After graduating from Franklin, Bunnell pursued a master’s degree in industrial and organizational psychology. “Franklin gave me a broad psychology education and my master’s pushed me to become more of a practitioner in this specific field. And, Franklin prepared me for the autonomous environment of graduate school.”
Choosing a school that gave Bunnell a solid educational foundation to flourish was important to him. “When I first visited Franklin, I talked for an hour with psychology associate processor Kristin Flora, Ph.D. That personal attention from the start was important to me.”
“I looked at smaller schools and ultimately chose Franklin because classes would be smaller and more engaging. I also knew that I would be more accountable in this environment.”
Bunnell pursued a well-rounded education at Franklin. In addition to his double-major, he played soccer for two years and then traveled with the team, participating as photographer and accompanying the team on a Winter Term trip to Ireland.
He also participated in Greek life and was part of the college’s inter-fraternity council.
Bunnell says “Franklin College is about community, collaboration and an environment to expand one’s worldview while creating friends for life.” He thinks one differentiator is that “Franklin is a comfortable atmosphere where people are familiar and you have an opportunity to really connect with your peers. Fellow students helped me stretch and grow.”
Bunnell cites faculty as being part of the “Franklin Family” as much as fellow students. “Faculty had an open door policy – professors were completely accessible to me. They always expected the absolute best and directed me to take responsibility, manage my time and prioritize. Ultimately, they prepared me for graduate school and my career by teaching me to think independently and work without hand-holding.”
Interacting with professors and topics from different disciplines broadened his worldview. “The liberal arts was something that didn’t matter to me as I was school shopping, but it started to make sense my sophomore or junior year when I started to see how well-rounded I would be as a psychology grad.”
Bunnell was interested in psychology when he arrived at Franklin but wasn’t sure what area he wanted to pursue. “The psychology major at Franklin is broad but it covered many areas so that I now have an understanding in the possibilities of the field.”
“I could not have asked for better professors than in my majors. Kristin Flora and I made a good team. She helped keep me on track, sometimes even asking, ‘Is everything okay?’ to help me monitor and stay consistent in my work. She was there as an educator and mentor, shaping how I approached my work and as a result, I took more pride and responsibility in my work.”
In addition, “philosophy professor David Chandler, Ph.D., opened up my worldview and taught me how to question assumptions, to dig deeper.”
Franklin’s Winter Term was also an important part of Bunnell’s Franklin College experience. He cites two courses – Philosophy of Physics and Psychology of Humor – as opportunities to be truly engaged and learn what he loved. “Even the space during Winter Term was beneficial as it gave me down time to collect myself, consider who I was and what I wanted and then determine the right path for me.”
Bunnell wants prospective and current Franklin students to know he is “super-happy” in his job and that “with a degree from Franklin, you can do almost anything.”
“Franklin shapes you into doing something beyond your education because what you learn is translatable to the real world and improves the whole person. If I could choose again, I would choose Franklin 10 times out of 10. The college is the perfect place to figure out what you want to do.”