Civic Life Lab
Rebuilding Main Street
What is Civic Life?
Research Team

Welcome to the Civic Life Lab

In the summer of 2018, the Civic Life Lab (CLL) opened at the Mississippi State University Social Science Research Center. The CLL is committed to interdisciplinary research that identifies the barriers to democratic participation and potential solutions for rebuilding vibrant civic life.

Rebuilding Main Street

The Civic Life Lab supports a variety of interdisciplinary research projects that propose and test interventions designed to combat polarization, distrust, and the breakdown of civil communication. Our current project is a collaborative board game designed to simulate democratic deliberation and decision making.

Our Team

The Civic Life Lab team includes faculty and student researchers from a variety of academic fields.

Dr. Melanie Loehwing

Dr. Melanie Loehwing

Co-Director

Melanie's Bio

Dr. Brian Shoup

Dr. Brian Shoup

Co-Director

Brian's Bio

Will Calderon

Will Calderon

Undergraduate Researcher

Will's Bio

Krishna Desai

Krishna Desai

Undergraduate Researcher

Krishna's Bio

Georgiana Swan

Georgiana Swan

Undergraduate Researcher

Georgiana's Bio

Partner With Us


  • Research Civic Life

    The CLL seeks to study the production and maintenance of civic life from a variety of disciplinary perspectives. If you have a research project in mind that relates to our work, we would welcome an opportunity to discuss a potential research partnership.


  • Improve Community Practices

    The CLL is committed to bringing the fruits of civic life research to bear on questions of real-world significance. If your organization or community works to resolve problems related to polarization, apathy, or lack of engagement by citizens, we are eager to work with you.


  • Create Innovative Interventions

    The CLL recognizes that not all communities are the same, and that different approaches may be needed to produce the kinds of communities that all members value. If you have a novel idea for an intervention to improve civic life, we can help you conceptualize and test your intervention using our interdisciplinary research team.