MCHENRY —  Garrett College mathematics/science student Alex Yoder of Swanton has been selected to participate in the prestigious Bucknell Community College Scholars Program this summer. Yoder will spend six weeks at Bucknell University in preparation to apply for the Bucknell Transfer Scholarship upon earning his associate degree from Garrett College.

As a lifelong Garrett County resident, Yoder chose to attend Garrett College in September due to its proximity and affordability. Two of his siblings also attended Garrett, so he was familiar with the quality of education he would receive.

“Even though the last several semesters have been different, the opportunity to learn has still been present. Attending Garrett College has given me an advantage in that it allowed me to continue my education during the pandemic,” said Yoder. “I would like to thank the faculty for making continued learning possible."

Yoder is employed as a peer tutor at the college and is a member of the CRU student organization, which meets once per week for a hearty meal, Bible study and games.

“With so many virtual classes it has been difficult to get to know other people, especially since I am not living on campus. CRU has provided a way to interact meaningfully with other students outside of classes,” said Yoder, who enjoys hiking, golfing, snowboarding, playing guitar, reading and home renovation projects.

Yoder will enroll in two summer courses while he lives on campus. Prior to graduation from GC, he will have the option to apply for the transfer scholarship, which provides full tuition coverage while pursuing a bachelor’s degree at Bucknell, as well as continued mentoring. 

Garrett College English professor Greg Jenkins commended Yoder for his academic accomplishments.

“Alex was one of my very best students.  He's bright, disciplined and more than willing to work hard,” said Jenkins. “I predict he'll enjoy the Bucknell experience and they'll enjoy having him as a student.”

The primary purpose of the program is to provide access to a private education that students may never be able to achieve on their own.

The program is designed for high-achieving, low- to moderate-income community college students. Garrett College is one of only six community college partners in the program.

Ashley Ruby, director of advising and academic success, coordinates the Bucknell Program at Garrett College.

The students who are selected to participate in  are among Garrett College’s top 5%.

“This program has produced some of Garrett’s most notable alumni — international students, a state Senate candidate, an Ivy League graduate student, engineers, a dentist, a veterinarian, environmental advocates, business gurus, sustainability activists and many others,” said Ruby. 

Alex aims to earn his associate of arts and sciences: mathematics/science degree from Garrett College in May 2022 before transferring to a four-year institution to pursue a civil engineering program.

“After completing the summer program, I plan to apply for the transfer scholarship. It would be an amazing opportunity to participate in an engineering program at Bucknell,” said Yoder.

Recruitment efforts for the Bucknell Community College Scholars Program 2022 cohort are  underway. Candidates must achieve a 3.5 cumulative GPA in the first semester and beyond, have a low to moderate family income, complete at least 12 college level credits by the end of fall semester, be primarily enrolled in college level coursework and declare an associate of arts degree program of study.

Ruby will hold informational sessions in October and November. Students will have the opportunity to visit the Bucknell University campus in February 2022.

For more information, contact Ruby at 301-387-3733 or ashley.ruby@garrettcollege.edu.

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