5, 2021, to solidify the agreement.


he MOU states that Radford University and NCI “agree that cooperation in research collaborations, emerging technology assessment, NCI contract support, workforce development, talent pipeline development and student and faculty exchanges would be mutually beneficial.”

“We are excited about the possibilities of this partnership and what it means for Radford University, specifically immersive experiences for our students,” President Hemphill said. “Radford University is truly excited to have this unique opportunity to thoughtfully engage with NCI through this exciting initiative. It will be a significant step for our institution, and we will be a great partner with NCI for many years to come.”

The agreement will provide research collaboration opportunities between NCI and students and faculty in Radford University’s Artis College of Science and Technology, as well as emerging technology assessments, NCI contract support and Radford student and faculty engagement. With NCI’s focus on artificial intelligence solutions and work with government defense contracts, Radford students will be working on real-world challenges and finding creative solutions through collaboration with their faculty members, as well as NCI leaders.

The partnership is designed to also provide Radford University students with paid internship possibilities with NCI and cooperative education opportunities in collaboration with the University’s Center for Career Talent Development.

“We have an opportunity to provide a full talent pipeline to NCI,” said Angela Joyner, Ph.D., special advisor to the president for partnerships and chief innovation officer.

NCI staff will have opportunities for competency-based workforce development through the University’s Vinod Chachra IMPACT Lab, which delivers online, self-paced, competency-based education in high-demand workforce areas throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia and several neighboring states.

“We are extremely thrilled to collaborate with Radford University and look forward to working with students and faculty, as well as the Radford community,” Hicks said. “This academic-industry alliance is going to present NCI with a student population that will have requisites in a curriculum that ties in well with our initiatives related to developing and expanding our artificial intelligence capabilities and other cutting-edge solutions.”

Radford University Artis College of Science and Technology Dean J. Orion Rogers, Ph.D., said the agreement with NCI “provides our students and faculty with exciting opportunities that will take us and the School of Computing and Information Sciences to a new place with artificial intelligence.”

Based in Reston, Virginia, NCI is a mid-tier systems innovator and holds some of the best and largest government-wide acquisition contract vehicles in the industry. As a trusted go-to partner for government and private sector organizations, NCI is committed to continuous innovation and leveraging forward-leaning technologies, unwavering customer service, being responsive and empowering the workforce.

City of Radford Mayor David Horton said the partnership is “incredibly exciting for the Radford community and the entire region, because this is a model for 21st-century partnerships.

“It is incredible for Radford University and NCI to come together and create this opportunity in our region,” said Horton, who also serves as assistant to the dean of the Artis College of Science and Technology. “Partnerships like this typically are available mostly in metropolitan areas.”


Radford University is a comprehensive public university of 11,870 students that has received national recognition for many of its undergraduate and graduate academic programs, as well as its sustainability initiatives. Radford University serves the Commonwealth of Virginia and the nation through a wide range of academic, cultural, human service and research programs. Well known for its strong faculty/student bonds, innovative use of technology in the learning environment and vibrant student life on a beautiful 204-acre American classical campus, Radford University offers students many opportunities to get involved and succeed in and out of the classroom.

The University offers 76 bachelor’s degree programs in 47 disciplines, three associate degrees, and six certificates at the undergraduate level; 28 master’s programs in 23 disciplines and six doctoral programs at the graduate level; and 14 post-baccalaureate certificates and one post-master’s certificate. A Division I member of the NCAA and

Big South Conference, Radford University competes in 16 men’s and women’s varsity athletics. With over 300 clubs and organizations, Radford University offers many opportunities for student engagement, leadership development and community service. In addition to robust academic offerings and engaging student experiences on the main campus located in Radford, Virginia, Radford University also offers a clinical-based educational experience for more than 1,000 students living and learning in Roanoke, Virginia, as part of Radford University Carilion, a public-private partnership focused on the cutting-edge delivery of health sciences programming, outreach and service.


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