Other Initiatives

Each of the following clusters has received seed funding to help in its development. Proposals were submitted in 2011-12, and the seed funding was available in 2012-13. This funding will be used for a wide range of purposes, from bringing a speaker to Lehigh, to sending faculty to a conference, to helping support a post-doctoral student.

Addressing Health Promotion through Prevention Science

Prevention science is the study of diseases with the goal of preventing health and social problems. This cluster will take an ecological approach to devising interventions that are integrated into communities. Working at the intersection of medical, educational, economic and community systems, it will focus on children, adolescents and their families.
Faculty Lead: Ed Shapiro, Department of Education and Human Services, College of Education

Asian Diaspora

We live in an increasingly interconnected world, where people, ideas and products are in constant movement. This cluster will focus on Asia as a way to understand these movements. It will also integrate the university’s disparate Asia-related research and programs into a thriving Asian Studies program that crosses disciplines and colleges.
Faculty Lead: Nicola Tannenbaum, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, College of Arts and Sciences

Cognitive Neuroscience

Cognitive neuroscience is an emerging scientific frontier that has already reshaped behavioral science. This cluster focuses on the cognitive neuroscience of the complex, high-level processes involving coordination of multiple intercommunicating brain areas. It includes faculty from psychology, computer science and engineering.
Faculty Lead: Padraig O’Seaghdha, Department of Psychology, College of Arts and Sciences

Digital Storytelling

Stories shape every aspect of human existence, including religion, politics, health, education, and more. Stories take advantage of every human technology, from cave paintings to mobile phones. Humanity finds itself now in the era of digital storytelling, which can be defined broadly as storytelling aided by audio, video, photographs, text, animation and technologies to come. From the living room to the classroom, from FourSquare to Tahrir Square, digital storytelling is changing the world. Our multi-college cluster seeks to explore the creative possibilities, the pedagogical promise, and social, cultural and political implications of digital storytelling.
Faculty Lead: Jack Lule, Department of Journalism and Communication, College of Arts and Sciences

Global Islamic Studies

One in four people worldwide is Muslim, and Islam is the fastest-growing religion. But even at a time when Islam and the Muslim world are central to our geopolitical, cultural and social landscapes, ignorance of the religion is at an all-time high. This cluster aims to close this knowledge gap by strengthening the existing work of the Center for Global Islamic Studies, which is funded by a temporary grant.
Learn more about this cluster here >
Faculty Lead: Robert Rozehnal, Department of Religion Studies, College of Arts and Sciences

Integrated Healthcare Delivery

The greatest single challenge in healthcare is the healthcare delivery system, which is poorly managed, inefficient and unsustainable. This cluster focuses on fixing the system by integrating healthcare incentives with IT-enabled engineering systems. It includes faculty from industrial and systems engineering, computer science and engineering, management and economics.
Learn more about this cluster here >
Faculty Lead: Robert Storer, Department of Industrial Systems and Engineering, P.C. Rossin College of Engineering and Applied Science

Physics and Chemistry of Biological Systems

This cluster will focus on applications of physics and chemistry to biological systems. It will complement and enhance ongoing activities in the Bioengineering Program and the Department of Biological Sciences. It will also involve faculty from physics, chemistry and chemical engineering.
Learn more about this cluster here>
Faculty Lead: Dimitrios Vavylonis, Department of Physics, College of Arts and Sciences

Public Health

Public health is the science and art of protecting and improving the health of communities through education, advocacy and environmental improvements. Public health research provides the information we need to reduce health vulnerability and increase health resiliency. This cluster will strengthen and expand the university’s work in this area.
Faculty Lead: Elizabeth Dolan, Department of English, College of Arts and Sciences


Robotics is a rapidly growing field in which Lehigh has the potential to make a major impact, especially in the development of high-performance intelligent vehicle systems. By its nature, robotics is highly interdisciplinary, and this cluster will involve faculty in the mechanical and computer science and engineering departments.
Faculty Lead: John Spletzer, Department of Computer Science and Engineering, P.C. Rossin College of Engineering and Applied Science

Sustainable Development

As economic progress marches on around the world, it is essential to preserve the global environment. This cluster will apply science, technology and sound environmental, political and policy thinking to develop a cooperative international practice in support of sustainable development. It will integrate the science and policy dimensions, with an explicit focus on sustainability.
Faculty Lead: Donald Morris, Department of Earth and Environmental Science, College of Arts and Sciences

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