Design Thinking Leadership

Learn to thrive when the answers aren't obvious. Design Thinking Leadership is a program for incoming first-year students who are interested in innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship. You'll learn new ways to analyze and solve problems, build connections with classmates, get to know Bucknell and the surrounding community, and have fun!

If you enjoy new challenges, brainstorming and collaboration, you'll enjoy thinking creatively and presenting your ideas to real companies in Design Thinking Leadership. Embrace the unfamiliar in this rewarding program — it's an inspiring start to your Bucknell career.

What You’ll Do

Through design thinking workshops and small-group activities, you'll develop a strategic mindset for problem-solving. Get results in real time as you engage with local businesses to help them develop innovative solutions to real-world challenges. Your journey will be guided by the mentorship of alumni, faculty, staff and upperclass student leaders. Learn valuable skills that will enhance your studies in any field, and build relationships you'll draw upon again and again throughout your years at Bucknell.

You'll also enjoy outings to favorite local spots with your new classmates. Typical off-campus trips include team-building ropes course exercises, an afternoon at Knoebels Amusement Resort and ice cream runs to the Freez — a Lewisburg tradition.

Whom It’s For

Students of all academic interests are welcome to join Design Thinking Leadership, and no experience in entrepreneurship or design is necessary. You only need to be interested in connecting with like-minded students, learning valuable new ways of thinking and having fun. Capacity is limited to 30 people.



2024 Program Dates

Friday, Aug. 16–Tuesday, Aug. 20
(New Student Orientation in-person sessions begin Wednesday, Aug. 21)


Sabrina Shankar, program adviser

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Pre-Orientation Move-In Day Schedule

Friday, Aug. 16

7–11 a.m.

Arrival and Check-in
Outside Sojka Pavillion
Students will receive their room key and BUID and check in with their Pre-O program leaders. After check-in, head to your residence hall to unpack your belongings and settle in.

Representatives from a variety of campus offices will be present to answer your questions. Meet staff from Bertrand Library, Bucknell Nutrition, Bucknell Student Health, Campus Activities & Programs, GenFirst!, Global & Off-Campus Education, the Teaching & Learning Center and more.

11 a.m.–12:30 p.m.Lunch
Bostwick Marketplace, Elaine Langone Center
All Pre-Orientation participants, their families and friends are invited to lunch as guests of the University (no charge). Pick up your lunch tickets at Pre-O check-in.
12:30 p.m.

Program Meetings
Meeting locations will be posted in June
Parents and families are invited to join their student and attend these meetings. Program leaders will share details about program schedules and expectations and will be available to answer questions

2 p.m.Students: Programs Begin
2 p.m.Families: University Welcome
Weis Center Concert Hall
University officials welcome and advise family members on the first year at Bucknell. Light refreshments will be served before the welcome; parents and families are invited to stay after to mingle.

More details about the move-in day schedule will be shared in early 2024.