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Centers and Institutes

The academic centers at Bridgewater State University enhance research and scholarship, foster community outreach and expand opportunities to obtain external funding. By supporting the scholarly and service interests of BSU’s faculty, librarians, staff and students, the centers make significant contributions to our local and regional communities as well as to the nation at large.

Our centers represent a sweeping range of interests, scholarship and expertise.

Martin Richards sculpture on campus
The Martin Richard Institute for Social Justice was created to build knowledge about social justice, to develop skills for advancing social justice through individual and collective action, and to serve as a catalyst for actualizing the university’s commitment to social justice.
Cape Verdean Institute panel discussion with President Clark

Through rigorous academic pursuits, community engagement and global partnerships, the Pedro Pires Institute for Cape Verdean Studies shares and celebrates the culture, language and history of Cape Verde, as one of the world's earliest Creole societies.

Minnock Institute hosts Mongolian delegation
The Minnock Institute is committed to creating and fostering a learning environment where students and faculty from other countries interact with Bridgewater students and faculty to help make the university a global campus. The Institute provides opportunities for academic enrichment, travel, research and community service.
Organized and led by faculty, librarians and staff, the mission of CARS is to foster the development of research, scholarship, and creative endeavors for faculty and librarians. CARS promotes individual, collaborative and interdisciplinary scholarship activities, and provides resources for the creation of knowledge that reflects and supports the strategic goals of the institution, when appropriate.  

The mission of CASE is to promote and increase interest and literacy in science and mathematics amongst preK-12 students, pre-service and in-service teachers, and members of the university and regional communities. CASE aims to instill positive attitudes toward STEM disciplines in students of all ages, especially groups traditionally underrepresented in STEM careers; serve as a leader in exploring STEM education-related topics and the most effective pedagogy for their incorporation into the preK-12 classroom; and promote preK-12 STEM workforce development by recruiting, nurturing and training pre-service teachers to enter STEM careers.

CASE offers hands-on laboratory experiences for students, professional development and lending labs for in-service teachers, summer STEM programs for middle school students and access to Bridgewater State University's Observatory and Project EarthView's twenty-foot inflatable globe. In 2013, approximately 8,650 preK-12 students participated in CASE programs. These students came from 69 schools and 19 community organizations. Additionally, 196 undergraduate students, 520 teachers and more than 900 members of the community participated in CASE outreach programs, bringing the total number of participants to over 10,000. CASE programs also partnered with other University initiatives, including the Bridge and Footbridge Programs. For more information, please visit the CASE website.

BSU faculty, staff and students lead the following CASE programs.

CityLab is a biotechnology outreach program for teachers and students that aims to enhance science knowledge and enthusiasm through authentic laboratory experiences. Jenna Mendell, Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences, and Kim McCoy, Program Coordinator, run the CityLab program.

EarthView's twenty-foot hand-painted globe serves as a portable classroom energizing geography programs throughout the region. James Hayes-Bohanan and Vernon Domingo, both Professors of Geography, oversee the EarthView program.

GreenLab aims to educate the BSU and regional communities about green chemistry and the impacts of chemicals on human and environmental health. Ed Brush, Professor of Chemical Sciences, oversees GreenLab.

The BSU Observatory hosts public and private viewing events, runs K-12 workshops, and provides resources for student research, astronomy courses, and service-learning. Jamie Kern, Observatory Manager, and Martina Arndt, Professor of Physics, oversee the Observatory.

Watershed Access Lab provides science education outreach programs and preK-12 teacher professional development focused on land use and water quality assessment. Kevin Curry, Professor of Biology, and Kim McCoy, Program Coordinator, lead watershed programs.

The Center for Entrepreneurship and Small Business (CESB) serves as a resource for entrepreneurs and small business owners at BSU and in the southeastern Massachusetts region. It helps students, faculty and staff from all areas within the university as well as people in the surrounding communities develop their business ideas into successful small businesses and grow existing small businesses. The CESB partners with on-campus and external organizations to establish a thriving network of successful entrepreneurs and small business owners who can serve as advisors and mentors to each other and to budding entrepreneurs and small business owners. In serving in these roles, the CESB promotes sustainable economic and social equity through economic and community development.

Established in 1997, the Democratic Governance and Leadership Program is housed in the Department of Political Science. It operates within the context of a dynamic educational environment that encourages research, teaching and community service.

The Democratic Governance and Leadership Program has three primary goals: to advance leading-edge research on the study of democratic governance and leadership in established and emerging democracies; to integrate research, teaching and policy application; and to engage and advance the economic, cultural, civic and political life of Southeastern Massachusetts, other domestic communities, and our global community.

The program has earned national recognition from the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, which selected it as one of a hundred examples of effective programs at public four-year colleges and universities.

Iraqi Ambassador H.E. Lukman Faily  the guest speaker sponsored by The Center for Middle East Studies.
Iraqi Ambassador H.E. Lukman Faily spoke on campus during an event sponsored by the Middle East and North Africa Studies Program.

The mission of the Middle East and North Africa Studies Program (MENA) is to introduce and enhance the educational and cultural awareness of the Middle East region and of its diverse peoples, history and cultures. MENA promotes both specialized knowledge and public understanding of this crucial region of the world, which includes the Arab states, Turkey, Iran and Israel. 

MENA strives to reach the broadest possible constituency, working with a variety of academic departments, educational and cultural organizations and experts to discover new avenues for scholarly outreach and cooperation. MENA aims to reinforce links to other institutions in the Middle East region to offer academic opportunities to faculty and students to study and gain more understanding of the Middle East. 

MENA adheres to the strategic vision of Bridgewater State University in maximizing the intensity, diversity and richness of teaching and learning relationships forged between faculty, students and members of the broader community the Middle East and the world.

The mission of the Sustainability Program is to advocate for the integration of sustainability principles in the core educational Bridgewater State University mission: teaching and learning, research, campus operations and regional outreach.

For more than 45 years, Bridgewater State University has sponsored Children's Physical Developmental Clinic (CPDC), a nationally recognized academic program that fosters professional development, service learning, and leadership development.

CPDC affords students from all majors a challenging opportunity to volunteer as clinicians and work with children and youth with disabilities, ages 18 months to 18 years. The aim of the clinic program is to improve the "total development" of children with disabilities by enhancing vital physical, motor, and aquatic skills and patterns. In addition, the program stresses the improvement of children's self-esteem by strengthening emotional-social aspects of their personalities through successful involvement in play, recreation, and sport activities.

More than a hundred students serve as clinicians and group leaders each semester, making the CPDC one of the largest student organizations on campus.

MARC’s goals are to conduct research, attend and host conferences and workshops, and bring anti-bullying and anti-cyberbullying programs, training and curricula to K-12 faculty, staff, administration, students, parents and communities.

Dr. Elizabeth Englander, professor of psychology at Bridgewater State University, is the director of MARC, which is staffed by faculty, graduate and undergraduate students. All of MARC's programs are evaluated yearly and are based in research findings and its curricula are evidence-based. Outcomes reports are available.

For more information, call 508.531.1784.