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A Year to Remember

AY 2020-21 was certainly one for the books at Bucknell. It presented its challenges, had us on and off campus a few times and at times had us questioning how we would make it through all the hurdles. But this year also brought out the best in us as Bucknellians. We banded together and lifted one another up. We supported each other’s education, research, hard work, mental and physical health, social and racial rights, and so much more.

As a university, we’ve had to adapt and adjust to changes in the way we learn, teach, and engage. Technology became ever more present in our already tech-driven world. We became accustomed to erratic changes in where our classrooms and offices might be on any given day. Nevertheless, we became more unified.

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As a country we saw hatred-filled acts that spawned change. The country witnessed the murder of George Floyd, the uprising that followed, and the birth of the Black Lives Matter movement. As a university, we saw the response to this movement with the creation of the Anti-Racism Fund, a change in curriculum and employee training to include racial education and equality, and a rise in opportunities for black and brown Bucknellians to be truly heard. As a continued effort for improvement in diversity and inclusion, Bucknell joined over 50 other universities and colleges as an inaugural member of the new Liberal Arts Colleges Racial Equity Leadership Alliance to better tackle racial issues within our campus community.

We withstood a long and exhausting presidential election that in many ways divided us as a country and as a people. But we held hope, both as a country and a university community looking to the future. Many of us came together as the results were announced and for many, it marked a new beginning.

Groups of students, faculty, and staff alike banned together and inspired change on many issues. On campus in September, many rose up for student food insecurity that gained local news coverage. And so birthed the Food and Nutrition Task Force and the B-Swipes Donation Program to ensure no Bucknell student goes hungry.

In March, we were shaken by the violence against Asian Americans in Atlanta. We stood with those of Asian descent both on campus and around the world and showed our support for them and intolerance of such hatred and racism. We felt the impact of the verdict of Derek Chauvin in the murder of George Floyd, both as a community and a country.

The BCSE would like to congratulate all of you that are graduating this year (we know it was no small task) and praise the continued hard work and effort of all other students. We all have much to be proud of this academic year. We’ve shown that Bucknell has heart. We’ve shown how resilient we are. We’ve shown how adaptable we are. Bucknellians are dedicated survivors, workers, liberators, and philanthropists. We are ‘Ray Bucknell, strong and proud.

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Some Important Research Opportunities You Should Know About

Now is the time to be thinking about your research for the summer. Deadlines for many opportunities are fast approaching. So in the spirit of staying in-the-know, here is what we know about upcoming opportunities and their deadlines.

PUR Eligibility:

The 2022 application has been updated to clarify that PUR is open to proposals from all disciplines. In the original version, proposals were focused in biology, neuroscience, animal behavior, or cell biology/biochemistry to resources available in the Biology Department. PUR will now consider applications in all departments and collaborate with Biology to ensure maximal access to available funding. Please find an updated application form here:

Upcoming Deadlines: 

Feb 1 – Geisinger Summer Undergraduate Research Program (SURP)

Feb 5 – Clare Boothe Luce (women in STEM fields in which they are underrepresented)

Feb 8 – Program for Undergraduate Research (research and creativity in all disciplines)

Feb 15 – McKenna Summer Environmental Internship (environmental research)

Feb 28 –  Energy and Food Independence in Susquehanna Communities Fellowship (renewable energy)

Mar 31 – Humanities: Mellon Student Research Grant (reimbursable expenses) 

Rolling – Confounding Problems in Humanities and Arts (reimbursable expenses, esp travel when allowed, virtual travel otherwise)

Varied – Undergraduate Research Opportunities (off-campus opportunities in STEM & Social Sciences funded by NSF)

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Confirmed: BCSE Student Excursions to Return in the Spring.

In the face of the pandemic, the BCSE was forced to cancel all otherwise normal operations and events. With strict guidelines put in place and a new normal settling in, the whole campus was grasping to find solid ground. As told in “Go on an Adventure with Us: How the BCSE is Making Lemonade from Lemons”, the BCSE saw a need and thought outside the box to fulfill it. And thus were born the Fall student excursions.

The student excursions started out as a pilot project. Each program director created excursions in relation to their program and the BCSE as a whole. It turned out, the students excursions were just what the doctor ordered, so to speak. Students began trickling in. Word of mouth is a powerful thing and the excursions were soon buzzing around campus. What started as individual sign-ups soon also developed into a platform for team-building for Bucknell’s sports teams and outdoor classroom experiences for many classes and departments.

We are proud to say that we were able to give the students a way to get out and have fun while still staying safe, but we also had a lot of fun and laughs while immersing students in a whole new learning experience.

Because of the tremendous success of the excursions and all the positive feedback that we’ve received, we have decided we will continue the student excursions in the spring. Students will have the opportunity to go on excursions they’ve previously enjoyed (or get that second shot at getting in), as well as some possible new adventures. The excursions and their schedules are yet to be determined, but keep an eye on our blog and social media pages to stay alert to what’s coming and when.

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We would also like to thank everyone that helped to make these excursions a success. From mentions and shares on social media, to word of mouth and collaborations. We appreciate everyone’s help and we appreciate the amazing groups of students we had the opportunity to meet and reconnect with. We look forward to seeing you all and many more in the spring!

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Go on an Adventure with Us: How the BCSE is Making Lemonade from Lemons.

This semester and possibly the entire academic year looks very different for Bucknell and campuses throughout the country. Bucknell has taken due diligence and our numbers are looking great because of the hard work and team effort of all of campus. But students still feel the strain.

The lack of social opportunities due to covid-19 and large annual events such as the Susquehanna River Symposium going digital, all leave a void for students. Necessity is the mother of invention. We at the BCSE saw the need for students to get outdoors and be social without compromising anyone’s health. What we’ve come up with already has everyone buzzing.

For the Fall semester and possibly continuing in the Spring, we have created a wide variety of student excursions from kayaking down the Susquehanna to walking tours discovering sustainability on campus. The full list of excursions is as follows:

  • Susquehanna river kayak trips
  • Stars over the Susquehanna
  • Night owl (creature) watching
  • Mussels, mills, & the environmental History of Buffalo Creek
  • Exploring Sustainability – a walking tour
  • Fire Pit Chats & music
  • Dale’s Ridge birding walk
  • “The beautiful distant view” – Making the place of Bucknell
  • Residential microgrid, permaculture, & sustainable living tour
  • Thinking in 7 generations – connecting choices past, present, & future
  • Fly fishing & stream ecology
  • Logging, steam railroads, and the Pennsylvania forest
  • Farming & the Chesapeake Bay – agricultural wetlands at Ard’s Farm
  • From ditch to stream – Miller Run comes to life
  • Frogs, wetlands, & mine reclamation – a walking tour at Montandon Marsh
  • Wet your fanny in the Susquehanny

Some excursions will be running every week throughout the fall semester with a variety of dates and times to fit every student’s schedule. Others will be announced in the Spring. Each trip has a maximum capacity based on the ability to social distance. We are excited to provide opportunities for students to learn and express themselves, all while getting outside and active. for more detailed descriptions on each excursion, to see the schedule, and to sign up, click here.

It’s going to be a different-looking year, but doesn’t mean it has to be a bad thing. We are looking forward to a year a adventure and making the most of our time on campus together!