Dr. Churella earned his B.A. in economics from Haverford College and his M.A. and Ph.D. from The Ohio State University. He joined the faculty of Southern Polytechnic State University in 2001, and following consolidation he is now a professor at Kennesaw State University. He has taught a wide variety of courses, including early and modern U.S. history surveys, business and economic history, railroad history, the history of the Pacific Rim, African-American history, introduction to the International Studies major, and the International Studies senior capstone. He has won several teaching awards, including an Outstanding Faculty Award, a Student Government Association Teacher of the Year Award, and an Honors Program Teacher of the Year Award.
Dr. Churella's research focuses on transportation history and transportation policy, with particular emphasis on the relationship between the railroads and the regulatory state. His publications include From Steam to Diesel: Managerial Customs and Organizational Capabilities in the Twentieth-Century American Locomotive Industry (Princeton University Press, 1998) and The Pennsylvania Railroad: Volume 1, Building an Empire, 1846–1917 (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2013), as well as articles in the Business History Review, Enterprise & Society, and other publications. Dr. Churella is currently working on the second and final volume of the complete history of the Pennsylvania Railroad, which between 1881 and 1901 was the world's largest private corporation. He has also authored more than one hundred articles, book chapters, book reviews, and encyclopedia entries.