Projects | LSU Office of Social Research & Evaluation Center


The SREC brings together Baton Rouge academic and community partners with the goal to foster healthy social systems by facilitating the development, implementation and evaluation of social programs, conducting research and providing consultation and expertise. For more information on any of these projects, please contact us at

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Documenting Food Networks and Pathways in Coastal Louisiana: Understanding the role of subsistence harvesting in reducing food insecurity and strengthening community resilience.

The team comprised of faculty from LSU Ag Center, LSU Department of Architecture, South Louisiana Wetlands Discovery Center, and SREC will investigate local food networks in five parishes to better understand the role of subsistence harvesting – fish, wildlife as well as crops harvested for subsistence use – to support better local food security and resiliency planning. The researchers hope project results can: 1) Improve access to subsistence foods, prioritize subsistence uses and preserve community knowledge; 2) Provide guidance to policy makers to support local food systems, subsistence practices and community resilience; 3) Engage local high school students as researchers and active participants in the research process. SREC will support the need for GIS mapping of the study area, and outcomes data analysis.

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Emergency COVID-19 Project (COVID Emergency)

The purpose of the Emergency COVID-19 Project is to support the behavioral health of members of vulnerable populations adversely impacted by the pandemic. Implemented by the Louisiana Department of Health, Office of Behavioral Health (OBH), the COVID Emergency program extends treatment rooted in evidence-based practices to children and adults with substance use disorders and/or serious mental illness, including healthcare professionals. 

SREC is responsible for data collection and measurement focusing primarily on GPRA indicators. SREC provides OBH and treatments sites with monthly and quarterly data reports, as well as the capacity for descriptive data analysis on a needs basis.

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Louisiana Biomedical Research Network (LBRN)

The Louisiana Biomedical Research Network (LBRN) is a project funded by the National Institutes of Health using funding from the Biomedical Research Infrastructure Networks, with support from the Louisiana Board of Regents. The core of this effort is a network of colleges and universities across the state, with a focus on primarily undergraduate institutions that historically have not had the resources, training, and support necessary to compete for nationally competitive scientific awards. Through research funding, training opportunities, and capacity building efforts, the LBRN aims to enhance the competitiveness of Louisiana researchers in terms of access to external funding, research output, and scientific career pathways.

SREC serves as the internal evaluator for LBRN. The SREC evaluation aims to facilitate program improvement, and to inform key stakeholders regarding programmatic progress and success.

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Louisiana Children’s Trust Fund (LCTF) – SREC Program Evaluation and Online Application Development Partnership

The mission of the Louisiana Children's Trust Fund (LCTF) is to prevent child abuse and neglect among Louisiana’s children and families through building strong cross-sector partnerships and through increased child safety public awareness.

In partnership with LCTF, LSU SREC conducted a data-driven program evaluation with the goals of summarizing grantees’ implementation and outcome results, identifying ways to enhance grantees’ capacity for data collection and reporting, and, more specifically, strengthening the evaluation of LCTF funded programs. The SREC team has also developed and implemented the current online grant application system and data collection tools used by the LCTF community partners. 

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The Louisiana Graduate Network in Applied Evolution (LAGNiAppE)

The Louisiana Graduate Network in Applied Evolution (LAGNiAppE) to strengthen regional connections and broaden the STEM workforce project is a 4-year, NSF-funded effort awarded to LSU researchers in the Department of Biological Sciences. This project is part of NSF’s Research and Mentoring for Postbaccalaureates in Biological Sciences (RaMP) program. Its purpose is to provide mentorship, training, and network-building supports to post-baccalaureate students (LAGNiAppE Scholars) from groups underrepresented in STEM, who are first generation college students, and who come from under-resourced institutions. Three cohorts of ten LANGNiAppE Scholars would receive one year of support as part of this project. Much of this work is undertaken by mentors and research collaborators based out of LSU and other institutions of higher learning across the state. LSU SREC is the evaluator for this project.

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Louisiana School Social Work Expansion Project (LaSSWx)

The purpose of LaSSWx is to expand and strengthen the school-based mental health workforce to support multi-tier systems of support (MTSS) in high-need K – 12 schools in 12 Local Education Authorities (LEA) in Southeast and Central Louisiana through a partnership between the Louisiana Department of Education (LDOE) and Louisiana State University School of Social Work.

SREC is the lead evaluator on this project and collects all data related to state-level professional development and Social Emotional Learning and Behavioral Health training sequences of all social workers in Louisiana schools including interns. SREC also conducts a statewide school social work needs assessment to inform workforce development.  SREC manages the student mental health screening and daily data management in all of the districts served by SSWx along with distributing, managing data and providing technical assistance to school districts related to school climate surveys that will be distributed yearly in all SSWx districts.

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Louisiana State Opioid Response (LASOR)

Louisiana’s State Opioid Response (SOR) grant was awarded to the Louisiana Department of Health, Office of Behavioral Health.  This project will use a “hub and spoke” model to provide medication-assisted treatment (MAT), and associated services and infrastructure improvements regarding opioid use disorder across Louisiana over two years.

SREC is undertaking the evaluation of this grant, and will undertake an opioid use-related needs assessment for a selection of state-recognized tribal sites.

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Louisiana Youth For Excellence (LYFE)

The Louisiana Youth for Excellence (LYFE) is a sexual risk avoidance education (SRAE) program housed in the Office of the Governor. LYFE was created to promote positive youth development and to build awareness of consequences for at-risk behaviors for today’s vulnerable youth such as children in foster care, children in poverty, and children in juvenile detention centers. Prioritizing most at-risk youth first, the goal of the program is to expand statewide and provide a positive message to all students throughout Louisiana.  

LYFE works with schools, non-profit and faith-based organizations, parents, and the community to teach goals setting, leadership development, character building, and integrity. LYFE funds subgrantees around the state who implement these SRAE activities. LYFE contracts with LSU SREC to provide data collection support and technical assistance to its staff and subgrantees. LSU SREC collected data using paper forms and electronic surveys during two data collection periods--Winter and Summer.

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Project AWARE

The Louisiana Department of Education was awarded the 5-year SAMHSA Project AWARE grant to create trauma sensitive schools in the City of Monroe, Jefferson Parish, and St. Bernard Parish school systems. The school districts are tasked with increasing access to mental health services in schools. Project AWARE partners include the LA Office of Behavioral Health, local behavioral health providers including the Local Governmental Entities, and the LSU Social Service and Research Center (SREC).

SREC facilitates the collection of project data in order to inform the K-12 schools and their respective districts about new and expanded behavioral health services in schools. SREC leads the LSU team and works with other partners to create professional development and instruction in multitier trauma-informed care for school staff. The LSU team also develops the behavioral health screening procedures and referral to treatment for students. The LSU team includes members from SREC, Department of Psychology, and the School of Social Work.

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State Epidemiology Workgroup – LSU SREC Partnership 

The State Epidemiology Workgroup (SEW) is a state level advisory committee of the Louisiana Governor’s Office Drug Policy Board. The purpose of the committee is to advise and make recommendations on issues relating to collecting, housing, analyzing, and reporting consumption and consequence data related to substance use. The SEW analyst team at SREC assists the State Epidemiology Workgroup with collecting, maintaining, analyzing, and presenting data related to substance abuse issues. The team works closely with the workgroup to identify needs related to data availability and recommends quality improvements which would make data more accessible. The SEW analyst team also works with the Office of Behavioral Health to assist communities with decision making and planning relative to risk and protective factors for substance abuse specific to their locations.

Recent projects have included technical reports, research, and dissemination of data on alcohol related crashes. Communities were provided with interactive GIS maps of crash locations and alcohol outlets so that they could plan appropriate interventions to mitigate risk. Upcoming projects include an updated alcohol related crash map and a state alcohol profile for Louisiana which will examine the current landscape relative to policy, economics, and other systemic issues around alcohol use.

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Strategic Prevention Framework - Partnerships For Success (LAPFS)

Louisiana’s Strategic Prevention Framework-Partnerships for Success (SPF-PFS) grant, awarded to the Louisiana Department of Health, Office of Behavioral Health, is a five-year grant addressing underage drinking behaviors, consequences, and risk factors among 9-20 year olds. This grant aims to strengthen the prevention systems infrastructure by building local capacity in 10 high need parish-level communities.

SREC is undertaking the evaluation of this grant, and will provide analytic support to the State Epidemiology Workgroup (SEW), an arm of the Governor’s Office’s Drug Policy Board.

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Zero Suicide in Health Systems

The goal of the Louisiana Zero Suicide Initiative is to decrease suicide deaths and attempts of adults aged 25 or older within 6 locations in Louisiana. Project objectives include training of individuals in the behavioral healthcare workforce as well as screening, treatment, and referral of individuals at risk for suicide.

SREC collects, analyzes, and reports on data related to Zero Suicide Prevention for federal reporting purposes, and to facilitate program improvement and oversight at the state and local levels. These data include National Outcome Measures surveys, and Infrastructure Development, Prevention, and Mental Health Promotion indicators.