Bucknell Magazine Winter 2024

Bucknell logo
Special Edition


Winter 2024
Bucknell flag
John C. Bravman standing at podium

Dear Bucknellians,

John C. Bravman standing at podium

s president, I believe it is vitally important to keep the worldwide Bucknell community well informed about what’s happening on campus — particularly the recent successes we’ve achieved as we work to meet the goals of The Plan for Bucknell 2025. This special edition of Bucknell Magazine is devoted to our second annual University Report, which explores the strategic initiatives and programs that are enriching the educational experience we offer our students.

Since Bucknell’s founding in 1846, our unwavering focus on the future has allowed us to anticipate challenges and adapt to changing times. Past stewards of the University honored tradition while looking ahead and making plans to meet the needs of generations not yet born — the students we are privileged to serve today.

Every decision we make here at Bucknell directly benefits students and helps ensure that they graduate prepared to succeed. Our holistic approach to educating the whole student, both in and out of the classroom, includes many exciting additions to University life — from the Center for Access & Success and Gateway Scholars program to new interdisciplinary academic initiatives, residence halls and an athletics complex.

There is so much more to be proud of, and I hope you enjoy reading about these and other accomplishments in this special edition of the magazine. No matter your class year, and no matter where you live or what you do, you are part of the Bucknell story — and the best chapters are yet to come.


John C. Bravman signature
John C. Bravman, President

Table of Contents

two men smiling and speaking at table with laptops
By prioritizing inclusion, engagement and excellence, Bucknell is ensuring its campus is a welcoming space where all students can thrive.
student on field holding football
Bucknell students have countless learning opportunities that help them realize their potential over four transformative years.
front outside view of building
Bucknell’s new Dominguez Center for Data Science will help students embrace the power of data across all disciplines.
speaker at podium
Bucknell’s national speaker series demonstrates our commitment to the free exchange of ideas on campus.
woman high-fiving dog
Upgrading facilities, fostering relationships and inviting student feedback creates a supportive campus environment.
man and woman speaking
Our graduates leave Bucknell ready to make a meaningful impact on the world.
three women speaking
Bucknell faculty members ensure their students are engaged learners ready for the challenges of the future.
two women and a man speaking outside in field
Interdisciplinary collaboration and cross-college initiatives prepare students for real-world success.
students walking across school courtyard
Generous financial support funds faculty development, research opportunities and access programs.
two men smiling and speaking at table with laptops
By prioritizing inclusion, engagement and excellence, Bucknell is ensuring its campus is a welcoming space where all students can thrive.
student on field holding football
Bucknell students have countless learning opportunities that help them realize their potential over four transformative years.
front outside view of building
Bucknell’s new Dominguez Center for Data Science will help students embrace the power of data across all disciplines.
speaker at podium
Bucknell’s national speaker series demonstrates our commitment to the free exchange of ideas on campus.
woman high-fiving dog
Upgrading facilities, fostering relationships and inviting student feedback creates a supportive campus environment.
man and woman speaking
Our graduates leave Bucknell ready to make a meaningful impact on the world.
three women speaking
Bucknell faculty members ensure their students are engaged learners ready for the challenges of the future.
two women and a man speaking outside in field
Interdisciplinary collaboration and cross-college initiatives prepare students for real-world success.
students walking across school courtyard
Generous financial support funds faculty development, research opportunities and access programs.


Class Notes will resume in the Spring 2024 issue

Bucknell Magazine
(ISSN 1044-7563), of which this is volume 17, number 1, is published in winter, spring, summer and fall by Bucknell University, One Dent Drive, Lewisburg, PA 17837. Periodicals Postage paid at Lewisburg, PA, and additional mailing offices.
Permit No. 068-880.

Send all address changes to:
Office of Records
301 Market St., Suite 2
Bucknell University, Lewisburg, PA 17837
© 2024 Bucknell University

Champions for Belonging

Creating a diverse, equitable and inclusive campus is essential to maintaining educational excellence. By developing new programs that expand access and foster a sense of belonging, Bucknell is demonstrating its commitment to ensuring that every student arriving on campus feels like they’ve come home. To support these initiatives, the University has assembled a team of leaders who are passionate about these efforts and are well-equipped to set strategic priorities, build relationships and spur meaningful institutional change.
staff and students sitting together and smiling in the Center for Access & Success

Developing the Center for Access & Success


t Bucknell’s Center for Access & Success, Chris Brown (center), the Andrew Hartman ’71 & Joseph Fama ’71 Executive Director, is building programs that enhance the Bucknell experience for high-achieving students who are part of the University’s five pathway scholarship programs.

In his first months with the University, Brown and his team have developed definitions of access and success to guide strategic decision-making. They are collecting information to better understand students’ current sense of belonging across Bucknell’s social, academic and campus communities so they can make informed decisions — and have a benchmark for measuring future success. “We want students to recognize that the resources offered here belong to them. Their library, their labs, their support services, their experiential learning opportunities — they’re all in place to be used freely,” Brown says.

He is also examining University structures and policies and identifying potential barriers. “Our overarching goal is to reduce or remove obstacles that may inhibit a student’s ability to enroll, persist and graduate,” Brown says. “We are being intentional about the ways we build genuine connections and invite students into spaces of belonging.”

vector illustration of family and heart outline
The inaugural class of the Gateway Scholars program included 39 first-generation students — nearly twice the expected enrollment. This overwhelming student response proves that efforts to expand access to Bucknell are succeeding.
Vernese Edghill-Walden ’87 and Lisa Keegan smiling together

Leaders with Vision


hen Vernese Edghill-Walden ’87 (below, left) joined Bucknell in July as the inaugural vice president of equity & inclusive excellence, she saw the opportunity to drive belonging across campus. Partnering with Lisa Keegan (below, right), vice president for student enrollment, engagement & success, she is working to combine the strengths and expertise of their divisions to develop a deep understanding of the challenges and opportunities ahead in their work. The pair held collaborative retreats and plan to host more joint team meetings where they will create strategic short- and long-term priorities for their divisions. “Our teams are moving forward together,” Keegan says. “We are all committed to and focused on the same goal.”

Admissions Success

Students in Bucknell’s Class of 2027 hail from 40 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, and 24 countries and administrative regions.
3.65 Average GPA

4.5% international students

22% students of color

13.5% first-generation students


line drawing of a building

The Bucknell Journey

College is about more than acquiring knowledge from classes and textbooks. It enables students to embark on a personalized journey that encourages exploration and growth. At Bucknell, they piece together majors, minors, extracurriculars and immersive learning experiences to curate their own distinctive education. By ensuring they have access to a diverse range of programs and support services, Bucknell helps students uncover their passions and realize their potential over four transformative years.
Brian Rios-Saldivar working in a lab

Brian Rios-Saldivar ’27

Mechanical engineering major

Belongs to:

  • Engineering Success Alliance
  • Engineering Student Board
  • American Society of Mechanical Engineers
  • Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers
“In high school, I attended Bucknell’s Engineering Camp. I didn’t know what I wanted to do or where I wanted to go to school before that, but that helped me decide. Everyone goes out of their way to make you feel welcome here.”
Hayley Leopold walking around Bucknell campus with a group of people

Hayley Leopold ’26

Economics and psychology double-major, philosophy minor

  • Interacts with prospective students and families as an admissions ambassador
  • Facilitates study groups at the Teaching & Learning Center
  • Writes and edits for The Bucknellian
  • Is vice president and a founding member of Chabad, a Jewish student group
  • Engages with programming offered by the Center for Career Advancement
  • Plays club volleyball
  • Mentors first-year students through the College of Arts & Sciences’ Peer Mentor Collective
“Because of all the groups at Bucknell, I knew the day I stepped on campus, I could be part of something right away. I could envision myself in these communities.”
Michael Hardyway wearing a helmet and shoulder pads while throwing a football

Michael Hardyway ’25

Environmental studies major, biology minor

  • Earned his position as quarterback of Bucknell’s football team as a walk-on student-athlete
  • Serves as a student ambassador for the Bucknell Center for Sustainability & the Environment (BCSE)
  • Conducted two research projects for the BCSE on solar energy and carbon sequestration in trees

Belongs to:

  • GenFirst! mentor program
  • Fellowship of Christian Athletes
  • Bison Athletes of Color
  • Student-athlete Advisory Committee
  • Bison Cares, a student-athlete community service group
“There is an idea that you go to college, and you sit in class and learn, and that’s it. But there are so many other opportunities out there — you just have to reach out and grab them. Everything I’m doing here will benefit me in the future.”
Libby Hoffman holding a coffee mug

Libby Hoffman ’24

Anthropology major, Italian studies minor

  • Serves as an executive intern in the Office of the President
  • Performs in theatre stage productions
  • Conducted coffee research as an Emerging Scholar with Jonathan Scholnick, visiting assistant professor of anthropology
  • Studied abroad in Italy
  • Helped new students acclimate to campus life as an Orientation Assistant
“There are so many opportunities at Bucknell that extend beyond academics. The different groups and programs Bucknell offers have enabled me to form special connections — with both students and faculty — and become the most authentic form of myself.”

Markers of Excellence

Bucknell boldly demonstrates its commitment to creating forward-thinking programs that connect our three colleges in innovative and purposeful ways to ensure next-generation excellence. In 2024, a new academic center will establish cross-disciplinary opportunities to help students master emerging critical skill sets.
Two students working out a problem written on whiteboard
Bucknell emphasizes the value of an interdisciplinary education that prepares students to adapt to a rapidly changing world.

The Dominguez Center for Data Science


ata is ubiquitous, a pivotal force in informed decision-making throughout industries. At Bucknell, students are poised to embrace the power of data across all disciplines and learn how to apply it effectively to their future professions thanks to a generous founding gift from Michael J. Dominguez ’91.

Launching in 2024, the Dominguez Center for Data Science will equip Bucknell students with the skills to address global challenges in the digital age. By integrating data science into a wide range of academic programs, the center will offer hands-on experiences that help prepare students for career success and emphasize the ethical treatment of data collection and use.

Dominguez, a Bucknell trustee who serves as chief investment officer and senior managing director at Providence Equity Partners, envisions programming that encourages collaborative problem solving, reflecting efforts seen in the corporate world. “Irrespective of the fields students pursue, data will be an increasingly important component of their careers,” Dominguez says. “It serves as the foundation for decision-making and drives innovation in areas like artificial intelligence, machine learning and predictive analytics. Data is critical to the future of any business or initiative.”

The vision for the center emerged through a benchmarking study performed by an interdisciplinary faculty team that includes Freeman College of Management Professor Matt Bailey, analytics & operations management; College of Arts & Sciences Professor Peter Brooksbank, mathematics; and College of Engineering Professor Brian King, computer science. They found Bucknell to be well positioned for distinction in the field because of its three-college structure and program offerings that apply data science in ways that push beyond the assumed boundaries of data as a discipline.

“Bucknell students have already excelled in data science, from Broadway and NFL analytics to solving big-data challenges,” says Samuel Gutekunst (above right), the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Assistant Professor of Data Science. “The center will unite efforts across all three colleges and will foster impactful, real-world collaborations.”

“The Dominguez Center will be a superb interdisciplinary resource to show students the different ways in which data can be analyzed, not just scientifically, but culturally, ethically and historically. When we explore how we identify, curate and use different forms of data, we are simultaneously making decisions about what it means to know something and who guides these processes.”

Professor John Hunter,
comparative humanities

Icon of a quill writing on paper

Action for Accreditation

Bucknell’s interdisciplinary offerings bolster the University’s reputation and create distinction, but they also highlight the academic strength of its programming, serving as evidence points for maintaining accreditation.

Accreditation is proof that colleges and universities uphold and promote educational standards and quality. It provides confidence to prospective employers, allows for transfer of credits and the awarding of federal financial aid, and offers accountability for an institution’s commitment to continuous improvement.

In 2024, reviewers from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education will examine Bucknell’s efforts to uphold the seven accreditation standards and 15 requirements of affiliation, verifying our continued effectiveness and recognition as a university.

speech bubble icon

A Forum for Free Expression

“The Bucknell Forum gives students an opportunity to challenge their assumptions and learn how to engage in important conversations. I love attending because even when I disagree with the speaker, it challenges me to think about why, and I come away with a more nuanced idea than I originally had.”

Sarah Downey ’25, political science and Italian studies

Journalist Jake Tapper spoke on campus in 2022.

ultivating an environment where academic inquiry, intellectual curiosity and open dialogue thrive has become a high-stakes endeavor for colleges and universities.

Amid national tensions surrounding diverse perspectives in education, Bucknell University is demonstrating its commitment to freedom of expression. The reinvigoration of its national speaker series is a tangible example of how the institution values the open exchange of ideas on campus.

The Bucknell Forum invites speakers from across the political and ideological spectrum to discuss topics related to an annual theme. For the 2022-23 series relaunch following a COVID-19 hiatus, high-profile figures — including Republican Condoleezza Rice and Democrat David Axelrod — addressed “The State of American Democracy.” The 2023-24 Bucknell Forum brings writers, activists and scholars to campus to explore “Freedom of Expression.”

Conservative Washington Post columnist George F. Will kicked off the series in September with his thoughts on the politicization of everyday life. “This saturation [of politics] will inevitably mean controlling what people say and hear and read and think and teach,” Will said. “Ultimately, this idea is the source of totalitarianism, which is the totalizing of politics.” (For full coverage,
visit go.bucknell.edu/george-f-will)

Jon A. Shields — a professor of American politics, chair of the government department at Claremont McKenna College, and author or co-author of three books on the American right — followed in October, discussing the dynamics of the Republican party, including how its own cancel culture counters the party’s claim of partisan agreement. (Learn more at go.bucknell.edu/jon-a-shields)

In the spring, Bucknell will welcome New York Times-bestselling author Jodi Picoult, award-winning writer George M. Johnson, and Academy Award-winning actor and activist Jane Fonda.

Most Bucknell Forum speakers arrive on campus a few hours ahead of the evening event in order to visit classes, giving students the opportunity to engage with them in a small-group setting.

“Ensuring that we have different viewpoints represented on campus benefits our students, faculty and staff,” says Heather Johns P’27, vice president for marketing & communications. “We are demonstrating the value of listening to other voices and engaging in thoughtful conversations with someone you may not agree with. Doing so prepares our students to be successful citizens in a world that’s filled with different perspectives, identities and experiences.”

The Bucknell Forum has sparked interest from other institutions hoping to replicate its success by launching their own speaker series.

student standing with hand raised asking George F. Will a question during forum
Students had the opportunity to ask columnist George F. Will questions at both the Bucknell Forum (above) and during Will’s classroom visit (below) in September.
Young woman sitting at a table talking to a man who we see the back of his head
“The Bucknell Forum provides a great way to engage the campus with cutting-edge thinkers and important social debates. More importantly, it serves a purpose that is fundamental to the mission of institutions like Bucknell: facilitating respectful and serious dialogue across lines of political difference in a climate committed to freedom of expression.”

Professor Chris Ellis ’00, political science

building with flag icon

Elevating Campus Life

In an ever-evolving educational landscape, institutions must adapt to students’ needs and expectations. Students are more likely to excel academically if they feel safe, valued and heard. The University constantly evaluates and seeks input from those who call Bucknell home, including via an ongoing, comprehensive campus-wide study aimed at enhancing the student experience. By investing in robust support systems and first-in-class facilities, we are improving the living and learning environment for today’s — and tomorrow’s — students.
aerial view of football football field and parking lot

Upgrading Facilities

A Game Changer The Pascucci Family Athletics Complex is coming to life. Thanks to the generosity of Michael Pascucci ’58, P’81, P’87, G’21, G’22, Christy Mathewson–Memorial Stadium and the surrounding area are undergoing significant improvements that will enable Bucknell to continue to excel as a highly competitive NCAA Division I school. The project launched in 2021 with the installation of a new video board, and it achieved a major milestone in 2023 with the addition of an artificial turf practice field. The Michael C. Pascucci Team Center, which is under construction, will house strength training equipment, sports medicine services, team meeting rooms and a men’s lacrosse locker room.
Home Improvement The residential experience is an integral part of college life. Housing with modern amenities, environmentally conscious features and comfortable spaces that cater to students’ need to study and socialize creates an inviting, welcoming atmosphere. With this in mind, Bucknell reimagined its West Campus housing facilities, replacing the 50-year-old Mods with a complex of four apartment-style residences for juniors and seniors. The first two buildings opened their doors in August. Construction on the second pair of buildings and the outdoor quad began in December.
Blue sectional couch and a round white table in a campus housing facility

Safe and Connected

Headshot of Anthony Morgan in a blue suit with a bright pink shirt

ince arriving on campus in 2022, Chief Anthony Morgan has made strides in integrating community-building into Public Safety operations. To strengthen relationships between law enforcement officers and students, he has instituted several new initiatives.

Community Service Officers These unarmed officers can respond to routine Public Safety calls, such as vehicle and room lockouts, vehicle jumpstarts and safe escorts. Morgan says he hopes to hire two more officers, who will also be tasked with building community through campus initiatives.

New BSAFE App Students now have several safety tools right at their fingertips. The free app allows them to use their phones as a mobile blue light to request Public Safety’s immediate assistance; report a tip with photos or video to aid the response; request a “friend walk,” allowing a friend or family member to virtually follow them to a destination; and use a “social escape” feature to assist leaving an uncomfortable situation.

Emotional-support Companion Digger, a Bernese mountain dog, has joined the squad. “When Digger is walking around campus with an officer, students approach them, which helps spark a conversation and build a connection.” Digger is also available to provide comfort and help Public Safety facilitate conversations with people who have experienced difficult events. Digger, who is owned by financial aid assistant Kelly Pastuszek, is handled during his shifts by Community Service Officer Bonnie Rake.

Two girls petting a Bernese Mountain Dog that is laying on the floor looking at the camera
orange suitcase outline

Success Defined

Our alumni are difference-makers. Regardless of their area of study at Bucknell, they capitalize on their distinct experiences to establish careers with purpose. They become award-winning screenwriters and creative producers, contribute to the development of future-focused city infrastructure and lead productive conversations on the state of our nation. They are bold, undeterred by challenges and confident in their ability to make a difference in the world.

high angle, wide view of a Bucknell career fair

Class of 2022 Snapshot

Graduates of the Class of 2022 reported high satisfaction with their Bucknell outcome via the Center for Career Advancement’s annual post-graduate outcomes survey.

of graduates responded

Satisfied or very satisfied with their outcome

Secured opportunities within nine months of graduation

Average starting salary


Volunteer/Service Program, Military, or Applying/Preparing for Graduate School

Entered graduate school or other continuing education

The Center for Career Advancement hosts several career fairs on campus each year. Nearly 100 alumni and parents from the business, consulting and engineering industries attended this one in September.

Career Prep for Credit


reparing students for successful careers is a multifaceted and complex undertaking. To set students up for post-graduation success, the Center for Career Advancement (CCA) has launched multiple for-credit career courses that thread career preparation into the academic journey.

“Our students have a lot of great intentions, but life gets busy and academics take priority,” says Pamela Keiser P’20, executive director of career services. “So we’ve built career preparation into the academic structure they already know. It pushes them forward so they understand how to pursue a career they find fulfilling.”

The courses cover topics including self-discovery and industry exploration and teach practical job search skills. Students develop ePortfolios, craft polished resumes and create engaging LinkedIn profiles. The CCA invites alumni and employer guest speakers who share perspectives and underscore the importance of networking.

Nearly 500 students enrolled in the courses the first year they were offered in fall 2022. Course evaluations revealed that 90% of enrolled students reported feeling increased comfort levels with regard to major choice and career decision-making.

“These courses are intended to help students from all three colleges capitalize on their education and identify their ideal career path,” says Keiser. “And our combined efforts clearly indicate how Bucknell is evolving to meet the expectations of the modern job market.”

CCA’s Career Courses

Jump Start Your Career teaches the fundamentals of good career decision-making and goal-setting.

Exploring Pre-health introduces students to the breadth of health care jobs and helps them chart their ideal career path.

Pursuing Pre-health guides students through the process of applying to professional schools.

Exploring Pre-law introduces students to the field of law and the legal profession.

Pursuing Pre-law prepares students for the law school application process.

“I learned so many practical skills. We have mock interviews, refine our LinkedIn profiles, draft resumes and cover letters, and practice presenting ourselves. Everything I learned will be useful as I explore my career path.”

Hayley Leopold ’26, economics and psychology

Hayley Leopold ’26 (center) decided to take the Jump Start Your Career course as a sophomore to get a better sense of potential career paths.

apple icon

Learning from the Best

apple icon

Learning from the Best

Bucknell faculty members are academic thought leaders and experts in their fields of study who dedicate their lives to the pursuit of knowledge. Their intellectual curiosity drives scholarly research that enriches their teaching and creates a dynamic learning environment. They inspire students to ask questions, seek answers and develop critical-thinking skills. As educators, their influence extends beyond the classroom. Journalists regularly seek their expertise to bring clarity to complex topics and identify trends that enhance our understanding of the world.

Star Power


rofessor Jackie Villadsen, physics & astronomy, is helping to answer one of science’s burning questions: Are there Earth-like planets in far-off solar systems? To find out, she and her research team are studying bursts of radio waves from stars such as the red dwarf YZ Ceti, which lies 12 light-years away from our solar system. She documented findings in the journals Nature Astronomy and Nature, which generated news media coverage from outlets including CNN, The Atlantic and The Weather Channel.

physics and astronomy Professor Jackie Villadsen instructing her students during a lab


headshot of Professor Annetta Grant
A study co-authored by Freeman College of Management Professor Annetta Grant, markets, innovation & design, found that homeowners are increasingly more influenced by home improvement media than their own desires when it comes to making home renovations. Grant’s research was featured in many media outlets, including The Washington Post, The Atlantic, ABC News and NPR’s All Things Considered.

A Global Perspective

headshot of Professor Zhiqun Zhu

Professor Zhiqun Zhu, political science and international relations, is a noted scholar on Chinese foreign policy. This past year, Zhu provided analysis for stories on NPR and in Time, as well as internationally for Deutsche Welle, South China Morning Post and the China Global Television Network, among others.

Energizing Solutions

headshot of Professor Nate Siegel
Heinemann Family Professor in Engineering Nate Siegel is a renowned teacher-scholar whose research on energy conservation and efficiency, solar power and fuels, and thermal energy storage has advanced the work of other environmental scientists. Stanford University has ranked him among the top 2% of the most cited researchers in his field. Siegel’s current projects involve addressing global challenges that require consideration of technical, economic and societal factors.
headphone icon

Listen and Learn


odcasts have experienced remarkable growth and popularity over the last decade, becoming a prominent medium for on-demand content. The format offers an opportunity to explore topics more deeply than in many traditional media, making them well-suited for faculty and administrators to share their expertise. Recent appearances include:

Professor Judy Grisel P’16, psychology

  • Addiction (with Judy Grisel, Ph.D.)
    Taboo Science
  • What Are the Root Causes of Drug Addiction? A Renowned Neuroscientist Explains
    Finding Genius Podcast
  • The Neuroscience of Addiction with Dr. Judy Grisel
    Psychology in Seattle

David Burpee Professor in Plant Genetics & Research Chris Martine, biology

  • A Newly Identified Type of Tomato Has Been Hiding in Plain Sight
    NPR Short Wave
  • Wild Tomatoes with Dr. Chris Martine, Dr. Tanisha Williams, Amy Wrobleski & Dr. Rebecca Bird
    Foodie Pharmacology

Professor Sarah Lower, biology

  • The Stars that Fly Among Us! (Fireflies with Guest Speaker Sarah Lower)
    Insects for Fun!

These are just a few of the Bucknellians making waves on podcasts. Add our Bucknell Experts Spotify playlist to your library to keep up with their academic insights.

vector illustration of three people with a speech bubble outline

Innovation at Work: Learning Across Disciplines

At Bucknell, faculty embrace opportunities that cross the boundaries of their areas of expertise to encourage students to expand their knowledge and explore subjects more comprehensively. The Bucknell commitment to fostering interdisciplinary collaboration has led to the development of cross-college courses and initiatives that enable students to consider topics from multiple perspectives, better preparing them for real-world success.
Professor Kat Wakabayashi holding up a glass of coffee and smiling
Professor Kat Wakabayashi, chemical engineering, is one of the faculty members exploring the chemistry, sociology, history and economics of coffee via the new Bucknell Interdisciplinary Coffee Program.

A Rich Blend


offee is a ubiquitous part of our culture that transcends its role as a caffeine source. It’s a centerpiece of social gatherings, a symbol of hospitality and a major global commodity.

Fueled by a mutual appreciation for the beverage, Professor Kat Wakabayashi, chemical engineering, and Visiting Assistant Professor Jonathan Scholnick, anthropology, recognized that coffee’s complex nature — which can be examined from a blend of perspectives including history, world cultures, anthropology, chemistry, environmental justice and economics — could be the focus of a comprehensive interdisciplinary initiative. The Bucknell Interdisciplinary Coffee Program provides a variety of learning opportunities for students via academic courses, research projects, community engagement activities and campus social experiences.

Bucknell students pouring hot water from an electric kettle into a coffee dripper
The program launched this past fall with its first course: a dinner seminar Wakabayashi and Scholnick co-taught for the Food Residential College. Students gathered weekly to explore the multidisciplinary world of coffee while sharing a meal. “Each student brought something unique to the table — and that’s where the magic happened,” Scholnick says. “We all drove the intellectual agenda.” In one session, Scholnick brewed Guatemalan coffee and Ethiopian coffee for students to compare and led a related discussion of the history and culture of the regions. In another class, Wakabayashi demonstrated how the chemical and physical properties of coffee influence the sensory experience — for example, how brew temperature impacts flavor intensity. “Coffee is a captivating topic and medium through which we can deliver immersive experiential learning,” Wakabayashi says.

Wakabayashi and Scholnick are also involving students from different majors to conduct research on various aspects of coffee. Current investigations include recycling discarded coffee grounds as a bio-composite material used in compostable packaging, and capturing and analyzing the aroma of fresh coffee beans. “There’s a whole world behind a cup of coffee,” says Scholnick. “It’s everything from the history of how the plant is cultivated and grown, to the labor relations of the growers, to the way that coffee is marketed. All of these things are entangled in every cup you consume.”

Creating A Sound Design


hen the Lewisburg Children’s Museum asked Professor Haley Kragness, psychology, and Professor Gabriela Diego, markets, innovation & design (MIDE), for advice on creating a sound garden installation, the subject-matter experts could’ve answered the museum’s call for help themselves. But as educators, the professors saw a learning opportunity for their students to create a space that encourages musical exploration among the museum’s young visitors. Without a model to follow, they took on the challenge of co-leading a single project that spanned two different classes across two different colleges.

Kragness’ Psychology 207 students began by researching the physical and social development of the target audience: children ages 4 to 7. How high can they step? How do they interact with each other? They presented their findings to Diego’s MIDE 302 students, who applied that information to their designs.

Then it was Diego’s students’ turn to present their work to the psychology team for feedback. That iterative, collaborative process led to six proposals for a sound garden play area, which students pitched to museum representatives in December.

The experience enabled students to see the real-world implications of their work. It also exposed them to the realities of working across a multifaceted team. “To create a product that is meaningful to the user and relevant to the client, you have to consider input from all angles,” Diego says. “This process gave my students a more enriching academic experience.”

Professor Gabriela Diego (right), markets, innovation & design, and her students visited the proposed site of the sound garden in October so their design proposals would be informed by the physical attributes of the space; She is helping another student measure with a long ruler the distance between the yellow painted fence, the green painted tire, and dirty concrete
Professor Gabriela Diego (right), markets, innovation & design, and her students visited the proposed site of the sound garden in October so their design proposals would be informed by the physical attributes of the space.

Cultivating Knowledge

Small group of Bucknell students standing in a garden area outside on a gloomy day at Bucknell Farm, a 5-acre regenerative farm that produces organic produce, increases biodiversity and supports interdisciplinary learning; Every year, hundreds of students visit and volunteer here at Bucknell Farm.
Every year, hundreds of students visit and volunteer at the Bucknell Farm, a 5-acre regenerative farm that produces organic produce, increases biodiversity and supports interdisciplinary learning.

n the five years since the Bucknell Farm was established, it’s grown into a thriving living laboratory where students have the opportunity to learn about sustainable agriculture, make contributions that directly impact others and become engaged citizens who graduate ready to confront the environmental and societal challenges of the future.

Seventeen student farmers work at the 5-acre farm, which supplies nutritious produce — grown without the use of synthetic pesticides and fertilizers — to Bucknell’s campus food pantry and members of the local community. The farm also hosts weekly farm hours, which offer students the chance to roll up their sleeves and weed, plant and harvest while learning about regenerative farming and sustainable food systems.

But the farm does more than just grow fruit and vegetables and provide a social outlet in a serene setting. It serves as an extension of Bucknell’s classrooms. While biology and environmental science courses are a natural fit, faculty in a variety of diverse disciplines have creatively incorporated the farm into their coursework.

Just this past fall semester, 36 classes were held at the farm, says Professor Mark Spiro, biology, the farm’s faculty director. Among them: a classics professor teaching a course about the technology of growing food and the history of agriculture; a psychology professor examining nature’s role in child development; a Latin American studies professor exploring the relationship between land management and social exclusion; and an economics professor leading a discussion of how environmental issues impact the global economy.

The Bucknell Farm is a success story in progress with plenty of room to grow. The farm just underwent a master design process to identify facilities and infrastructure that will expand its capacity for year-round engagement. High on Spiro’s wish list is an additional passive greenhouse to extend the harvest season and an onsite net-zero-energy classroom that could accommodate classes through the winter season.

“The remarkable level of engagement is stretching the capacity of the farm. It’s a good problem to have,” Spiro says. “There is nothing but opportunity here.”

Financial Update

The University’s commitment to innovation and growth can be seen in every part of campus life as we work to meet the needs of current and future students. This year, members of the Bucknell community bolstered faculty development across our three colleges, cultivated growth at the Bucknell Farm, expanded opportunities for undergraduate research, supported the mighty Bison, and empowered new access and academic programs — all through their generous financial contributions. Without the support of alumni, families and friends, the Bucknell experience simply wouldn’t be the same. 

Strength of Support

2023 marked another successful fundraising year, with more than $54 million received in gifts and pledges.

  • $14.9 million was designated to the Bucknell Annual Fund, providing vital resources to every student, program and department, every day.
  • $3 million set the record for support for our athletics teams through the Bison Club.
  • 39 new pledges of six figures and above were designated to enrollment efforts and financial aid, including a $10 million pledge.
  • A founding gift launched the Dominguez Center for Data Science.

Bucknell Budget Summary

Our expert finance team balances expenditures and income and focuses on appropriately resourcing each facet of the University to create a best-in-class environment for all Bucknellians.
Income pie chart
Expenses pie chart
*Includes COVID-19 presidentially declared disaster grants, interest income, and other

The Bucknell Endowment

Bucknell’s endowment is a self-sustaining income source generated through donor gifts designated for specific purposes. Its health is carefully cultivated with a focus on stability, strategic growth and lasting impact. The endowment valuation rose by 4.8% in FY2023, gaining ground on the strength of prudent stewardship and wise investments. We closed the year with a valuation of $1.09 billion.

Categorization of Endowments

Scholarships & financial aid 35%

Other University activities 37%

Instructional & academic programs 19%

Library 7% Athletics 2%


36 new endowments created

1,207 Donor-endowed funds

Bucknell 2023-2024 endowments pie chart

University Leadership

  • John C. Bravman, President
  • Margot Vigeant, Interim Provost
  • Param Bedi, Vice President and Chief Operating Officer
  • Vernese Edghill-Walden ’87, Vice President of Equity & Inclusive Excellence
  • Cindy Guthrie, Interim Dean of the Freeman College of Management
  • Heather Johns P’27, Vice President for Marketing & Communications
  • Lisa Keegan, Vice President for Student Enrollment, Engagement & Success and Interim Dean of Students
  • Carol McLaughlin Kennedy ’96, Executive Director, Office of the President and University Secretary
  • Jeffrey Loss, Associate Vice President for Facilities
  • Brad Putman, Richard E. Garman Dean of the College of Engineering
  • Karin Rilley, Vice President, General Counsel and Chief of Staff
  • Scott Rosevear, Vice President for University Strategy & Advancement
  • Jermaine Truax, Vice President and Director of Athletics
  • Karl Voss, Douglas K. Candland Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences
  • Nicole Whitehead, Vice President for Talent, Culture & Human Resources

Board of Trustees

  • Carolyn Neely Ainslie ’80
  • Daisy Auger-Dominguez ’95
  • Dawn Becker ’85
  • Keren Bergman ’88
  • John C. Bravman, President Trustee
  • J. Frank Brown ’78
  • Tom Buchholz ’84
  • Laureen Costa ’90, Assistant Secretary
  • Frank Davis ’82, P’13
  • Lisa Cadette Detwiler P’18
  • Michael J. Dominguez ’91
  • Annie Siebold Drapeau ’88, Vice Chair
  • Brenda Earl ’81
  • Mako Fujimura ’83, P’13
  • Martin Gilliard ’99
  • Robert Gilligan ’81
  • Gene Gorab ’85, P’12, P’16
  • Sunil Gulati ’81
  • Donald Isken ’75, P’12, P’20
  • Alexandra Ahrens Jung ’92
  • Steve Kohn ’81, Vice Chair
  • Bridget LaCroix Lecky ’09
  • Jordy Leiser ’06
  • Carolyn Speer Miles ’83
  • Sam Nana-Sinkam Jr. ’10
  • Chris O’Brien ’80, P’18, P’20, Chair
  • Scott Perricelli ’94, P’25
  • John Reynolds ’92
  • Laurie Schmidt ’99
  • Frank Schoeneman ’76, P’06
  • Erika Stanat ’90
  • Garry Thaniel ’04, Secretary
  • Kecia Thomas ’88
  • Scott Uebele ’00
  • Kathryn Boselli Vizas ’79
  • Audra Wilson ’94
  • Robin Zafirovski ’79, P’09
Under the mentorship of Professors Samuel Gutekunst, Thiago Serra and Lucas Waddell, a cross-college team of students put their data science skills to work, helping create a more efficient process for Assistant Registrar Vince Pellegrini (center) to use in scheduling final exams. You’ll be able to read more about their project in the spring issue of Bucknell Magazine.

photo by EMILY PAINE

Assistant Registrar Vince Pellegrini sitting with a team of students
Under the mentorship of Professors Samuel Gutekunst, Thiago Serra and Lucas Waddell, a cross-college team of students put their data science skills to work, helping create a more efficient process for Assistant Registrar Vince Pellegrini (center) to use in scheduling final exams. You’ll be able to read more about their project in the spring issue of Bucknell Magazine.

photo by EMILY PAINE

Bucknell logo
Thanks for reading our Winter 2024 issue!