Scholarship: So Much More

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary lists two definitions for the word scholarship. Recent economic uncertainty has placed a much needed emphasis on the second meaning: money awarded to a student to help pay for further education. Bloomsburg University’s core purpose, however, is built on the word’s primary definition: the qualities or learning of a scholar.

A public university, such as Bloomsburg, has unique standing in the educational community. We are here to serve the citizens of our region and beyond: to meet the educational needs of students and the employment needs of business, industry, government and school districts. As a public institution, our goal is to provide greater access, support services and networks to help all of our students be successful.

I refer to public higher education and, specifically, Bloomsburg University as The Great Equalizer. Students enrolled in a public university more accurately reflect today’s society.

The diverse makeup of our student body means young people who otherwise might never meet work together in class, co-curricular organizations and athletics. In the process, they gain a valuable understanding of people from different backgrounds, countries, beliefs and ways of life.

Recognizing that learning takes place both inside and outside of the classroom, last fall we instituted a flexible general education program, known as MyCore, under the leadership of Patricia Beyer, acting assistant dean of the College of Science and Technology. MyCore personalizes the educational experience so students attain the skills and knowledge they need to become lifelong learners. Outstanding faculty involvement is key to this program’s success.

Faculty also are the heart of another Bloomsburg academic success story – collaborative research. At most institutions, this type of intellectual pursuit is reserved for graduate students. At Bloomsburg, faculty from an array of disciplines welcome undergraduates to take part in their research. One such professor is the chemistry department’s Mark Tapsak, who holds more than two dozen patents and actively involves students in his polymer synthesis research. The benefits for our undergraduates are many: conference presentations, published journal articles and entry into the best graduate programs.

Scholarship in four Colleges – Education, Business, Liberal Arts and Science and Technology. It’s how Bloomsburg University serves the Commonwealth and, each year, nurtures thousands of scholars.

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