Kalim Abed, a Fulbright scholar in the College of Education, is on track to become the first person in his home country of Afghanistan to earn a Ph.D. in special education. After earning a bachelor’s degree in special ed from Kabul Education University, Abed worked with children with visual impairments as a lecturer there and through a non-governmental organization he launched. He decided to get a graduate degree in special ed in the U.S. to broaden the program at his university and ultimately help more children and families.
Now focused on interventions and assessments for children with autism spectrum disorder, he is hoping to modify interventions so they are culturally appropriate for use in different countries.
“My goal is to share and transform this knowledge all over the world.”
As part of its ever-broadening global strategy, Lehigh is growing its presence in India with the aim of expanding access for highly talented Indian students and creating stronger connections among the university, industry partners and India-based alumni.
Heading up admissions recruitment efforts in India will be Shishir Upadhyaya, who was named Lehigh’s first senior international advisor. Upadhyaya, who previously served in advisory roles at both Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, (MCPHS University) in Boston and the Royal College of Physicians in Glasgow, Scotland, has nearly 15 years of experience in health care, pharmaceuticals and higher education.
In August 2019, 23 Global Social Impact Fellows arrived in Sierra Leone to conduct fieldwork on projects designed to fight hunger and disease and increase global awareness of health crises. While their research and projects varied, the Lehigh students all shared the same goal of sustainable impact.
The fieldwork was the culmination of months of lab testing, documentation and business-plan development during the spring and summer semesters on the Lehigh campus. They were led by Khanjan Mehta, vice provost of Creative Inquiry and director of the Mountaintop Initiative. During the three-week immersive experience, the students and their mentoring professors conducted hands-on research while testing, building and learning.
Among them was Kayla McMillan ’22, who was part of a team developing projects to help fight malnourishment. Other students worked on a documentary on maternal health in Sierra Leone, grew mushrooms in the self-made greenhouse to help fight hunger, began early testing of a sickle cell diagnosis strip and assessed the socioeconomic factors underlying Ebola.
In 2019, Lehigh’s Iacocca International Internship Program was named the recipient of the Andrew Heiskell Award for Innovation in International Education from the Institute for International Education (IIE) for student mobility. The award recognizes the most innovative and impactful models for internationalization of campuses, study abroad and international partnership programs.
The Iacocca International Internship Program began in 2011 with a principal gift from Lehigh alum Lee Iacocca ’45, based on his belief that working abroad is a significant intercultural learning experience and provides students with a competitive advantage in the global workforce.