In Lewisburg and far afield, Bucknell’s students, alumni and faculty make a positive and palpable difference.

The 'burg

416 Market St., Lewisburg

From her office space overlooking bustling Market Street, Student-in-Residence Carolyn Sidoti ’19 enthusiastically tackles projects for Bucknell’s Small Business Development Center (SBDC). The SBDC provides local entrepreneurs and small businesses no-cost consulting and has aided in the success of local favorites such as Siam Restaurant & Bar and Threading Love. Sidoti conducts research, composes reports and collaborates with owners, creating plans to help ensure their success.

What She’s Doing:

Sidoti not only helps her clients advance their businesses, but provides them with tools to help them “get their feet under them” and progress independently. A mathematics and music double major, Sidoti taps into her strengths to find creative solutions that move her clients’ businesses forward. She also hones newfound skills, such as demographic analysis and market research, that she hopes to carry into her career after Bucknell.

What She Loves:

Sidoti says the SBDC office is a place of “constant collaboration,” where staff frequently exchange tips on topics ranging from web planning to marketing schemes. “My favorite part of this job is seeing how different people’s strengths complement each other in an atmosphere where everyone is urging each other to succeed,” she says.

Sidoti advises future SBDC student employees to “not lose sight of questions your clients are trying to answer. Today we have so much information available at our fingertips, especially in a great place like the SBDC.”

— Haley Mullen ’19

Beyond

Kyrgyzstan, Central Asia

Professor Amanda Wooden, environmental studies, has been immersed in the languages, culture and politics of post-Soviet countries since her first visit to Russia and Belarus in 1992. She has lived in Kyrgyzstan several times since 2001 and returns frequently to her “second home."

“I care deeply about what happens there, am committed to doing research on environmental topics that concern people and have a responsibility to share what I learn,” Wooden says.

What Interests Her:

Through a Fulbright research grant, Wooden is currently studying the social meaning and political impacts of glacier loss in the Tian Shan mountain range. The project stems from an earlier examination of Kyrgyzstan’s Kumtor mine, where miners are removing glaciers to access gold.

“Kyrgyzstan has a complicated and dynamic history,” Wooden says, noting the residents deal with the contradictions and intersections of post-Sovietism and capitalism, as well as communitarian and religious-spiritual traditions that predate Soviet times and are enjoying a revival.

What She Loves:

Wooden is also drawn to the “stunningly beautiful mountainous landscape” that is central to her research. “The ways in which these landscapes shaped, and continue to shape, the everyday life, language and culture of this dynamic society is fascinating,” she says.

— Beth Kaszuba