The weekly student newspaper of Bucknell University

The Bucknellian

The weekly student newspaper of Bucknell University

The Bucknellian

The weekly student newspaper of Bucknell University

The Bucknellian

2024 Commencement Student Speaker: Lea Tarzy
Alexandra Slofkiss: 2024 Commencement Soloist
Outstanding Senior Award: Bernadette Maramis
Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion: Gloria Sporea

Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion: Gloria Sporea

May 10, 2024

Excellence in Athletics Award: Meghan Quinn

Excellence in Athletics Award: Meghan Quinn

May 10, 2024

Excellence in the Arts Award: Joselyn Busato

Excellence in the Arts Award: Joselyn Busato

May 10, 2024

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Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion: Gloria Sporea

Lauren+Medeiros%2C+Photography+Co-Editor+%2F+The+Bucknellian
Lauren Medeiros, Photography Co-Editor / The Bucknellian

Gloria Sporea ’24, a passionate advocate for international student rights and cultural activism, is this year’s recipient of The Bucknellian’s Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion Award.  Her nomination, resulting from the student body vote, speaks to her impactful leadership and mentorship on campus, particularly in advancing the interests and well-being of students with diverse backgrounds at Bucknell.

Originally from northeastern Pennsylvania with familial roots tracing back to Romania, Sporea’s diverse upbringing has profoundly influenced her commitment to advocating for marginalized communities, particularly international students. “My family first arrived in the US after the fall of communism in Romania as refugees and are a big inspiration for the work that I do.”

Sporea’s decision to attend Bucknell was motivated by a desire for a liberal arts education that would accommodate her diverse range of interests and provide opportunities for community engagement and activism. She recognized Bucknell as a space where she could enact positive change and contribute meaningfully to campus life. 

When asked to reflect on her academic journey as a Biology major, she spoke to the intersections between her academic journey and interests in social activism. “I have truly grown to truly love justice and community engagement. This has been a moment where my extracurricular activities and academics mixed together. I have taken some community engaged courses that have really helped me learn how to interact with communities in a meaningful, appropriate, and productive way” 

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Throughout her tenure at Bucknell, Sporea has been deeply involved in various organizations and initiatives aimed at promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion:

As a co-founder, President and Presidential Adviser of the Global Student Council (GSC), Sporea has been instrumental in advocating for the needs of international students. Under her leadership, the GSC has worked to create a more inclusive campus environment through cultural events, educational initiatives and community building. When asked about her experiences as a leader of the organization, Sporea said “It’s evident that Bucknell currently lacks the robust representation and essential resources necessary for international students to truly thrive and feel wholeheartedly welcomed. Through our initiatives within the GSC, we strive to bridge these gaps and create a campus atmosphere where every student feels valued, supported, and empowered to excel academically and socially.”

Sporea has also worked as a GC3 Orientation Ambassador and Guide, where she welcomed and supported incoming students from diverse backgrounds, sharing her own experiences and cultural insights to help them navigate campus life and to foster a sense of belonging among new international students.

During her time at Bucknell, she also served as the affinity leader for the international affinity house, Global Home. “Along this journey, we found much pushback from certain areas of campus that made having a culturally representative space quite hard to facilitate, but our unwavering dedication to preserving the home helped in the end.” Despite facing challenges, her dedication to preserving this space has ensured that students feel valued and supported.

Some of the other impactful commitments she has made during her time at Bucknell include serving as a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Herring Ambassador. Through DEI research and initiatives, Sporea has worked to address issues of accessibility and inclusivity on campus, collaborating with faculty and staff to enact positive change. 

Sporea also served as a Board member for the Burmese Cultural Organization, helping to support and facilitate cultural events and initiatives for Burmese students, contributing to the preservation of cultural heritage and fostering connections within the community.

She also co-founded the World Cooking Club, where she utilized food as a medium for cultural exchange. Sporea spoke about how “Cooking and sharing meals can create lasting bonds and open avenues for cross-cultural dialogue. I see food as one of the connecting factors of all cultures.”

In addition to all of these activities, Sporea also served as a student liaison for the Bucknell Beyond Borders Coordinating Council, where she collaborated with faculty and staff to enhance global learning experiences and promote international exchanges on campus. “Our goals have included ensuring meaningful global learning experiences for all students, removing barriers to study abroad, promoting international exchanges, and enhancing global content in courses.” 

As a senior graduating from Bucknell, Sporea reflects on her academic journey and the impact of her extracurricular involvements. She plans to explore different career paths before potentially pursuing graduate school, emphasizing the importance of taking non-linear paths and seeking experiences aligned with one’s passions and values.

Looking back on her time at Bucknell, Sporea cherishes the memories spent at the Global Home and the connections forged within the international community. When asked what her favorite memory at Bucknell was, she said “It is hard to choose one memory, but very easy to choose one place. I can say that my time living at the Global Home has been one I am extremely grateful for! I had the privilege of sharing my life with individuals from all corners of the globe, each with their own unique stories, perspectives, and traditions. I hope others will be able to cherish this safe space just as much as I did.”

She encourages current and incoming students to embrace diversity, seek new experiences, and advocate for positive change on campus. “For students seeking to be community/student leaders, I hope you do not let anyone stop you from what you truly care for. The administration will not change unless we make it and the work you do is highly important even if it has never been done before. If you see a gap somewhere, fill it, and help foster spaces that can make Bucknell a better place for all,” said Sporea. 

When asked if she had any shout-outs to give or people to thank before leaving campus, she replied, “I want to give a huge shout out to the executive members of the Global Student Council, which have been vital partners in our success on campus and creating a representative, and culturally oriented community. I particularly want to give a shoutout to Jennifer Figueroa (ISSS Director and GSC co-advisor), Heather Almer (ISSS Assistant Director), Dr. Felipe Perrone (GSC Advisor and Computer Science Professor), Dr. Katherine Faull and Dr. Mizuki Takahashi (Biology Professor) for their unwavering support for the multicultural and international community on campus and for their mentorship to me and many other student leaders working to increase DEI initiatives on campus.”

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  • M

    Monica SporeaJul 6, 2024 at 1:53 pm

    Gloria, You are Amazing! I am s-o proud of You!
    I wish You The Best of everithing! I love You!
    Mamam.

    Reply