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Academic Centers

SOC Academic Centers

Broken by the Bubble

In conjunction with the Washington Post, SOC's Investigative Reporting Workshop reports on black wealth and the mortgage crisis.

Center for Environmental Filmmaking

SOC CEF logo updated

The Center for Environmental Filmmaking, led by professor Chris Palmer, was founded on the belief that powerful films, images, and stories can play a key role in fostering conservation and bringing about change. We are committed to raising awareness and empowering action through the innovative use of media. Our mission is to inspire a new generation of filmmakers and media experts whose commitment to environmental stewardship drives them to produce creative work that is informative, entertaining—and makes a positive difference.

Investigative Reporting Workshop

SOC Investigative Journalism Reporting banner

The Investigative Reporting Workshop, a project of SOC is a nonprofit, professional newsroom. The Workshop publishes in-depth stories about government and corporate accountability, ranging widely from the environment and health to national security and the economy. The Workshop pairs experienced professional reporters and editors with graduate students, and co-publishes with mainstream media partners and nonprofit newsrooms. 

Center Media & Social Impact


The Center for Media &Social Impact at American University, formerly the Center for Social Media, is an innovation lab and research center that studies, designs, and showcases media for social impact. Focusing on independent, documentary and public media, the Center bridges boundaries between scholars, producers and communication practitioners across media production, media impact, public policy and audience engagement. As part of the School, the Center offers research assistantships, screenings, master classes and volunteer opportunities to SOC students.

Game Lab

SOC Game Lab Logo

The American University Game Lab serves as a hub for experiential education, persuasive play research, and innovative production in the fields of games for change and rhetorical play. Part of a university-wide commitment to high-impact research, this multidisciplinary initiative combines the expertise of the School of Communication and the College of Arts and Sciences. Through practice, research, and partnerships with leading organizations Game Lab aims to develop a new generation of leaders in the evolving industry of social impact gaming and work with clients to produce socially responsible games that leverage social policy and enrich people's lives.


Current Logo

AU's School of Communication is the steward of Takoma Park, Md.-based Current newspaper and its Web site Current.org. Current, published continuously since 1982 under the stewardship of WNET, is the sole, editorially independent news medium and forum for public television and radio—including PBS, NPR, and their member stations—an industry that, according to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, reported U.S. gross revenues of $2.6 billion in 2009.

Community Voice Project

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The Community Voice Project is a cross-campus initiative of faculty and students from SOC’s journalism division and the College of Arts and Sciences anthropology department. The Project enhances the academic missions of SOC and CAS while showcasing ways to use media as creative tools for public knowledge and action. Launched with an initial two-year, $150,000 grant from the Surdna Foundation and the Project is working to grow its financial support. A digital library of the students’ work is being created to serve as a model for other university and non-profit collaborations throughout the country.