The fact that Claire Maree
O’Bryan ’ 16 landed at Bucknell,
10,000 miles from her home in
northern Australia, may seem
surprising. Yet even growing up
among indigenous people in
“the bush,” O’Bryan knew she
was destined for bigger things.
The 5-foot-10-inch guard has
used her three-plus years in Lewisburg to grow as a basketball
player and leader with lofty goals.
Her ambition to “do my own thing” led her to the U.S. from
a village “eight hours from the nearest anything,” where she
and her sisters were the only white children. “We had our
food flown in by planes, and when the planes didn’t come,
you’d live off potatoes for a week.”
Before she turned 10, O’Bryan’s family moved to Darwin,
Northern Territory, where she developed a passion for bas-
ketball that eventually led her to prep school in Pennsylvania,
The neuroscience major is a Patriot League Academic
Honor roll member and co-president of the Bucknell Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. Keeping busy helps her cope
with homesickness and fulfill her desire to help others.
“There have been highs and lows, but they have combined
to create an experience that really makes you grow up,” O’Bryan
says. “You have to embrace it all.” — William Bowman
Read a longer version of this story in the Bucknell Magazine app
or at bucknell.edu/bmagazine.
Growing up as an Old Order Mennonite in Lancaster, Pa., Phillip Martin ’ 16 was taught
to value a simple life. Higher education
was not considered part of that equation.
However, his curious nature led him to
Harrisburg Area Community College,
where Martin fully embraced academic
life. He transferred to the University
in fall 2014 through the highly selective
Bucknell Community College Scholars
Program. “Being a member of the
Bucknell community reaffirmed my
decision to strive toward higher
education,” he says.
His agricultural upbringing inspired
him to study cell biology and biochemistry at Bucknell. “While I was
living on the farm, the biggest science
questions I had were biochemical,” he
admits. “I was most curious about the
herbicides I was applying to the cornfields.” He plans to either attend graduate
school in plant and soil science or pursue
work in the agricultural industry.
For now, Martin is a familiar sight
on the campus pathways riding one of
his three bikes — a folding, a mountain
or a road bike. He rides the latter with
the Bucknell Cycling Team. His passion
for cycling is a reflection of his Menno-
nite upbringing — bikes were a prime
mode of transportation. Martin now
rides mostly for “fun, relaxation and
Biking and curiosity even led Martin
to a three-month trip across Europe and
the Middle East during summer 2010,
975 miles of it by bicycle. He logged
his experiences in a journal, which he
self-published this August as With My
“There is nothing particularly special
about the trip I took,” Martin says.
“But what is a bit unique is that I chose
to remain an Old Order Mennonite
while still going out and exploring
Phillip Martin ’ 16
By Lauren Repke ’ 19
Phillip Martin ’ 16 found the
bikeways of Lewisburg after
leaving his Lancaster, Pa., farm.
FROM ‘THE BUSH’ TO BUCKNELL