LSU’s Social Research & Evaluation Center Named Center of Research Excellence by Louisiana Board of Regents

March 24, 2023

BATON ROUGE - The LSU Social Research & Evaluation Center (SREC) in the LSU College of Human Sciences & Education has been named a Louisiana Board of Regents Center of Research Excellence. SREC is the second Center of Research Excellence at Louisiana State University A&M and the only center focused on evaluating and researching social issues affecting our communities.

SREC fosters healthy social systems by designing, implementing, and evaluating community and social initiatives. Our faculty and staff are passionate about enhancing the quality of life in the state of Louisiana. Through purposeful designing, implementing, and evaluating community and social initiatives, SREC generates knowledge on social, economic, and behavioral health. 

In order to qualify as a Center of Research Excellence, the center must contain attributes defined by the Louisiana Board of Regents. SREC provides a wide range of research opportunities in its areas of expertise. According to the Louisiana Workforce Commission, computer and mathematical occupations are projected to have increasing workforce growth. The Research and Development Partnership for Math Equity funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation enables SREC to research how children of color and those experiencing poverty can excel in math education. Schools are working to catch up learning that was lost during the Covid pandemic. SREC serves as the research partner in this research-practitioner partnership.

“At SREC, we work to advance social initiatives for individuals, families, and their communities through research, evaluation, professional services, and partnerships. SREC’s recognition as a Center of Research Excellence will advance our research and evaluation portfolios and complement the LSU Scholarship First Agenda. As a Center of Research Excellence, we endeavor to improve the lives of Louisianans as we provide real-world solutions to complex issues in education, health, public safety and our communities. We are honored by this designation and will work to fulfill SREC’s mission and vision,” said LSU Social Research & Evaluation Center Director Judith Rhodes.

SREC also maintains a strong performance record and advances the strategic goals of the institution and the State of Louisiana. According to the Hopeful Futures Campaign, 51,000 children in Louisiana battle major depression. Through the Project AWARE (Advancing Wellness and Resilience in Education), SREC expands and strengthens the comprehensive school-based mental health programs in Louisiana K-12 schools. 


SREC engages with the greater community by working to strengthen assets, helps to inform policy makers to enable them to make decisions to maximize positive outcomes, and promotes community visions to create prospects enabling people, groups, and environments to be successful. Projects focus on addressing current issues and providing opportunities to improve the quality of life of Louisiana citizens. 

The Louisiana Board of Regents classifies three types of statewide Centers of Excellence, with LSU SREC falling under the Center of Research Excellence category. This type of center is defined as a campus hub which develops new knowledge, enhances the research productivity of faculty, integrates education and research, and positively impacts economic development in the state. 

“I am awed by the incredible work and positive impact for our community that the LSU Social Research & Evaluation Center creates,” said Dean Roland Mitchell. “They are a team of changemakers who unabashedly run toward some of the most critical and difficult issues in our state – with a goal to examine, understand, and help eradicate these issues to improve the lives of all citizens. LSU Social Research & Evaluation Center reaching the distinction of Center of Research Excellence is well-deserved.”

SREC has made a positive impact on the state of Louisiana by going above and beyond to meet each of these criteria as illustrated by the following projects:

  • SREC has enhanced Louisiana’s education through Project AWARE, in which it worked with K-12 schools in six school districts to increase access to mental health services and create trauma-informed schools. 
  • SREC has contributed to the good health of Louisiana citizens through the Strategic Prevention Framework-Partnerships for Success, which provides interventions and system supports to address underage drinking in 10 high need Louisiana parishes. 
  • Through Pay for Success, SREC has partnered with the Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections to evaluate a housing recovery model to reduce recidivism for individuals reentering society.  
  • SREC has made a difference in the community through our partnership with the Louisiana Children’s Trust Fund, which works with community agencies across the state to prevent child abuse and neglect.

More information about the center and SREC faculty and staff can be found here.


The LSU Social Research & Evaluation Center, or SREC, advances social initiatives to improve the lives of individuals, families, and their communities through our research, evaluation, and partnerships.  SREC’s interdisciplinary team of expert faculty and staff work in projects among four areas of impact: strengthening communities, education, public safety, and health and wellbeing. SREC is a research center of excellence in the LSU College of Human Sciences & Education.

Visit the Social Research & Evaluation Center.

About CHSE

The College of Human Sciences & Education (CHSE) is a nationally accredited division of Louisiana State University. The college is comprised of the School of Education, the School of Information Studies, the School of Kinesiology the School of Leadership & Human Resource Development, the School of Social Work, and the University Laboratory School. These combined schools offer 8 undergraduate degree programs, 18 graduate programs, and 7 online graduate degree and/or certificate programs, enrolling more than 1,900 undergraduate and 1,120 graduate students. The College is committed to achieving the highest standards in teaching, research, and service and is committed to improving quality of life across the lifespan.

Visit the College of Human Sciences & Education website.