Staff of the Year: Marcus Scales

Maddie+Hamilton%2C+Photography+Editor+%2F+The+Bucknellian

Maddie Hamilton, Photography Editor / The Bucknellian

Dora Kreitzer, Print Managing Editor

Marcus Scales, Director of Multicultural Student Services, is named the winner of The Bucknellian’s Staff of the Year award. 

Scales began his role in Fall 2020, but had worked at Bucknell years prior in a small capacity as an intern in the CAP Center while he was completing his Master’s of Higher Education, and held various residential and student affairs positions in between. 

In his role, Scales sees his main responsibility as supporting all students, but especially racially marginalized students, to ease and support their experiences at a primarily white institution. Through his work and interactions with students, Scales tries to elevate particular student experiences and challenge the university to allocate the necessary resources to address those experiences and support students. 

According to Scales, universities like Bucknell are “diversifying their populations, but then they don’t always think long term about ‘how are we supporting these students in their experiences and what experiences are they bringing here?’ Where I think historically their approach has been ‘how do we get them to assimilate’, ‘how do we recognize them and their differences and allow that to be a part of our ever changing dynamic?’”

Working with students is Scales’ favorite part of the job. He recognizes that college is a very unique time for students as they move away from their historical environment, and appreciates the challenge of supporting students in a time which he refers to as “the last safety net before the real world.” 

Scales likes to take a “high touch” approach, in which he is “not only interested in who’s showing up, but also how they are showing up.” Scales wants to know students and understand what experiences they bring to campus, in order to be able to direct them to the institutional resources and support that they need or are looking for. 

But Scales does not attempt to be a role model. Instead, in his own words, he tries to do his job well.  For him, that means supporting the student experience the best that he can. From whatever position he is in, he wants to leave a student or an institution in better condition than he found it. That does not mean appeasing students, but rather challenging them, and specifically challenging them to become better versions of themselves. 

Because of the importance of students within this work, being chosen as Staff of the Year meant a lot to Scales. 

“I hope and strive to be student centered in the way that I work,” Scales said. “So for students to recognize me… I’m truly appreciative of that because y’all are the reason why I do the work that I do. So to know that it’s going noticed by students is something I’m truly grateful for.”

When the Bucknellian asked Scales to leave some words of wisdom for the Class of 2023, Scales said the following:

“Continue to be amazing and continue to parse through all of those complexities that make you you. Understand that you are enough wherever you go. I tell students, wherever you go, you belong there. You’re an expert on your own experience. No one can take that from you. Bring your perspective to whatever space and whatever room you occupy. Continue to become fuller, beautiful, amazing versions of yourself and have fun.”

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