Academic Centers, Institutes, and Initiatives 2022-2023 Edition

In addition to the academic excellence of our undergraduate and graduate programs, Bryant University's centers and institutes foster innovation through partnerships with other institutions, the local community, and global businesses.

The Advanced Applied Analytics Center (AAAC)

The innovative Advanced Applied Analytics Center (AAAC) supports the broadening of the relationship between analytics, research, and the solution of real-world problems. It is designed to be “a regional beacon for analytics,” according to Richard Glass, Ph.D., professor of information systems and analytics. The AAAC was founded by Glass, currently the center’s director, as well as Alan Olinsky, Ph.D., retired professor of mathematics and information systems and analytics. 

The Center is a hub of professional collaboration and a strategic resource for businesses and organizations that increasingly rely on analysis of big data to make effective decisions. It also is home to the University’s Applied Analytics program, a multidisciplinary concentration that provides students with skills in integrating technology and analytical methods. Building on Bryant’s core strengths, the program is one of the very few in the nation offered at the undergraduate level.

The Center for Global and Regional Economic Studies

The mission of the Center for Global and Regional Economic Studies at Bryant University is to expand the global and regional presence of Bryant while promoting educational and scholarly excellence. The Center supports innovative educational activities and provides students with opportunities to work closely with their peers and faculty members. The Center also provides students with the opportunity to engage in their own individual research projects. 

The University’s expert faculty engage in economic studies and research designed to generate new and innovated ideas and promote economic well-being. The Center also supports visiting scholars and Ph.D. students from around the world to help strengthen our academic community, provide international perspectives, and broaden the scope of our research areas and contributions. Further, the Center organizes a Lecture Series wherein renowned scholars from other institutions present to the Bryant community.

In addition to these activities, the Center also supports our undergraduate students in the Applied Economics Competition and Fed Challenge Competition. Through both of these experiences students enhance their understanding of economic concepts and are able to apply and suggest solutions to current economic issues.

The Center also offers businesses and organizations access to a wide variety of consulting services that leverage economics and statistics for strategic decision-making, economic analysis, and policy impact.

The Center for Health and Behavioral Sciences

The Center for Health and Behavioral Sciences (CHBS), supported in part by a $200,000 grant from the Fred M. Roddy Foundation, was established in 2021. The mission of the CHBS is to fund, promote, and otherwise support faculty and student research in the health and behavioral sciences and train the next generation of leaders who are dedicated to improving the health and well-being of others. The Center seeks to fulfill the critical need for a multi-disciplinary approach to solving complex problems in these areas, while leveraging the strength of Bryant’s business core to become a premiere choice for students pursuing a career in health sciences, healthcare, or behavioral sciences.
In addition to providing needed funding to help establish the CHBS, the Fred M. Roddy Foundation grant funded lab equipment that enables high-quality research by faculty and students. This includes a Mass Spectrometer used for the study of small molecules as part of the antimicrobial discovery program; a Behavioral Assay set-up (an environment to test stimulus response) to support neuroscience and addiction research; Dissecting Microscopes; a Superspeed Centrifuge to process different types of biological materials; and a Psychophysiology iMotions Computer package that measures physiological responses to stimuli.
With this equipment, faculty and students in the science and psychology departments are better equipped to produce high-quality research and secure additional funding through various granting agencies. Undergraduate students have the unique opportunity to work one-on-one with faculty on projects linked to health, healthcare, and the behavioral sciences, preparing them to be competitive when seeking employment or admission to prestigious graduate programs. 

The Center for Program Innovation

The Center for Program Innovation (CPI) is a catalyst for educational change. Its mission is to expand signature experiential learning opportunities and academic integration across disciplines, two fundamental elements of Bryant’s approach to education.

The center is directed by Michael Roberto, Trustee Professor of Management, who works with a steering committee of faculty, staff, and students. "We aim to create innovative and active, hands-on learning experiences for our students. In so doing, we will nurture and develop leaders who can make a difference in the world," Roberto says.

Key Activities

  • Faculty Innovation Grants: The center awards seven $2,000 grants each year to faculty members introducing a substantial innovation into the classroom at Bryant. Recipients present their work at the annual Research and Engagement Day
  • Bryant App-a-Thon: This annual competition challenges students to design mobile device apps for the University. The winning app is built by Bryant Information Services.
  • Innovation Design Experience for All (IDEA): a multi-day immersive program for all first-year students. The program was founded by the center in 2012 and is now run by Professor of Psychology Allison Butler, Ph.D. 
  • Facilities Design: The center was instrumental in prototyping several new classrooms that eventually led to the design and construction of the Academic Innovation Center, which was awarded the national Grand Prize for outstanding design and architecture in the College Planning and Management 17th Annual Education Design Showcase.

The center also serves as a clearinghouse for information on program innovation taking place at other educational institutions, and hosts seminars and workshops to provide a forum for discussion on these issues.

The Executive Development Center (EDC)

The Executive Development Center (EDC) offers business and professional certificate-based programs, many that are aligned with national certifications. These programs provide high-level management skills in critical business areas for executives, high-potential managers, and growth-focused corporations. The EDC provides customized certificate programs and courses to national and international professionals and corporate clients. Programs are available online and on campus or onsite for corporate clients. Programs include professional certificates in Healthcare, Financial Planning, Design Thinking, Cyber Security, Leadership, Human Resources, Digital and Social Media Marketing, Six Sigma, Project Management, Business Analysis, and Event Management. The EDC can develop customized programs to meet a company’s business needs and budget.

For more information, please contact:

  • Executive Development Center
  • Bryant University
  • 1150 Douglas Pike
  • Smithfield, RI 02917-1283
  • (401) 232-6200


The Hassenfeld Institute for Public Leadership

The Hassenfeld Institute for Public Leadership provides public officials and community leaders with the tools and skills needed to make informed decisions and manage responsive organizations effectively. The Institute’s customized programs enable state and local leaders to access university-level education in innovative leadership practices while encouraging networking, information sharing, and professional development. The Institute draws on Bryant University faculty and visiting experts to develop insightful, timely, and high-engagement conferences, workshops, and programs.

The John H. Chafee Center for International Business

The John H. Chafee Center for International Business prepares managers and students to face the challenges of global competition. The array of international services to help businesses range from export training, research, and consulting to planning and executing trade missions and trade shows, and business development.

The Chafee Center embodies Bryant University’s commitment to expanding the world of opportunity for Bryant students and businesses alike. The center enhances the integration of the University’s disciplines, divisions, and services in providing students with the global perspective they will need to enter the marketplace and prepare for the challenges of the 21st century. 

The John H. Chafee Center for International Business also assists companies in selling their products or services in the global marketplace. The Chafee Center offers comprehensive services on international trade operations, international trade training, trade information, consulting, trade show and trade mission support. Through its training programs, the Center offers valuable information to companies interested in global trade. The Center hosts World Trade Day, an annual event that brings hundreds of businesses together for a conference featuring trade experts, informational sessions, and interaction with international representatives.

Global Partnerships

The John H. Chafee Center for International Business enhances business through private- and public-sector partnerships with organizations such as the United States Small Business Administration, which provides the resources for Rhode Island's State Trade Expansion Program (STEP). We also partner with the United State Department of Commerce and state economic development agencies such as RI Commerce, which supports Bryant University's international trade development. Bryant University was the first private college to own a World Trade Center charter. The World Trade Center Association, Inc. (WTCA), with headquarters in New York City, has more than 500,000 affiliated companies and 300 centers in nearly 100 countries. The University offers these international business services in partnership with the State of Rhode Island.

Student Development

The John H. Chafee Center for International Business offers students at Bryant University exciting opportunities to enrich their education. Students can attend any of the programs offered each year to the business community. Also, the Center offers students a living business laboratory where they can learn the practice of their disciplines. By working under the guidance of faculty members and professionals on class projects, internships, or directed studies, qualified students have the opportunity to refine their classroom knowledge with real-world experiences. The Chafee Center also collaborates with Bryant University's International Business, Global Supply Chain Management, and full-time MBA programs in providing opportunities for students to work as consultants with local, regional, and international companies through real-world Practicum projects.

For more information, please contact:

Research and Engagement Day

Bryant University’s Research and Engagement Day (RED) celebrates Bryant's culture of inquiry, scholarship, and engagement. It offers faculty, graduate, and undergraduate students as well as industry practitioners associated with Bryant University-related projects the opportunity to share their research and innovative academic and creative accomplishments with the entire Bryant community. 

Presentations highlight scholarly research, senior Honors theses, academic inquiry, Bryant/Industry collaborations, panels and roundtable discussions, and showcases of creative expression. Students reflect upon the academic value of international educational experiences, community service projects, internships, student organization activities, and other teaching and learning experiences both inside and outside of the classroom.

U.S.-China Institute

The U.S.-China Institute enhances Bryant’s academic and business programs by connecting Bryant with Chinese academic and business institutions. Through the Institute, Bryant has forged a partnership with several Chinese universities and governmental agencies. These partnerships encourage faculty and student exchanges, research collaboration, and joint educational, business, and cultural programs.

Academic Programs
Through the annual Sophomore International Experience (SIE) China program, Bryant students can travel to China on a two-week study trip and earn three academic credits. In collaboration with Bryant’s Modern Languages Department, the U.S.-China Institute provides language tutorial assistance, resources, events, and an immersion environment to make language learning relevant, effective, and fun.

Business Programs
The Institute provides executive training, translation, and consulting services to businesses both in the U.S. and in China. The Institute also hires Bryant students as interns and student workers.

Research and Exchange

The Institute creates opportunities for American and Chinese scholars and institutions to collaborate on research projects and academic programs through video conferences, co-teaching, and site visits.

Bryant’s Zhuhai campus
The Institute links Bryant’s Smithfield campus with the University's Zhuhai campus by organizing and facilitating student and faculty exchanges and visits. The Institute particularly facilitates Zhuhai undergraduate student transfers to Smithfield, Zhuhai student applications to graduate programs in Smithfield, and short-term summer programs in Smithfield for Zhuhai students.