Senior Spotlight

It’s about that time of year again, the time when we must send our beloved seniors out into the wild to fend for themselves. Except, we kind of already do that on the weekends here with OEL… for fun…? Perhaps a better choice of words- graduation is around the corner, and our seniors are as excited as ever to celebrate the past four years of hard work before diving into the great world of “adulting”. Before they go, we want to take the time to highlight their OEL accomplishments and thank them for all they’ve done for the program. Y’all have touched so many lives, and we are truly grateful to have had your presence for the past four (or five!) years. You will be dearly missed.


OEL Graduating Class of 2017

Name: Chris Serfass

Major: Chemical Engineering

OEL Branch: Buckwild, Outing Club

Favorite Outdoor Activity: Backpacking

Fun Facts: I make my own sandals. I once got a hole-in-one on the longest mini-golf hole in the world (208 feet). Back to those sandals I make . . . I run in them

Best OEL Memory: Probably my second-to-last BuckWild solo. I love taking moments of personal reflection. I spent a long time thinking about how being involved in OEL has affected me while sitting at one of my favorite spots by the creek at Cowan. Near the end of it a bald eagle flew a few meters over my head.

Post-Graduation Plans: Graduate school at NC State.

Senior Will/Shoutouts: Shoutout to my BuckWild Leaders from back when I was a participant for being awesome enough to make me want to follow in your footsteps!


Name: Sam Jacobson

Major: Geology

OEL Branch: Buckwild, Outing Club, Rental Center, Bike Shop

Favorite Outdoor Activity: Whitewater kayaking, bike polo, backpacking.

Fun Facts: I like to eat nilla wafers, I taught myself to overtone sing, I lived three years in McDonnell hall

Best OEL Memory: Hiking through maryland in the rain, celebrating Ellie Perry’s 19th birthday with 19 miles.

Post-Graduation Plans: Graduate school for Masters in environmental science at the University of Guelph.


Name: Caitlin Deardorff

Major: International Relations

OEL Branch: Buckwild, Outing Club, Tito’s BFF., Marketing Manager

Favorite Outdoor Activity: Hiking and Kayaking.

Fun Facts: I’ve gone bungee jumping in Peru, I’m training for the biathlon in the Pan American games and I’m dieting for senior week on a strict Flaming Hot Cheetos only diet. (It’s going really well so far).

Best OEL Memory: Spring break to Utah, leading Buckwild every year, my fall break trip with Carolyn and Taylor to the White Mountains and the millions of memories made while hanging out with such an eclectic and amazing group of people.

Post-Graduation Plans: Summer in Cape Cod leading Adventure Trips followed by Outward Bound in the fall with the Chesapeake Bay/Baltimore School.

Senior Will/Shoutouts: I’ll leave my sanity with Kathleen, and also Emily and Jamie (may you have the best senior years ever), my favorite hammock spot in the grove with Kenzie, and my hairdryer with Peter so he can always keep the hair coiffed. As for everyone else, I hope that OEL serves as a catalyst for great opportunities and provides as much love and support as it did for me.


Name: Seamus Dowdall

Major: Political Science and Economics

OEL Branch: Buckwild

Favorite Outdoor Activity: Backpacking

Fun Facts: Buckwild was my first overnight outdoor experience. OEL definitely won’t be my last.

Best OEL Memory: White elephant gift exchange game our first year.

Post-Graduation Plans: Under construction..

Senior Will/Shoutouts: Shoutout to Sunbutter for showing me a world I never knew, and shoutout to Tito for giving me the opportunity to lead for four years.


Name: Carolyn DeFalco

Major: Neuroscience

OEL Branch: Buckwild (Manager)

Favorite Outdoor Activity: Backpacking

Fun Facts: I know all the words to “We Didn’t Start The Fire,” my favorite vegetable is artichoke and I love the beach and snowy mountain tops equally.

Best OEL Memory: Dancing like a crazy person during the shindig at the end of Buckwild and celebrating all our hard work with my co-leaders.

Post-Graduation Plans: I’m end-to-ending The Long Trail in VT this summer!

Senior Will/Shoutouts: I leave Buckwild in the capable hands of Jamie and Isa!


Name: Abigail Garrett

Major: Biology and Spanish

OEL Branch: Challenge Course

Favorite Outdoor Activity: Hiking

Fun Facts: 1)  I am fluent in Spanish.  2)  I am teaching myself Japanese.  3)  I love to dance!

Best OEL Memory: Any sort of ClimBucknell training is always a blast!  Joking around during energizers is pretty fun.

Post-Graduation Plans: Pursuing my PhD in Microbiology at Indiana University.

Senior Will/Shoutouts: To Lovejoy, I leave my bet about the ladder (may you owe Kading Dunkin’).


Name: Brenna Powell

Major: College Student Personnel

OEL Branch: Buckwild, Challenge Course, Rental Center, Climbing Wall

Favorite Outdoor Activity: Climbing

Best OEL Memory: All of Costa Rica spring break, WFR with the 2016-2017 training class..

Senior Will/Shoutouts: Shoutout to all of OEL for making Bucknell home and keeping me coming back. You are all wonderful.


Name: J.T. Ferrara

Major: Mathematics and Electrical Engineering

OEL Branch: Buckwild, Outing Club

Favorite Outdoor Activity: Climbing

Fun Facts: 1) I spent a week of summer snowboarding on a glacier in high school.
2) I won the Pine Wood Derby in 4th grade.
3) I have three Achilles tendons.

Best OEL Memory: The scouting trip for my first Buckwild trip (@Margot, Amy, & Caitlin) and
Climbing & Caving 2hottohandle for making me laugh more in five days than the I had collectively up to that point in my life

Post-Graduation Plans: Leading trips in Hawaii over the summer then working for MathWorks in Massachusetts in the fall.

Senior Will/Shoutouts: Shoutout to:
All my Buckwild crews for showing me how you only need a few days and an open mind to make new close friends. All my co-leaders for gracing me with your leading prowess and wisdom and teaching me new things about myself. Tito for his contagious energy, encouragement to pursue the outdoors, and challenge to my outlook on life
OEL for turning a diverse crowd into a giant family. And of course Kathleen and Ders for keeping me young by constantly reminding me how old I am.


Name: Ellie Perry

Major: Biomedical Engineering

OEL Branch: Buckwild, Rental Center (Manager), Outhouse (Manager)

Favorite Outdoor Activity: Road Cycling

Fun Facts: 1) For the past 3 years I have celebrated my birthday during the BuckWild May Training Trip (first time by getting a stress fracture on my foot, second time by completing a 60+ mile trail, and third time by getting mild hypothermia) and will do it for a 4th and final time this year! 2) In 2015 I was the first woman to join the Bucknell Cycling team since the last one graduated in 2012, and now the team has almost half a dozen regular women riders! 3) Though I’m studying and will soon be working in engineering, I enjoy painting and writing poetry and short prose/flash fiction.

Best OEL Memory: Every moment where I thought I couldn’t do something and did it – or better yet, when I saw someone else do something they never thought they could do. Sounds cheesy, but it’s true!

Post-Graduation Plans: Working as an Engineer for Biodesigns, Inc., a company in the prosthetics/military tech/human performance field.

Senior Will/Shoutouts: To the current underclassmen BuckWild leaders, and all to come, I leave the knowledge to remember that you are doing an amazing thing, and that even though you aren’t being paid for it, the training and experiences you receive are priceless. The program gives a lot to you, and the more you give back to it, the more you will receive.
Shoutout to Lauren Swanson, who I met as a participant in BuckWild, bonded with through BuckWild training, became best friends with through leading the Outhouse, worked with at the Rental Center, and led our senior-year BuckWild trip (OG BuckWild Unpacked) with, who has been mistaken for me and I for her, who is honestly the better half of our friendship, and so so so much more – you have influenced my life in so many ways and I am better for knowing you!
Also shoutouts: to Alex Breakstone, for introducing me to what will undoubtedly be a lifelong passion in road cycling; to Max Fathauer, for being a beautiful person; David Kading, for being the best life coach; and Elyza Agosta, for not only being the best manager partner I could ask for, but an amazing friend and kindred spirit!


Name: Lauren Swanson

Major: International Relations, Religious Studies, and Spanish

OEL Branch: Buckwild, Rental Center

Favorite Outdoor Activity: Kayaking

Fun Facts: I can touch my tongue to my nose! (Big accomplishments by senior year). I’ve been to all lower 48, and I worked as a translator in Nicaragua!

Best OEL Memory: During our 2015 May training, I was on the Delaware Water Gap trip. We had beautiful weather and made great time, so much that we made a raft, put up a sail, pointed up stream, and all hopped out of the boats to wash in the river with bio-degradable soap. This was made even sweeter upon hearing of the tragedies of other 2015 May training trips. #bringbackthegap

Post-Graduation Plans: Starting part-time as a pastor in Danville, VA while attending Duke University to get my Masters of Divinity.

Senior Will/Shoutouts: Shoutout to logistics, for always being able to find what the Buckwild Leaders lose, and for always knowing whats going on. To Max Fathauer, I leave you my senioritis, so that you may continue the work of Unpacked as a washed up senior <3 Shoutout to my training class. Winter break training is when I really knew I belonged at Bucknell. Though growing apart is inevitable after that initial year, I will always be grateful for the support y’all showed in every number of little ways.On that note, a particular shoutout to Ellie Perry, for becoming my best friend in that hot, sticky loft over winter break. You always judge the same people I judge. You’re always up for a crazy adventure, and you’re willing to put in the work. I am so impressed by how much you do diligently, without ever asking for any recognition. I would never want to be a wallflower in the bar with anyone else. To Brian Picarillo, I leave all my deep dark stories. You have my trust. Shoutout to David Kading, I’m so glad you let me crash on your floor freshman year, and I’m glad I upgraded to your bed sophomore year. It’s led us to a beautiful friendship of late night talks. To Elyza, I leave my rebellion. Always question why the system’s there and who it benefits. Make life work your way. Never fit in anyone’s box. You inspire me.


Name: Rigel Valentine

Major: Education

OEL Branch: Buckwild, Challenge Course, Bike Shop

Favorite Outdoor Activity: Bushwhacking through thorns.

Fun Facts: I can catch a fly with chopsticks.

Best OEL Memory: Bushwhacking through thorns.

Post-Graduation Plans: UCONN outdoor recreation.


Name: Tom Archibald

Major: Geography

OEL Branch: Challenge Course

Favorite Outdoor Activity: Hiking/Climbing

Fun Facts: I can draw a world map from memory. I’ve traveled to Europe twice. I’ve lived in 4 states

Best OEL Memory: During training I was belaying someone twice my size up Giant’s Ladder and I had to get an anchor because I kept flying off the ground. I had to jump into the air anytime I wanted to pull on the rope any more to help them climb. It was an extensive process but they eventually made it to the top, thankfully.

Post-Graduation Plans: I hope to be working in a city in a new place.


Name: Abbie Titus

Major: Chemical Engineering and Management

OEL Branch: Buckwild, Outing Club

Favorite Outdoor Activity: Camping and hiking (aka backpacking)

Fun Facts: I had never been camping before coming to Bucknell. Since then, I’ve led 4 Buckwild trips, 2 Spring Break trips, and several training trips and Outing Club excursions. I will now be spending the next two years basically camping in West Africa with the Peace Corps. Love!

Best OEL Memory: Just one? Ummm… when I met my co-leaders Addie and Seamus for Buckwild two summers ago, and they made me pee my pants from laughter every single day of the trip.

Post-Graduation Plans: I joined the Peace Corps and will be spending the next two years in Guinea, West Africa to teach math.

Senior Will/Shoutouts: Shoutout to Tito for hiring me as a Buckwild Leader way back in 2012. It has been amazing to watch this program grow and thrive. Working for OEL has led to life-changing experiences and lifelong friendships, and I have you to thank for it all. THANK YOU! Shoutout to Seamus for leading two, er, I mean three Buckwild trips with me (I can’t believe the managers let us do that, fools!). I treasure your friendship more than I can describe, and I appreciate you for laughing with me at things that no one else seems to think are funny. Shoutout to Addie for being my friend despite our philosophical differences. Going into my 4th year at Bucknell, I wasn’t really looking to make new friends, but alas, you forced your way into my life and I am better for it! I appreciate you for being patient with me and Shay when we laugh at seemingly nothing. Shoutout to JT and Steph for being amazing co-leaders during the spring break trip in Utah! You guys kept me grounded, like when I was in denial about being lost in the desert. Your readiness to laugh and spread positivity, no matter the circumstances, is incredible. Shoutout to Chach/Caitlin/Erin/Anthony/Jamie/Sam/Kathleen/

Taylor for being an amazing squad that has an unbelievably good time no matter what they are doing. I appreciate having this fifth year to get to know you better; I will miss running into your bright shining faces all over campus. To the Buckwild Leaders that must stay behind, I leave you the Legend of May Training Trip in Adirondacks 1.0, the coldest, stormiest, most sleepless trip ever planned. I also leave the great Buckwild 2013 Black Forest Fight against Mother Nature, in which my participants and I fought for our lives against bears, killer wasps, and wild fires. Best of luck on all future trips!


Name: Payton Kirkpatrick

Major: Biology

OEL Branch: Buckwild

Favorite Outdoor Activity: Canoeing

Fun Facts: I played bagpipes for the Prince of England. I studied abroad in New Zealand. I’m an avid photographer.

Best OEL Memory: Shipwrecked freshman year.

Post-Graduation Plans: Not a clue.


Name: Sam Wiley

Major: Mechanical Engineering and Management

OEL Branch: Buckwild

Favorite Outdoor Activity: Anything involving a mountain.

Fun Facts: I’ve never actually been to Alaska. I have more outdoor clothing than front country clothing. I’m a professional steering wheel drummer.

Best OEL Memory: That one time where I was outside… Actually though, seeing some of my kids become leaders & awesome people.

Post-Graduation Plans: Moving to Boston to work for Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems. I’ll be close to the White Mountains!

Senior Will/Shoutouts: Ultimate shoutout to Tito for making the Outdoor Ed program so incredible in just five years. I can’t wait to see what you all do with it in the next five.
And to Kenzie – Sorry for being late (submitting this)! Senior design…


Best of luck to all the seniors, we love you!!!


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