Program Overview
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 (I2I) 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.

Program Benefits: What’s In It for Me?
An 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.

  1. Work in an interdisciplinary manner with campus peers and partners to develop practical, innovative, and sustainable solutions that will create tangible, systemic changes to university operations.
  2. Further your university's goals of being a model sustainable campus adhering to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals
  3. Engage in hands-on fieldwork with faculty mentors with decades of experience conducting research, designing solutions, and building systems.
  4. Conduct original research and get your work published in journals and conference proceedings. Travel to conferences to present your work and build your professional network.
  5. Develop your life skills and build life-long friendships with peers at Lehigh and with some amazing people on our campus.
  6. Distinguish yourself and become more competitive for prestigious fellowships and awards, graduate / professional schools, or that dream job.
  7. Impact! Conducting research, developing and effecting policy solutions, and jumpstarting new sustainability practices is incredibly difficult but also deeply rewarding.

Campus Sustainable Impact Fellowship Logistics:

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***Unless marked as optional, CSIFs are expected to participate in all courses, seminars, and workshops. No exceptions.

  • CINQ 388: Inquiry to Impact Workshop Series [1 Credit]: Weekly hands-on workshops and interactive seminars for all Fellows across all the CSIF projects.
  • CINQ 389: Inquiry to Impact Projects [2-6 Credits]: Separate sections for each project team. The team typically meets with the faculty mentor once a week; all project work is done outside of regular class times.

All full-day workshops will be held on weekends or holidays; meals will be provided if events are held in-person.

Each team has the option of having a two-person team take a deep dive into the project for the Mountaintop Summer Experience. Additional students might be funded depending on project needs and availability of funds.


Application Process
• We don’t expect applicants to know how to do these things. Just come prepared to learn.
• Certain skills matter and are needed, but what we are looking for is passion, deep commitment, and work ethic. GPAs don’t matter...much.
• You should have the time in your academic and personal schedule for this commitment - don't overload just to do it.

2023 Campus Sustainable Impact Fellowship Projects

1. Echo Hawks

(Faculty Mentor/s: Nathan Urban, Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs)

2. EcoRealm Environments: Creating Wellness through Nature

(Faculty Mentor/s: Nicholas Sawicki, Professor and Chair, Dept. of Art Architecture & Design; Brian Slocum, Director, Design Labs)

3. ThermoSolar: Thinking Holistically About Energy

(Faculty Mentor/s: Carlos Romero, Energy Research Center)

4. Energy and Water Dashboard

(Faculty Mentor/s: Debra Kreider and Edwin Yeakel, Computer Science & Business)