Portrait of Allure Cooper '23 leaning on wall

Allure Cooper ’23, Arabic & Arab World Studies

September 18, 2020

In just her first year, Allure Cooper '23 explored and expanded her interests in Arabic, theatre and art. Photo by Emily Paine, Communications

There’s just so much to do at Bucknell, so why not take advantage of all these amazing opportunities? Why not do it all?

Allure Cooper '23 has never been the type to sit still. And with passions ranging from Middle Eastern languages to multicultural theatre and 3D art, it's no wonder she's hardly ever in her room, but out seeking every chance to be involved at Bucknell — a school Cooper chose for its immersive learning opportunities.

"I love being busy, finding ways to get out of my room and get the most out of campus," Cooper says. "I knew that diving into tons of activities as a first-year student would be an awesome way to get to know people and learn more about the things I'm curious about."

Doing It All

Her exploration began right away with courses in Arabic, a language that fascinates Cooper because of its cursive alphabet and connection to cultures that are different from her own.

"It opens up your world to be able to communicate with people and consume news and entertainment in more than one language," says Cooper, who's considering a major in Arabic & Arab world studies. "Growing up in the U.S., it's not often expected of us to accommodate differences that way. So being able to speak with someone in their native language and make them feel understood is becoming really important to me."

Creating spaces where others feel seen and accepted is a goal that Cooper has carried since high school, where she scarcely saw herself represented in the plays featured in her performing arts classes. In just her first year at Bucknell, she helped spearhead the creation of a new theatre club for students of color and worked as a research fellow to compile a catalog of onstage productions that shine a spotlight on marginalized groups.

For these efforts and her enthusiasm as an equipment manager in the 7th Street Studio & Makerspace, Cooper recently received the Class of 2023 Award of Excellence.

"Helping students on this campus access art that represents them — whether they're a person of color, are LGBTQ or have a disability — is crucial," she says. "It's cool that I've already been able to find ways to encourage diversity and form strong connections through involvement."

Building Community

The ability to build a network of peers and mentors through activities and programs was one of the core elements Cooper was looking for in a college experience. It's what drew the Maryland native to apply to Bucknell through the Charles T. Bauer Scholars Program, a need-based scholarship for highly qualified students from Baltimore.

As a Bauer Scholar, Cooper was immediately introduced to a close-knit community of students from a similar background and was paired with an upper-class mentor for guidance and support. To help smooth the transition to college life, Bauer Scholars also participate in yearlong skills workshops on topics related to student success, from effective time management to taking advantage of resources like the Teaching & Learning Center. Inspired by her own experience, Cooper is now training to be a mentor for future students.

"Something that stood out about Bucknell right away was the variety of strong support systems, which was one of the things I really wanted going into my first year," she says. "I wanted to go to a school where I knew there would be people to help me along my journey and champion me in all the different paths I wanted to follow."

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