Media Tip Sheet: Bucknell’s December Story Ideas

LEWISBURG, Pa. — These are Bucknell University story ideas that may interest you in December.

TRUST IN SHATTERED GLASS — President-elect Joe Biden’s cabinet nominees included two that broke the glass ceiling for women in Avril Haines to be the director of national intelligence and Janet Yellen to serve as Treasury secretary. He also appointed an all-female communications team for the first time in White House history. And those aren’t the only notable selections in what he calls “the most diverse Cabinet anyone in American history has ever announced.” Professor Courtney Burns, political science, studies gender and leadership and says research shows that when governments are more diverse, trust in government actually increases. “Given that this is a difficult time with trust in government declining, a commitment to more diversity in the Biden-Harris regime is a smart choice,” she says. “This may serve to increase regime legitimacy across a broad base of voters, including some independent moderates and the liberal base.” CONTACT: Burns, 307-399-3025 (c), c.burns@bucknell.edu

CREDIT CHECK — A poor economy at the holidays frequently drives people to credit in order to make their holiday purchases. While that’s not the preferred solution, if you must apply for a credit card, Professor Karen McGrath, finance, urges you to look for a card with no annual fee. “A fee is essentially a guaranteed interest payment for the company, regardless of whether or not you actually use the card,” says McGrath, who teaches and studies behavioral finance. So for those cards that offer some kind of incentive (cashback, discounts, points, miles, etc.) along with being a source of credit, she recommends monetizing the value of the card’s benefits to ensure that they outweigh the cost. “So, in my opinion, unless you are consistently receiving more benefits than the cost of holding a card with an annual fee, there is never a situation where it’s important to get a card with an annual fee,” she says. McGrath points out that people waste far too much money on annual fees for cards they no longer use. “On average, every person holds three credit cards,” she says. “If each of those cards charges a $95 annual fee, that’s $285 per year that I can think of better ways to spend. And to pay someone for something that you’re not using, even $1 is too much.” CONTACT: McGrath, 570-577-1667, karen.mcgrath@bucknell.edu

AMONG THE BIZ BEST — Professor Matt Bailey, chair of the analytics & operations management department and the Lindback Chair in Business Administration in the Freeman College of Management, was named one of the “2020 Best Undergraduate Business Professors” by Poets&Quants for Undergrads, a leading source of news business education. A member of the Bucknell faculty since 2007, Bailey says problem-solving is something he’s passionate about in the corresponding article. That’s what led him to teaching business. “My first academic position was in engineering, but I found that my focus on the problem and the subsequent managerial insight was better suited within the business school environment,” he says. He’s now applying his problem-solving interest to smaller organizations.“ Most recently I’ve been involved in a series of research projects tied to resource allocation decisions for small non-profit organizations,” Bailey says. “The greatest discovery has been observing just how much value business analytics can offer to smaller organizations lacking the resources of their larger for-profit counterparts.” Bailey was picked to this year’s list for his impact in the classroom, greater university, and with the students and alumni that nominated him. CONTACT: Bailey, 570-577-1904, matt.bailey@bucknell.edu

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CONTACT: Mike Ferlazzo, 570-238-6266 (c), mike.ferlazzo@bucknell.edu

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