Community-based Research

Photo of a cafe in Pittsburgh with rainbow umbrellas and a bright yellow window

Building Sustainable & Resilient Cities

Thanks to generous grant funding by Bank of America, Falk School of Sustainability and Environment Assistant Professor Iris Grossmann, Ph.D. has recruited a team of students and faculty to work on a multi-year community-based sustainability project in Homewood with community partners Homewood Children’s Village (HCV) and Operation Better Block (OBB). The project dovetails with a course Grossman teaches, Building Sustainable & Resilient Cities.

Read the Story : Checkerboard 1 - Building Sustainable & Resilient Cities
Photo of volunteers wearing fake milk mustaches and holding milk cartons

Smarter Lunchrooms in Pittsburgh

Simple changes in the environment can lead to healthier lunchtime choices. That’s the thinking behind the Smarter Lunchrooms Movement (SLM), a program started in 2009 by researchers at the Cornell Center for Behavioral Economics in Child Nutrition. In a study funded by Highmark, Chatham graduate student Dani Lyons, Master of Arts in Food Studies ’16 teamed up with food services dietician Elizabeth Henry to bring it to 19,000 children across all 56 elementary, middle, and high schools in the Pittsburgh Public Schools system in 2015. 

Read the Story : Checkerboard 2 - Smarter Lunchrooms in Pittsburgh
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Independent Monitoring for Quality

IM4Q is an information-gathering method used in Pennsylvania to improve the lives of individuals with an intellectual or developmental disability. The state has contracted with Chatham to conduct this research in Allegheny, Washington, and Greene counties. Dr. Goreczny is principal investigator for that work.

Read the Story : Checkerboard 3 - Independent Monitoring for Quality
Photo of the Dragon and Tiger Pagodas, a temple located at Lotus Lake in Zuoying District, Kaohsiung, Taiwan

Undergraduate Research in Taiwan

Chloe Bell ’16 remembers an afternoon in Taiwan. “We pulled over on the highway one afternoon to eat hot peppers that an elderly couple had made and were selling. The husband cut peppers into a marinating bucket as the wife offered us all of their other specialties. We found people like this everywhere in Taiwan: small time entrepreneurs who were using their skill set to make people happy, to co-exist in a symbiotic way.”

Read the Story : Checkerboard 4 - Undergraduate Research in Taiwan
Photo of a Food Studies student holding a bowl of harvested vegetables at the door of a greenhouse

Community Research in Food & Health

In 2014, Assistant Professor of Nutrition in the Food Studies program Mim Seidel, MS, RD, LDN, found out that the Aetna Foundation was looking to fund a project that addresses healthy eating in low-income communities—an ideal match for Mim, whose interests (and deep experience) lie in food security, sustainable systems, and health. The Aetna Foundation agreed, and Mim’s project was funded.

Read the Story : Checkerboard 5 - Community Research in Food & Health