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October 24, 2008

SSRL co-directors present at National Social Science Association Conference in Albuquerque

Drs. Joe McGahan and John W. Sutherlin, co-directors of the University of Louisiana Monroe Social Science Research Laboratory, presented papers about ongoing and completed SSRL projects at the National Social Science Association Professional Development Conference in Albuquerque, N.M. from Oct. 19-21.

McGahan presented research based on a $30,000 grant from the University of Louisiana System that the SSRL received last January. That ongoing project has involved the work of several faculty members and so far more than 50 students. Sutherlin discussed how it took an interdisciplinary approach to conduct a litter audit and develop an environmental court for the City of West Monroe.

One of the objectives in attending the NSSA Conference was to reach out to other social scientists around the U.S. to become research fellows with the SSRL. According to McGahan, “While attending the conference, we had opportunities to share thoughts with potential colleagues representing various disciplines at universities from around the country. Our hope is that some of these professors will see fit to join us in our efforts to promote social science research as a compliment to other types of research in order to promote economic growth and cultural development. Also, the SSRL has been a great method for advancing student projects alongside faculty research.”

Because the conference was national in scope, attendees came from colleges and universities across the U.S. and across many disciplines. Both McGahan and Sutherlin were glad to meet others doing similar work as themselves.

“The diversity of social science-based research initiatives was tremendous,” remarked Sutherlin, “Everything from economics to political science to social work and public health policy. This gave ULM a chance to showcase some of the exciting work being done here by students and faculty working across disciplines.”

McGahan and Sutherlin each received 14 hours of professional development credit through this conference.

For more information about the SSRL, contact McGahan or Sutherlin at (318) 342-3135, or visit the Web site at

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