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Message from the Dean (June/July 2004)

Welcome to the June-July 2004 edition of Enginews, the monthly online newsletter of the P.C. Rossin College of Engineering and Applied Science.

This issue of Enginews celebrates the accomplishments of our students, undergraduate and graduate, who, it goes without saying, are our most important and cherished resource.

I have often been asked about the unique qualities of Lehigh’s engineering students. Many things can be said. Highly intelligent, self-motivated, imaginative, innovative and hard-working are a few of the words that come to mind.

But one of the most apt remarks I ever heard was made by an undergraduate student who said Lehigh provides ample opportunities for those students who wish to take advantage of them.

These opportunities come in all forms – in research laboratories, at national conferences, in industrial internships, in honorary societies, in student government, in study-abroad programs, and in music, theatre, athletics and other extracurricular activities.

Perhaps that is what makes our best students stand out. Above all, they are active and engaged people who seize opportunities and often create their own. In the end, many of them succeed in ways they might not have envisioned when they first enrolled at Lehigh.

The stories in this issue of Enginews will introduce you to just a few of our best students.

I would also like to draw attention to John Karakash, the much-loved former dean of our college. John is truly a Lehigh treasure. He has been associated with Lehigh and with the engineering college for so many years – more than half a century now – that it is difficult to imagine Lehigh without him. Many of you know John and can tell your own favorite stories about him from when you studied or worked at Lehigh.

Recently, I had the distinct privilege of sitting next to John at a banquet that we held in honor of his 90th birthday. He was as witty and as endearing as ever. And he reminded us that we never need to stop being students. John has for the past few years been writing op-ed columns about international affairs on a regular basis for the local newspaper. John actually began writing these columns for some of our larger newspapers in the 1940s, just before he joined the electrical engineering faculty. Sure enough, his most recent column was published by the Morning Call of Allentown on the day of his 90th birthday party.

I hope you enjoy reading Enginews. As always, feel free to drop a line to Cheryl Harris or Kurt Pfitzer with suggestions for improvement and with ideas for stories and photos.

Mohamed S. El-Aasser
Dean
PC Rossin College of Engineering & Applied Science

Posted on Tuesday, June 01, 2004

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