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Alternative Breaks Site Leaders

Well before the tires hit the road on Alternative Breaks, our incredible team of student Site Leaders are carefully crafting the transformative experiences that U of U students enjoy each year. These daring darlings of social change coordinate the community engagement, cultural immersion, issue education, and reflection pieces on their trips, and they'd love to share their enthusiasm for their work with you. Reach out to them if you have any questions about their trips!


Executive Board

ABDUL OSMAN
STUDENT CHAIR

He, Him, His

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 Abdul Osman

Hey, everyone! My name is Abdul and I'm majoring in Psychology with a minor in chem. I led a trip last year and this year I'm excited to be the chair of the AB program. As the chair, I want to help the best program on campus continue to strive towards active citizenship in all aspects. I come from a really big family--about 20 nephews and nieces, and I like about 6 of them.

Amy Nguyen
Chair Elect

She, Her, Hers

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Amy Nguyen

I am a junior majoring in Health, Society, Policy with a minor in Health. For this year, I am the Chair-Elect for the Alternative Breaks program. I will be leading the Community Health, Vancouver Canada ASB; I’m excited to spend my spring break focusing on the social determinants of health and learning about health disparities within the community. I’ve also been on the Marine Conservation trip and lead the HIV/AIDS trip last year. In my free time, I like photography and catching up on Netflix.

Anthony Phero
Marketing Specialist

He, Him, His

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 Anthony Phero

Hello! My name is Anthony Phero, I am currently a Junior studying Chemistry with a Biological Chemistry Emphasis. I am super stoked to be leading the HIV/AIDS trip this spring! I am excited to meet a new group of people and experience something new. I also can’t wait to learn more about how the harm reduction models compare between communities. I am super easy going so if you have any questions please email away!

Erika Gee
Recruitment Specialist

She, Her, Hers

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Erika Gee

My major is social work. I'm super excited for my AB trip this year because not only is poverty a very salient topic in our community, but gender seems to play a large role. I'm looking forward to exploring how the gender wage gap, women's health, and other factors play into the issue. Some fun facts about me are that I can sing almost any jingle from commercials that have aired within the last 10 years, I'm OBSESSED with major league baseball, and I have two cockatiels that I love more than life itself.

Rena Adair
Reorientation &
Education Specialist

She, Her, Hers

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Rena Adair

I'm a senior studying speech and hearing science. I'll be leading the Immigration, Health and Poverty trip in the spring. I am very excited to learn more about an issue that is close to my heart. I can't wait to meet those folx who will be going on this adventure with me! I am very keen on mismatching my socks, the smell of Oregon and eating food others have cooked for me! I love this program so much and I'm very invested in helping others have good experiences as well!

Savannah Allen
Fundraising Specialist

She, Her, Hers

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Savannah Allen

I am a senior studying social work, and I'll be leading the homelessness trip to Seattle. I'm excited for this trip because it's a topic that I'm passionate about. This past year I directed a program at The Road Home for the teens, and it taught me a lot about homelessness in our community. I'm looking forward to diving even deeper and exploring the intersectionalities of homelessness with gender, race, age, and disability/ability among other things. In my free time I enjoy running, rock climbing, eating cheesecake, and sleeping.

Alternative Fall Break Site Leaders

Edwin Santos Lepiz
Immigration - San Diego, CA

He, Him, His

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Edwin Santos Lepiz

I'm a second-year Pre-Physician Assistant student majoring in International Studies (Go Global Health!) and Health, Society, and Policy. I am very excited to be leading the Immigration trip in San Diego, California and I cannot wait to meet all of my participants and get to see what their backgrounds are and what they can bring to the conversation! Cuddling up with my puppy is my favorite activity and it is worth the hives/potential death from allergies! Immigration is very close to home and I cannot wait to introduce my team to the various aspects that go into it!

Emily Vol
Urban Environmentalism - Portland, Or

She, Her, Hers

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Emily Voll

Hello! My name is Emily and I am a fourth year student studying Biology here at the U. I am so excited to be leading Urban Environmentalism this fall! Environmental issues and sustainability are things that I am very passionate about and I cannot wait to explore it further this upcoming fall! In my free time I love spending time in nature doing things like backcountry skiing and mountain biking. This is my fifth alternative break, GO ALT BREAKS!

Janet Munoz
Identity & Envoronmental Exploration –
San RAfael Swell, UT

She, Her, Hers

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Janet Munoz

Janet Munoz is a senior pursuing a degree in biomedical engineering. When she is not studying, doing research, or working as a resident advisor, she loves to go out for boba tea and play board games with friends! Janet has a passion for helping others and speaking with kids in her family/community about higher education. Because she is a 1st generation college student, loves the outdoors and spontaneous adventures, she is very excited to be leading the Identity and Environmental Exploration camping trip this fall!

Michelle Tseung
Refugee & Human Rights (AWB) – Salt Lake city, UT

She, Her, Hers

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Michelle Tseung

Hi! I'm Michelle, aspiring dog adopter. I'm looking forward to learning on this trip.

Mrya Mangan
Homelessness – Seattle, WA

She, Her, Hers

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Mrya Mangan

I am a senior majoring in social work! I am leading the homelessness trip to Seattle, Washington. I am excited to go on my alt. break, because of the amazing people I get to bond with for a week. I am also excited for volunteering at the Pike Place Food Pantry and then exploring Pike Place after. A fun fact about me is that I’m terrified of pigeons; Ask me about it. I am passionate about my trip topic and am excited to grow and learn with my participants!

Zach Barber
Wildlife Habitat Conservation – Lima, MT

He, Him, His

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Zach Barber

My name is Zach Barber and I am a senior studying Biomedical Engineering. This upcoming fall break I will be leading the Wildlife Habitat Conservation Alternative Break trip to Lakeview, MT! Things that I am passionate about in life include, but are not limited to: hiking, skiing, climbing, pasta, coffee, music, and you guessed it, long walks on the beach! I’m excited to meet and get to know all the Alt Break participants this fall and I’m stoked to learn about and explore the ways we can help protect our planet and all the creatures and people that call it home.

Alternative Spring Break Site Leaders

Amy Nguyen
Community Health – Vancouver, BC

She, Her, Hers

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Amy Nguyen

I am a junior majoring in Health, Society, Policy with a minor in Health. For this year, I am the Chair-Elect for the Alternative Breaks program. I will be leading the Community Health, Vancouver Canada ASB; I’m excited to spend my spring break focusing on the social determinants of health and learning about health disparities within the community. I’ve also been on the Marine Conservation trip and lead the HIV/AIDS trip last year. In my free time, I like photography and catching up on Netflix.

Anthony Phero
HIV & AIDS – Hollywood, CA

He, Him, His

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Anthony Phero

Hello! My name is Anthony Phero, I am currently a Junior studying Chemistry with a Biological Chemistry Emphasis. I am super stoked to be leading the HIV/AIDS trip this spring! I am excited to meet a new group of people and experience something new. I also can’t wait to learn more about how the harm reduction models compare between communities. I am super easy going so if you have any questions please email away!

Audrey Rubart
Environmental Stewardship (AWB) – Moab, UT

She, Her, Hers

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Audrey Rubart

Audrey Rubart will be starting her junior year of college with a major in electrical engineering and a minor in political science. She loves going to national parks and exploring the natural beauty around her. She is extremely excited to be leading the Environmental Stewardship trip in southern Utah because it combines her love of the outdoors and community service. In her spare time, she enjoys reading the news, watching football, and helping out with the Society of Women Engineers. The highlight of her life so far was meeting Buzz Aldrin at the Salt Lake Comic Con, twice.

Carly Shields
Hunger & Food Justice – Seattle, WA

She, Her, Hers

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Carly Shields

I am a pre-med junior majoring in Human Development and Family Studies. I am so excited to be leading the Hunger and Food Justice Trip to Seattle this Spring. I have been a participant on two previous Alt Break Trips (Immigration, Health & Poverty in San Diego and Community Health in Vancouver) and had the most incredible learning and growing experiences. Fun Fact: I love the Alternative Breaks program so much that I am dating a participant I met on one of my trips! 

Cindy Liao
Urban Environmentalism – PORTLAND, OR

She, Her, Hers

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Cindy Liao

I am a Junior studying Computer Science and Applied Mathematics at the University of Utah. I'll be leading the Urban Environmentalism trip in Oregon. This trip is exciting for me because I'll get to meet so many people from different backgrounds that are all passionate about our environment! Interesting fact about me - I have a really big head... in the 95th percentile.

Erika Gee
Defeminizing Poverty – Denver, CO

She, Her, Hers

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Erika Gee

My major is social work. I'm super excited for my AB trip this year because not only is poverty a very salient topic in our community, but gender seems to play a large role. I'm looking forward to exploring how the gender wage gap, women's health, and other factors play into the issue. Some fun facts about me are that I can sing almost any jingle from commercials that have aired within the last 10 years, I'm OBSESSED with major league baseball, and I have two cockatiels that I love more than life itself.

Grace Mason
Queering Justice –
San Francisco, CA

She, Her, Hers

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Grace Mason

Hi! My name is Grace and I'm a second year Political Science and Health, Society and Policy student at the Honors College. I am honored and ecstatic to be leading the ASB trip to San Francisco all about Queering Justice! Last spring break I went to Vancouver and studied Community Health alongside a wonderful team of Alt Breakers and I cannot wait to head to San Fran with my team this spring to engage in queer activism and the many intersectionalities of the queer identity. When I'm not studying or attending campus events, you can always find me knitting hats for the Bennion Center! Last year I donated over 80 hats and have been successfully assimilated into the knitting grandma lifestyle. Bring me cool yarn and I'll luv u 4ever

Jayden Howard
Animal Advocacy & Rehabilitation – Kanab, UT

She, Her, Hers

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Jayden Howard

I’m going into my 3rd year at the U, studying Business Management, Gender Studies and Spanish!! I’m leading the Animal Advocacy ASB trip to Kanab, UT! WooHoo! I’m excited because I absolutely love animals and I am so excited to learn more about how I can help them! I’m also super excited to work with some of the coolest kids on campus who are also super pumped about helping animals too! One goofy thing about me is that I absolutely love rocks, I once planned an entire road trip around going to a rock shop, it was awesome, 10/10 recommend!! Also, I am always down to go thrifting, if I ever turn down a thrifting trip, call the doctor, all is NOT well.

Kaelin Kaczka
Youth Empowerment –
Las Vegas, NV

She, Her, Hers

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Kaelin Kaczka

Hey everybody! My name is Kaelin, though my friends call me Kae, and I am thrilled to be a Site Leader this spring! I am currently in my fourth year here at the University, am double majoring in Modern Dance and Pre-Occupational Therapy, and will be leading the “Youth Empowerment” trip to Las Vegas, Nevada.  More than anything, I look forward to learning from the people we will meet on our trip, but I’ve also heard there’s a mile-long buffet in Vegas, so clearly, there’s lots to look forward to.  Can’t wait to meet you all!

Kim Yapias
Marine Conservation –
Santa Cruz, CA

She, Her, Hers

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Kim Yapias

Hello everyone looking forward to meeting all of you! I am a third year biology major with an emphasis on environmental and organismal studies. I'm very excited to be leading the marine conservation in Santa Cruz California this spring. Not only is this a topic I'm very passionate about but going on an Alt Break last year was a very fun memorable experience that I'm excited to make with a new group of people. A cool fact about me is that I'm a first generation college student with my family coming from Peru and that I'm pursuing a drawing minor.

Rena Adair
Immigration – San Diego, CA

She, Her, Hers

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Rena Adair

I'm a senior studying speech and hearing science. I'll be leading the Immigration, Health and Poverty trip in the spring. I am very excited to learn more about an issue that is close to my heart. I can't wait to meet those folx who will be going on this adventure with me! I am very keen on mismatching my socks, the smell of Oregon and eating food others have cooked for me! I love this program so much and I'm very invested in helping others have good experiences as well!

Sara Matlock
Coastal Ecosystem Restoration – Arcata, CA

She, Her, Hers

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Sara Matlock

After my Womxn in Poverty ASB trip to Denver, CO, I was eager to deepen my involvement in the program as a site leader. The trip broke down so many barriers in understanding for me and I walked away with a greater appreciation for social justice in service. I am excited to be leading the Coastal Ecosystem Restoration trip! A quick intro to me: I’m a proud Boise native, a political science major, a novice but enthusiastic climber, and a fan of Nietzsche.

Savannah Allen Homelessness – Seattle, WA

She, Her, Hers

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Savannah Allen

I am a senior studying social work, and I'll be leading the homelessness trip to Seattle. I'm excited for this trip because it's a topic that I'm passionate about. This past year I directed a program at The Road Home for the teens, and it taught me a lot about homelessness in our community. I'm looking forward to diving even deeper and exploring the intersectionalities of homelessness with gender, race, age, and disability/ability among other things. In my free time I enjoy running, rock climbing, eating cheesecake, and sleeping.

Last Updated: 9/22/18