Center For Applied Research

CFAR logo

About CFAR

The mission of the Center for Applied Research (CFAR) is to establish mutually beneficial relationships with community organizations that provide curricular and co-curricular opportunities for students to develop knowledge and skills related to empirical research and expand professional development opportunities for faculty and staff.

Pitt-Greensburg students, faculty, and staff make up the Center for Applie Research

The Center for Applied Research (CFAR) serves as a campus resource to benefit student learning, facilitate course development, expand professional development opportunities for faculty and staff, and establish mutually beneficial relationships with community organizations.

CFAR began in the Fall of 2012 when funding was obtained through the Richard King Mellon Foundation.

The primary activities of the Center involve the quantitative and qualitative performance of empirical research. The CFAR provides a valuable resource for research and data collection and analysis for both the campus and Westmoreland County, by working with other institutions/organizations who are pursuing grants and in need of independent evaluators.

“CFAR provides an outlet for multi-disciplinary collaboration between faculty members from all divisions. The Center allows faculty to work on applied projects that have a direct impact on improving the University or the local community.  It is particularly rewarding to see the initial impact produced by our interactions with Pitt-Greensburg and community organizations." -Jonathan Vallano, PhD (Former CFAR Director)

CFAR will provide:

  • Valuable curricular and co-curricular experiences for students;
  • Coordinated resources for project completion;
  • Enhanced collaboration among faculty;
  • Campus resources for staff and faculty for evaluative projects;
  • Development of collective skill sets;
  • Pitt-Greensburg and Westmoreland County with a valuable community resource.

Current Projects

Blackburn Center Partnership
Pitt-Greensburg has partnered with the Blackburn Center Against Domestic and Sexual Violence to examine students' attitudes toward domestic and sexual violence.  In collaboration with the campus Committee for Gender Equity, CFAR faculty and students are working to establish and assess the success of curricular and co-curricular activities that focus attention on these important issues.

Project Co-Leaders: Sheila Confer, Tim Holler, and Frank Wilson

Participating Faculty: Jessica Ghilani and John Prellwitz

Partcipating Students: Morgan Anderson and Christina Kuzminski

 

Community Arts and Reintegration Project in Westmoreland County
The Community Foundation of Westmoreland County Impact Fund is providing support to CFAR to develop an implementation plan for the Community Arts and Reintegration Project (CARP) in Westmoreland County.  CARP is a restorative justice-based program that will bring together community members and organizations, victims and victim advocates, and both recently released and currently incarcerated inmates to develop and construct murals that will be placed on dilapidated buildings in targeted cities throughout the county.

Project Leader: Tim Holler

Participating Staff: Courtney DeCarlucci

Participating Student: TBD

 

United Way: Status of Women in Westmoreland County

Design, enhance, and revise a research report for United Way on the status of women in Westmoreland County. The report will include demograhpic, economic, and social indicators on changes in the status of women in the county over time.

Project Leader:  Geoff Wood

Participating Students: Eric Baer, Hannah Baker, Dylan Knapp-Scott, and Rachel Sloneker

 

Industrial Hemp Economic Impact Study

Design and present an economic impact study on the viability of indusrial hemp as a product for development in Westmoreland County.

Project Co-Leaders: Vicky Causer, Dean Nelson, Ewa Rudnicka, and Geoff Wood

 

West Overton Village Digital History Project

Design and develop online tools for historical preservation and website enhancements.

Project Leaders:  Pilar Herr

Participating Students:  Alex Fell

 

Community Foundation of Westmoreland County: FutureWorks Westmoreland

Collaborating with the Community Foundation of Westmoreland County to alleviate poverty through the enhancement of workforce development programs focused on career and technical education.

Project Leader:  Geoff Wood

Participating Students: TBD

“CFAR provided me with a great opportunity to expand my research skills and knowledge of multiple fields.” Speaking about a past project, he continued, “While manufacturing falls under the scope of business, it is interesting to be researching topics outside my scope of studies. CFAR provided me with an experience of which few other students have the chance to be a part, and it will prepare me for my future career.” - Scott Szypulski, Financial Research Administrator, Department of Critical Care Medicine, University of Pittsburgh; Former CFAR Research Assistant
CFAR Affiliated Faculty and Staff

 

Geoffrey L. Wood, PhD
Assistant Professor of Sociology
Director of CFAR

 

 

Elisa Beshero-Bondar, PhD
Associate Professor of English
ebb8@pitt.edu

Victoria Causer
Visiting Instructor of Statistics
vdc5@pitt.edu

John Prellwitz, PhD
Associate Professor of Communication
jhp15@pitt.edu

Diane Cheek
Instructor of Biology
dec9@pitt.edu
Chloe Rowland, PhD
Assistant Professor of Biochemistry
cmrowland@pitt.edu

Sheila Confer
Academic Village Coordinator
sec10@pitt.edu

Jacob P. Rubus
Part-time Instructor, Biology
jpr63@pitt.edu

Courtney DeCarlucci
Manager, Foundation and Corporate Relations
pggrants@pitt.edu

Ewa Rudnicka, PhD
Assistant Professor of Business
rudnicka@pitt.edu

Jessica Ghilani, PhD
Associate Professor of Communication
jlgst83@pitt.edu

Sharon M. Turchick
Assistant Professor of Management Accounting
turchick@pitt.edu

Pilar Herr, PhD
Assistant Professor of History
pmh3@pitt.edu

Jonathan Vallano, PhD
Associate Professor of Psychology
jov15@pitt.edu

Timothy Holler, PhD
Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice
tjh67@pitt.edu

Frank Wilson, PhD
Assistant Professor of Sociology
fdw@pitt.edu

CFAR Student Research Assistants 

Morgan Anderson

Aponi Geletko

Eric Baer

Dylan Knapp-Scott

Hannah Baker

Christina Kuzminski

Alex Fell

Rachel Sloneker

Rebekah Frendy

Amanda Smith

If you are interested in learning more about how CFAR can assist you to develop and/or perform a research project, please contact: Dr. Geoff Wood at (724) 836-9873 or via e-mail at gew23@pitt.edu.