Kim Carrell-Smith, a professor of practice in Lehigh's history department made the list, and also earning the distinction is Weixan Zhang, associate professor of civil and environmental engineering, who developed "a revolutionary, more cost-effective way of cleaning contaminated soil and groundwater," according to the magazine.
For the sixth year in a row, the magazine is saluting the "invaluable members of our community who are toiling, often with little public recognition, to make the Lehigh Valley a better place to live and work."
Carrell-Smith’s honor came as the result of her role in the university’s innovative "Move-Out" project, which collects and re-sells items discarded by Lehigh students to raise funds for South Side social programs.
Last year’s drive netted $4,000 for the South Bethlehem Neighborhood Center after Carrell-Smith and a crew of volunteers collected the equivalent of a tractor trailer load of reusable items. The items were organized and arranged in a tent at the September Fiesta on Fourth Street, where they were sold to South Side residents, Lehigh students, and shoppers across the Lehigh Valley.
"If we would have priced them at fair market value, we could have probably raised in excess of $40,000, but that wasn’t the point," says Carell-Smith. "Our goal was to keep the items affordable. We didn’t sell anything over $20, and that included refrigerators, mountains of designer and name-brand clothing, TVs, microwaves – you name it."
Carell-Smith is quick to credit others for the success of the program, including Ellen Dunton, a student in Lehigh’s Community Fellows program.
"Ellen took on this special project last year and did a bang-up job," says Carrell-Smith, who also was named Bethlehem YWCA Woman of the Year last year.
Although understandably proud of the Lehigh Valley Magazine honor, Carrell-Smith says that she is more concerned with gaining awareness of the Move-Out program.
"Ideally, we think it can serve as a model for schools across the country," she said. "Every college community can do this as an environmentally sound, socially conscious project that benefits everyone."