Mountain Talks: Conversations with Faculty and Thought-leading Alumni

If you miss the intellectual rigor of the classroom but don’t have time to take a class, we have good news! About twice a month, you can tune in to 30 minutes of intriguing conversation with Lehigh faculty and thought-leading alumni via our Mountain Talk webinars. It’s not exactly the same as sitting in a lecture hall (and there are no tests!), but the topics and conversation certainly make you think.

They work like this: After you register for the webinar, you’ll get a link to a website. When it’s time for the webinar to start, you click the link to view and listen to the conversation online. The presenters spend the first five to 10 minutes giving an overview of the topic, then 20 minutes answering your questions. In the last 12 months, more than 1,000 alumni, parents and friends have registered to discuss fascinating topics, including these:

Cyberattacks: Tom Gillis ’15P ’17P ’19P, CEO of Bracket Computing, shared incredible stories about cyberattacks and gave us advice on how to best protect ourselves.

Lehigh’s Finances: Lehigh leaders Kristin Agatone, chief investment officer, and Pat Johnson, vice president of finance and administration, answered questions about the university’s long-term financial goals and endowment.

Gratitude: Associate Professor of Management Liuba Belkin gave a sneak peek into her new research findings that suggest a simple “thank you” increases economic gains and prompts more honesty in business exchanges.

Underrepresented Students in STEM: Professors and Co-Directors of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute Program Vassie Ware and Neal Simon discussed Lehigh’s innovative approach to retaining students in the STEM fields.

Writing a Bestseller: Stephanie Powell Watts, associate professor of English and author of the hit book, No One Is Coming to Save Us, discussed her writing process and her inspiration, and answered questions about the book.

Social Entrepreneurship: Carrie Rich ’07, CEO of The Global Good Fund, defined social entrepreneurship and shared how The Global Good Fund supports young global innovators who are trying to make the world a better place through business.

Airline Customer Service: Sandy Stelling ’91, managing director at Alaska Airlines, shared how the airline, ranked No. 1 in overall customer satisfaction by JD Power for the 10th year in a row, handles tricky situations.

We’ve also featured the college deans and several more faculty members. Upcoming Mountain Talks and recordings are on our website: If you have any suggestions of topics or people you’d like to see featured, email me at

Jennifer Cunningham
Assistant Vice President for Alumni Relations


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