Center For Applied Research

CFAR students and faculty

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.

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 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)

Current Projects

Aliquippa School District STEM Evaluation >>

Blackburn Center Partnership >>

Community Arts and Reintegration Project in Westmoreland County >>

Excela Health Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) >>

Scott Szypulski photo“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
Associate Professor of Sociology
Director of CFAR

Michelle Louch, DSc
Assistant Professor of Management

Neelima Bhatnagar, PhD
Assistant Professor of Information Science

Danielle R. Mehlman-Brightwell
Assistant Professor of Public Policy & Communication

Victoria Causer
Instructor of Statistics

John Prellwitz, PhD
Associate Professor of Communication
Division Chair, Humanities Division

Sheila Confer, EdD
Director of the Academic Village; Part-time Instructor, Theatre Arts

Ronald Ott
Instructor of Healthcare Management

Courtney DeCarlucci
Manager, Foundation and Corporate Relations

Ewa Rudnicka, PhD
Assistant Professor of Business

Jessica Ghilani, PhD
Associate Professor of Communication

Jonathan Vallano, PhD
Associate Professor of Psychology

Pilar Herr, PhD
Associate Professor of History

Frank Wilson, PhD
Assistant Vice President of Academic Affairs
Assistant Professor of Sociology

Timothy Holler, PhD
Associate Professor of Criminal Justice


Olivia S. Long, PhD
Associate Professor of Biochemistry

CFAR Student Research Assistants 











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