Chris Zadra

Chris Zadra, left, conducts field work in the Gulf of Maine in Gloucester, Massachusetts.

Making a Difference

A letter from the editor

Story by

Mary Ellen Alu

One of the joys of my job as editor of the Lehigh Alumni Bulletin is the privilege to tell the stories of our dynamic alumni, whether they graduated last spring or decades ago.

With the implementation of Lehigh’s strategic plan, Inspiring the Future Makers, officially launching in September, we set out to highlight the work of some of our alumni, faculty and students across fields who—through their research, courage, advocacy and entrepreneurship—are making an impact in their communities and around the world.

We knew there would be no shortage of stories to tell.

You will read about a group of Lehigh students who traveled to the Philippines in August as part of their work in tackling the problem of plastic pollution there through upcycling. You also will meet Chris Zadra ’16 ’17G, an innovator in the Drones for Whale Research program, whose work is forging pathways in data collection for the greater good, and Kenny Holdsman ’89, who hopes to empower youth through education and basketball.

Among the stories, you will learn about the interdisciplinary work of researchers Hyunok Choi and Breena Holland, who are partnering with the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection to investigate the impact of air pollutants on Allentown, Pennsylvania, residents. And you will meet Brooke Eby ’10, who, through her own story, has been driving awareness about amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, and has raised nearly $1 million for research.

Though those featured are on divergent paths, their work and their spirit underscore what is true about the Lehigh community—as future makers, we are inspired to innovate and find solutions to complex problems, willing to work together and determined to make a difference.

Also in this issue, we explore ChatGPT, which is becoming more widespread in personal and professional use. How is generative AI affecting the future of education, especially at Lehigh?

We hope you enjoy this issue, which is chock full of stories about alumni, students, faculty and campus life. As always, we’d love to hear from you about the issue and stories that resonated.

You can email me at


Mary Ellen Alu

Story by

Mary Ellen Alu

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