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Fostering Interdisciplinary, Translational Research

Connecting faculty in the social sciences to address human and societal concerns that impact people and places

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ISCE Graphic Showing Interdisciplinary Focus of the Institute
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    New Center for Rural Education to focus on educational equity
    New Center for Rural Education to focus on educational equity , redirect

    As the founding director of Virginia Tech’s new Center for Rural Education, Amy Price Azano has studied how structural challenges related to poverty and educational inequities can adversely affect rural schools and communities. As a first-generation college student from a rural community, Azano, also an associate professor in the School of Education in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, understands these challenges both professionally and personally, but also believes in the power and promise of rural schooling.

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    Eminent researchers around the country help launch the new Center for Rural Education
    Eminent researchers around the country help launch the new Center for Rural Education , redirect

    Imagine a gathering of the most innovative and prominent scholarly researchers who are offering their intelligence, experience, and time. That describes the Rural Education Summit, held at The Inn at Virginia Tech and Skelton Conference Center on Aug. 26, which officially launched the new Center for Rural Education. Amy Price Azano, an associate professor in the School of Education in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, organized the summit with Rachelle Kuehl, also in the School of Education and a research scientist in the center.

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    Marrium Mansoor, left, observes Ben Katz, right, as he demonstrates how to use the fNIRS machine, which Diane Devine, center, is wearing on her head.
    Ben Katz

    Everyone knows eating a balanced diet and exercising are important to maintaining one’s physical health, but what about one’s cognitive health — the ability to think, learn, and remember? For over five years, Ben Katz has been studying executive function — working memory, inhibitory control, and cognitive flexibility—throughout the lifespan. How one stays sharp as they grow older and what happens to the brain during the aging process are questions the Virginia Tech researcher contemplates in his studies.

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    Brenda Davy, Professor of Human Nutrition, Foods and Exercise, standing outdoors, in front of green bushes.
    Brenda Davy

    Over the past decade, Brenda Davy, a professor in the Department of Human Nutrition, Foods and Exercise in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Virginia Tech, has been conducting rigorous research on water consumption and other weight management strategies. Davy has received funding from the Institute for Society, Culture and Environment (ISCE), both as an ISCE Scholar and through unsolicited proposals, to support pilot work related to her water consumption studies as well as some of her other research.

ISCE Features

ISCE to Host Information Session for 2023-2024 Scholars Program

ISCE will be hosting a virtual information session about the 2023-2024 ISCE Scholars Program on January 11, 2023, from 11:00 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. For more information about the RFA for the Scholars Program, see below.  To register for the information session, click here.


ISCE Requests Applications for the 2023-2024 ISCE Scholars Program

The ISCE Scholars Program provides faculty support for developing grant proposals in the social sciences and consistent with ISCE’s four thematic areas and Virginia Tech’s Research Frontiers. Proposed projects are expected to address critical individual and social concerns impacting the lives of people and places locally, nationally, or across the globe. ISCE anticipates making six to eight awards of up to $30,000 per award. Applications are due Thursday, February 9, 2023. Click here for more details.


Recording for ISCE Hosted Presentation on Whole Health Now Available

Tracy Gaudet, a national leader in transformative whole health and wellbeing, spoke to the Virginia Tech community on November 15th in Fralin Hall Auditorium. Click here to learn more about her presentation and to access the recording.


ISCE's 2022-23 Social Science PREP Program Awards Seven Researchers

The Institute for Society, Culture, and Environment (ISCE) is pleased to announce the recipients of the first ISCE Social Science PREP Program.  Click here to read about them and the program.


ISCE's COVID-19 Publication Repository Highlights Response of Social Scientists

Starting in April 2020, ISCE maintained a repository of social science-oriented COVID-19 publications that are authored by or feature Virginia Tech faculty. Although ISCE is no longer actively identifying publications, faculty may still send any relevant publications to Yancey Crawford for posting. Click here to view the repository.