April 24, 2012


By Julia Ferrante

LEWISBURG, Pa. — When she wasn't in the lab conducting research on stress and aging in birds or observing the behavior of voles, Lisa Treidel, Class of '12, was cutting wood for stage pieces in Bucknell University's Harvey Powers Theatre.

The biology and psychology double major, who is pursuing a minor in theatre, exemplifies the attributes of a well-rounded, high-achieving liberal arts student. In recognition of such accomplishments, Bucknell honored Treidel, along with 36 other seniors and six juniors, at its Phi Beta Kappa Society induction ceremony Friday night at the Campus Theatre.

"It's an honor to be inducted," said Treidel, who plans to pursue a master's and Ph.D in biology at Illinois State University in the hope of becoming a professor. "It represents my varied education at Bucknell, which has helped me develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills. In every class, from philosophy to psychology, I have gained a perspective that is wide-ranging."

'Love of learning'
Members of Phi Beta Kappa, the oldest honorary society in the United States, are selected for scholastic achievement, intellectual honesty and evidence of a broad range of intellectual interests in the liberal arts. Established in 1776, the society has almost 600,000 members from 280 American colleges and universities. Its motto is "Love of learning is the guide of life."

Bucknell's Phi Beta Kappa chapter has inducted more than 2,000 members since its founding in 1940, said Associate Professor of Mathematics Tom Cassidy, the chapter adviser. Among Bucknell's Phi Beta Kappa members are Pulitzer Prize winner Philip Roth, Class of '54; Congressman Rob Andrews, Class of '79; and Doreen Bolger, Class of '71, director of the Baltimore Museum of Art.

Friday's ceremony included a short video presentation about the liberal arts, an address by President John Bravman and a talk by William Gruver, Howard I. Scott Clinical Professor of Global Commerce, Strategy and Leadership. || Watch video, "We Are Liberal Arts"

"Liberal arts provides the illumination that each of us brings to the world around us," Bravman said. "You, as Phi Beta Kappa initiates, have distinguished yourselves at Bucknell University. ... We look forward to watching you in the years and decades to come."

Gruver talked about his personal philosophy on life and success, which he happens to share with baseball great Jackie Robinson.

"Rather than merely doing his best, Jackie's philosophy was to strive for perfection in all that he did," Gruver said. "Simply doing your best is too amorphous a philosophy, too imprecise a goal. Doing your best becomes too easy an excuse for failure."

Breadth of experience
Inductee Jasna Rodulfa, a senior religion and East Asian studies double major from Newark, Del., has been an officer in organizations including the Burmese Cultural Organization, the Japan Society and Students for Asian Awareness. She works at Bucknell's Writing Center and in classroom support for Library and Information Technology. Born in the Philippines, Rodulfa moved to the United States with her family when she was a toddler.

"Education was always a priority," said Rodulfa, who plans to teach English in after graduation. "I went to a really small high school, so I wanted a similar environment and also a school with teachers that care for students. Bucknell had strong programs across the board.

"All of the activities I've been doing have really completed my education here," Rodulfa said. "They have offered me different perspectives in and out of the classroom."

Synthesizing ideas across disciplines
Senior Michael Higgins, an economics, political science and German triple major from Wellesley, Mass., said a liberal arts education "gives you an understanding of how to synthesize ideas across different disciplines and areas of academia."

"It exposes you to learning how to solve issues in the classroom and anything in your own life," said Higgins, who plans to work for as an economic consultant before attending graduate school.

Psychology and French major Marie Chardon, Class of '12, is a third-generation member of Phi Beta Kappa from Richmond, Va. Her mother, father and two grandmothers were inducted before her.

"I've been able to do research and get in depth in psychology, but some of my fondest experiences at Bucknell are classes outside my discipline that have expanded my knowledge," she said.

Contact: Division of Communications

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