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

The burg

Central Susquehanna Valley Transportation Project bridge, Winfield, Pa.

It’s 1 a.m. on a balmy summer evening, and Tyler Keiser ’20 is at work 180 feet above the Susquehanna Valley. The civil engineering and management major from Elysburg, Pa., watches closely as builders pour concrete into a wood and steel frame, creating a cap atop the tallest support column of what will become the loftiest automobile bridge in central Pennsylvania. The night’s so clear that when he looks up, he can see the lights of the Bucknell campus shining four miles away.

What He Did:

Keiser spent his second summer interning with Trumbull Construction, the general construction contractor for the new 4,545 foot span over the Susquehanna River — part of the Central Susquehanna Valley Transportation Project that was decades in the making. His duties included ensuring that the 60,000 cubic yards of concrete supporting the roadway were poured correctly and in compliance with Pennsylvania Department of Transportation regulations.

What He Loved:

Keiser relished the opportunity to put the skills he’s learning in the classroom to work through his internship, which he found through a job and internship fair on campus. “When I’m driving home at the end of the day, I’m very happy to be a student at Bucknell,” he says. “The material I am learning in the classroom, the connections that I make with my professors, the labs and the experiences I am gaining, all of it has prepared me very well.” Matt Hughes

Beyond

Paris, France

This May marked the 50th anniversary of the student revolt and protests that rocked France. The protests led to a strike carried out by nearly a quarter of the working population, economic instability and political turbulence that caused then-president Charles de Gaulle to briefly flee Paris. Richard Noel ’20 and Cameron Wade ’20 spent a week in Paris this summer visiting libraries and archives to study the events of May 1968 as part of their ongoing research project, supported in part by a Humanities Center High-Impact Student Research grant.

What They Did:

“The project has evolved into a study about the relationship between de Gaulle’s political philosophy and that of the postwar French intellectuals,” says Noel, an interdisciplinary studies in economics and math major. Wade, a history and French major, insists that “the [protest] movement was a product of philosophical theories as much as it was derived from its historical context. If we did not approach this project from an interdisciplinary perspective, we would be missing a part of the story.”

What They Found:

The researchers viewed photos of the protests, analyzed propaganda posters and even spoke with a French woman who participated in the protests. A combination of good timing and smart research methods yielded more material than they ever expected. Despite progress they made in Paris, Wade and Noel still have much to do. “Plowing through the texts we’ve found and doing exegetical work will be the true heart of our project,” says Noel. Julia Stevens ’20