Laura Turner

Sustainability at Lehigh By the Numbers

Facts and figures about sustainability at Lehigh

Healing Hoboken: The Connection Between Community and Environmental Stewardship

Sustainability isn't the first thing that comes to mind when you think of casinos, but it was casino development that launched Jennifer Gonzalez '08 '09G on the path to her current role as director of environmental services and chief sustainability officer for the City of Hoboken.

Fighting for Environmental Justice in Puerto Rico

Ruth Santiago's formal fight against environmental injustice began more than two decades ago in Puerto Rico, where she has built a reputation as a community activist.

Innovating Outdoor Wear at Patagonia, for the Sake of the Environment

As head of materials innovation and development at Patagonia, Matt Dwyer '06 helps to execute the company's mission statement: "We’re a business to save our home planet."

Seeking Climate Change Solutions―in the Arctic and Beyond

Victoria Herrmann '12 is making an impact on climate change issues on the national and international stage.

Cleaning Up the Plastic Pollution in the Ocean―One Skateboard at a Time

Lehigh alumni Kevin Ahearn ’07 and David Stover ’07, along with their partner and friend, Ben Knepper, turned their passion for sustainability and love of surfing and oceans into a workable business model that is helping to remedy a major environmental hazard.

Striving for Sustainability

As Lehigh unfolds its bold, new sustainability plan, we highlight six alumni who are doing their part for a more sustainable planet.

How do you give a voice to the disenfranchised?

Giving voice to the disenfranchised is vital to the mission of dismantling systemic inequality.

Can we save our dying oceans?

Oceans define our home planet, covering more than 70 percent of the Earth’s surface and driving the weather and climatic patterns that are essential to life. Maintaining the economic and life-support value of the ocean relies on preserving the well-being of its ecosystems.

Why is it important to be a lifelong learner?

The process of continuous learning is instrumental in not just how you conduct yourself, but how you view the world. Learning implies that you need to know more.

What makes a great leader?

Today, hierarchies are flattening, employees are looking for flexibility and meaning as much as a paycheck, and they want to be engaged, challenged, have opportunities for creativity, and have a voice. In this context, leaders who can pause, ask questions, listen and attempt to understand their employees’ perspectives (particularly those with whom they disagree), and try to empower employees, should be most effective. These are sometimes called servant leaders.

What is the power of storytelling?

The tales of how we navigate the vicissitudes of everyday life and loss become vital to us. From the sum of those stories, we create our lives and our identities. We are the stories we know and the stories we tell.

How can you prepare students for such a tumultuous world?

Matters of diversity, social justice, politics, religion, constitutional rights, inclusion and even exclusion begin to scratch the surface of formal and informal conversations that take place on any given day.

Can artificial intelligence lead to a more humane society?

In my view, our society is increasingly moving toward a world in which humans and machines become integral parts of critical systems. The boundary between human work and machine work is becoming ever more blurred, as well as the boundary between decisions made by humans and decisions made by artificial intelligence.

Are we all inherently biased?

Social cognition focuses on how social forces shape how we think and act.

Is a truly equitable campus achievable?

A first step is understanding what we mean by “equitable campus” and how it relates to diversity and inclusion efforts. In our case, we are building on the three strategic pillars of diversity, inclusion and equity. When we talk about an equitable culture, we are really referring to a culture of equity versus a culture of equal opportunity.

Can a university help address the opioid epidemic?

The opioid epidemic is complex and multifaceted, so the solutions are unlikely to be simple. Universities have the great advantage of the presence of faculty with diverse skill sets working in close proximity. If a university can create an environment that promotes interaction, cross-pollination of ideas, and interdisciplinary collaboration, it can become an ideal breeding ground for creative solutions to important societal issues.

Are entrepreneurs born or made?

Would Michael Phelps have won 23 Olympic gold medals if he had never had access to a pool? While he may have been born with genetics that supported athleticism and a competitive spirit, would he have won more medals than any other athlete without awareness, opportunity, training, coaching and conditioning? At Lehigh’s Baker Institute for Entrepreneurship, Creativity and Innovation, we provide just that: awareness, opportunity, training, coaching and conditioning.

What is global competency and why does it matter?

We seek to educate graduates who are prepared to analyze complex global challenges, to collaborate respectfully and effectively with people from diverse backgrounds, and to take responsible local action after due consideration of contemporary global contexts.

Are we overreliant on educators to address societal ills?

Educators still need to provide academic preparation for career readiness, but they also need to prepare students for today’s fast-paced technological society undergirded by the American democracy.