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During the summer and fall stages of IMSRL, students build their knowledge-base through reading literature and writing proposals that address their chosen topics. Spring semester incorporates the project into an upper division class, with the research students mentoring their peers through different aspects of the project. Students and faculty present their findings at a regional conference, at Boise State, at community venues, and through peer-reviewed articles.

For more information, contact Dr. Arthur Scarritt

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Video Transcript

Narrator: The Intermountain Social Research Laboratory or IMSRL is a program at Boise State University run through the sociology department. IMSRL addresses pressing issues in higher education and the Boise community through bringing research and teaching together in a year-long intensive research training program. Faculty guide a small group of students through developing and executing all aspects of an original research project, from inception to dissemination. The project focuses on the deleterious influences of certain social and political forces on higher education. This can be seen through the lenses of gender, class, race, economics, social change, and many others as addressed by the research provided literature and chosen by the students themselves. The process begins over the summer with students becoming familiar with the foundational reference materials. During the fall semester students gather data, perform authentic qualitative social research guided by mentors who’ve gone through the program before. Then, in the spring the students compose papers based on their research and travel to the Pacific Sociological Association conference, expenses paid, to share their results as an authority on the subject, as well as a Boise State at the end of the year. The program can be credited for students in a variety of ways allowing it to meet or replace several requirements, or can be taken as an internship or independent study. This program is an opportunity for students to deal with hands-on social research, to improve writing skills and presentation skills, to prepare for graduate school or professional research, to be a part of creating new science, to excel in the face of a challenge and to speak truth to power.

[Students presenting]

Student 1: A little swedish paradise, the military as a neoliberal solution to neoliberal problems.

Student 2: So when I presented this in Reno I started with a joke that I stole from a professor. I couldn’t think of my own so we’ll just jump right into it.

Student 3: With the rise of neoliberalism and the marketization of higher education we begin to see the penetration of business logic within the halls of the university administration across the country.

Student 4: Boise State University is attempting to fill the needs of businesses by starting to produce students that will serve corporate interests while simultaneously transforming itself into a business.

Student 5: Okay so my project began as an attempt to discover how term-time work impacted student success, but it has kind of evolved into looking at students’ articulation of what higher education actually is to them within the context of paying an increasing amount of tuition and fees in order to attempt.

Student 6: My research examines the neoliberal ization of a university structured in part by colorblind racism.

Narrator: If you aren’t interested in joining IMSRL or getting more information click the links below or contact Dr. Arthur Scarritt.