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Lehigh teaches Thai business pros about HR, leadership

PHOTO COURTESY OF CHARALAMBOS MARANGOS Thirty-year-old Rodsukhon ‘Pia’ Chanchit, one of the Thai students and a restaurateur, displays her certificate after attending Lehigh’s Global Leadership workshop. Chanchit also works in the solar farming industry.

Learning leadership skills from the pros is a time-honored tradition. It’s often helpful to take a look at the path of those who’ve gone before you, particularly if you are at the beginning of your career.

Learning leadership skills from the pros is a time-honored tradition. It’s often helpful to take a look at the path of those who’ve gone before you, particularly if you are at the beginning of your career.

Adding a new wrinkle to this custom is a recent program at Lehigh University which gathered 21 Ph.D. students – many business professionals – from a Thailand university for a visit to the Bethlehem institution. Here, they participated in a three-day program devoted to leadership topics in industrial engineering and human resources.

The program included a two-day workshop Nov. 11-12 and a tour Nov. 13, after which the students were scheduled to return home.

The Thai students, who traveled with four faculty from Ramkhamhaeng University in Bangkok, are pursuing doctorate degrees in human resources development and heard speakers from speakers at Lehigh University who have diverse experiences in this field.

“All of them are professionals, such as executive level, and they shared their experiences with leadership and also human resources,” said Charalambos Marangos, president and senior consultant of Zephyros Inc., an entrepreneurial company in Emmaus. Marangos also is an adjunct professor at Lehigh. “My workshop and presentation utilized the Advanced Analytics Laboratory in the Enterprise Systems Center so that the participants could have hands-on experience with analytics during my presentation.”

The Enterprise Systems Center is a Complex Engineering Systems Research Center under the P.C. Rossin College of Engineering and Advanced Science at Lehigh, Marangos said.

“What I talked about was big data and analytics and how that could be used to improve human resources functions,” Marangos said.

An example of big data would be any information about a potential employee that comes from different sources and locations, such as college transcripts or the size of the company where someone interned, so that employers can see a pattern and make a decision.

The students appeared to enjoy hearing from the professionals who shared their stories and offered specific guidelines to follow, most of which came from their own experiences, Marangos said.

All of the students spoke English, and while some were hesitant about speaking in a foreign language, Lehigh had three translators on stand-by.

Brian Pedersen
Reporter Brian Pedersen covers construction, development, warehousing and real estate and keeps you up to date on the changing landscape of our community. He can be reached at brianp@lvb.com or 610-807-9619, ext. 4108.

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