I wanted to attend a school where I could study anything and didn't have to be boxed into STEM. The great thing about studying the liberal arts is that it inspires you to make cross-curricular connections.
At schools where courses are taught in 200-seat lecture halls, it's easy to be a face in the crowd. But Grace Hauer '24 didn't want to be just another number on a college campus — she wanted to be known by the people she lived and learned with.
"It's important for me to be seen as a person by my teachers and classmates, which is one of the reasons I ultimately chose Bucknell," says Hauer, a biology major from Summit, N.J. "Because the class sizes are small, students are invited to participate and the professors truly care about us and our education."
Being part of a supportive community is exciting for a self-proclaimed "people person" like Hauer, who's eager to use her skills to uplift others. As an aspiring doctor on the pre-health path at Bucknell, she's keen on taking biology classes that go beyond lab results and view science through a broader, human-focused lens.
"I'm most interested in classes where we talk about public health, and the plethora of issues that arise because of inequities in health care," Hauer says. "A lot of that knowledge has come from my science classes, but I'm also expanding my worldview in courses in the geography and women's & gender studies departments as well."
The ability to explore her interests without limits is the second major reason Hauer chose Bucknell.
"I wanted to attend a school where I could study anything and didn't have to be boxed into STEM (science, engineering, technology and math)," she says. "The great thing about studying the liberal arts is that it inspires you to make cross-curricular connections."
A Nurturing Network
For Hauer, that kind of inspiration bleeds into every aspect of her life on campus — from fostering diverse friendships to pursuing extracurriculars that build bridges between students from varying disciplines.
In her sophomore year, she worked to establish a Bucknell chapter of The Women's Network (TWN), a student organization focused on professional development for female Bucknellians. With support from the national TWN organization, the Bucknell chapter hosts speakers, networking events and fun activities to help sharpen members' networking skills while also building community.
"We noticed that there wasn't a dedicated place for women to help each other succeed in professional environments," says Hauer, who serves as the group's president. "Even though we're constantly trying to make connections across majors and disciplines as liberal arts students, networking with each other and real-world professionals isn't necessarily something we learn every day in the classroom."
So throughout the spring semester, Hauer worked with her fellow TWN club leaders to organize a LinkedIn workshop, a headshot session with a photographer and a speaking event featuring the director of development at Breastcancer.org. When they're not preparing for their futures, the more than 290 students on the TWN mailing list are invited to bond over mocktails during informal networking events.
"The amount of participation we've seen from female students on campus has exceeded our expectations. I did not expect to have so much support right from the beginning," says Hauer. "It's been great to create a space where we're all invested in each other's growth. My classmates are a resource for me, and I'm a resource for them."