Centers & Institutes

  • CityLab COVID-19 Digital Archive

    Working through CityLab, a large team of Worcester State University professors and librarians recently launched an online digital archive to document the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the people of Central Massachusetts. The archive aims to collect and preserve the stories of local people affected by the political, economic, medical, and social upheavals of the COVID-19 virus, and learn from their experiences.

    Your Story: Contribute to the Archive

  • CityLab

    CityLab at Worcester State University's Urban Studies Department is a community-engaged research institute through which interdisciplinary teams of faculty, students, community members, and organizations collaborate on action research projects with policy impact. Projects focus on a range of urban exclusion issues including those involving:

    • Race and Ethnicity
    • Social Class and Poverty
    • Health and (dis)Ability
    • Ideology, Education, and Religion
    • LGBTQ and Gender Issues
    • Age, Civic Participation, and Immigration Status
  • Worcide Skatepark

    Worcide was a DIY skate park created under the railroad bridge on Washington St. For years the park was an unofficial center of skateboard recreation and culture, complete with ramps, quarter-pipe, risers, and some of the city’s most interesting Urban Art. The park was unceremoniously and without warning destroyed by the city in 2018. The City claimed it was a fire hazard, which it may have been, but it also stood in the way of the city leader’s plans to develop the Wyman-Gordon properly into a baseball stadium.

    Worcester Bird's Eye

    This view of the original WSU building on Normal Street comes from a 1878 Bird’s Eye View of the City. Popular in the 19th century, these maps were less accurate depictions of a places geography and more artistic and cultural representations of important landmarks’ proximity to each other. Accordingly, this image shows the campus has only one building, is north-northeast of the original Union Station, Worcester Lunatic Asylum, and the Worcester County Jail site.


    Dr. Sam O’Connell (Department of Visual & Performing Arts) and Dr. Thomas Conroy (Department of Urban Studies) talk with an audience after a performance of CitySpeak, a research- and arts-based approach to urban planning and community development. The two, along with Professor Adam Zahler (Department of Visual & Performing Arts), created CitySpeak and still work with it.

    Union Station

    This image shows the interior of a union station left to rot by the city. Completely abandoned by the early-1970s, the once grand building did not figure into the plans of city leaders to turn Worcester into an automobile city. The caved-in roofs did not protect it from the elements, deterioration, and animal and plant life, and it remained unused for at least another generation after this photo. (Image in the Thomas E, Conroy, Jr, photograph archive at CityLab.)

    WSU's Original Site

    This real estate atlas detail shows the lot on which WSU originally stood. The main building is in the center with a gym attached to the south. In the northwest corner is the president’s house attached to a student and faculty residence hall named Stoddard Terrace. Normal street gets its name from the school, which was originally the State Normal School at Worcester.


  • The Vincent “Jake” Powers Archives

    The Vincent “Jake” Powers Archives, the repository for CityLab publications and materials, houses studies, white papers, and reports; a growing collection of Worcester-area interviews in an Oral History Center; and local historical materials and references including:

    • Rare and historical research collections and manuscripts relevant to Worcester and Worcester County
    • Worcester City Directories, Worcester House Directories, and Worcester City Documents
    • Worcester County Directories
    • City Maps and Atlases
    • Papers of Vincent “Jake” Powers, Urban Studies founding professor
    • Copies of reports, maps, microfilm, and studies in limited circulation
    • Student written projects of interest to local populations
  • Editorial Board
    • Thomas E. Conroy, Ph.D., Director
    • Shiko Gathuo, Ph.D.
    • Timothy E. Murphy, Ph.D.
    • Matthew Palm, Ph.D.
    • Adam Saltsman, Ph.D.
    Affiliated Researchers
    • Michael Allevato
    • Alex Briesacher, Ph.D.
    • Madeline Otis Campbell, Ph.D.
    • Thomas E. Conroy, Ph.D.
    • Paola Echeverry
    • Mary Fowler, Ph.D.
    • William J. Hansen, Ph.D
    • John Holbrook
    • Mary Jo Marion
    • Dannielle Morrow
    • Timothy E. Murphy, Ph.D.
    • Peter Peloquin
    • Elliot Rivera
    • Adam Saltsman, Ph.D.
    • Joseph G. Schlegel
    • Jennifer Velez
    • Francisco Vivoni, Ph.D.
    • Kirby Wycoff, Psy.D.
    CityLab Reports

    PDF icon Affordable Housing in Worcester, Part 1: A Preliminary View of the American Community Survey and US Census Data
    Joshua Oliver, Thomas E. Conroy, Ph.D., and Mary Fowler, Ph.D.
    Fall, 2019

    PDF icon State of Our Schools Legislative Breakfast Data Briefing
    Alex Briesacher, Ph.D., Thomas E. Conroy, Ph.D., Timothy E. Murphy, Ph.D., and Kirby Wycoff, Psy. D., MPH
    October, 2019

    PDF icon Worcester Public Schools and De Facto Suspensions
    WSU CityLab Researchers
    August 2019

    PDF icon 2017 Worcester City Election Turnout by Precinct
    WSU CityLab Researchers
    July 2019

    PDF icon Visualizing Worcester Public Schools Public Data
    WSU CityLab Researchers
    April 2019

    PDF icon Massachusetts Latino Discipline Rates, AY 2017-18
    WSU CityLab Researchers
    April 2019

    PDF icon Hunger & Homelessness at Worcester State University
    Adam Saltsman, Ph.D., Mary Fowler, Ph.D., Matthew Dogali, Gail Johnston, and Owen Wetherell
    March, 2019

    PDF icon 2017 City Election Turnout by Candidate
    WSU CityLab Researchers
    March 2019

    PDF icon Discipline, Opportunity, and Equity: WPS Public Data to Academic Year 2017-18 (Executive Summary)
    Alex Briesacher, Ph.D., Thomas E. Conroy, Ph.D., and Kirby Wycoff, Psy. D.
    Spring, 2019

    PDF icon A Deeper Dive into Worcester: A Follow-Up Report on Latino Men and Post- Secondary Education in Worcester, Massachusetts
    Timothy E. Murphy, Ph.D., with Elliot A. Rivera and Michael Allevato
    Summer, 2018

    PDF icon A Study of “Eligible” Voters in Worcester, Massachusetts
    Thomas E. Conroy, Ph.D., William Hansen, Ph.D., and John Holbrook
    Fall, 2017

    PDF icon A Study of Worcester’s Webster Square Node: suggesting areas for future economic and community development
    Thomas E. Conroy, Ph.D., and Joseph G. Schlegel, with Preservation Worcester
    Spring, 2017

    PDF icon In Search of Opportunity: Latino Men’s Paths to Post-Secondary Education in Urban Massachusetts
    Thomas E. Conroy, Ph.D., Mary Jo Marion, Timothy E. Murphy, Ph.D., and Elizabeth Setren
    November, 2016

    PDF icon Consortium Dreams: A Study of Worcester Students’ Hopes for Inter-College Connections
    Presidential Honors Seminar and Thomas E. Conroy, Ph.D.
    Spring 2016

    PDF icon Suspension in Worcester: A Continuing Conversation
    Thomas E. Conroy, Ph.D., Madeline Os Campbell, Ph.D., Dannielle Morrow, and Jennifer Velez
    January, 2014

    PDF icon Usage Study of McGrath Parking Lot Worcester, Massachusetts January
    Thomas E. Conroy, Ph.D., Francis Boamah, Andrew Cavan, Jennifer Dansereau, Michael Falzarano
    April, 2013