Bucknell University is a private liberal arts college located alongside the West Branch Susquehanna River in the town of Lewisburg, Pennsylvania. The university consists of the College of Arts and Sciences, School of Management, and the College of Engineering. Bucknell was founded in 1846, and features programs in the arts, humanities, sciences, social sciences, engineering, management, education, and music, as well as programs and pre-professional advising that prepare students for study in law and medicine. It offers nearly 50 majors and over 60 minors.
The Bucknell University Social Justice minor consists of five credits: a core course, three electives, and an integrative experience course. The core courses are intended to provide students with the ability to assess contrasting views of what constitutes social justice and include both self-reflection and critical thinking. In addition, core courses may also give historical background on an issue or issues of social injustice and/or provide an introduction to concepts such as oppression and privilege. Students may choose a concentration in Poverty Studies by choosing a core course, integrative experience course, and at least two electives that focus significantly on issues of poverty. These courses allow students to combine their coursework with a poverty studies internship offered each year through the Shepherd Consortium.
Bucknell’s Shepherd Interns have served at a variety of sites over the years, gaining valuable experiences at a homeless shelter in Atlanta; a health program for the homeless in Washington, DC; an educational advocacy group in Austin, Texas; a food pantry and soup kitchens in Charleston, West Virginia; day camps for immigrant children in Virginia and Kentucky; a public health department in rural Virginia; a jobs training and placement program in Boston; and a program for homeless individuals in New York’s Bowery neighborhood. Others have served as a legal advocate for domestic violence victims in Baltimore; an assistant with the Harlem’s Children’s Zone; a behavior therapist for autistic children, an organizer for Kentuckians for the Common Wealth; a GED tutor for formerly incarcerated men in Camden, New Jersey; and a teacher in the Girls and Boys Club of Chester, Pennsylvania. All have learned important practical skills, acquired new insights about the complicated conditions of poverty; and established professional contacts in the public sector. These Shepherd Interns have also reported the program has enriched their understanding of ways social service agencies can, through policy and practice, work to alleviate poverty.
Council Member and Academic Director
Nina Banks, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Economics, affiliate faculty member in Women and Gender Studies and Africana Studies
Lynn C. Pierson
Assistant Director for Community Service
Office of Civic Engagement