Media Tip Sheet: Bucknell’s January Story Ideas

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

CHANGE IN YOUR WALLET — With a new president and control of Congress changing parties, personal finances will be impacted in three major areas — taxes, student loans and college costs, and utilities in three areas — according to Professor Curtis Nicholls, accounting, who teaches personal finance in the Freeman College of Management. For the average U.S. resident, taxes should change very little since President-elect Biden has indicated that he plans to raise taxes on those earning over $400,000 in annual earnings, as well as corporations. “One major change surrounds whether the favorable tax treatment provided to business owners will be rolled back,” Nicholls says. “Rollbacks to these tax changes could be unpopular as many small businesses, already pummeled by the pandemic, could cry foul.” Biden has indicated that he favors forgiving a portion of outstanding student loan debt, with his proposal being at $10,000. “There has also been some movement towards addressing the long-standing preferential treatment for student loans with regards to bankruptcy forgiveness,” Nicholls says. He believes the new administration may also begin building on Obama-era reform that required more transparency in college costs. Nicholls would anticipate an expansion of federal tax credits for renewable energy. “This could benefit consumers buying a new car or seeking to make their home more energy efficient,” he says. “In contrast, energy policy may shift, curbing controversial energy production such as fracking and drilling in certain areas.” Nicholls also recommends watching inflation if the pandemic-era stimulus is expanded. CONTACT: Nicholls, 570-577-1802, 570-768-0989 (c), or curtis.nicholls@bucknell.edu

AMONG SCIENCE’S BEST — Among the runners-up for Science Magazine‘s “2020 Breakthrough of the Year” was a tribute to “Scientists speak up for diversity,” which included Tanisha Williams, the Burpee Postdoctoral Fellow in Botany at Bucknell who helped organize and lead a global #BlackBotanistsWeek initiative online in July which reached some 3,000 people. The Science article reports on the social media events that took place against the backdrop of the anguished response to police killings in the United States, the Black Lives Matter movement, and discussions within science about the need to create a more equitable, welcoming environment for people of color. “Through those discussions, many scientists hoped to reach colleagues who had paid little attention to these issues in the past,” wrote author Katie Langin. “People of color across the board are struggling,” says Williams in the article. “It’s a systemic problem.” CONTACT: Williams, 202-294-8509, tanisha.williams@bucknell.edu

EARNING A PRESS CREDENTIAL — Bucknell University Press has been admitted as a Regular member of the Association of University Presses (AUPresses), the leading professional association for University presses which represents a global community of publishers whose mission is to ensure academic excellence and cultivate knowledge. “Becoming a permanent member of the AUPresses will, among many other benefits, greatly increase the status and prestige of the University Press, and thus Bucknell as a whole,” says Professor Karen Morin, geography, who serves as associate provost. Membership was welcomed news to Suzanne Guiod, director, Bucknell University Press, a credential the press had been seeking for some 50 years. “We look forward to partaking in the benefits of full membership, and to contributing wherever possible to the AUPresses’ work and our mutual goals,” Guiod says. Benefits of Regular membership include promotion and advocacy campaigns for university presses, voting privileges, data and research programs, discounted services, and professional education and networking. CONTACT: Guiod, 570-577-1552, suzanne.guiod@bucknell.edu

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

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