Twenty years after it was a gleam in the eye of automotive industry icon Lee Iacocca ’45, Lehigh’s Global Village for Future Leaders of Business and Industry has seen the intensive, five-week program evolve into an extraordinary living and learning opportunity for the students who flock to Bethlehem from all over the world.
Iacocca established an institute in his name in 1988 to create programming focused solely on innovative leadership, applied management and cross-cultural learning experiences. His idea, wrote Iacocca in his 2007 book, Where Have All the Leaders Gone, emerged from the questions: How do you go about building global leadership? How do you demonstrate to people from different worlds that their commonalities are greater than their differences?
Iacocca went on to write that Lehigh piloted the Global Village program during the summer of 1997 with representatives from 25 countries. “There were a lot of kinks to iron out, but I was sold,” he wrote. “This was an investment worth making.”
The thousands of young men and women who have participated in the Global Village over the past two decades would no doubt agree. Describing it as “life-changing” and “inspirational,” the program’s alumni of more than 2,000 leaders from 135 countries continue to mentor students and help the program evolve.
"It has taken passion and commitment to hard work to build a Global Village program of this kind of excellence and reach. To keep it viable and relevant for two decades is nothing less than extraordinary."
Cheryl Matherly Vice president and vice provost for International Affairs at Lehigh
In many ways, Kelly F. Austin’s research is all about connections and helping to create better relationships between the world’s health care system and the people it serves.
An assistant professor of sociology, Austin describes herself as a “macro- comparative sociologist” who is interested in large-scale patterns in development across nations. “Specifically,” she says, “my research examines global trends in health and environmental outcomes, and the nexus between the two.”
Most of her current published research, she adds, encompasses cross-national projects that use large samples from nations to see general patterns among them. In addition, she typically spends eight to 10 weeks each summer in rural Uganda. While there, she supervises a small team of Lehigh undergraduate students in their research projects and local internships, as well as furthering aspects of her own research critiquing international health aid and examining patterns in diseases, like malaria.
The project she concluded in Summer 2016 was focused on unmasking a hidden malaria burden in Bududa, Uganda. “A large proportion of malaria cases are missed from official disease statistics in this region due to people self-treating from local drug shops, rather than being tested, treated and counted in a formal clinical setting,” Austin said.
For this research, Austin interviewed a mix of community members and health workers and also spent considerable time in Uganda volunteering and working at local non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and health clinics.
Her research transfers to the classroom; Austin is also director of Lehigh’s Health, Medicine and Society (HMS) program, which has grown in response to increased student demand, enhanced faculty specialization and a rapidly evolving health sector.
Every November, more than 50 clubs and student organizations participate in International Week, a celebration of international culture and diversity. In November 2016, the groups organized 48 events.
Founded in 1997 by American and international students seeking to enhance the international voice on campus, it has grown into one of the largest and most active student organizations.
24Number of Fulbright Scholars studying at Lehigh—the largest number ever
250Number of study abroad opportunities in 70 countries offered to Lehigh students
1,000+international students from more than 70 countries
700%Increase in participation since 2011 in fully funded Iacocca Internship programs, which deliver deeply impactful learning experiences that provide an enhanced global perspective
103Number of students who participated in funded Iacocca Internships in Summer 2016. The students had work or research experiences in 29 countries
43%Of students who had an international experience during their time at Lehigh. Nearly half of those included applied work such as internships or research.