LEWISBURG, Pa. — These are Bucknell University story ideas that may interest you in March.
WARTIME COMMUNITY RESPONSIBILITY — The Russian invasion of Ukraine has exposed heroism among the Ukrainian people according to Bucknell Freeman College of Management Professor Eric Martin, management; and Kateryna Zarembo, lecturer, National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy in Ukraine, who have been tracking acts of bravery during the conflict. While the countless acts of individual bravery are important memories of the struggle Ukrainians face, they see subtler forms of resistance and unity being examples of what previous scholars refer to as a sense of “community responsibility.” “Folks feel responsible to communities of which they are members, where they share emotional connections, where needs are met by others,” says Martin, who studies post-conflict transition. As fellow Freeman College of Management Professor Neil Boyd and Martin highlighted in a 2020 paper, while concern for others may start with one’s self, it fans out quickly to others — especially those with whom they have previous community ties. Martin and Zarembo say both “sense of community” and “sense of community responsibility” skyrocketed among Ukranians when the invasion began. That’s significant because Ukraine typically ranks low in measures of civil society. CONTACTS: Martin, 570-577-3628, firstname.lastname@example.org; Zarembo, email@example.com
PANDEMIC PREVENTION — March 11 is officially the second anniversary of COVID-19 being declared a pandemic and some Bucknell researchers are participating in a National Institutes of Health (NIH) study that may help prevent future pandemics. A common denominator in both COVID-19 and Ebola outbreaks is the role bats may have played in the eventual transmission to humans. In 2021, Bucknell professors DeeAnn Reeder and Ken Field, both biology, received a $2.9 million grant from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) to investigate the unique physiology of bats and how that enables them to act as hosts for deadly diseases that can spill over to humans, in the case of their research, Ebola. “This is a critical part of pandemic preparedness. We need to understand better the disease ecology of viruses of pandemic potential and the role bats may play in the transmission of those viruses,” says Reeder, who has previously advised U.S. and African authorities on infectious diseases, including Ebola. This spring, Field, Reeder, two postdoctoral fellows, and a small group of Bucknell students plan to head to Uganda to launch the first phase of that research, following a successful pilot study conducted at Bucknell last fall using 11 North American big brown bats from around the Susquehanna Valley. After the bats were introduced to an Ebola-like particle containing three of the proteins found in the virus, the researchers found that the animals did indeed exhibit symptoms such as fever — which is the body’s attempt at killing the virus — and created antibodies to shore up their immunity in case of future infection. CONTACTS: Reeder, 570-577-1208, firstname.lastname@example.org; Field, 570-577-3814, email@example.com
REASON TO CELEBRATE SBDC DAY — National SBDC Day is Wednesday, March 16, and the Bucknell Small Business Development Center (SBDC) truly has reason to celebrate. As one of almost 1,000 SBDCs throughout the country, Bucknell’s center has been helping businesses start, grow, and prosper for more than 40 years in Union, Northumberland, Juniata, Montour, Perry, and Snyder counties: including over 40 new local businesses launched in the past year alone! Its newest business incubator, Startup Danville, is flourishing as a rural business incubator for health and tech innovators. Even though it launched during the pandemic, this program has already served 15 entrepreneurs who have created over 50 jobs in the Danville area. “A recent expansion allowed several existing members to move into newly designed office spaces, as well as engagement with new members,” says Bucknell SBDC Director Steven Stumbris. “In the near future we’ll embark on a new storytelling-based marketing strategy to narrate the diverse ‘startup stories’ at the incubator, and stimulate additional entrepreneurs into jumpstarting their ventures with us,” says Denny Hummer, assistant director, business incubation, Bucknell SBDC. CONTACTS: Stumbris, 570-577-3791, firstname.lastname@example.org; Hummer, 570-577-2813, email@example.com
CONTACT: Mike Ferlazzo, 570-577-3212, 570-238-6266 (c), firstname.lastname@example.org