I am a writer at heart, and like all writers, I am always on the lookout for a great story.
The good news for me and my colleagues, then, is that when you work at a place like Lehigh—an innovative, ambitious, exciting university—there is always another great story to tell. And sometimes, those stories take us to places we never would have imagined.
In this issue of the Lehigh Bulletin, we share the journey of a group of Lehigh faculty, students and staff (as well as our own visual storyteller, Stephanie Veto) across the globe to the West African nation of Sierra Leone. The contingent made the trip as part of the university’s Global Social Impact Fellowship, which each year challenges undergraduate and graduate students to take on research projects during the academic year, and then engage in related faculty-guided fieldwork over the summer.
This year’s group traveled to Sierra Leone with the goal of helping improve local health care, with work cutting across several disciplines. For the students, the journey presented an opportunity to not only learn more deeply about their field of choice, but also to understand that their work can change the world for the better.
We hope you enjoy this photo essay, and we hope you also enjoy the companion documentary that Veto developed of the trip. You can see it at go.lehigh.edu/sierraleone.
This issue also includes several other features we hope you’ll enjoy.
We offer an update on the now almost 10-year project to restore historic Packer Church. Placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1979, the building would later fall into disrepair because of water damage—not to mention exposure to years of smog produced by the old Bethlehem Steel plant. The current restoration project, which launched in 2007 and has included updates from top to bottom, is finally expected to be completed late this year.
In “Launching Dreams into Orbit,” we profile young alum Pam Fusek ’13, a former mechanical engineering major here at Lehigh who is now living out a dream as a test engineer at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. Fusek says she owes her early career success in large part to her experience at Lehigh, and the mentorship of Professor Terry Hart ’68; Hart’s Spacecraft Systems Engineering class, she says, made her dream of working in space exploration “feel real.”
We also offer some building updates from campus, a profile of Lehigh women’s basketball star Hannah Hedstrom ’19, and so much more.
We thank you as always for reading.