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Media Tip Sheet: Bucknell’s April Story Ideas

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

SALUTING SMALL BUSINESS EXCELLENCE & INNOVATION — The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) announced its 2024 Small Business Week Award Winners and the Bucknell Small Business Development Center (SBDC) was honored with the Pennsylvania Small Business Development Center Excellence and Innovation Award. The Bucknell SBDC was nominated for the award by Dr. Ernie Post, state director, Pennsylvania Small Business Development Centers Network. The recognition is part of the annual Presidentially-designated National Small Business Week, taking place April 28 through May 4. The Bucknell SBDC serves clients in six counties, including Union, Montour, Northumberland, Snyder, Perry and Juniata. According to Bucknell SBDC Director Steve Stumbris, the center assisted 604 clients in the past fiscal year, including 48 entrepreneurs who started new businesses. During this period they also helped businesses secure almost $11 million in capital to grow their markets and operations and launched a new suite of digital services for small businesses seeking to expand and enhance their online presence. In January the Bucknell SBDC secured a highly competitive national grant award from the U.S. Small Business Administration to support new educational training programs and consulting on AI tools and best practices for small businesses. The SBDC recently led the 12th annual BizPitch competition for Bucknell student entrepreneurs and this summer will launch StartUp Milton, which will join startup business incubators it operates in Lewisburg and Danville. The Bucknell SBDC will celebrate its statewide award, hosting a National Small Business Week event on Tuesday, April 30, starting at 10 a.m. at the historic Campus Theatre, 413 Market St., Lewisburg — directly across the street from the SBDC’s offices. Officials from SBA’s Eastern Pennsylvania District Office will be on hand to make the award presentation. CONTACT: Steve Stumbris, 570-577-3791,

HONORING MOTHER EARTH — Bucknell’s Office of Campus Sustainability is coordinating campus events throughout April’s Earth Month, with a few standing out as highlights. Starting Monday, April 15, the Bucknell Center for Sustainability & the Environment will partner with Epsilon Eta, the honor society focused on sustainability, on a stream cleanup of Miller Run from 3 to 5 p.m. (rain date Tuesday, April 16). The Bucknell Farm and Lewisburg Community Garden volunteer hours have both begun as part of Earth Month, with Farm volunteer hours being Wednesdays and Fridays from 4-7 p.m. (Sign up); and Garden volunteer hours being Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4-7 p.m. (Sign up). There will be an Earth Day Festival at the Bucknell Farm on Saturday, April 20, from 1 to 3 p.m., which will include a demonstration of a disperse biochar kiln (DBK), constructed by Jack Falter ’24, mechanical engineering. DBK reduces biomass waste, creates carbon credit and helps the ecology, and farms are using it as a soil amendment, locking carbon in the soil. Falter will demonstrate his kiln at the Bucknell Farm on Earth Day, Monday, April 22, starting at 11 a.m. On Friday, April 26, starting at 3 p.m., Professor Chris Martine, biology, David Burpee Professor of Plant Genetics and Research and a certified tree expert, will lead an Arbor Day Tree Walk through downtown Lewisburg as part of the Merrill Linn Conservancy’s Tree Walk Program Series, co-sponsored by the Shade Tree Commission. Starting from Hufnagle Park, the walk has a suggested donation of $5 per participant and registration is required at CONTACTS: Victor Udo, director of sustainability, 570-577-1914,; Professor Matthew Higgins, faculty director, BCSE, 570-577-1972,; Jen Schneidman Partica, farm and garden manager, 570-577-2212,; Martine, 570-577-1135,

TAX DIY OR PROFESSIONAL? — As Monday’s April 15 federal tax day approaches, the evolving landscape of tax preparation leaves individuals with the decision of whether to use online tax software or enlist the expertise of an accountant to file their taxes. Freeman College of Management Professor James Lawson, accounting, teaches an individual federal income tax class and recommends using an accountant “when you feel like you are no longer getting value from the online software, when you are expecting to have life events that will increase the complexity of your taxes or when you want to develop a long-term relationship that can be beneficial throughout the year and not just at the tax filing deadline.” Regardless, Lawson advises to not pay for more than you need. “Some tax software companies oversell their products, resulting in taxpayers purchasing a premium product they do not need,” he says. “In fact, as a direct result of this, the U.S. government provides various free tax filing services that are the perfect option for taxpayers with simple tax situations (i.e., those with primarily salary income who take the standard deduction).” Fellow Freeman Professor Stacy Mastrolia, accounting, teaches personal finance, and points out that April is also Financial Literacy Month. She adds, “if you start a business, rent your house or car for profit or work outside the U.S. for part of the year, I recommend you work with an accountant to avoid costly mistakes.” Mastrolia goes on to say that “the most common mistake I see people make when preparing their taxes is missing a deduction like the state sales tax deduction (if you live in one of the nine states without an income tax), the student loan interest deduction (which you can take even if someone else is making the student loan payments), or unreimbursed moving expenses for most active military taxpayers. And it’s even worse when you miss a tax credit like the earned income tax credit, the dependent and child care tax credit, or the adoption tax credit.” CONTACTS: Lawson, 570-577-3569,; Mastrolia, 570-577-1560,


CONTACTS: Mike Ferlazzo, 570-577-3212, 570-238-6266 (c),

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