Members of Lehigh community walk through Building C to view student presentations on display at last year's Lehigh Expo on Thursday, May 3, 2018, on Mountaintop Campus. The Lehigh Expo aims to showcase student projects and creativity from many disciplines and will take place on Saturday, April 6, 2019. (Courtesy of Bill Whitney)

Projects, People, Purpose: Lehigh Expo and Candidates’ Day combine to benefit prospective students

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The team at Lehigh’s Creative Inquiry Office worked together with admissions staff to integrate the Lehigh Expo with Candidates’ Day this year. Both events will be held on April 6 from 12:30-3:00 p.m.

Candidates’ Day and the Lehigh Expo function provide resources and information on different opportunities for students attending Lehigh, so the integration of the two opens these projects to a much wider audience. The goal is to help prospective students to make a better-informed decision about attending Lehigh, said Bill Whitney, the administrative director for the office of creative inquiry.

Current students can attend to learn about different projects on campus that they may want to join, as well as meet with local employers and staff from the Career Center. The resources are there to help students bridge the gap between life at Lehigh and the workforce. There will be more than 300 presenters discussing a wide variety of projects from art, architecture and design to biological, research-based projects.

Whitney said it is a huge networking opportunity for current students and shows the opportunities available at the university.

“When you get a thousand people up there, things can happen,” Whitney said. “It’s a chance for these (admitted) students to meet students they’ll see in classes or potentially work with, and hopefully get juices flowing about ideas and interesting opportunities, which is just really important.”

Whitney expects a large turnout and encourages students to attend the expo and utilize what Lehigh has to offer. Along with student presenters, there will be alumni, faculty and outside local employers.

“We’re trying to foster interest in the whole university community, all the cool research that’s being done, and all the little corners and pockets people don’t see,” Whitney said. “If they aren’t exposed to that, they don’t know what they don’t know.”

Cassidy Drost, ’20, is an undergraduate student whose project will be on display during the expo. Through the creative inquiry department, she and other students are working to develop low-cost UTI test strips for women in Sierra Leone. She was drawn by the opportunity to speak and learn from people’s projects outside her major who she doesn’t normally get to interact with.

“There’s a possibility to connect with them down the line and potentially connect what they’re doing with their project to your own,” Drost said. “It’s a chance to see what people are doing, ask questions and connect with others.”

Drost said she was excited about about the integration of Candidates’ Day for prospective students.

“If I were a senior in high school, I think I would have loved (the integration),” Drost said. “When I came to Lehigh, I knew I wanted to be a part of some type of project or research where I would make my impact and experience at Lehigh meaningful, and I think seeing all that and what people are actually doing at this school outside of classes and applying their degree to something is so cool.”

Kari Moffat, ’17, ’19G, an American studies major, will be presenting “Betting on Bethlehem”, a documentary about the impact of the Sands Casino on the South Side community at the expo.

Moffat and her team presented the beginnings of their project at last year’s expo. She emphasized the importance of talking to members of the community at the previous expo and how it has impacted her community-oriented project.

She said she is excited to be back at the expo this year and thinks it is a great representation of Lehigh.

“It’s not just an engineering school, it’s not just a business school, it’s not just an arts and sciences school,” Moffat said. “It is a school that across all disciples wants everybody to propel their projects and move forward.”

Lots of coordination between different deans, offices and services has been essential to the construction of the expo, which will take place in Building C on Mountaintop Campus. The large, open space will be set up with rows of student projects, refreshments and campus resources. Shuttle buses will run from Packer Avenue to Building C for students and faculty as well as any other community members interested in attending.

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