Seton Hill University selected for Appalachian Collegiate Research Initiative

Seton Hill University is pleased to announce its selection as one of 13 Appalachian colleges and universities to participate in the Appalachian Collegiate Research Initiative (ACRI) 2023 semester.

Since 2001, over 2,800 students from 22 colleges and universities across Appalachia have participated in the ACRI, formerly known as the Appalachian Teaching Project (ATP). Administered by East Tennessee State University, ACRI is an applied research training program for Appalachian college students to support economic development initiatives for their communities. Participating ACRI students are enrolled in a for-credit academic course to design and lead research projects in Appalachian communities to address regional challenges.

“We are grateful that Seton Hill students have the opportunity to participate in the Appalachian Collegiate Research Initiative for the first time and hope this is the beginning of additional opportunities with ACRI and the Appalachian Regional Commission,” said Seton Hill President Mary C. Finger. “Seton Hill is an integral part of economic development opportunities in Westmoreland County and beyond, and it is important for our students to learn how these initiatives keep our communities vibrant.”

Under the leadership of faculty sponsor Lyzona Marshall, Assistant Professor of Business & Director of the Wukich Center for Entrepreneurial Opportunities, Seton Hill University students will collaborate with the Greensburg Community Development Corporation and additional key stakeholders to assess the entrepreneurial needs and inclusive economic development opportunities for a planned healthcare-education corridor in the City of Greensburg.

As a finale for the coursework, students and their faculty sponsors will travel to present their work to other student delegations, Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) leadership, and community leaders at the Appalachian Collegiate Research Initiative Capstone Symposium December 1-2, 2023, in Arlington, Va.

ACRI is an initiative of the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC), an economic development partnership entity of the federal government and 13 state governments focusing on 423 counties across the Appalachian Region. ARC’s mission is to innovate, partner, and invest to build community capacity and strengthen economic growth in Appalachia to help the Region achieve socioeconomic parity with the nation.

In this year’s ACRI, 13 institutions are representing 10 Appalachian states. Seton Hill University is one of three universities in Pennsylvania selected for the initiative, joining Alfred State College (New York), Appalachian State University (North Carolina), Auburn University (Alabama), East Tennessee State University, Frostburg State University (Maryland), Glenville State University (West Virginia), Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Morehead State University (Kentucky), Muskingum University (Ohio), University of Pittsburgh, University of Tennessee and Virginia Tech. 

The ACRI research is connected to an ongoing economic development feasibility study being conducted by Seton Hill and a number of community partners and underwritten by a grant from the Richard King Mellon Foundation.