Test tubes and syringes
"Once I visited, I fell in love with how beautiful it is here. I felt like I belonged."
Julie Kohn '12, chemical engineering
Class of 2012 update: After graduation, Julie will enter a doctoral program in biomedical engineering at Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y.
"I heard about Bucknell's engineering program and I was looking for a school that wasn't a plane ride from home or too close to home. Three hours from home is good. And the size. That's what made me come and visit the campus. Once I visited, I fell in love with how beautiful it is here. I felt like I belonged.
"On one visit, I actually stayed overnight at the Humanities Alumni House and I connected with a lot of people there and ended up in the Humanities College. I came for one of the Admitted Student Days and met the chemical engineering professors. I remember being really happy about how personable the professors were. I went to the activities fair and I thought it was so cool how Bucknell has a small campus but it had so many activities. That just made me really excited."
"I know I want to do graduate school and I want to probably do something more biologically focused because my goal is to help people. That's why I chose chemical engineering: because it has a bunch of different things you can do with it.
"One summer, I worked at Becton, Dickinson and Co. (BD), which produces medical devices. I worked on test tubes and syringes and testing that stuff in a lab. I realized how much products, small things like that, can make a difference. I got interested in BD when I learned about one of their projects — a one-time-use needle — that comes to people with the vaccine already in it. You use the needle only once so that you don't spread any disease through re-use. Simple things like that can impact a lot of people."
"My first activity at Bucknell was participating in Building on Foundations (BOF), and later I was a BOF counselor. I got involved because I was nervous about making friends — it was as simple as that. And I met a lot of cool people at BOF. When I got to be a BOF counselor, that was the biggest leadership thing I'd ever done. We were basically running the program. It is very different to be actually in charge as opposed to everything in high school where even if you are in charge you're really not.
"I've done Girl Scouts since first grade. In high school, my Girl Scout Award project was starting a GED program at my high school. It was really successful and I wanted to continue that at Bucknell. First I got a grant from a nonprofit national organization, Students Serve, in order to buy 10 GED textbooks. The GED students I've worked with range in age from 17 to 67, which is awesome. There's such a range of needs so we focus on personal one-on-one tutoring. Right now, I'm focusing on working with the CSIU - Central Susquehanna Intermediate Unit.
"This summer I took ENGR290 — a Bucknell engineering class, "Engineering in a Global/Societal Context." We learned how people do engineering in Brazil and specifically a lot about the sugarcane-to-ethanol process they have there. Being a chemical engineer, I thought this process was interesting and a sustainable resource kind of thing - something else which interests me. The program was three weeks during the summer and we stayed in Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo and a couple other little towns.
"This past semester I studied abroad in Brisbane, Australia. If college teaches you anything, it's how to be independent, but then studying abroad makes you even so much more independent. I got go skydiving and white-water rafting and lived in the Outback for a week.
"I play trumpet and I sing. Freshman and sophomore year, I was in Concert Chorale, Symphonic Band and Pep Band. Music has always been a big part of my life: it's the thing that makes me sane. I was fortunate enough to be accepted into Chapel Choir next semester, so I'll be doing that along with Pep Band. Go Bison!"
Julie is from Allendale, N.J.Posted Dec. 21, 2010