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Institutes and Centers

Utica College offers several institutes and centers that involve participation from throughout the College and the public to address issues of common interest and concern.

These institutes and centers offer programs and conduct studies that focus on specific cultural, professional, and intellectual topics; provide services to students and the public; and bring a wide range of experts to the College to speak to interested groups.

The Applied Ethics Institute at Utica College was founded in 1986 and has been affiliated with Utica College since 1987. Under its current director, Christopher A. Riddle, the Institute promotes public discussion of contemporary ethical issues within the college, professional and civic groups, and the broader community. Its goal is to foster informed assessment of a broad range of ethical issues, including but not restricted to those related to healthcare, business and economics, science and technology, social justice and law, and the environment. The Institute works with students, faculty, professionals, and members of the public to sponsor conferences, seminars, workshops, lectures and media events. The Institute hosts a series of public lectures that are designed to be a rigorous and accessible engagement with topics that are of interest not only to academics, but the larger community. The goal of these lectures is to foster an understanding of many of the ethical issues facing society today.

In addition to these lectures, the Institute forms working groups that produce policy research on various themes throughout the year. The results of these meetings, as well as the published research, are made available to the public.

In addition to the colloquium series and the working groups, the Institute hosts an annual conference focusing on an especially urgent issue facing society that year.


Utica College's Center for Ergonomic Analysis and Research (CEAR) provides opportunities for educational programs, research, and ergonomic consultation for the College, other companies, and their workers. CEAR's expert staff members apply the most innovative, evidence-based techniques drawn from the fields of physical therapy, biomechanics, and ergonomics to reduce workplace injuries, increase productivity, and promote health and wellness. CEAR's mission is to benefit the Utica College community through a combination of educational outreach efforts, research and service-learning projects, and consulting contracts.


Established during the spring semester 2000, the Center for Historical Research, sponsored by Utica College's history department, provides resources and assistance to students, faculty, and members of the community, who are working on local and global history projects. The objectives of the center are to:

  • Support students who are working on "The History Project," an annual collaborative research project undertaken by graduating Utica College history majors.
  • Publish the annual proceedings of "The History Project."
  • Assist students and faculty conducting local and global historical research.
  • Foster ties between Utica College and its surrounding communities.
  • Compile and preserve historical resources.
  • Collaborate with the Ethnic Heritage Studies Center at Utica College.
  • Promote scholarly excellence through the Utica College chapter of the Phi Alpha Theta National Honor Society.

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Utica College's Center for Identity Management and Information Protection is a research collaborative dedicated to furthering a national research agenda on identity management, information sharing, and data protection. Founded in June 2006, its ultimate goal is to impact policy, regulation, and legislation, working toward a more secure homeland.

CIMIP's partners are committed to working together to provide resources, gather subject matter experts, provide access to sensitive data, and produce results that will be acted upon. Completing research and publishing papers based on the results is not enough. The results must be put into action in the form of best practices, new policies, regulations, and legislation, training opportunities, and proactive initiatives for solving the growing problems of identity fraud and theft, secure sharing of information, and information protection.


The Center for Small City and Rural Studies is a social science research center that examines issues of relevance to smaller metropolitan and non-metropolitan communities. Located at Utica College in Utica, New York, the institute brings together scholars throughout central New York State to explore topics related to social and economic systems as they affect non-elite communities.


The Centro Studi Casauriensi (Center for Casaurian Studies) was founded in August 1991 in Castiglione a Casauria in the Abruzzi region of Italy and represents a collaborative effort between Utica College and private benefactors in Italy. Its goal is to foster and support both individual and group research on the literature, sociology, psychology, mathematics, language, history, art, anthropology, science, etc. of the region in Italy once known as Casauria. The Center publishes an annual volume of contributions in several fields of knowledge by a variety of international scholars.


The Computer Forensics Research and Development Center (CFRDC) of Utica College opened May 7, 1999. It is the result of a study on the state-of-the-art in computer forensics funded by the Air Force Research Laboratory/Information Directorate. The study identified a crucial need for an organization to facilitate the research and development of a new generation of computer forensic tools and methods. The CFRDC brings together key organizations from the military, law enforcement, commercial industry, and academe to help rapidly advance the emerging field of forensic information sciences. The center is located at Utica College and is governed by a board of advisers. Its key partners are the Air Force Research Lab, the National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center - Northeast (NLECTC-NE), and WetStone Technologies, Inc.

The Economic Crime and Cybersecurity Institute (ECCI) supports education and research in economic crime and information security, providing a reliable resource for innovative solutions to corporate, government, and law enforcement entities. It provides the Economic Crime Investigation and Management faculty of Utica College with support for the development of academic programs and provides a national forum for the exchange of ideas on economic crime and fraud management. The Institute's dynamic leadership and innovative ideas are drawn from its Directors, forward thinking executives who are experts in the prevention, detection, and investigation of economic crime and fraud.


Established in 1981 by Professor Emeritus Eugene P. Nassar, the Eugene Paul Nassar Ethnic Heritage Studies Center serves as a clearinghouse for the creation of courses, seminars, and publications in ethnic studies, especially dealing with ethnic groups of the central New York area. It oversees the development of the Frank E. Gannett Memorial Library book collection in ethnic studies. It also has coordinated ethnic festivals with the Friends of the Library, honoring the larger ethnic populations of Utica.


The Human Rights Advocacy Program of Utica College (HRAP) was established in 1992 by attorneys Theodore Zang, Esq., and Utica College Professor Theodore S. Orlin, Esq. HRAP's purpose is to counsel and train non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in transitional democracies. Accordingly, with the support of Utica College and private donations, it regularly works with human rights advocates in Eastern and Central Europe (e.g., Albania, Bulgaria, Kosova, Moldova, Romania, Slovakia), Africa, and the Far East (Taiwan). HRAP's approach is to provide in-field training and technical assistance to human rights NGOs and their supporters, as well as to provide counsel via international communications. HRAP works closely with Helsinki Committees and independent human rights NGOs, supporting their legal defense efforts, the monitoring of human rights violations, and their human rights education programs, etc. It also provides technical support and training to university human rights centers in the Balkans and elsewhere. As part of its training effort it invites young human rights advocates from transitional democracies to study and train at Utica College for a semester. Studying along with Utica College students, these advocates study human rights law and other specialties areas, bringing back to their own country skills and knowledge useful for human rights work. Utica College students benefit from their exposure to the experiences of these human rights advocates.

The Institute for the Study of Integrative Healthcare provides many opportunities for students to collaborate and participate in professional research, as well as establish strong partnerships with healthcare providers in the community. Integrative healthcare acknowledges the varied strategies that individuals may choose to keep themselves healthy, including a broad range of strategies – some of which are evidence-based and some perhaps not – which could include natural, cultural and other traditional interventions. In short, it is treating the ‘whole’ patient.

Institute for the Study of Integrative Healthcare

The idea for a Consortium was initiated at a Human Rights Education conference at the University of Dayton (Dayton, Ohio) in April 1999. The Consortium was created as an informal arrangement in 2000 at a meeting held at Utica College. In attendance were faculty representatives from Universities/Colleges offering undergraduate degree granting human rights programs as well as other prominent educators.

The Consortium takes its inspiration from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948)... "that every individual and every organ of society, ...shall strive by teaching and education to promote respect for these rights and freedoms...". Its aims and purposes are consistent with the United Nations General Assembly Resolution. declaring the Decade for Human Rights Education which formally ended in 2005.

The Mohawk Valley Center for Economic Education at Utica College opened in 2001. The center, one of nearly 300 nationwide, is affiliated with the National Council on Economic Education (NCEE), a nonprofit group of educators, corporations, and labor leaders devoted to improving the economic literacy of students throughout the United States. The NCEE developed Economics America, a set of programs aimed at integrating economics throughout the K-12 curriculum. The Mohawk Valley Center's major focus is to help local districts implement the Economics America program by providing training for local teachers in kindergarten through senior high school in both economic content and pedagogy. The center's staff is also available to serve as consultants to school districts on curriculum development, needs assessment, and teaching strategies.

The mission of the New York Reporting Project at Utica College is to inform citizens of New York State about important public issues through the production and distribution of engaging pieces of explanatory journalism —stories that serve the public interest. The Project reports on stories from all regions of New York State, covering topics that include but are not limited to the environment, energy, education, the economy, public health and politics as well as other issues that arise within the state. NYRP-UC also profiles New Yorkers who are doing interesting and significant work in their fields. An important component of the Project's work is that of providing training and hands-on experience for student reporters in the College's Journalism program.


In January 1980, Utica College formed the Institute of Gerontology to foster a multidisciplinary approach to all aspects of aging-i.e., health, sociological, economic, behavioral, environmental, and political. The Institute achieves these goals through the education of students, professionals, and the general public; community development of the aging network; and research relevant to the study of aging.

Named for the former head of the Utica College public relations degree program, The Raymond Simon Institute for Public Relations was founded in 1986 with the purpose of enhancing UC's public relations and journalism programs. To achieve this purpose, the institute:

  • honors the outstanding public relations/journalism alumnus or alumna
  • grants the Ben and Gene Comora Scholarship, the John Behrens Journalism Scholarship, and the Raymond Simon Scholarship
  • provides monetary support for faculty projects and student activities through the Bob '78 and Ellen Feldman Fund
  • underwrites the cost of the Eleanor Sokolow/RSI Professional in Residence program, which brings outstanding professionals in public relations and journalism to campus for several days

Funding for the PIR program was made possible by a grant from Owen Comora '53 and his wife, Betty, and is named after her late mother. Each year, the RSI also presents:

  • the George E. Jones '60 Outstanding PR/J Student awards to students in each of the four classes
  • the Owen Comora '53 Tangerine award to the most valuable staff member of the College newspaper
  • the Fred and Corinne Grates/RSI Achievement Award
  • the Flaherty Creativity Award
  • the David D'Alessandro '72 summer internship awards, granted to help cover the expenses of student internships

Each of these annual scholarships and cash awards, made possible through generous contributions from PR/J alumni, are granted to encourage excellence on the part of students in the public relations/journalism program. Selection of the awardees is made by the PR/J faculty and the executive director of the RSI.


The Center of Public Affairs and Election Research was launched on January 1, 2017 by Professor Luke Perry and the Department of Government and Politics at Utica College. The Center seeks to serve citizens, journalists, students, and scholars by providing research, commentary, and analysis of state, national, and international politics. The Center does this through their website, which provides free content designed for a general audience. The Center's team of over 50 contributors include Political Scientists from around the country and throughout the world, with an audience that spans all 50 states and over 160 countries.


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