Bucknell September Tip Sheet

LEWISBURG, Pa. — The following are Bucknell University story ideas that may interest you this month.

ADDRESSING THE RACIAL WEALTH GAP — An average white family in America has 10 times the wealth of the average black family. This figure has barely changed in the past 20 years and has widened in the current economic expansion. This wealth gap is currently costing the economy between $1 to $1.5 trillion. And according to a recent report by the consulting firm McKinsey & Co., if black families were as wealthy as white families, America’s economy would benefit from the addition of somewhere between four and six percent of the projected GDP. “The racial wealth gap is a reflection of long-term policies and practices by both the public and private sectors that have systematically disadvantaged black, Latinx and Native communities in favor of white Americans,” said Bucknell economics professor, Nina Banks. Banks is an expert in political economy, especially pertaining to gender and race. She said it was “noteworthy that the issue of the racial wealth gap has been taken up by a mainstream consultancy,” but hopes that the central concern is achieving racial equity rather than external economic benefits. CONTACT: Banks, 570-577-1652, nina.banks@bucknell.edu.

EXTENDING WORK LIVES — As workers begin to age, they will inevitably face a decline in cognitive and physical functioning. However, when older workers’ reasoning abilities are well-matched with their job demands, they report fewer chronic health problems than when they can’t keep up. Furthermore, when older workers are unable to meet the demands of their role, the odds of retiring increase by 34%, according to the study of 383 workers and retirees over age 51. Maturing workers are no longer motivated by workplace needs, but are rather seeking feelings of contribution and socialization according to Eddy Ng, James and Elizabeth Freeman Professor of Management at Bucknell, an expert on the generational workplace.“From an older worker’s perspective, those things actually outweigh financial considerations. So, fit is really important,” Ng said. “When you stop working, you become lonely. But when you go to work, you get a lot of other benefits, as well.” CONTACT: Ng, 570-577-3421, eddy.ng@bucknell.edu.

PLANTING THE STEM SEED — Getting a child interested in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) activities requires some resources parents can use, but finding educational resources that are fun and accessible isn’t always easy. Emily Bayuk ’21, an electrical engineering major with a minor in Russian, is hoping to change that. She wishes she had discovered circuits at an earlier age, so she wrote and illustrated The Fundamentals of Circuits Made Easy, her first book. Bayuk first got the idea to write the book when she realized most resources written on the topic were for high school and college aged students. She wants to inspire middle and elementary school aged children, especially girls, to become more interested in the STEM field. The book contains visual aids and easily comprehensible explanations. More is available at emilybayuk.com. CONTACT: Bayuk, 914-924-8379, erb024@bucknell.edu.

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CONTACTS: Mike Ferlazzo, 570-577-3212, 570-238-6266 (c), mike.ferlazzo@bucknell.edu; Nathan Madden, 570-577-3651, ndm006@bucknell.edu

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