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Centers and Laboratories

Civil Rights Heritage Center

In partnership with schools, community organizations, neighborhood centers, and local government, the Civil Rights Heritage Center uses local and national history to promote social justice through individual responsibility and improved race relations. Conceived by students at IU South Bend who participated in the Freedom Summer 2000 study tour of the Civil Rights Movement in the South, the center has galvanized the study of civil rights in the South Bend community, as students affiliated with the center have conducted oral history interviews and archived papers donated by local residents relevant to the era. In the tradition of the Civil Rights Movement, which provides its inspiration, the Center relies upon student volunteer leadership.

Center for a Sustainable Future

Located in Wiekamp Hall (2279, 2281), this Center, under the leadership of Dr. Mike Keen, builds on sustainability efforts already established on the campus. It provides for sponsored research, works to help faculty incorporate sustainability into courses and curriculum, does community outreach, networks with local businesses and other international partnerships and is involved in planning to ensure campus resources are used wisely.

American Democracy Project

The American Democracy Project (ADP) is a multi-campus initiative that seeks to create an intellectual and experiential understanding of civic engagement for undergraduates enrolled at institutions that are members of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU). The goal of the project is to produce graduates who understand and are committed to engaging in meaningful actions as citizens in a democracy.  In operation on cmpus since 2005, ADP sponsors candidate debates, public forums, voter registration drives and information campaigns, public lectures, and film screenings.  Democracy Blog encourages IUSB faculty, studentsm and staff to engage in lively debate about what makes for a vibrant democracy in the twenty-first century.

Laboratory of Material Culture (Anthropology)

The Laboratory of Material Culture provides facilities for the study and interpretation of cultural materials from around the world. There is an emphasis on tools, food, and other objects of everyday life. Microscopy and other analytical methods are combined with ethnographic fieldwork and with historical research to better understand the reasons for development and change in objects used by common people during the course of a typical day. The laboratory is used for both research activities and teaching. Faculty are ready to assist museums, local historical societies, and others in the investigation, documentation, and interpretation of cultural resources.

Biology Laboratories and Greenhouse

The Biology department houses a variety of equipment and facilities necessary for teaching and research including electron and high resolution light microscopes; molecular biological equipment for extraction, manipulation, cloning and sequencing of DNA; growth chambers suitable for experiments requiring controlled environmental conditions; a variety of computer hardware, software, and data acquisition systems as well as a greenhouse.

Chemistry Laboratories

The Chemistry department houses a variety of instruments for chemical and biochemical analysis and research, including instruments for gas chromatography (GC), GC-Mass spectroscopy (GC-MS), high pressure liquid chromatography (HPLC), infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), flame atomic absorption (FAA), nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (FT-NMR), fluorescence spectroscopy, magnetic susceptibility and various types of uv/vis spectroscopy, microplate reader, and gel electrophoresis equipment. Computational resources in the department include HyperChem, HyperChem Lite, and Gaussian computational software.

Physics and Geology Laboratories

The Physics department has well-equipped laboratories for introductory and upper-level courses, as well as laboratory space for faculty and student research projects, a machine shop, and an electronics shop.  Microcomputers with data acquisition interfaces are used routinely in introductory labs.  Other instructional lab equipment includes an x-ray source and spectrometer; solid-state x-ray detector, NaI(Tl) detector, silicon surface-barrier detector, and associated NIM electronics for x-ray, gamma and alpha spectroscopy; vacuum equipment; Millikan apparatus; Cavendish balance; precision optical spectrometers; and several Helium-Neon lasers.

The Mineral Physics Lab has several pressure-generating devices capable of producing static pressures approaching 100 gigapascals at room temperature or 10 gigapascals at temperatures up to 800 degrees Celcius.  The devices incorporate diamond windows which allow samples to be viewed at simultaneous high-pressure and high-temperature conditions. The lab also has a spectrometer designed to measure laser-induced fluorescence in the wavelength range between 550 and 750 nm.

Social Psychology of Religion Laboratory

Seeking always to be deeply respectful of faith traditions, research in this lab engages in both “number crunching” and “story telling” with respect to the distinctly psychological components in people’s multifaceted spiritual journeys. The collaborative nature of these efforts involves forming  interdisciplinary research partnerships across the US and in other countries including Denmark, Kenya, Sweden, and the UK. Typical projects employ novel methodologies to collect information on topics such as the practice of prayer, how people think (or don’t) like intuitive theologians, the role of the body in expressing faith (including neuroscientific approaches), conflict resolution in religious contexts, and ways that belief influences responses to trauma.