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.
"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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