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Mountain Talks

Learn from Lehigh thought leaders on Mountain Talks.

During these 30-minute sessions, Lehigh faculty and alumni who are experts in their field share the latest and greatest in their area of expertise. Immerse yourself in everything from mechanical engineering in bone healing to immigration history, all from fellow members of the Lehigh family. Watch Mountain Talks live or catch up via event recordings. 

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Upcoming Mountain Talk


Past Mountain Talks

Ethically Challenged, Private Equity and Healthcare

The first book to address private equity and healthcare, Ethically Challenged raises the curtain on an industry notorious for its secrecy, exposing the dark side of its maneuvers.

Laura Katz Olson, AGF Distinguished Professor of Political Science, has taught at Lehigh University since 1974. She teaches U.S. Health Care Policies, the Politics of Health Care, the American Presidency, and the American Political System. She directs the political science department’s internship program. To date, she has published nine academic books, focusing on U.S. healthcare.

Ethically Challenged: Private Equity Storms U.S. Health Care was published in March of 2022. The book won a gold medal in The North American Book Awards, the Axiom Business Book Awards, and Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA) Benjamin Franklin Awards and a silver medal in the Nautilus Book Awards. In addition, it won a National Indie Excellence Award and was a finalist in both the American Book Fest Best Book Awards and Montaigne.

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Lehigh 360: Increasing Access to High-Impact Opportunities at Lehigh

This Mountain Talk will give an overview of why high-impact opportunities are critical for students.

This Mountain Talk will give an overview of why high-impact opportunities are critical for students, offer you a snapshot of the high-impact opportunities currently offered at Lehigh, introduce some of the game-changing technology Lehigh 360 is developing to increase access to these programs for all students, and present opportunities for alumni to further engage with and support these transformational programs. 

Bill Whitney 
Bill Whitney was named assistant vice provost for experiential learning programs in 2022. Prior to that, he served in the role of administrative director for the Office of Creative Inquiry at Lehigh University since its inception in January 2017. He holds a Ph.D. in theatre and drama from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and has been an adjunct professor in the Department of Theatre at Lehigh and the Department of Performing Arts at Cedar Crest College. Prior to his current role, he served for six years as executive assistant in Lehigh's Office of the President.

In his assistant vice provost role, Whitney champions the Impact Fellowships and Mountaintop Summer Experience programs through the Office of Creative Inquiry and serves as the lead instigator of the Lehigh 360 initiative. He works across disciplinary borders to support and strengthen current experiential learning opportunities at Lehigh University, as well as those yet to be created. He also holds a master's degree in drama from Washington University in St. Louis and B.A. degrees in English and theatre arts from Nebraska Wesleyan University. His past research and scholarship has included questions of reception and production in contemporary experimental theatre of the U.S. and the phenomenon of fringe theatre festivals as cultural tourist artifacts.

Michelle Spada 
Michelle Spada is the program manager for Lehigh 360 with the Office of Creative Inquiry. She joined the Creative Inquiry Team in 2023 and was previously the assistant director of the Iacocca International Internship Program at Lehigh. Her background is in experiential learning and international and community development. She holds a B.S. from Vanderbilt University in human and organizational development, with a concentration in international leadership and development. She is also currently working on her MBA at Lehigh. 

Prior to Lehigh, Spada served as the program director for Princeton in Africa, a year-long fellowship program for young professionals that offers work opportunities across the African continent. She is a Princeton in Africa alumnae herself having completed a fellowship with the International Rescue Committee in Liberia in 2012. She continued working in Liberia after her fellowship in the fields of girls’ education and public health and also started a small community football business. After returning to the U.S., she worked with Habitat for Humanity, increasing access to affordable housing and leading neighborhood revitalization initiatives. Spada believes in the power of experiential learning and is passionate about helping students connect their skill sets and passions to real world challenges and opportunities. She is excited to be a part of the creative inquiry team and continue to expand the Lehigh 360 initiative across campus. 

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How does the brain connect scientific thought with artistic creation? How can we make that connection stronger?

The NeuroSalon project is using existing neuroscience to create new neuroscience, making artistic and musical creations that can "speak" the language of scientific knowledge in a way that bridges both of these usually separate worlds.

Julie Miwa, neuroscientist and associate professor in the Biological Sciences Department at Lehigh University, initiated "NeuroSalon" in 2021 as a Mountaintop Summer Experience project, supported by the Office of Creative Inquiry. Since then, 20 students representing 13 different majors, all of whom are motivated by exploring the intersection between the sciences and the arts, have participated in the project, creating their own artworks which reflect neuroscientific principles and presenting live performances to showcase their work. 

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First Generation Celebration and Resources

First Generation Celebration and Resources

Celebrating first-generation college student experience at Lehigh. In this presentation, we discuss current resources and avenues of support, how first generation alumni can be supported, and how all alumni can become more engaged with current students and campus efforts.

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Virtual Reality Learning Experiences

Virtual Reality Learning Experiences for Nonformal Education

Bodzin is a professor in the Teaching, Learning, and Technology program and is a core faculty member of the Lehigh Environmental Initiative. His research interests involve the design of immersive virtual reality learning environments, engagement and learning, learning with spatial thinking tools including GIS, learning design, design and implementation of inquiry-based science and environmental curriculum, learning technologies, game-based learning, and environmental literacy and education for sustainable development.

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Lehigh's Record Admissions Year with Sarah Bombard

Lehigh's Office of Admissions has the pleasure of determining the incoming first-year and transfer classes of Lehigh undergraduates each year.

In the past year, applications rose over 21%, and this is the first year in Lehigh's history where more women applied than men!  

In this Mountain Talk, Sarah Bombard ’06 ’08G, senior associate director of admissions, will talk about trends in the admissions process at Lehigh, the holistic selection process used by the admissions staff, and possible impacts of the Supreme Court's rulings on affirmative action. 

Sarah Bombard graduated from Lehigh’s College of Arts and Sciences in 2006 and the College of Education in 2008. She has worked in the Office of Admissions for 15 years and is currently a senior associate director, leading the office’s marketing and communications team in addition to reviewing applications for admission, scholarships, and integrated programs. Sarah lives with her husband and two children in Bethlehem Township.

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College of Health Progress Report

The Lehigh University College of Health is shaping the future of health and healthcare through its innovative approach to teaching and research in population health and health innovation and technology

The college has grown substantially over the last 4 years and most recently under the guidance of Dean Elizabeth Dolan. 

In this Mountain Talk, Dolan will provide a progress update on the growth of the college over the last 4 years and the direction faculty and staff are working towards. She will cover a number of topics, including the college’s mission, strategic plan, faculty and research, students and programs (undergraduate and graduate), staff hiring, student experiential learning, corporate and community partners, and more.

Dolan has served as the interim dean of the College of Health since December 2020. She earned her M.A. and Ph.D. in literature at the University of North Carolina — Chapel Hill, where she was also the senior fellow in literature and medicine in the College of Medicine for three years. A specialist in health humanities, Dolan studies the expression of suffering in literature and in life from the eighteenth century to today. Her previous administrative roles have included serving as the founding director of the Health, Medicine, and Society Program at Lehigh, the chair of the board of directors of the PA Medical Humanities Association, and the first deputy provost for graduate education at Lehigh. She won Lehigh's Junior Faculty Teaching Award, the Frank Hook Assistant Professorship for Excellence in Mentoring and Teaching, and the Hillman Faculty Award for Excellence in Administrative Work.

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Remembering the Military Heroes

Never Home: Remembering the Military Heroes Who Never Returned

One million people visit the Normandy American Cemetery each year. Another 1.5 million visit Pearl Harbor, and nearly 4 million visit Arlington National Cemetery. Never Home: Remembering the Military Heroes Who Never Returned by Richard Sherman ’89 is a book composed principally of photographs accompanied by brief descriptions of dozens of individuals who died in war and are interred in America’s overseas military cemeteries. It is designed for individuals and corporations who want to preserve the memory of those who made the ultimate sacrifice in defending our nation.  

The book is structured in three sections to take the reader on a virtual journey to America’s overseas military cemeteries. The structure is intended to stimulate the same emotions a person experiences on a visit to any one of these 26 memorial cemeteries. An introductory essay explains the subject and identifies the important work of the American Battle Monuments Commission, the agency charged with maintaining and protecting the hallowed sites outside the U.S. where our nation’s fallen are buried. The first section includes beautiful photographs of the grounds as well as the honor guards who patrol them and visiting veterans and civilians. These images convey feelings of awe, respect, and pride one feels upon arrival at one of our military cemeteries. The second section includes portraits of the headstones and some of the individuals interred there: Sherman researched military records, made contact with families of the fallen (with permission to use photographs of their loved ones), and wrote brief biographical details of their service. This is intended to engender feelings of gratitude and intimacy just as one would experience when standing before a headstone. In the final section, the photographs turn darker to evoke the sadness a person feels toward the end of a visit to these honored grounds.

Sherman has been a full-time professional photographer for the last 12 years. He uses natural light and space to reveal the peace and tranquility of our world. His subjects range from sailing images to florals, from classic landscapes to water abstracts. He sells his artwork primarily to the healthcare, hospitality, and corporate markets. As a former Navy officer, he is proud to count more than 30 VA medical facilities as clients.

In 2017, he embarked on a multi-year project to photograph the American overseas military cemeteries and to share the stories and emotions of the 207,000 Americans who perished during the World Wars and have still never made it home. The forthcoming book is aptly titled, Never Home: Remembering the Military Heroes Who Never Returned

Over the last six years, he has visited the nine World War I cemeteries and all 15 World War II cemeteries spanning eight countries and three continents. In 2019, he visited Normandy American Cemetery for the second time and photographed the events to commemorate the 75th anniversary of D-Day.

“A visit to any of our overseas military cemeteries is wrought with emotion. It is an indescribable experience. I think the language of photography is the best way to convey those feelings,” Sherman said. “A few years ago, I began to think about how I could thank these men and women for all they did to protect the freedoms that we enjoy each day. And so this project was born. It has added purpose and meaning to my life, and I hope this book will help us to always remember these heroes,” he concluded.

Sherman is a Gulf War veteran and previously worked as a Wall Street analyst. He holds a B.A. from Lehigh University and an MBA from Georgetown University where he was a Master’s Scholar. He has certificates in professional photography and videography from the New York Institute of Photography. To learn more, you can visit Sherman's photography website, or you can visit the Never Home Heroes webpage.

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Lehigh Sports to ESPN with David Gordon '15

David Gordon ’15 is a senior researcher within ESPN’s statistics and information department.

In his role, he provides ESPN’s television, radio, digital, and social media platforms with statistics, context, and historical perspectives to drive the company’s differentiating content. He uses expert-level knowledge to identify and pitch storylines to show producers, builds graphics to best illustrate the intended context, and writes scripts for anchors to read on air.

In this talk, Gordon will discuss his various assignments across his six years with the company and share what it’s like to work behind the scenes in a fast-paced environment. He’ll also touch on the tactics, tips, and challenges of working in an ever-changing television and sports industry. During his time there, he has worked on several talk shows, including Golic and Wingo, Get Up!, SportsCenter, and the Emmy-award-winning Scott Van Pelt Show.

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The Missing Link of Experience Co-Creation in Shared Coupons

Professors Beibei Dong and Eric Fang will discuss their recent publication in the Journal of Marketing, a top journal in the marketing field.

Professor Beibei Dong is an Associate Professor of Marketing at Lehigh University. Her research lies in services marketing and digital marketing with a particular focus on consumer engagement and co-creation. Recently she studies emergent topics related to consumer engagement in digital marketing including AI, digital advertising, and sharing economy. Her research appears in leading marketing and management journals. 

Professor Eric Fang is a professor of marketing and Iacocca chair of marketing. He is also the founding director of the Center of Digital Marketing Strategy and Analytics. His research focuses on digital marketing strategy in a data-rich environment and international business. He has more than 30 articles in leading marketing and management journals. His research includes online community user-generated content, online advertising, digital customization, and online platform strategy. 

Which coupons are you more likely to redeem? Coupons shared by your friends or coupons distributed directly from businesses? In this talk, Professors Beibei Dong and Eric Fang will discuss their recent publication in the Journal of Marketing, a top journal in the marketing field. Their work investigates shared coupons, a new coupon type that combines economic savings and social sharing. Their research indicates that sharing coupons with friends can create a conflict between economic incentives and social relationships, while experience co-creation can mitigate this conflict and make customers more likely to share and redeem coupons.

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Consumer Behavior and Special Day Themes with Assistant Professor Danny Zane

Danny Zane is an assistant professor of marketing at Lehigh University who specializes in consumer psychology.

His research explores the inferences that consumers draw about both themselves and companies based on the information they have available in the marketplace and how these inferences impact their consumption behaviors. 

In this talk, Zane will discuss consumer response to special day-themed sales promotions (e.g., a sale on Pi Day, March 14) and the unique psychology behind these types of promotions compared to more traditional promotions seen in the marketplace. He will highlight how marketers can use special day-themed promotions to their advantage and discuss how consumers might unknowingly reward marketers for their creativity in offering them.

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Audience Connection with Steve Nazarian ’91

Bridging the gap between what you want to say, and what they need to hear.

When Steve Nazarian performed in his first play at Lehigh, the director made a point of explaining to the cast how a Friday night audience is different from a Saturday night audience, and different still from a Sunday afternoon audience. Ever since, he have been both fascinated in, and focused on what it takes to properly connect with an audience.

An audience is not just a collection of theatergoers perched in velvet seats; no an audience is anyone to whom you’re trying to get through… from everyone watching the Super Bowl, to a Fortune 100 boardroom, to your stubborn 3-year-old. The key to effective communication is finding the sweet spot where your message and their understanding intersect. It isn’t easy.

In this Mountain Talk, Nazarian will share secrets, tactics, tricks and tips for better audience connection and engagement, taken from his 30+ years of experience as a marketer, salesperson, inventor, entrepreneur, author, husband and father. No matter what kind of audience with which you're trying to connect, this presentation with have something you can take away and use immediately.

Steve is the Founder and Chef Storyteller at The Best Why, a communications consultancy focusing on helping companies and organizations tell better stories.

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The James Webb Space Telescope with Scott Willoughby ’89

Scott Willoughby discusses the world’s first space deployable telescope.

Scott Willoughby '89 is the vice president and program manager at Northrop Grumman for NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope, the largest and most powerful space telescope ever sent into space. In his role, he oversees all aspects of the flagship program, including the design, build, and total system integration. Willoughby has over 30 years of experience in aerospace and received a bachelor’s degree, summa cum laude, in electrical engineering from Lehigh University.

In this Mountain Talk, Willoughby will discuss the complex engineering and technological advances that power the world’s first space deployable telescope and the incredible engineering team enabling a new era in space.

Webb is poised to answer age-old questions such as: “How did the universe begin?" or "When were the first stars and galaxies created?" or "Are we alone?” and "How do we fit in the cosmos?”

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Building Blaytor Nadia Sasso ’14G

Utilizing Tech to Disrupt the Entertainment Industry

Time after time, Black people are often portrayed as the minorities in the film and media industry. What would be the best medium to solve this problem? With aspirations to diversify the media industry, Nadia Sasso ’14G and her partner have worked towards a solution. In this talk, Sasso will discuss the development of Blaytorbox — an app dedicated to helping brands discover and hire vetted Black creators.

Sasso, who earned a Ph.D. from Cornell University, is a high-powered, creative cultural producer and unconventional scholar based in Los Angeles. Sasso's expertise is developing engaging creative content and driving strategy across various platforms and media. She has 10 years of relevant professional experience, with documented success in the areas of social innovation, strategic partnerships, and new media.

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Social Media TestDrive

Education for the Digital Age

In this talk, Dominic DiFranzo shared Social Media TestDrive, a platform he helped design and build, which offers a number of modules about key digital citizenship topics for middle school students.

DiFranzo is an assistant professor of computer science and engineering at Lehigh University. His research in human-computer interaction translates established social science theories into design interventions that encourage social media users to stand up to cyberbullies, fact check fake news stories, and engage in other prosocial actions.

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The Different Versions of Chinese Censorship

Presented by Thomas Chen, Ph.D.

Thomas Chen is an assistant professor of Chinese in the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures at Lehigh University. His research focuses on modern and contemporary Chinese literature and film. He’s taught courses at Lehigh on Chinese Creative Writing, Chinese Film in the World, Modern Chinese Civilization, and Letters from China, to name a few. His book Made in Censorship: The Tiananmen Movement in Chinese Literature and Film has just been published by Columbia University Press.

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The Building Blocks of a Vision, with Renee Washington ’16G

In this Mountain Talk, Renee Washington ’16G, motivational speaker, entrepreneur, and author, provided guidance and motivation to attendees interested in building their own business.

Washington is a digital and social content creator with the WNBA. She is a former analyst and reporter with ESPN. In December of 2020, she launched the organization "Planted, Not Buried," which is focused on providing a supportive, inspiring network for professionals.

We are pleased to feature this event during Soaring Together: A Celebration of Lehigh Women and 50 years of coeducation at Lehigh.

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Revisiting The “Problem of Coeducation” Fifty Years Later

History of Women at Lehigh, with Special Collections

This presentation by University Archivist Ilhan Citak and Humanities Librarian Heather Simoneau will celebrate and examine the 50th anniversary of undergraduate female education, also called coeducation, at Lehigh. Anniversaries are times of both celebration and reflection. In this session, we will introduce a selection of the many historical resources publicly available through Lehigh University’s Special Collections. The presentation will be followed by a conversation reflecting on the attendees’ experiences attending a coeducational Lehigh.

The audience is encouraged to share their memories of their time at Lehigh. Time will be reserved at the end for attendees to ask questions and learn how to discover and use Lehigh’s historical collection that is preserved in the digital archives, including film and other audio-visual resources.

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Immigration History with Emily Pope-Obeda

Emily Pope-Obeda, assistant professor of history in the College of Arts and Sciences discusses the history of immigration policy, with an emphasis on exclusion, deportation, and border policy.

Throughout its history, the United States has been defined and redefined through immigration, but it has also been shaped by persistent efforts to restrict those allowed to remain in the country — often around lines of race, class, religion, gender and sexuality, political ideology, and foreign relations. This conversation will briefly cover some of the major historical developments in immigration policy since the late 19th century and explore some of the ways these policies have impacted different groups, been debated, and shaped our contemporary immigration landscape.

We are pleased to feature this event during Soaring Together: A Celebration of Lehigh Women and 50 years of coeducation at Lehigh.

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Engineering Orthopaedic Care with Hannah Dailey ’02 ’06G ’08 Ph.D.

In addition to her work at Lehigh, Dailey is also an entrepreneur, cofounder, and CSO of a start-up orthopaedic device company based in Ireland.

Join Hannah Dailey ’02 ’06G ’08 Ph.D., assistant professor of mechanical engineering and mechanics in the P.C. Rossin College of Engineering and Applied Science, to learn more about how engineers can impact orthopaedic care. 

Her team at Lehigh is currently using mechanical engineering simulation techniques to measure bone healing in patients who have had leg fractures. The goal of this work is to diagnose problems with bone healing earlier, so orthopaedic surgeons will know which patients might benefit most from interventions to get them back on their feet sooner. They are also studying the effects of comorbidities like cigarette smoking on bone healing and are developing precision analytics that could change the design of future clinical trials. Dailey received an NSF CAREER award in 2020 for her research.

We are pleased to feature this event during Soaring Together: A Celebration of Lehigh Women and 50 years of coeducation at Lehigh.

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Supporting Gender Equity at Lehigh and Beyond with the Center for Gender Equity

The Center for Gender Equity at Lehigh is celebrating its 30th Anniversary this month.

It began in 1991 with the establishment of the Women’s Center and was renamed the Center for Gender Equity in 2017. The center provides faculty, staff, students, and alumni with the tools needed to build a gender equitable and socially just world.

Rita Jones, center director; Michelina Beaumont ’22, current student assistant; and Tainairy Ortiz ’19 share some small steps anyone can take to support gender equity. Jones discussed the mission and teachings of the center, while Beaumont and Ortiz provide examples of how they apply the skills they learned to their everyday life as students and alumni.

We are pleased to feature this event during Soaring Together: A Celebration of Lehigh Women and 50 years of coeducation at Lehigh.

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LGBTQ Community Archives Project with Mary Foltz

Kick-start Pride Month.

The Lehigh Alumni Pride Association presented a Mountain Talk to discuss the important role small, local communities play in activism with Mary Foltz, associate professor of English and director of the South Side Initiative.

Foltz was recently awarded a Scholars and Society Fellowship by the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) to collaborate with regional LGBTQ organizations to build their archival collections and produce lectures, academic articles, and social media programming.

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Using Population Health Data to Inform Pandemic Policy with Fathima Wakeel

The COVID-19 pandemic has shed light on, and further deepened, existing health inequities at the community, state, and national levels.

In the Lehigh Valley, Fathima Wakeel, associate professor in Lehigh’s College of Health, is leading an interdisciplinary team of Lehigh researchers in a study that seeks to determine the physical and mental health impacts of the pandemic on the valley’s most vulnerable populations.

Wakeel hopes that, through data storytelling, the study will help to inform public policy and programs to improve lives and prepare future responses to epidemics at the local and national levels. 

Learn more about the study, its expected impacts, and the challenges of conducting a study during a pandemic.

We are pleased to feature this event during Soaring Together: A Celebration of Lehigh Women and 50 years of coeducation at Lehigh.

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The Business Model Canvas — a Primer with Joshua Ehrig '02 '03G '08G and Jamie Flinchbaugh ’94

Whether you are a CEO or a solopreneur, work in a massive organization or a tiny start-up, strategic thinking is likely an important capability. 

The Business Model Canvas is a vital strategic tool used by many Fortune 500 companies, start-ups, and top-ranked business schools to promote strategy and innovation in organizations. It is a simple, applicable way to develop your or your team’s strategic thinking.

This spring, Joshua Ehrig ’02 ’03G ’08G, professor of practice in the department of management at Lehigh University, and Jamie Flinchbaugh ’94, entrepreneur, lean advisor, board member, speaker, and author, will teach Creating and Executing Strategy: The Business Model Canvas, an online learning program through Lehigh's Vistex Institute for Executive Learning & Research. 

Watch their discussion on the upcoming program, learn the nine components of the Business Model Canvas, and the importance of pivots within the organization.  

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Navigating a Career Through a Pandemic with Bill Glenn ’80 ’81G

Are you truly unhappy with your career, or is it just pandemic fatigue?

Watch this talk with Bill Glenn ’80 ’81G, chairman of Crenshaw Associates, to identify the right questions to ask yourself before making a career change, and leave with strategies and resources to utilize as support during this time. Joining Glenn is Chris Nadherny, an executive advisor and mentor with Crenshaw Associates. Nadherny is a former partner and practice leader with Spencer Stuart, a leading global executive search firm, and author of the book The Proactive Executive.

Crenshaw Associates is a career coaching service partner with Lehigh’s Career & Professional Development (CCPD) alumni coaching program. Read more about Crenshaw Associates and the CCPD career coaching program.

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Picturing Wellness with Lehigh University Art Galleries (LUAG)

Wellness is often described as a dynamic relationship between mind, body, and spirit.

In the era of COVID-19, we are also confronting additional layers of social and biological entanglement that contribute to our collective sense of health and safety. Picturing “wellness” takes on many forms and often exists in tension-changing bodies: growing, confronting illness, or adapting to change.  

Lehigh University Art Galleries (LUAG) Director William B. Crow; Curator of Education Stacie Brennan; and Curator of Exhibition and Collections Mark Wonsidler explored works from the current exhibition Well, Well, Well: Picturing Wellness in the LUAG Collection and ask the question: What might it look like to be well?

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The Pursuit (and the Hard Truths) of Happiness with Naomi Rothman and Khanjan Mehta

This talk by Naomi Rothman, associate professor of management and organizational behavior, and Khanjan Mehta, vice provost for creative inquiry, focused on the question that all of us are constantly trying to answer — especially during this ongoing global pandemic — what is the secret to happiness?

What this talk uncovers is that there is not one secret and the answers are both more obvious and more difficult than we think. The pressure to find happiness is often what leads to greater stress, uncertainty, and unhappiness.

This talk also introduces the Sustainable Happiness Institute (SHI), a new program to be launched by the Office of Creative Inquiry in January 2021. This is a three-week program for Lehigh students that will take a five-pronged approach to helping them find their pathway to happiness. The program will encompass global "megatrends," sustainable development, social innovation, the science of happiness, and life coaching. SHI is an immersive, hands-on, hearts-on adventure where students leverage these areas of study to imagine, conceptualize, and pursue practical actions toward alternative happy futures.

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Strategic Planning in the Time of COVID-19 with Marc Barone '90G

As the COVID-19 pandemic lingers, businesses worldwide are facing tough decisions when it comes to reopening offices.

How can business leaders create insight to make the correct strategic choices? Marc Barone ’90G, chief executive, Continental Europe at AECOM, has been driving AECOM’s reopening plan in Continental Europe. Marc’s approach to a strategic reopening plan relies on evaluating local data and working closely with in-country teams to evaluate strategic choices in the overarching context to keep AECOM staff. Dealing with an issue as complex as the response to the pandemic requires curiosity, creativity, and the ability to listen and digest data and opinions from multiple sources to gain insight that informs strategic choices.

Marc discussed the challenges he has faced in driving a global reopening plan, the tools and approaches he has used to move his strategy forward, and some surprising insights — like an increase in productivity as a result of working from home — that he and his team considered in developing their plan.

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A History of the Lehigh Lafayette Rivalry with Special Collections Archivists

This presentation by Special Collections archivists includes highlights of the 136-year-old Lehigh-Lafayette Rivalry.

The presentation explores facts and fiction, turning points, new and old traditions from pajama parades to bonfires, Spirit Week, and much more. The audience was encouraged to share their memories of the Rivalry, both on and off the field. Learn how to discover and use Lehigh’s athletics historical collection that is preserved in the digital archives, including football programs, the Epitome, The South Mountaineer, and The Brown and White.

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Doing Democracy: a Virtual Tour with LUAG

What does it look like to do democracy?

Lehigh University Art Galleries (LUAG) Director William B. Crow; Curator of Education Stacie Brennan; and Curator, Exhibition and Collections, Mark Wonsidler, hosted a virtual tour of the LUAG exhibit, Doing Democracy: Photography from the George Stephanopoulos Collection. This exhibition explores the unfolding process of American democracy through an array of photographs, gifted to Lehigh University by George Stephanopoulos, that shine a light on significant events of the 20th century and the present.

This exhibition has been co-curated with students and faculty from the departments of history; political science; communication; journalism; and art, architecture, and design.

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The Age of Hamilton... Eliza Hamilton, That Is -- with Monica Najar

Lin Manuel Miranda’s musical "Hamilton" offers an extraordinary look into the politics of the age of the American Revolution and the early United States.

In the musical, Angelica Schuyler slyly sings of the Declaration of Independence, “When I meet Thomas Jefferson, I’m a’ compel him to include women in the sequel.” She did meet Thomas Jefferson. And many women of the age were deeply involved in the politics of the founding, in ways we may not have learned about when we were in school.

Monica Najar, associate professor of history, commemorates 100 years of women's suffrage and explores women’s politics in the age of the founding. We discussed how some women were able to get access to the room where it happened and the diverse roles they played in the founding and politics of the early United States.

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Challenging the Cancel Culture Narrative, with Anthony DiMaggio

Discourse on the cancel culture is pervasive, particularly when it comes to academia.

Universities are increasingly viewed as hotbeds of intolerance today, and many critics of the cancel culture pine for what they consider the status quo of the past.

Anthony DiMaggio, associate professor of political science explored how the cancel culture is discussed in popular discourse, why he thinks the emerging narrative is wrong when it comes to the charges being made against academia, and how those highlighting the dangers of the cancel culture romanticize the past.

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Creating the Environment for Courageous Inclusion — a Primer, with Donald Outing

In the wake of the murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor and the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement, individuals and organizations are actively looking for guidance in how to respond to racial injustice in their own ranks and their broader communities.

The ability to leave one’s comfort zone is essential for leadership development. For years, Dr. Outing has provided similar interactive programs to organizations and government agencies. He is now offering a virtual version for professionals interested in driving change in their organization or community. His discussion focuses on learning about the ways to move beyond the boundaries of traditional diversity and inclusion practices to create a truly inclusive, equitable, and just organization, neighborhood, or community.

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COVID-19 Vaccine Production: From Complicated to Coordinated with Jim Robinson '82 '84G

James (Jim) Robinson ’82 ’84G is using his wealth of biopharma experience to assist in the development and production of a COVID-19 vaccine.

Robinson is the scientific advisory board vice-chair for the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovation (CEPI) and principal of James Robinson Biologics Consulting. His expertise in vaccine production is the result of a career that has included over 30 years at Sanofi Pasteur, Novavax, and Merck, developing and manufacturing vaccines, including vaccines for epidemic use for Asian avian influenza A (H5N1), swine flu (H1N1), SARS coronavirus (SARS-CoV), and Ebola. Now, he is assisting CEPI with its mission to accelerate COVID-19 vaccine candidates that have the potential to be developed rapidly and manufactured globally at scale.

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Lehigh Innovators Alliance Presents Will Mayo’s Founder Story

“Alexa, what's my flash briefing?” “Hey Google, talk to AccuWeather Daily.”

Voice assistants have created a huge opportunity for brands and publishers to reach audiences in new ways. Will Mayo ’08 ’10G has been a pioneer in this industry since its inception and is the founder and chief strategy officer of SpokenLayer, which has built the technology platform powering short-form digital audio production, distribution, and monetization for the modern voice ecosystem.

Will and his board chair and investor, Bob Bausmith ’81, discussed Will's biggest challenges and defining moments — including some key Lehigh connections — on his journey from engineer to entrepreneur.

This Mountain Talk was presented in partnership with the Lehigh Innovators Alliance.

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The Psychology Behind Health-related Decisions with Jessecae Marsh

In this talk, Professor Marsh discusses the psychology behind some of the decisions we are making related to our health during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Jessecae Marsh, associate professor of psychology and director of the Health, Medicine, and Society program, studies decision making. More precisely, her research lab investigates how people’s beliefs influence the way they reason and make decisions, including how experts and laypeople make health decisions.

We are pleased to feature this event during Soaring Together: A Celebration of Lehigh Women and 50 years of coeducation at Lehigh.

Motivating Children to Read During Quarantine and Beyond with Brook Sawyer

Parents and teachers know how important it is for children to read on a daily basis.

Yet, it can be a challenge to find ways to motivate kids to read, especially during the summer. With the rapid switch to online learning, children are already off schedule and may need extra motivation to keep them reading. Brook Sawyer, associate professor, program director of the Teacher Education Program, shared tips and strategies to motivate children to read now — and over the summer — so they are prepared for the next school year.

his Mountain Talk is part of Lehigh's College of Education series, bringing expertise and advice to teachers, parents, and caregivers during COVID-19.

Additional Resource: Motivating Children to Read (Google Doc)

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How Lehigh Shifted to Remote Learning in Four Days with Greg Reihman

When the need to go fully remote arose, Lehigh was prepared.

Workshops, pedagogical models, instructional technology software, and day-to-day support helped Lehigh faculty transition over 1,000 in-person classes to online in just four days. Greg Reihman, vice provost for Library and Technology Services and director of Lehigh's Center for Innovation in Teaching and Learning, discussed the transition and how things are going today.

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Helping Kids, Caregivers, and Teachers Cope During COVID-19 Changes

Dr. Christopher Liang, associate professor and chair, department of education and human services discusses the challenges learning from home has presented, and what resources and tools kids, caregivers, and teachers can use as we navigate through this time. To access the resources shown on the talk, follow these links:



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Working from Home — Strategies to Succeed with Sacha Connor ’00

As the concern over COVID-19 spreads

Many companies are using remote work as a key tool within their business continuity plan; however, many employees have never worked fully remotely before, nor have many leaders led remote teams.

Sacha Connor ’00, founder of Virtual Work Insider, equips leaders and employees with some foundational knowledge to get themselves remote-ready quickly so they can keep productivity high, while still taking care of themselves and their families.

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5 Tips to Help Your Business Survive Coronavirus with Brett Smith

Brett Smith, director of the Lehigh University Small Business Development Center, shares advice and resources in five areas that business owners should look into when navigating through the coronavirus crisis.

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Career Resources During COVID-19 with CCPD

If you find yourself in uncertain times due to COVID-19...

Join Lehigh's Alumni Relations and Center for Career & Professional Development to learn the resources and strategies to support your career pursuits. Speakers Emily Golden ’99, executive and career coach and Karen Kuczynski, director of career education presented an overview and Q&A session.

View CCPD resources for Lehigh Alumni

Join Lehigh Connects

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How Teachers Can Harness Online Learning for Immediate Impact with Farah Vallera

Online learning does not need to be considered less impactful than traditional, face-to-face learning.

The best online experiences are those that are motivating, flexible, realistic, supportive, collaborative, and replicate in-person activity. Students working in online environments often feel disconnected from the community. As interactive and real-time experiences continue to evolve online, teachers are able to create environments that allow students to be both self-directed and group-oriented. Join us live with Farah Vallera, professor of practice in instructional technology and teacher education programs, to hear and see what teachers can do to engage their students in community-building and authentic learning experiences. Plus, see some tools and technologies that can encourage that engagement.

Additional Resource: Instructional Design Online Transition (Google Doc)

This Mountain Talk is part of Lehigh's College of Education series, bringing expertise and advice to teachers, parents, and caregivers during COVID-19.

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Social and Emotional Wellness for Families during COVID-19 with Susan Woodhouse

Parenting during COVID-19 is hard.

The pandemic has forced mothers to give birth in isolation, work-life balance has been shattered, and children are missing friends and family. Susan Woodhouse, associate professor for the Counseling Psychology Program, shared her research on “good enough” parenting, as well as strategies to foster social and emotional wellness in our families.

This Mountain Talk is part of Lehigh's College of Education series, bringing expertise and advice to teachers, parents, and caregivers during COVID-19.

Watch a Recording on YouTube

ADHD Youth Under Quarantine: Tips for Learning and Caring with George DuPaul

George DuPaul, professor of school psychology, shared behavioral strategies teachers and parents can use to help children and teens with ADHD cope and learn while under quarantine.

This Mountain Talk is part of Lehigh's College of Education series, bringing expertise and advice to teachers, parents, and caregivers during COVID-19.

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Financial Management During Market Turmoil with Seth Finkel ’80

The COVID-19 pandemic has many people concerned about the current and future states of their financial investments.

Seth Finkel ’80, managing director, Neuberger Berman Wealth Management, discussed some of the biggest concerns facing individuals and their wealth management, how he is approaching this challenge with his clients, and what you might want to consider in your own financial planning.

Seth, a board member of Lehigh’s Center for Financial Services, has been rated among the top financial advisors by various financial media: In 2020, he was ranked 22nd in the country on the Barron’s Top 100 Financial Advisors list and 6th in New York State on the Barron’s 2020 Top 1,200 Financial Advisors State by State list. Additionally, in 2019 Seth was ranked #7 in America on Barron's Top 100 Independent Financial Advisors.

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