Building BridgesBucknell's students learn not just on campus, but in partnership with individuals, communities and cultures around the world. The fourth pillar of The Plan for Bucknell, Build Bridges, calls on the University to become even more aggressive in providing a broad and globally connected education by pursuing "multi-faceted interaction with local and regional constituencies and the outside world."

Since the plan has been in place, the University has established many connections between Bucknell and the world by:

Forging stronger connections between campus and downtown Lewisburg

In addition to serving as resources for academic engagement, the Campus Theatre and Barnes & Noble at Bucknell University have enhanced the Lewisburg community by providing opportunities for entertainment, learning and community-building. Also downtown, the historic DeWitt Building was renovated in 2012. Visitors will find Bucknell's Small Business Development Center on the building's third floor. The second floor is occupied by Bucknell's Entrepreneurs Incubator. Bucknell's Downtown Art Gallery is located on the ground floor. || Related link: News story

The University in 2011 acquired the Federal Building from the US Postal Service. After months of renovation, it was transformed into downtown office space for more than 60 Bucknell employees in 2012. The beauty of the old building was restored, and the first floor lobby continues to offer counter service for postal customers. 

Building more relationships in the greater Susquehanna Valley

Faculty, staff and students are working closely with other residents of central Pennsylvania to bring more resources to the area, provide educational opportunities and investigate issues that affect the health and wellbeing of the residents and ecosystem of the region. These include:

  • Implementing the Marcellus Shale, Susquehanna River and Place Studies initiatives of the Environmental Center
  • Joining KINBER a new, statewide broadband network that will increase their capabilities for data-intense research and connect underserved communities throughout Pennsylvania to high-speed Internet
  • Engaging in multiple partnerships with Geisinger Health System, including student and faculty research, product development and the Geisinger-Bucknell Autism and Developmental Medicine Center for clinical care, research and education related to autism spectrum disorders
  • Launching the Bucknell Institute for Lifelong Learning, which offers courses and intellectual programming to mature learners in the region
  • Partnering with Geisinger Medical Center and Evangelical Community Hospital to create Bucknell Student Health, which provides a range of healthcare services to students right on campus and connects them with highly regarded service providers near campus
  • Creating a Poetry Path that winds through campus and historic downtown Lewisburg
  • Launching an annual Arts. Everywhere. Festival for the entire community, with music, art exhibits, movies, readings, theatre and a street festival downtown
  • Working with local residents and leaders to create the Lewisburg Community Garden, which increases community access to fresh, healthy, low-cost food as well as learning and volunteer opportunities

Creating an Office of Civic Engagement

To coordinate volunteering and service-learning initiatives across the University, Bucknell brought its service-learning and community service offices together under one umbrella. The Office of Civic Engagement runs programs including local flood relief efforts, the Bucknell Brigade to Nicaragua, the Katrina Recovery Team, alternative spring break trips, the Community Harvest free meal program and the Lewisburg Community Garden.

Increasing off-campus and international education opportunities

In addition to Bucknell's longstanding international education programs, faculty members have recently developed new three-week abroad programs in Greece and Turkey, South Africa and Denmark. Engineering 290 (Engineering in a Global/Societal Context) took students to China in 2012 and to Argentina and Costa Rica in 2013.

Service-learning opportunities continue to increase. In spring 2013, two Bucknell students from Shanghai led a 15-member delegation of faculty and students to China to study educational inequalities and perform community service. 

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