Dear Friend,

As we approach the end of another academic year, I continue to be excited and energized by the high level of research, scholarship and creative work generated by faculty and students in the College of Arts and Sciences. In reading the stories contained in this issue, you will see the breadth of work taking place, work that is creating a rich dialogue and bridging disciplines throughout and beyond the college.

Engagement with the community, and programming to provide our students with community-related experiences, is growing and strengthening at Lehigh. Inside this issue of Acumen you will discover the university’s new community health initiative, a faculty cluster effort that empowers local residents to more actively participate in the full spectrum of research on community issues and has been effective in analyzing and addressing causes of health and health disparities. Our students are out in communities working on health-related issues, whether it is in neighborhoods surrounding campus or a village in Africa. Katelyn Armbruster took her experiences as an environmental sciences and global studies student and translated them into a farm-to-fork program for low income families in south Bethlehem. MA student Natalya Surmachevska traveled to Kumasi, Ghana to study sociological issues surrounding glaucoma treatment in rural areas. Inside you’ll also learn of the efforts of alumni such as Myla Goldman ’94, whose research is helping those with multiple sclerosis, and Melissa Fricke ’06, who is making an impact in Uganda.

The College has been committed to health-related issues for many years. Regardless of the discipline, faculty are exploring ways to improve people’s physical and mental health, wherever they may live. Our students receive highly competitive research internships and go on to postgraduate research positions because of the education they receive in the College of Arts and Sciences. We need your help if we are to provide further academic opportunities. Alumni can play an important role in these types of programs. If you would like to support such initiatives in the College, please contact Nancy Stansbery, director of development, at

Addressing such complex issues requires us to have conversations about widely divergent approaches and views. Working from this theme, the College of Arts and Sciences has started a broad project—“Dialogue Toward Understanding”—and has initiated a campaign, a “Join the Dialogues” initiative that invites our students into conversations showcasing disparate views on the major issues challenging us today. We encourage our students to speak up, to question, to find solutions that may lie outside the norm, knowing they can do so in a supportive and inclusive environment. I invite you to join the dialogue. Find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter and stay up to date with all that takes place within the College. Share with us your thoughts. We would love to hear from you.

The process of producing Acumen has again been delightful endeavor. Our students, faculty, and alumni have wonderful stories to share. I hope that, in reading the pages that follow, you enjoy a glimpse of the stories you have made possible. As Lehigh alumni, you play and important role in shaping a future that looks very bright indeed. Enjoy this issue of Acumen. I look forward to hearing your thoughts and comments.

Donald E. Hall
Herbert and Ann Siegel Dean