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Inquiry to Impact @Lehigh

April 6, 2018
Dear Lehigh Community,

I am excited to announce a new opportunity for Lehigh faculty members, the Creative Inquiry Faculty Fellowships. The inaugural class of CI Faculty Fellows will begin work in the fall of 2018 on integrating new pedagogies into their courses - trying new things, inspiring and challenging students to pursue new intellectual pathways, and continuing to innovate the way that Lehigh teaches and learns. I would like to thank Dr. Greg Reihman and his team at the Center for Innovation in Teaching and Learning (CITL) for collaborating on this program as well as the team that helped craft this call and develop the larger program - Prof. John Ochs, Prof. Naomi Rothman, and Dr. Samantha Dewalt. They, along with invaluable advice from my office’s faculty advisory board, ensured that this would be a wide-ranging call that will serve as a resource for faculty from all disciplines and departments.

Below that, please see the list of upcoming Learn-Make-Sprint events. I would like to particularly highlight the “Socratic Rounds” on April 14th, a SprintX collaboration with Prof. Jon Drescher of the College of Education and Michelle Macau, a renowned teacher of creative improvisation, who will lead attendees through the techniques of improv as a way to unlock their creative and collaborative energies.

Finally, save the date for the afternoon of Thursday, May 3rd, for the Lehigh Expo in Building C. More info to come!
Let's Get Going!
Khanjan Mehta
2018 Creative Inquiry Faculty Fellowships
Call for Fellows
Deadline: May 15, 2018
Awardees Informed by: June 1, 2018

The Office of the Vice Provost for Creative Inquiry (OVPCI) invites Lehigh faculty to apply for Creative Inquiry Faculty Fellowships (CIFFs). These fellowships support faculty to reimagine and redesign existing courses by integrating new (or different) active pedagogies. We are specifically interested in 1) project-based pedagogies where students create new knowledge or tangible works, and 2) inquiry-driven pedagogies where students pursue new intellectual, creative, and artistic pathways.

These fellowships are grounded in the idea that creating leads to the deepest form of learning because it helps students grasp the relevance of their work while also demanding rigorous study and original research, often with engagement with a community of practice (such as residents of South Bethlehem, health professionals in Ghana, businesses in Lehigh Valley, student clubs, or astrobiology research groups). The CIFFs aim to support faculty who want to integrate this ethos of creating into their courses to inspire students to take radical ownership in the learning process as well as champion their course-related projects after the course ends. Students have the opportunity to advance projects forward through other Lehigh resources such as the new provisional Creative Inquiry (CINQ) courses, Mountaintop Initiative, Baker Institute for Entrepreneurship, Creativity and Innovation, Center for Community Engagement, Lehigh@Nasdaq Center, etc.

CIFF Resources:
Creative Inquiry Faculty Fellows will receive 1) discretionary funding of $1,000 / semester for two semesters (total $2,000) in their unrestricted accounts, 2) up to $1,000 for project expenses (as requested/needed) over the course of the fellowship, 3) up to $2,500 for travel to present a peer-reviewed poster, paper, and/or presentation of their CIFF work at national conferences focused on educational innovation. Funds can be used for conference registration, poster preparation, and to defray travel expenses. The OVPCI and the Center for Innovation in Teaching and Learning (CITL) will provide one-on-one course-specific consulting support as well as help develop assessment tools to evaluate the impact of the new pedagogy on student learning outcomes. CITL will also offer priority access to specific learning spaces as well as priority registration to relevant workshops.

CIFF Expectations:
For the 2018-19 academic year, the OVPCI will be offering ten CI Faculty Fellowships. Engagement over the two-semester period is required and Fellows are required to attend a two-day orientation workshop (August 23-24, 2018) as well as participate in two other workshops and three lunch meetings for lateral knowledge sharing each semester. Fellows will have access to special workshops on topics such as Selecting Appropriate Active Learning Pedagogies, Inquiry-Based Teaching, Finding Funding for Passion Projects, Finding Funding from Non-Traditional Sources, Use of Creative Spaces, and Faculty Balance of Research / Teaching / Service and Creative Inquiry. Fellows are expected to share their work at the CITL symposium in April 2019 and student projects are encouraged to present at the 2019 Lehigh Expo.

Application Process
All full-time faculty, including Professors of Practice, are eligible to apply. At this time, Part-Time and Adjunct faculty are not eligible to apply. Please email your application to and include:
  • Statement of interest (1-2 pages), outlining your teaching philosophy and specifically mentioning prior experiences with active pedagogies or interest in same;
  • One-page document outlining three potential scenarios of how project-based learning and/or creative inquiry could be integrated into courses that you teach;
  • Letter of support from your department chair.


SprintX: Socratic Rounds - Improv for Leadership Building (with the LU College of Education)

Saturday, April 14
Iacocca Hall E104

Session led by Michelle Macau, noted Actor, Director and Educator, and Prof. Jon Drescher, Director of the Urban Principals Academy at Lehigh University.

Lehigh Educational Socratic Rounds is an open forum for educators and those interested in all levels of education. On April 14, there will be a very special Improv Rounds led by Michelle Macau, a legendary educator and practitioner of theatre who teaches the techniques of Improv to facilitate the taking of risks, creativity, and changing your life.

As Michelle says, "Using the techniques and exercises of improvisation fosters TRUST upon which all relationships are built. SPONTANEITY is needed in life as change is a constant. Making one's partner look good, takes the focus off oneself and puts it on the other person, engendering a more cohesive TEAM in the workplace. The exercises allow participants to become willing to take RISKS, explore one's IMAGINATION and foster a sense of PLAY that encourages a more creative output by team members."

So, take a risk, let yourself fly into something new and different, and join us in this fascinating SprintX that you won't soon forget!

Register here by April 10th!

LearnX: Finding Your Voice - Tips for Public Speaking

Monday, April 16
Location TBD

Session led by Bill Whitney and Joanna Whitney, Adjunct Professors, Department of Theatre

It is the number one phobia, yet it is an essential skill in any walk of life - we all need to be able to have confidence (or at least fake it) as public speakers. The core of public speaking is knowing yourself first, and being able to utilize your voice and physicality to convey meaning, intention, and information effectively to your audience. This workshop will engage participants in a series of exercises, games, and test cases to help establish basic public speaking skills.

Conquer those public speaking fears. Register for a spot in this LearnX here!

LearnX: Poster Pitches

Monday, April 23
Location TBD

Session led by Elena Reiss, Instructor at International Center for Academic and Professional English

Learn to make a perfect pitch for your poster. In addition to discussing general presentation skills, this workshop will highlight strategies for giving a successful overview of the topic and addressing questions from the audience.

Learn how to make your best poster pitch - register here!

MakeX: Making Killer Posters

Wednesday, April 25
Location TBD

Session led by Teranda Donatto, Instructor at International Center for Academic and Professional English

This session will identify strategies for making an effective poster that conveys the main content while also catching the audience's attention. The participants will discuss what information to include on the poster as well as how to make the poster aesthetically appealing to the audience.

Make your own killer poster - just in time for final exams and presentations! Register here.

You may register for Learn-Make-Sprint events up to 2 weeks in advance of the event. Repeated registrations without attendance could result in a prohibition on future LMSx events. Be a good citizen - sign up, show up!
Find more Learn-Make-Sprints here!
Email us with ideas for other Learn-Make-Sprints!

The Lehigh Expo
Thursday, May 3rd, 2018
Mountaintop Campus, Building C

This expo will showcase projects of all kinds, from across the university. Plans are underway to take over Building C with all the amazing work Lehigh students are doing this year! You won't want to miss this event!


VentureWell E-Team Grant Program (
Receive an E-Team grant and get training through our early stage innovator training program. The training provides peer networking, expert coaching, national recognition, and hands-on workshops to move your innovation forward. Applications are due May 2. Apply now!
Opportunity for a summer course at Ohio Northern University, completely free of charge for up to 12 students from the KEEN network, of which Lehigh is a member.

More information about the course can be found here


Project List/Summaries

Title:  Beyond Bars: Redesigning Criminal Justice through Theatre and Social Change
Lead Mentor:   Karen Beck Pooley
Additional Mentors: Holona Ochs, Bill Whitney
This project will create a theatre piece with the goal of utilizing theatre as a medium for driving legislative and social reforms around the critical issue of mass incarceration. Theatre as a vehicle for social justice reform has the pervasive and powerful ability to change perceptions and mobilize people, and this piece will create awareness as well as drive advocacy.
Title:  Breaking the Buchanan Street Wall: Using History to Foster Engagement Between Lehigh Students and a Multiethnic Business District Near Campus
Lead Mentor:  Kim Carrell-Smith
This project is constructed to foster a dialogue and connections between the Lehigh University community and the 4 Block International district in south Bethlehem, through an understanding of the stories of local people and participation in their community.
Title:  Building Bridges to Living Industrial History
Lead Mentor:  Wojtek Misiolek
Other Mentors: Lois Fischer Black, Stephen Cutcliffe, Scott Garrigan
Erwin and Ludwig Loewy changed the world with their engineering innovations. This project will develop an interactive museum exhibit to maximize understanding of the Loewy story, with potential for virtually capturing the exhibit to share with peer institutions and/or adapting it for K-12 STEM education nationwide.

Title:  Creating a Biobank Network to Improve Research Capabilities in the Biotech Industry
Lead Mentor:  Ana Alexandrescu
Biobanks—storage facilities for biomedical supplies—are currently independent operators without a connected network to share information and locations. This project aims to eliminate that hindrance by creating a new mechanism for biobanks and those in need of biological material to find one another and conduct needed exchanges.

Title:  Developing a Coding System to Assess Parent-Child Communication Quality in Diverse Contexts
Lead Mentor:  Debbie Laible
The goal of this project is to define the processes involved in high-quality communication between mothers and adolescent and pre-adolescent children and to develop a series of coding systems to capture these differences.
Title:  Documentary Film on the Impact of Sands Casino on Bethlehem
Lead Mentor:  Michael Kramp
This project will research and document the impact of the Sands Casino on the Lehigh Valley community, and in particular, southside Bethlehem. Participants will receive training in preparing and assembling a documentary film.
Title:  Human Interaction with Agile Autonomous Robots
Lead Mentor:  Nader Motee
In today’s world, autonomous systems increasingly affect our daily lives without us even noticing. As our interaction with these systems increases, so too does the need for comprehensive safety measures. This project will address those concerns as applied to quadcopters, to make sure that human-autonomous system collaborations are safe and robust.
Title: Immersive Virtual Reality (VR) Development of the Lehigh River Watershed
Lead Mentor:  Alec Bodzin
Other Mentors: David Anastasio, Tom Hammond, Scott Rutzmoser, Farah Vallera
The goal of this project is to create a highly immersive virtual reality learning environment that brings learning to life for learners of all ages to: explore the environment and history of the Lehigh River watershed; participate in lifelike engagement of the subject matter; and, engage in a novel learning environment with experiential learning activities in a highly immersive, simulated real-world environment.
Title: In Search of the Fundamental Cause of River Meandering
Lead Mentors: Dork Sahagian, Panos Diplas
We have been perplexed by the cause of river meandering for generations. This project will identify a universal criterion to explain meandering in general, with a longer-term goal of quantifying the forces at the threshold of instability of various meandering systems.
Title: Lehigh Permaculture Food Forest
Lead Mentor:  David Casagrande
Other Mentor: Albert Wurth
This project will construct a permaculture-style food forest garden at the EcoHouse, a Lehigh Live-Learn community, to serve as a living laboratory and interactive classroom to teach students and the Bethlehem community about sustainable food-growing systems.
Title: Low-Cost Diagnostics in Sierra Leone** 
Lead Mentor:  Khanjan Mehta
Other Mentor:  Lori Herz
Extremely inexpensive (2-cent) test strips to screen people for Urinary Tract Infections and Diabetes in Sierra Leone and other developing countries. Members of this team will travel to Sierra Leone during the summer to conduct field work and expand on-the-ground operations and distribution/education aspects.
Title: Negotiating Privacy Boundaries: the Social and Collective Aspects of Privacy Management
Lead Mentor:  Haiyan Jia
Other Mentors:  Eric P.S. Baumer, Ting Wang
How can we design technological solutions to understand and facilitate collaborative privacy management online? This project aims at exploring new possibilities for collaborative privacy management, developing new understanding, making new discoveries, and creating new tools.
Title: The Neurogenetics of Creativity**
Lead Mentor:  Julie Miwa
Other Mentor: Frank Zhang
How can individuals be encouraged and supported to reach their potential? This project explores the genetic basis of learning and behavioral adaptation by investigating specific learning genes, with the goal of identifying a connection between mutant proteins in some individuals and different cognitive functions.
Title: Pop-Up Parklets**
Lead Mentor:  Karen Beck Pooley
This project builds on the parklet movement which has been tested in cities like San Francisco and Philadelphia, with the goal of developing multiple models of parklets which can be produced for $100 or less. The team will install parklets throughout south Bethlehem to benefit the community and test best practices.
Title: A Revolutionary Mobile Application that Accelerates Language Learning for Children with Cochlear Implants
Lead Mentor:  Susan Perry
Other Mentor: R. Michael Burger
This project will focus on developing an accessible mobile application that allows parents, teachers, and speech therapists of children with cochlear implants to better understand what is being heard through the implant.
Title: Squeezing Every Last Drop: Recovering and Valorizing Waste for Sustainability at the Energy-Water Nexus
Lead Mentor:  Mark Snyder
Other Mentors: Vince Grassi, Alberto Lamadrid, Jeetain Mittal, Srinivas Rangarajan, Arup SenGupta, Ramesh Shankar
This project will design and develop a sustainable, “silver bullet” solution to the burgeoning global demand for fresh water despite worsening pollution and growing energy restrictions. This new, game-changing paradigm would involve treating wastewater as an economic opportunity.
Title: Thera Metrey: Growing Mushrooms in Sierra Leone**
Lead Mentor:  Khanjan Mehta
This project will refine and proliferate mushroom production houses for Sierra Leonean farmers, to be utilized as a source of income and a cash crop when others are not accessible. Following successful field work in this area in Cambodia during the summer of 2017, members of the team will travel to Sierra Leone this summer to conduct further tests and build networks.
Title: Unusual Vascular Patterning and Bone Growth in the Regenerating Zebrafish Fin
Lead Mentors:  M. Kathy Iovine, Linda Lowe-Krentz
This project will investigate the relationship between bone growth and vascular growth, in particular analyzing different strains of the zebrafish, and how its fins grow in both bone and vascular structure. Which drives which? Do the vessels drive growth, or does a requirement for bone growth bring new vessels? 

(** - continuing Inquiry to Impact project)
We are accepting ideas for new Creative Inquiry projects on a rolling basis. You can sign up for CINQ 395 each semester for 1-4 credits, or use an existing course. The application form is here - fill it out in a few minutes, pass the "Five Minute Google Test," and you will be eligible to receive funding for your creative inquiry project!
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