I’m a completely different person because of my education, which I think is the whole point of a liberal arts institution. It’s been extremely transformative.

Heather Hennigan

"I came to Bucknell because I was given the opportunity to establish a great connection as a Presidential Fellow. It would allow me to be involved with the University on a deeper level by starting an internship right away.  I was placed with Prof. Carmen Gillespie in the Griot Institue for Africana Studies, and we immediately clicked.  Soon she and I started developing the Griot Storytelling Project.

"The project is a webpage of audio collections where Bucknell students, faculty and staff tell a story about themselves.  People want to be heard.  They want to tell their stories and they want to hear stories.  It's the way we communicate — through meaningful stories.  

"The whole point behind this project is that it exists.  It gives you a space to go and see faces that you pass every day and develop a deeper understanding of them.  You get a flash of their consciousness and are able to make a real human connection.  We crave connection outside of the classroom.  I call it 'real talk.'  This is an opportunity for people to become vulnerable.  When they walk into the room to make their recording I say, 'Tell me something real and cool about yourself.  Tell me something you've never told anybody.'  

"I'm a completely different person because of my education, which I think is the whole point of a liberal arts institution.  I'm so much happier with myself now than I was when I got here, in terms of character and life priorities.  It's been extremely transformative."  

Heather is from Randolph, N.J. 

Posted May 20, 2014

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