Student Profile: Bryan Coleman '11
English and sociology major
"I definitely want to work in some type of suburban but underprivileged area. There are a lot of kids who have the potential to be amazing in academics and I'd like to be the catalyst for helping them to realize that."
“I found out about Bucknell through the Posse Foundation. After looking into it, Bucknell ended up being the school I best identified with. I applied, won a scholarship and I’m happy to be here.
“I came in November with my family for a weekend open house and had the opportunity to walk around and meet some professors. Upon the first look, it was both awesome and a bit of culture shock. I wasn’t used to the homogeny. But the campus itself was just beautiful and I enjoyed coming.
“Being a senior in high school, it had a very college feel to it when I arrived. I sat in on one anthropology class and the professor gave a lecture – a sample of just what college would be like and I thought it was intriguing just to be able to sit back and listen to what she had to say – some really thought-provoking ideas. It was a different level than what high school had to offer. It was more about the intellectual curiosity than just getting your work done and turning it into your teacher for a grade. I really enjoyed that.”
“I’ve always been a writer. I write poetry and do some creative writing. But I’m a big believer in college being about finding out about yourself and engaging in intellectual curiosity. So, I like to take classes that are interesting and thought-provoking and not necessarily practical for getting a job after I graduate.
“Sociology? I’ve always been interested in the dynamics between people and group dynamics. I’ve given thought to being a teacher and pairing English and sociology together and maybe teaching English. With the sociology aspect, I thought I would understand how people interact with each other and how to facilitate a better classroom dynamic.
“I’ve started to look into Teach for America. That’s an opportunity to work with at times underprivileged kids. They put you where teachers are needed most. I definitely want to work in some type of suburban but underprivileged area. There are a lot of kids who have the potential to be amazing in academics and I’d like to be the catalyst for helping them to realize that.”
“Study abroad, absolutely. I have no idea where I want to go yet, but I’m definitely interested in studying abroad. I’ve thought about London or Paris, but Europe has been very Americanized in a way and it’s not as exotic as it used to be. I really want to go where I have to completely let go and dive into the culture and figure things out. I think that’s what study abroad is about.
“I’m the president of the Bucknell African Student Association. I enjoy what we as a group do for the campus. We’re recruiting more people to get involved with an initiative to be more internationally conscious. While we like to keep a focus on African countries, I think there’s a lot to be offered just in the idea of we’re in this little bubble here, let’s remember there are people out in the real world who are struggling. There are a lot of problems that can be addressed by such little help from us on campus. In April, we’ll have the BASA Bash, which is basically a celebration of African culture in general. We get together, cook food, have dance performances and invite some of the area colleges to participate.
“I’m doing the Memphis Civil Rights spring break trip again. I did the trip last year and this year I’m a student leader. It was unreal the type of experiences we were having. We sit in class and listen to ideas about social mobility and injustice, but when you come face to face with it, you’re not really sure how to address it or how to engage with it. We do a lot of community service and at the end of each day we have a discussion about what everyone has seen. I’m excited about leading and facilitating some deep talk between group members about our experiences.
“Last summer, I did an internship with the Greater Susquehanna Valley United Way in Sunbury (Pa.) through the Kemper Internship Program. It was about bridging the gap between the University and the community. My experience was phenomenal as an intern. I listened to my friends say they sat behind a desk all day and copied some stuff. I went to huge board meetings, meeting everyone in the Valley, and I had the opportunity to actually work on the annual report. There I was, a freshman in college, writing an annual report for this huge organization.”