Idaho State University College of Arts and Letters to open Integrated Research Center

POCATELLO – The Idaho State University College of Arts and Letters will open a new Integrated Research Center on Dec. 16 in the basement of the ISU Business Administration Building.

There will be a grand opening on Dec. 16 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Everyone is welcome to attend. Food and drink will be provided.

The Integrated Research Center was designed by faculty and staff members for students to have a designated space to collaborate on shared research interests and use advanced technology.

The center will be used to encourage integrated research that bridges different departments in the social and behavioral sciences, humanities and fine arts. Collaboration with other areas at ISU is also encouraged.

“It is important to have a center such as this at Idaho State University because it enables faculty, staff and students to succeed in their research goals that might otherwise be hampered by instruments unlikely to be acquired individually; either due to lack of the scope and size of their project and/or prohibitive costs to outsource research tasks,” said Charles Speer, professor of anthropology. “The Integrated Research Center allows for effective use of researchers time by focusing on project development and completion and not on instrument acquisition; that may sometimes take years before any progress is made.”

The center is equipped with computers equipped with visualization and transcription software, a 3D printer, scanner/plotter, eye tracker, EEG cap to measure brainwaves, other software for data analysis and visualization and a conference room to meet for collaboration.

The center is based on a concept paper written by Donna Lybecker, professor of political science. Lybecker worked with the former Vice President for Research Howard Grimes to secure initial funding for the center.

The initial concept was for a social science center focused on survey work and polling. Kandi Turley-Ames, dean of the College of Arts and Letters expanded the concept to include equipment for more disciplines and projects.

“Ultimately we are here for students to learn. The better technology that faculty have to do their research, the more that students benefit,” said Mark McBeth, associate dean of social and behavioral sciences. “The Integrated Research Center is also an attractive recruiting tool to get faculty and grad students alike to come to Idaho State and the College of Arts and Letters. The academic side of the Integrated Research Center cannot be stressed enough. Faculty can use the center for their classes. Giving students and faculty access to such technology is really what this all about in the end.”