Skip to content

West Virginia University


Joan Centrella


Director, Bridge Initiative for Science and Technology Policy, Leadership, and Communications



WVU’s participation in PIT-UN will be led by the Bridge Initiative for Science and Technology Policy, Leadership, and Communications, an interdisciplinary program with a broad reach across the university. Launched in 2020 in response to the growing impact of science and technology on the public interest, the Bridge Initiative provides the interface between WVU researchers creating knowledge and policymakers who make decisions that can be informed by this knowledge. Key features of the Bridge Initiative are working together in interdisciplinary teams across campuses; enhancing faculty development and recognition for their work in key areas of PIT; and enabling students to develop and lead PIT for the future. During our initial campus-wide policy study over 20 researchers from business and economics; agriculture, natural resources, and design; and arts and sciences; worked together with members of the Energy Institute and Extension Service to address policy issues on water for West Virginia’s federal, state, and local policymakers. Students participated throughout, from using their own research to address PIT areas to researching case studies from other states. Topics ranged from drinking water safety and adverse climate events to opportunities centering on the state’s natural assets to enable economic prosperity and stem population loss.