LEWISBURG, Pa. — Now that Bucknell University’s new academic year is underway, the following are story ideas that may interest you.
COPING DURING COVID-19 — Given the safety issues surrounding the pandemic, Bucknell’s Counseling & Student Development Center (CSDC) staff is making a new resource available for classrooms and campus organizations in the CSDC Outreach Resources website. The site is designed to equip students, faculty and staff to independently use the resources to bring information about mental health and wellness to their groups. Topics range from the popular “Self-Care and Stress Management,” to those that are relevant to the pandemic, including “Tolerating Uncertainty,” “Grief & Loss” and “Coping During COVID-19.” Most topics have a video presentation by a CSDC staff member and presentation slides. CSDC staff have also created a Guide to Mental Health & Wellbeing that can be given to students or used to facilitate within a group. Bucknell’s 3-year-old online training program to help students, faculty and staff identify signs of psychological distress to their peers, provided by the health simulation company Kognito, was also profiled in this article. Kelly Kettlewell, director of the CSDC, reports that since the program opened up to the entire campus, more than 1,000 students and faculty have gone through the training. CONTACT: Kettlewell, 570-577-1604, email@example.com
DRIVING THROUGH CAMPUS — Due to pandemic health concerns, colleges and universities have stopped offering in-person campus tours, forcing admissions communicators to create alternative ways for prospective students to tour their campuses safely. Bucknell is one of just a handful of institutions that have started an extensive admissions driving tour where students can explore campus from the comforts of their own vehicle. Carolyn Campbell — a Bucknell junior psychology, mathematics, and women’s and gender studies triple major and admissions student ambassador — narrates the tour around campus while families can follow along through the maps and directions listed on the website. When the tour is over, she encourages students to take photos from popular campus destinations and use the hashtag #BucknellDrivingTour, and also directs them to check out downtown Lewisburg. CONTACT: Heather Johns, interim chief communications officer, 570-238-5925, firstname.lastname@example.org
NO CONVENTIONAL CONVENTION BOUNCE — Both major political parties are conducting their national conventions this month and Professor Scott Meinke, political science, says that’s traditionally “when many voters are just tuning in to the campaign, and voter opinions can shift around so that polling aligns more with how the November contest will turn out.” But the pandemic has put normal political theatrics on hold as these will be virtual unconventional conventions featuring speeches from televised locations across the country. Meinke’s not sure there will be the regular post-convention bounce this year, but not necessarily because of the irregular conventions. “Interest in the election has already been high, polarization has most voters already committed, and convention events may not command as much attention,” he says. “All this means that the race will probably continue to be what it has been so far, a referendum on an unpopular incumbent.” If so, Meinke sees the debates taking on greater importance. “Debates don’t usually bring about lasting shifts in the race, but in this unusual year, they might offer Trump some opportunity to try to shift the focus to Biden later in the campaign.” CONTACT: Meinke, 570-577-3512, email@example.com
CONTACT: Mike Ferlazzo, 570-238-6266 (c), firstname.lastname@example.org