The College of Engineering at Bucknell has actively sought mechanisms to more effectively integrate engineering and non-engineering courses and to achieve truly-broad minded engineers with excellent technical skills. Our increased focus on student engagement, the establishment of an Office for Civic Engagement and a Teaching and Learning Center, and the launch of a $500 million comprehensive campaign, has galvanized us to establish formal programs to better provide our engineering students with the needed broad education and rich residential undergraduate experience.
We established a GCSP because we believe the fourteen Grand Challenges are important and worthwhile endeavors and that we should encourage many of our graduates to contribute to solving one or more of the Challenges. We also believe the NAE’s GCSP provides an excellent vehicle for motivating a voluntary group of students to increase their academic engagement throughout their years at Bucknell by taking advantage of the existing strong opportunities for pursuing each of the required GCSP components.
Our vision is to have our GCSP help ensure all GC Scholars achieve the broadened education and deeper engagement communicated in the College of Engineering’s Plan for Engineering Education, and to be motivated and equipped to help solve a Grand Challenge. Moreover, we envision the GCSP will also help achieve similar goals for other engineering students who are not formally designated as GC Scholars, that is, we anticipate positive spillover effects throughout the CoE and the University as a whole.
Bucknell expects its GC Scholars to be able to recognize and act on their ability to make real efforts towards solving the world’s Grand Challenges. GC Scholars will create innovative ideas that will solve the most pressing issues of today to meet the basic needs of all people and work for a higher standard of living. Bucknell expects them to understand that it takes people from various disciplines to solve these problems, which must be considered from different angles.
They will work to build their entrepreneurial skills, which will allow them to take their ideas into the business world. Furthermore, GC Scholars will realize both that they work in a global environment and that they work to serve the public and improve the general welfare of all people. Finally, GC Scholars will network with other GC Scholars at Bucknell, at other schools, and with professionals involved in solving the Grand Challenges in research and industry.