Shannon Carney


Shannon is a Senior Biology major Political Science and Chemistry minors from Prospect Heights, Illinois.  She first developed a passion for Alternative Breaks freshman year when she participated in the Conservation of our Native Ecosystems trip.  Recognizing that Alternative Breaks was a great way not only to meet new people on campus, but to dive into social justice issues, she continued her Alternative Breaks journey her sophomore year by participating on the Immigration: A Look into a Difficult Journey.  After these two incredible trips and experiences that will never be forgotten, Shannon felt urged to apply for Alternative Breaks board to grow in her commitment to an organization that has taught her so much about herself and more importantly the world around her.  Junior year she took part in the incredible summer trip Sustainable Living and Appalachian Culture. Outside of Alternative Breaks, she is a member of the Interfaith Cabinet, Pre-Med Association, and volunteers at Cincinnati Children’s hospital.  You can contact her at

Adam Purvis

Financial Chair

Adam is a senior Biology major with minors in Chemistry and Spanish from Peoria, Illinois. During his sophomore year, Adam participated in his first Alternative breaks trip: A Glimpse of Homelessness. He helped at a shelter for homeless men and even experienced homelessness. He continued on with Alternative Breaks during his junior year by leading the Conservation of our Native Ecosystems trip. He is super pumped to be a part of the board and help with AB again! Aside from AB, Adam is a member of two fraternities Alpha Epsilon Delta and Alpha Sigma Nu, a VIP intern at Crossroads Health Center, and member of Student Health Education Leaders.

Amy Pifine

Special Events Chair

Amy is a senior double major in Political Science and International Studies with minors in French and Economics. Before coming to Xavier, she spent her whole life in Louisville, Kentucky with her mother, father, and older brother. Her AB journey started freshman year, when she went on a trip focusing on urban schools. The trip focused on the challenges children and parents face in urban public systems, and opened her eyes to the importance of education. The experience was so impactful and enlightening, she decided to be a site leader her sophomore year, and went on the Mountain Top Removal trip. In addition to AB, she is a member of French Club exec board and tutors ESL, and she is hoping to become a certified ESL teacher in the near future. Her favorite things including, traveling, coffee, and good music, and she is able to talk about all of these things for hours. You can contact her at

Alina Gonzalez

Membership Chair

Alina is a junior Psychology major with a minor in Criminal Justice and is from Chicago, IL.  She has been a part of Alternative Breaks since her freshman year at Xavier when she had the greatest experience on A Glimpse of Homelessness.  After the first trip, she decided she wanted to be more involved with Alternative Breaks and the many great things it offers.  During her sophomore year, she was a site leader for An Inside Look at Prison Injustice, which truly opened up her interest in the criminal justice system and all of the issues that surround inner city populations. Alina’s passion for social justice issues sparked early on before college and has continued to grow immensely through Alternative Breaks, which is why she is looking forward to being this year’s Membership Chair on AB Board!  Feel free to contact Alina at

Shannon Cunningham

Fundraising Chair

Shannon is a Sophomore Philosophy, Politics, and the Public major with a Natural Science minor on a pre-med track. She’s from a suburb of Chicago but has loved the chance to explore Cincinnati since attending Xavier. She participated on an Alternative Break trip at the Grand Canyon focusing on restoring ecosystems for future generations this summer and will attend one this fall surrounding sustaining urban micro-farms. Outside of AB Board, she works at the Xavier University Office of the Bursar, participates in Premed Association, and XChange. In her free time, she enjoys running, reading, and spending time with family and friends. Feel free to contact Shannon at if you’d like to grab a coffee and talk about anything, especially AB.  

Winston Kunkel

Risk Management/Site Coordinator

Winston, hailing from Brookville, Indiana, is a junior at Xavier University studying actuarial science and mathematics with minors in theology and biology.  He developed a passion for Alternative Breaks before he even started the program and solidified this passion his first year when he went on the Conservation of Our Native Ecosystems trip on which he learned about the island and the problems it faces.  This past summer, he was fortunate enough to have been chosen to co-lead the Sustainable Living and Appalachian Culture trip which prompted his desire to apply for Board.  Outside of involvement with AB, Winston serves as a member to the Dean’s Student Advisory Board of the College of Arts and Sciences, actively participates in Xavier Men’s Club Volleyball, works in the Office of Enrollment Management and the Mathematic Tutoring Lab, and will serve as a Manresa Staff Member.  Please do not hesitate to contact him at

Preeya Waite

Risk Management/Site Coordinator

Preeya is a senior Biology major from Cincinnati, Ohio.  She first became involved in Alternative Breaks during her freshman year when she was a participant on the Elderly Living in America trip.  During her sophomore year, she served as a site leader for the Prison Injustices trip to Chicago, IL.  Both experiences changed her outlook on the world, and she decided to become even more involved in the organization that had given her so much.  She joined AB Board last year as a site coordinator, and is thrilled to be returning for another eventful and rewarding year!  Outside of AB, you can usually find Preeya at work, eating cheesecake, or cheering on her favorite football team, the Philadelphia Eagles!  Feel free to contact her at

Amanda Henderson

Reflection /Site Coordinator

Amanda Henderson is a Senior Nursing major from South Bend, IN.  She first developed a passion for Alternative Breaks her freshman year when she went on the trip focused on Food Security in the City.  Recognizing that Alternative Breaks was a great way to dive into social justice issues, she continued her Alternative Breaks journey sophomore year by participating on the trip focused on Discovering Realities in a Post War Community.  After two incredible trips and experiences that will never be forgotten, Amanda felt urged to apply for Alternative Breaks Board in order to further her commitment to an organization that has taught her so much about herself and more importantly the world around her. This will be Amanda’s second year on Board and she will be responsible for guiding reflection as well as organizing various trips during Fall Break. Outside of Alternative Breaks, she is a part of Xavier Crew and work at Mercy Fairfield as well as the O'Connor Sports Center. You can contact her at

Emily Bowman

Education/Reorientation/Site Coordinator

Emily Bowman is a senior psychology major from Atlanta, Georgia, with minors in political science and peace and justice studies. She is excited and honored to take on the role of education and reorientation site coordinator for the 2016-2017 school year. As a sophomore, she was a participant in the Urban Schools as Community Learning Centers AB and last year, she was a co-site leader for The Effects of Coal Mining in Appalachia AB. AB has not only changed the way she sees the world but has also has provided an incredible space for her to exercise her passions for service, equal treatment, and personal growth. Outside of Alternative Breaks, you can find her in her Eno hammock, coaching Girls on the Run, and exploring Cincinnati while she trains for marathons. You can reach her anytime at

Catherine Smith

Retreats/Site Coordinator

Catherine is a Junior math major with minors in business and economics.  She is from Muncie, Indiana and had her first AB experience studying Immigration: A Look into a Difficult Journey.  Catherine enjoys everything Xavier; she works in the Learning Assistance Center and babysits for a local Cincinnati family.  Each summer, Catherine is blessed to work as a camp counselor at CYO Camp Rancho Framasa.  She is looking forward to her journey with AB, and can be contacted at with any questions!

Alayna Romer

Travel/Site Coordinator

Alayna is a Senior Biology major with minors in Sociology and Chemistry from Dayton, Ohio. This spring Alayna participated in her second Alternative Breaks trip, A Glimpse of Homelessness, which focused on the issue of homelessness and the many factors that contribute/further this issue. Her first trip, Water in Communities, focused on sustainable living, permaculture, and giving back to the Earth as much as it provides for us. Both were a wonderful experience that inspired her to become more involved in the Alternative Breaks program that ignited her passion for social justice issues. She is very excited for another year of AB Board! Outside of Alternative Breaks, Alayna can be found volunteering through X-Change, she is a member of Pre-Med Society, and loves walks around campus and cooking. Feel free to contact Alayna at if you'd like to walk and talk about anything, especially AB.

Luz Peredo-Muniz

Travel/ Site Coordinator

Luz is a Junior Athletic Training major with a Pre Physical Therapy minor from Carmel, Indiana. Xavier’s Alternative Breaks program was a huge factor into her decision to attend Xavier University, so she has been involved ever since her freshman year! She was a participant in the Elderly Living in America spring break trip, which set the foundation for her love of AB. Her sophomore year, Luz was a Site Leader for the Civil Rights Movements trip that took place in Selma, Alabama. This eye-opening trip pushed Luz to apply to be a site coordinator and help other Xavier students experience the AMAZINGNESS of Alternative Breaks! Luz can be found in the Cintas Athletic Training Facility helping student athletes rehab any injuries, raving to someone about how much she loves WHALES, tutoring Anatomy & Physiology, sweating at boot camp in O’Connor, or hanging out with her lovely roommates/friends/Christian Companion Group. She is also involved around Xavier’s campus by being a Manresa leader and by being an active participant at Community Action Days. Luz wants you to know that she is always open to any questions, and can be contacted at

Shannon Hughes

Faculty Advisor

Shannon is excited to be joining Alternative Breaks in her role as Assistant Director for Service, Justice, & Immersion for the Dorothy Day CFJ! Shannon works with students, faculty, and staff to deepen our commitment to the pursuit of justice in our campus, local, and global communities.  Prior to her work at Xavier, Shannon managed the NETWORK Education Program in Washington, DC (the partner of NETWORK, a National Catholic  Social Justice Lobby). At NETWORK, Shannon created resources, fostered conversations, and ultimately helped to raise awareness and understanding around the central justice issues at stake in current federal policy. Shannon is also a proud XUAB alum and as a student participant and Board member, traveled to Colorado to work with men in recovery from addiction, to the Dominican Republic to work with Orphanage Outreach, and to Little Rock, Arkansas to learn about Global Hunger (and clean up after a few water buffalo) at the Heifer Ranch. When she’s not hanging out with the AB Board, Shannon loves to play outside, write, and try yellow mustard on anything in the fridge. Email her at