The Office of International Affairs is recognizing Lehigh alumnae who have made an impact on campus and around the world, as part of Soaring Together, the campus-wide celebration of 50 years of undergraduate coeducation. Whether they graduated three years ago or three decades ago, the women are engaging with the world and making a difference in it. In addition to sharing their stories, these alumnae will return to campus (virtually or in person) to connect with students, faculty and staff, so that Lehigh's current community can learn from them.
To read their full stories, visit the Women with Global Impact webpage.
- Kira Mendez ’83, one of the first women to study engineering at Lehigh. Now she’s back at the university as the director of the Iacocca Institute, which creates transformative, hands-on leadership experiences that challenge and empower the next generation of global leaders.
- Patricia Chaves ’92G, a senior sustainable development officer at the UN Division for Sustainable Development. When she’s not working to further the United Nations’ 17 Sustainability Development Goals (SDGs), Chaves helps drive change in her home country of Costa Rica and make connections for Lehigh students.
- Cristina Arteta ’98, who led the creation of the Global Union while she was a student. Two decades later, the Global Union continues to provide a place for students to come together.
- Karen O’Donnell VanderGoot ’99, a division chief at USAID, leading the Conflict, Peacebuilding and Governance Division in the Bureau for Africa. She served on Lehigh's Board of Trustees during the university's first effort to expand its international reach.
- Morgan Volkart ’06, ’10G, who fell in love with international education at Lehigh. Now she’s the associate vice provost for Western region and international recruitment, opening up the opportunity for a Lehigh education to more students.
- Carrie Rich ’07, CEO and co-founder of the Global Good Fund, where she connects established business executives with emerging social entrepreneurs to mentor them, help scale their companies and ultimately address complex social issues.
- Savannah Boylan ’15, who has dedicated her career to promoting democracy in the U.S. and abroad. After 10 years working in foreign policy, she founded For Democracy, a non-governmental organization to strengthen democratic institutions.
- Victoria Herrmann ’12, president and managing director of the Arctic Institute in Washington, D.C., making an impact on climate change issues on the national and international stage.
- Raven Gaddy ’15, who has lived, worked and volunteered in six countries on four continents. Now a returned Peace Corps volunteer working for the U.S. government, she is always looking for ways to make a positive impact and help people, including back at Lehigh.
- Klaudia Jaźwińska ’18, who describes herself as “a first-generation university graduate whose academic exploration of culture, technology and justice has spanned five continents.” Her work lies at the intersection of technology, media and ethics.
Story by Emily Goff