Class of 2017 graduates who shared their Bucknell experiences through Student Stories are starting new adventures in work and graduate school. They pursued degrees across the Arts & Sciences, Engineering and Management, making their mark on academic and community life on campus.
When they arrived at Bucknell, they had already been awarded nine scholarships, including Arts Merit, Mathematics, Posse and Presidential Fellowships, and went on to earn eight additional awards at Bucknell, including an Arts & Creativity Grant, a Bucknell Public Interest Program Grant, and two Goldwater Scholarships for students who intend to pursue research careers in the natural sciences, among others. They also pursued:
- More than 24 leadership roles on campus
- Membership in more than 18 academic organizations and honor societies and more than 16 student-run organizations
- Athletics, including rugby club, varsity water polo, club water polo and the women's squash team
- Off-campus study and service opportunities in Australia, Denmark (2), England, Madagascar and the U.S.
- Undergraduate research in nine academic disciplines, including:
- Animal behavior — empirical research on play behavior in monkeys
- Biomedical engineering — impact testing to determine the head injury criteria of playground surfaces
- Classics & ancient Mediterranean studies — writing a modern epic
- Economics — Geographic Information System mapping
- History — historical conceptualizations of the self, and American politics and race relations
- Music — comparative music education
In addition, they received 11 Commencement awards for their achievements and contributions in animal behavior, art, environmental engineering, Greek language and literature, Japanese studies, mathematics, music, neuroscience and the potential to pursue a career in the legal profession.
Learn more about these exceptional graduates and their contributions to life at Bucknell.
Nick Bartek, environmental engineering, will work in water and wastewater design for environmental engineering firm Brown and Caldwell in New York City.
"I'm very excited to apply the theories and fundamentals that I have been equipped with during my tenure at Bucknell to address the complex problems associated with providing access to both clean water and sanitation, one of the sustainable development goals outlined by the United Nations. While I'll be working domestically for now, I hope to have a more global impact later on in my career.
"Bucknell taught me to approach problems, even those that appear to be relatively simple and straightforward, in a holistic manner, and to develop and implement solutions that optimize the social, environmental and economic impacts of a particular decision."
Max Ferrer, history and philosophy, will work for Nielsen as an innovation analyst for their Professional Service Analytics Experience in Parsippany, N.J.
"As I move onto this next part of my life, I look forward to exploring new things. I'm moving to a new city, and starting a job in an unfamiliar field. I'm excited to break out of my comfort zone! More than anything I think my Bucknell experience has made me somebody who can function in unfamiliar environments. More than just teaching me how to succeed in one environment, Bucknell has prepared me to explore."
Abigail Garrett, biology and Spanish, will pursue a doctoral degree in microbiology at Indiana University.
"I am excited to be able to focus more specifically on my research interests in graduate school. My time at Bucknell has given me many opportunities to lead, serve, and engage in research and study abroad, and perform in and stage-manage dance productions. My experiences at Bucknell have been truly amazing, and there is no other place I would have rather spent my undergraduate years."
Meredith Lutz, animal behavior and applied mathematical sciences, will pursue a doctoral degree in animal behavior at the University of California, Davis.
Amber McDonnell, economics and theatre, will work in global technology operations for Bank of America Merrill Lynch in Charlotte, N.C.
"My Bucknell experience has prepared me to be a lifelong learner. I learned a bit of programming during my time at Bucknell in Computer Science 203 and I am already planning to enroll in courses to teach myself more in my spare time. I'm very grateful for all Bucknell has taught me about maximizing my time because now that I will be working 40 hours a week I will need to plan and strategize to do all of the things I'd like! Also, I'd like to give a special shoutout to the theatre department because there are quite a few community theaters in Charlotte I hope to get involved with once I move."
Colleen McGonigle, music and neuroscience, will pursue a master's of music degree in vocal performance at the Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.
Sarah Och, psychology, will pursue a doctoral degree in school psychology in the Department of Health & Behavior Studies at Columbia University in New York City.
"When I came to Bucknell as a first-year student, I was quiet and hesitant to speak up in class. Over the years, I became more comfortable with stepping outside of my comfort zone. Academically, having the chance to complete an honors thesis under Professor Halpern was one of the most important experiences I had at Bucknell, as it was great preparation for the level of work I will be doing at Columbia next year. Thanks to Bucknell's liberal arts curriculum, I have found myself well equipped and informed to meet a variety of challenges beyond the scope of my academic major. My Bucknell education played a paramount role in my development as a critical thinker, dedicated researcher, cultivated writer and responsible citizen of the world."
Tung Phan, computer science & engineering and mathematics, will work as a software developer for Susquehanna International Group, LLP in Bala Cynwyd, Pa.
Zoe Russell, English – creative writing and sociology, will work as an assistant paralegal at Fragomen, an immigration business firm in Atlanta.
"I am so happy to have found a position at a firm that I know will provide experience, mentorship, and countless opportunities for growth and learning. I attribute a large part of the success I've found in my job search and life planning to Bucknell's faculty and administration, who have been mentors to me. The Career Development Center in particular has been a huge positive influence. I am so grateful for them and others on Bucknell's campus who are willing to go above and beyond to see students succeed!"
Tegan Stanbach, philosophy and women's & gender studies, will pursue a master's degree in philosophy at Durham University in Durham, England, where she also received an athletic scholarship to play water polo.
Nathan Wagner, mathematics, will pursue a doctoral degree in mathematics at Washington University in St.Louis.
"I'm looking forward to delving deeper into the field of mathematics at Washington University. It should be very challenging, but also very satisfying. Bucknell prepared me well for grad school. First, all the undergraduate material I learned in my coursework for the mathematics major is absolutely foundational for graduate study in mathematics. Second, I had a couple of research experiences that opened my eyes to the world of scholarship and provided a preview of the kind of work that will ultimately comprise my doctoral dissertation."
Gregory Wolf, East Asian studies and theatre, will spend one year as a full-time volunteer for the Atlantic Regional Training Institute helping to engage high school and college-age youth in becoming mentors for middle school students through the Junior Youth Spiritual Empowerment Program in Maryland.
Learn more about Bucknell students at Student Stories.