Time of transition brings “High Fives” to Lehigh community and to newly elected and outgoing ERAC members

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Monday, June 1, 2015

by Carla Kologie, ERAC chair 2014-15

With immense gratitude, ERAC sends the entire Lehigh community an enthusiastic “High Five” for supporting our first-ever community outreach project in May. The two-day “Fill the Trailer!” event collected more than 2,000 individual items to be distributed to Broughal Middle School students through the Backpack Pals program. The Lehigh community contributed more than 2,000 items to ERAC’s “Fill the Trailer!” event in May.

About 90 percent of Broughal’s population qualifies for free or reduced lunches, an indication of the number of students living at or below the poverty line and of those for whom school meals are a vital portion of their nourishment. As various research studies have consistently proven, the effects of poverty greatly influence student performance. The Backpack Pals program provides better nutrition for students at risk of not eating properly or at all over long weekends. The backpacks contain easy-to-serve foods, snacks, hygiene products and sometimes books and school supplies. A full backpack contains about 30 items, and Lehigh’s collection will help Broughal Middle School kick off the year stocked for the first two holiday weekends in September and October. Broughal hopes to increase the number of families who can participate in the anticipated nine distributions next year. Look for information from ERAC about ongoing collections in the coming months.

Now that the academic year has ended, and the switch to summer has begun, ERAC is in the midst of its own transition, as well. ERAC has had an incredibly busy year, with new projects and events, a new website, and new partnerships on and off campus. Your representatives are creative, enthusiastic staff members who care deeply about Lehigh and are eager to advocate on behalf of the amazing people who have purposefully selected Lehigh as the place to achieve their professional goals. As ERAC’s role on campus continues to evolve and responsibilities increase, we welcome eight new members next year, representing both non-exempt and exempt staff. Nearly 400 members of the Lehigh community selected these individuals to begin their three-year terms this fall:

Peter Bryan, Engineering Research Center - ATLSS

Liz Coleman, University Police

Katie Kennedy, Development Office

Mary Jo McNulty, Human Resources

Traci Mindler, Women’s Center

Melanie Rehm, Enterprise Systems Implementation - LTS

Robin Schenkel, General Counsel

Jen Topp, International Affairs


It’s impossible to look forward without acknowledging those who have paved the way for our new members. We say goodbye to four exceptional members who all were extra-dedicated and extended their service an additional year so ERAC could transition through major changes in its membership and structure. We thank Brenda Bachman, Yatin Karpe, Janice Stoudt and Glenn Strause for their generous, selfless commitment to ERAC, and by extension, Lehigh. Each brought creative energy to the group, and while their contributions will endure, their presence will be missed.

At its June meeting, ERAC determined that Bob Bruneio, chair-elect, will be joined on the executive committee by Angela Scott as vice chair and Morgan Nelson as secretary. As Lehigh prepares for a change in leadership and a celebration of its first 150 years, I will move from my role as chair to that of an ex-officio member. I thank the Lehigh community for the many ways you continue to demonstrate your support of ERAC, and I thank my fellow ERAC members for sharing a vision in which, above all, Staff Matters. Here’s to a summer full of opportunities to create the best memories you can!

Upcoming Events

June 20: Iron Pigs, 6:35 p.m. game NOTE: We’d love to share your photos of the Lehigh community at the game on our website. Please forward to Carla Kologie at cak210@lehigh.edu