Mike Ferlazzo
570-238-6266 (c)

LEWISBURG, Pa. (May 2, 2024) – Some students at Bucknell pursue athletics, some research, and others get involved in clubs and organizations on campus. Michael Hardyway ’25 chose to maximize his time on campus by pursuing all three.

As a first-year student, he earned his position as a walk-on quarterback on Bucknell’s football team. Although the Oceanside, Calif., native grew up playing football, he wanted to prioritize his academics when applying to Bucknell. It wasn’t until after he received an academic scholarship to attend the University that he decided to ask the football coaches about joining the team.

The transition to college life so far from home was a challenge for Hardyway, who was only 17 when he arrived on campus. He says getting involved with campus organizations helped him develop a sense of community. Even before arriving on campus, a mentor from Bucknell’s GenFirst! program reached out to Hardyway. “They wanted me to know that they understood what it’s like to feel worried,” Hardyway says. “They made me feel welcomed.”

The Fellowship of Christian Athletes has also provided Hardyway support. Once a week, fellow football players huddle for a JTO – a “Jesus Time-out” – to share a positive message. “It doesn’t matter where you come from, what position you play or where you’re at in life,” he says. “It’s a time to express something you want your teammates to hear.”

Michael Hardyway ’25 earned his position as a Bison quarterback as a walk-on athlete. Photo by Emily Paine, Marketing & Communications

While balancing his athletic commitments, Hardyway excels academically as an environmental studies major and biology minor who has pursued two summer research projects with Milton Newberry, sustainable technology director of Bucknell’s Center for Sustainability and the Environment.

In the summer of 2022, he worked to develop a public opinion survey for local residents following the construction of Bucknell’s Solar Project. The following summer, he returned to study carbon sequestration on Bucknell’s campus. He used different tools to measure trees’ carbon capacity and created maps of campus greenery. He found certain types of trees, and the ones planted closer to student hubs like the Elaine Langone Center, do the heavy lifting when it comes to storing emissions. His research will inform future campus plantings to help Bucknell achieve its carbon neutrality goal.

Through his research, Hardyway has developed a bond with campus and the surrounding area. He has always had a deep appreciation for nature, which guided his decision to major in environmental science. Though he says he misses the California waves, immersing himself in the beautiful places on campus allows him to reflect and recharge.

Hardyway works to improve other students’ connections to campus as a student ambassador in the Center for Sustainability and the Environment. He promotes sustainability initiatives and shares the center’s work on their social media accounts, aiming to spark fellow students’ passion for environmental stewardship.

For Hardyway, achieving balance at Bucknell is all about prioritizing what matters most to him. “Making the most out of college involves putting yourself out there,” he says. “I love what I do. I have amazing people around me who support me.”


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Michael Hardyway ’25 has balanced life as an athlete and a student-scholar who has conducted environmental research at Bucknell. Photo by Emily Paine, Marketing & Communications