Campus Sustainable Impact Fellows are part of multi-year interdisciplinary project teams focused on addressing challenges tied to the UN’s SDGs that affect Lehigh University’s campus facilities and operations.
Campus Sustainable Impact Fellows are a highly self-selected cohort of undergraduate and graduate students from all disciplines across Lehigh University, focused on addressing challenges tied to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals on Lehigh University’s campus. CSIFs advance multi-year Inquiry to Impact projects with local partners through Creative Inquiry (CINQ) courses for a total of six credits (three each semester). The courses, workshops, retreats, and immersive experiences of this program integrate experiential learning, research, and entrepreneurial engagement with students leading original and ambitious projects with partners on campus and in the local region. A select number of CSIFs will have the opportunity to participate in the Mountaintop Summer Experience to accelerate their project.
Through engaging in such meaningful, authentic, and incredibly alive projects, Fellows develop skillsets, mindsets, and portfolios to address complex sustainability challenges. Fellows build sustainable enterprises, publish their works in peer-reviewed journals, integrate their insights into campus policies, and champion sustainability practices that will influence present and future generations of Lehigh students, faculty, and staff. The quest for sustainable impact drives the philosophy, pedagogy, and operations of this program with the objective of preparing students to lead lives of impact.
The CSIF program launched in January 2021 with an initial cohort of 28 students, representing 20 majors, working on eight distinct projects. These students have had the opportunity to work collaboratively with the most driven students from across the university on ambitious multi-year projects striving to enhance Lehigh’s sustainability commitment, in line with the newly released Sustainability Strategic Plan 2030. The planning process for the program began 15 months prior with the convening of multiple campus stakeholders, faculty and staff, to craft the course content that would underpin the execution of these projects. The program will continue in perpetuity with projects cycling in and out as they reach their goals or otherwise come to a conclusion, and students will cycle in and out on a yearly (sometimes a semester) basis, one team passing the baton to the next.