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Lehigh to host academic symposium on April 16

The 2007 academic symposium drew large crowds to Zoellner Arts Center's Baker Hall.

On April 16, 2009, Lehigh will host the “2009 Academic Symposium: A Tradition of Excellence”, celebrating both the work of four scholars of high distinction who will serve as keynote lecturers as well as highlighting outstanding examples of undergraduate and graduate student research and creative work being performed by current Lehigh students.

The daylong celebration will establish a tradition that builds on Lehigh's 2007 Academic Symposium held in honor of the inauguration of Alice P. Gast, who became Lehigh's 13th president on August 1, 2006. The 2007 event was so well received that the decision was made to make the academic symposium a biennial event—beginning in April 2009.

The 2009 academic symposium will feature four impressive keynote speakers: Barry Eichengreen, the George C. and Helen N. Pardee Professor of Economics and Professor of Political Science at the University of California, Berkeley; Andrea Ghez, a professor of physics and astronomy at UCLA; Alan E. Kazdin, the John M. Musser Professor of Psychology, Child Psychiatry, and Institute of Social Policies at Yale University; and Joan Wallach Scott, the Harold F. Linder Professor at the Institute for Advanced Study.

“The speakers participating in this symposium are outstanding scholars who have had great impact in their fields and in a broader context,” said Bruce Koel, interim vice president and associate provost for research and graduate studies, who is serving as the chair of the symposium committee. “And they are also excellent communicators, making their work accessible to everyone. They come from diverse backgrounds covering a wide range of scholarly disciplines, and I expect the interchange and synergy that will develop between the speakers to be part of what will make the day extraordinary."

The four keynote speakers—in fields ranging from astronomy to Islamic studies—are recipients of a number of impressive awards and honorary degrees, including membership in prestigious academies. Collectively, the subject matter they will discuss represents areas of interest to all members of the Lehigh community.

“The symposium committee is very excited about the extremely high caliber of the symposium speakers,” said Judith A. McDonald, an associate professor of economics who also serves on the committee and has been leading the speaker selection subcommittee. “They are internationally renowned scholars whose work has had a major impact on their own research fields and beyond. They are also engaging speakers who can connect very well with an audience of considerable diversity.”

In addition to Koel and McDonald, the planning committee whose efforts have made next semester’s Academic Symposium possible includes: Beth Dolan, associate professor of English and director of the Health, Medicine and Society minor; George DuPaul, professor of school psychology; Colin Saldanha, associate professor of biological sciences; John Savage, associate professor of history; and Richard Vinci, associate professor of materials science and engineering. Ex-officio members of the committee are: Dan Lopresti, professor of computer science and engineering; Michael Raposa, professor of religion studies; Donald Rockwell, the Paul B. Reinhold Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Mechanics; and Robert Thornton, the Charles William MacFarlane Professor of Economics. Hector Munoz-Avila, professor of computer science and engineering, is coordinating the student exhibition. Eileen Gorzelic, Linda Mery, and Debra Nyby, all of the Office of the Provost, have provided staff support. Recently, Jill Anderson, director of regional alumni clubs and off-campus affinity programs, Lehigh University Alumni Association, and Bill Doherty, assistant editorial director, University Communications, have stepped in to assist with planning.

The event will also involve intellectual contributions of Lehigh faculty members who will guide the symposium by introducing and interviewing the keynote speakers. During the symposium, an exhibition of undergraduate and graduate student research and scholarship will be held in Zoellner Arts Center’s Butz Lobby, drawing attention to the range and remarkable caliber of creative student projects at Lehigh.

“Attendance at the first symposium, as part of the Inauguration of President Gast, was great,” said Koel. “People came away inspired. Now again, we have the opportunity to hear internationally renowned scholars exploring major issues or our time. I hope this will be a catalyst for broader discussions within the Lehigh community after the event. Some excellent examples of the fine research and scholarly and creative work done at Lehigh will also be on display in the exhibition that is part of the symposium.

“So, I am encouraging participation by all of Lehigh in this exciting event.”

The four keynote lecturers who will be featured at April’s symposium embody excellence in their chosen fields:

Barry Eichengreen

Barry Eichengreen is the George C. and Helen N. Pardee Professor of Economics and Professor of Political Science at the University of California, Berkeley. He is also Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research (Cambridge, Massachusetts) and Research Fellow of the Centre for Economic Policy Research (London, England). In 1997-98 Eichengreen was Senior Policy Advisor at the International Monetary Fund. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (class of 1997). He is the convener of the Bellagio Group of academics and economic officials. He has held Guggenheim and Fulbright Fellowships and has been a fellow of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences (Palo Alto) and the Institute for Advanced Study (Berlin). His books include Financial Crises and What to Do About Them (2002), Golden Fetters: The Gold Standard and the Great Depression, 1919-39 (1992), Bond Markets in Latin America: On the Verge of a Big Bang? (2008), co-edited with Eduardo Borensztein, Kevin Cowan, and Ugo Panizza, China, Asia, and the New World Economy, co-edited with Charles Wyplosz and Yung Chul Park (2008), The European Economy in an American Mirror, co-edited with Michael Landesmann and Dieter Stiefel (2007), The European Economy since 1945 (2006), and Global Imbalances and the Lessons of Bretton Woods (2006). Eichengreen was awarded the Economic History Association's Jonathan R.T. Hughes Prize for Excellence in Teaching in 2002 and the University of California at Berkeley Social Science Division's Distinguished Teaching Award in 2004. He is also the recipient of a doctor honoris causa from the American University in Paris.

Andrea Ghez

Andrea Ghez is a professor of physics and astronomy at UCLA. She uses novel, ground-based telescopic techniques to identify thousands of new star systems and illuminate the role of supermassive black holes in the evolution of galaxies. In 1998, Ghez answ

Posted on Saturday, March 21, 2009

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