Dear Friends,

This issue of Acumen comes to you during a period of great change for the College of Arts and Sciences. The GO Campaign is off to a solid start as we work to strengthen our efforts to attract the best students, to develop new facilities and programs, and to sustain the research of our renowned faculty. In February, Maria Donoghue Velleca, an accomplished neurobiologist who currently serves on the faculty at Georgetown University, agreed to join our faculty as the Herbert J. and Ann L. Siegel Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. We are excited to have a scholar and administrator of Maria’s stature join us June 30, and I know many of you will have the opportunity to speak with her as she meets with CAS alumni in the coming months.

The past year has been illuminating and motivating for me. In leading the College and making it ready for Maria’s arrival, I continue to be amazed and pleased by the work undertaken by CAS faculty and staff. I cannot thank enough all those who helped keep things moving and ensured the College is on solid ground as we move into our next phase of research and teaching. At a time when news headlines and online media abound with stories calling for narrow vocational training for our students, there is real strength in an arts and sciences education. This issue provides evidence of the importance of our work. Our cover story addresses the significance of graduate education in the life of the College. Our graduate programs help students grow into critical and creative thinkers and their contributions are central to the vitality of the CAS community. 

Our faculty continue to impact the lives of students, both on campus and throughout the region. Professor Don Davis has been leading high school math teams for 25 years and inside you will learn of his success developing nationally ranked squads. After Lehigh, much of the work done in the classroom, the laboratory or studio later shapes alumni lives. Jessica Garcia ’12 ‘13G took the entrepreneurial drive developed at Lehigh and created a start-up dedicated to detecting concussions in sports. Pete Lanctot ’09 is the front man of a band that performed at Zoellner last fall. He shares his thoughts on trying to make it as a musician and Lehigh’s influence on his career path. 

Our students are reshaping the way we see the world.  Undergraduate student Monica Powers ‘20 is contributing research to help scientists consider a new, more precise, time frame for the arrival of humans in Western Europe. Much of this work is possible because of the support of Lehigh alumni. Alumni support made possible the Theodore U. Horger ’61 Endowed Artist-in-Residence for the Performing and Visual Arts, allowing students to work with acclaimed playwright Liz Duffy Adams. She is working with undergraduate students across the disciplines, and is writing a commissioned play to be performed in Zoellner Arts Center this coming fall. 

I am continually excited and energized by the faculty, staff and students within the college who are committed to pushing the boundaries and asking, “What if?” Research and scholarship in the arts and sciences are essential to Lehigh's reputation as a leading university. I invite you to learn more about how alumni can play a role in College’s many programs. As Lehigh alumni, you can help shape the future of today’s, and tomorrow’s, students. 

I look forward to hearing your thoughts and comments.



Cameron  B. Wesson
Interim Dean