April 08, 2013

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LEWISBURG, Pa. — Los Angeles native Marco Valdez '15 was beaming, Associate Professor of Management Jamie Hendry was speaking, and more than 200 alumni, parents and friends of Bucknell were transfixed as they listened in Philadelphia, stop three on the Bucknell WE DO National Tour.

Hendry's 10-minute snap talk presentation focused on her work with Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering Charles Kim and students like Valdez to provide low-cost eyeglasses to the impoverished community of San Pedro, Guatemala, with a combination of medical care, engineering innovation and market research. From the front row, Valdez had a lot to think about. There was Hendry's gripping presentation, and there was his own, less than 30 minutes before, when he, Abby Vidmer '13 and Steve Lazar '13 had talked with President John Bravman in front of the same crowd about their Bucknell experience.

Hendry's snap talk was one of three featuring Bucknell faculty at the Hyatt Penn's Landing tour event on April 6. Classics professor Stephanie Larson shared the marvels of history that she and her team of Bucknell students and faculty have been uncovering in Thebes, Greece, over the last several years as they excavate the site where the story of Oedipus emerged. And David Evans, professor of psychology, revealed the latest discoveries that his team — which includes Lazar — has made about autism spectrum disorder, as recently reported in the renowned international journal Lancet.

Other features at this WE DO tour stop included former President Gary Sojka interviewing famed Philadelphia alumna Nancy Kolb '62, recently retired from her leadership of Philly's Please Touch Museum; and President Bravman sharing his vision for the University and the news that the half-a-billion-dollar WE DO campaign has surpassed $277 million. The day concluded with guests enjoying a strolling lunch built around six interactive spaces where teams of faculty and students shared their work in areas from the arts to sustainability.

But one moment may have summed up best what the experience was like as multimedia and hands-on learning turned the ballroom orange and blue. When, during Valdez's time on stage, President Bravman asked the students what they would like to change about Bucknell, Valdez replied, "Move it to Los Angeles." The crowd laughed. But for a few hours, they knew at least that the campus had come to Philadelphia. The tour continues this fall with stops in Boston and New York.

Contact: Division of Communications

View photos from WE DO: Philadelphia