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Research Centers

A myriad of research centers and laboratories in the college catalyze new faculty projects and provide students with hands-on experience. Several are platforms for interdisciplinary research in the humanities and social sciences, supporting work across fields and enabling investigators to partner with colleagues in other departments, colleges, and universities.


Mountain West Center for Regional Studies

The Mountain West Center for Regional Studies is a platform for multidisciplinary research, teaching and outreach. The center promotes greater knowledge of our understanding of the Interior West, its land, history, and cultural groups. An example of the type of ongoing work at the Mountain West Center is the Northern Utah/Southern Idaho Folklife Project. Funded by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, the center researches the traditional culture of the people of this region.

Director: Evelyn Funda, Program Assistant: Barbara Warnes,

Population Research Lab

The Yun Kim Population Research Laboratory was established in 1968 by former USU political science professor Yun Kim as a demographic training and research unit within the sociology, social work and anthropology department. The lab was organized to promote a training program in demography for both undergraduate and graduates and to expand research activities related to population. Faculty associated with the lab conduct support students as they pursue graduate degrees with a specialization in demography. Research projects are supported by an array of national and local agencies.

Director: E. (Eddy) Berry,

Museum of Anthropology

The mission of the Museum of Anthropology is to educate the Utah State and Cache Valley communities about the fields of anthropology and museum studies. As a part of the Anthropology Program, the museum provides a venue for coursework and a professional context for students to acquire experience in museum operation and management. Students from across the university have assisted with exhibits. The museum also serves as an educational resource for local communities via exhibits, tours and special programs.

Director: Director and curator: Molly Boeka Cannon,    

Spatial Data, Collection, Analysis and Visualization Lab

The Spatial Data, Collection, Analysis and Visualization Lab is a fully functioning geospatial laboratory, providing spatial analysis, modeling, and visualization services in cultural, social and behavioral studies. Lab members work closely with the archaeological community to develop innovative strategies for documenting the archaeological record. For instance, investigators incorporate magnetometer and ground penetrating radar (GPR) survey with traditional archaeological site mapping to identify areas of potential interest that can be used for cultural resource management purposes.

Director: Molly Boeka Cannon,   

The Project on Liberty and American Constitutionalism

The Project on Liberty and American Constitutionalism explores the meaning of liberty, with emphasis on the nation’s Founders classical understanding of the term. Researchers examine the variety of meanings that have been given to "liberty" from ancient times to the present and pursue the specific meanings of liberty found in the United States Constitution, Supreme Court decisions, leading commentaries on the Constitution, and American political practice and history. The Project aims to keep the community abreast of current Supreme Court decisions and their impact on questions of liberty.

Director: Anthony Peacock,; (435) 797-1314  

May Swenson Project

Anna Thilda May Swenson was born at the base of Old Main hill in 1913 and studied English at USU, graduating in 1934. She went on to publish 11 books of poetry and won the prestigious MacArthur Fellowship, also known as the ‘Genius Grant’ in 1987. The purpose of the May Swenson Project is to raise awareness and scholarship of her work at USU and beyond. Over the years, students have partnered with faculty members to research Swenson and develop forums for community and scholarly engagement.

Director: Paul Crumbley,; (435) 797-3860