CINCINNATI, Feb. 24, 2012 -- Xavier University’s Alternative Breaks Club (XUAB) marks its 11th anniversary this year. Over that time it has expanded from 3 service trips in the United States to 25 trips across the U.S. and abroad. Most occur during spring break, which for Xavier is March 5-9, but three occur over summer break. More than 260 students and 25 faculty and staff participate, giving up fun in the sun for a more meaningful experience. The club is managed by a faculty advisor and a board of 13 students.
"Xavier's Alternative Breaks program provides an opportunity for students to participate in direct service in a new area of the world, allowing them to learn first-hand about a social justice issue," says Julie Tritschler, chair of Xavier's AB Board. "The experiences provide leadership development and challenge those involved to be open-minded and learn about social justice from a different perspective. Many students feel their lives have been changed after participating in AB. We encourage students to continue learning about their issue after returning home and reinforce the value of being an active citizen in the community."
Board members are listed below, sorted by ZIP code:
(02540) Site Coordinator Allison Hays is a senior occupational therapy major with a peace studies minor from Worcester, MA. This past year was her first AB experience as a site leader. She volunteers at the SPCA, works at Coffee Emporium, and hikes with the Outdoor Club board. She is coordinating AB trips to Baltimore, Catalina, San Francisco and Guatemala.
(37048) Site Coordinator Tim McGrath is a senior at Xavier from Cottontown, TN majoring in occupational therapy. At Xavier, he is very involved with the Dorothy Day Center for Faith and Justice, as a member of the 10pm Mass Committee and group leader. This will be his fourth year involved in Alternative Breaks and he is coordinating AB trips to San Diego, Nashville, and Atlanta.
(40069) Fundraising co-chair John Barber from Springfield, KY, is a senior finance major. He participated on the 2009 Biloxi trip, was site leader for the 2010 West Virginia trip, and participated in the Guatemala trip this past summer. He is a lifeguard at the O’Connor Sports Center, a mentor at Olyer Elementary, and a coordinator for the Xavier’s 4 PM Student Mass.
(40475) Site Coordinator Mici Eubanks is a junior early childhood education major from Richmond, KY. Last year, she participated in a trip devoted to education about the effects of gangs. She is vice president of Active Minds, historian for the Student Alumni Association, a peer minister for the Fellowship Team, and is involved with several other groups in the Center for Faith & Justice, Manresa and as a peer minister for the Hook-up culture. She is planning the AB trips to West Virginia, El Salvador and New Jersey.
(44060) Site Coordinator Lauren Martin is a senior early childhood education major from Mentor, Ohio. She has been on AB trips to Colorado, Chicago, and Albany. As site coordinator, she is planning the Colorado, Chicago, Albany, and Mystery trips this year.
(45247) Site Coordinator Kim Mueller is a senior from Cincinnati majoring in marketing and management with a minor in entrepreneurial studies. This will be her fourth year participating in AB, having gone to New Orleans, Pine Ridge, SD, and as site leader for Charlotte, NC. She is planning AB trips to South Dakota, Charlotte and Alabama as well as serving as the risk management liaison for the club.
(45248) Board chair Julie Tritschler from Cincinnati is a senior biology major with minors in environmental science and chemistry. She participated in 2010 AB Florida, 2011 AB Russia, and was AB Board Fundraising Chair in 2010-2011. She is also involved in Campus Ministry, Mortar Board, and intramural sports. She works at the Graduate Services Office at Xavier and has spent the past two summers working at Cincinnati Children's Hospital.
(45405) Communications chair Jared Greene is a senior marketing major from Dayton, Ohio. This will be his fourth year of involvement with AB. His freshman year he participated in the mystery trip to South Dakota, was a site leader for the 2010 Albany trip, and was on the Boston trip last spring. When not doing AB work, he is active in Student Government Association, president of the Sigma Gamma chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., and a member of Mortar Board.
(45429) Site Coordinator Michael Platt is a junior biology major and theatre minor from Dayton, Ohio and a second year site coordinator. Besides AB, he is active with Xavier Players, as an actor and director, and is historian of Alpha Epsilon Delta. He hopes to become a pediatrician, specializing in emergency medicine or oncology. He is planning AB trips to Jamaica, Paris, VA, and Austin.
(45459) Fundraising co-chair Katie Cooper of Centerville, OH is a junior accounting and economics major with a minor in International Studies. Her past AB experiences include working in the public grade schools of the Dominican Republic and with orphans and children with Down Syndrome in Russia. She is a tutor for grade school children and involved in Children's Charities Club, as well as the Brueggeman Fellows Program where she will be researching the underprivileged youth of the world in India.
(46082) Special Events chair Lauren Boxell is a junior nursing major working on a minor in theology. She is from Carmel, Indiana and has participated in AB Cincinnati and as site leader for the AB Mystery Trip to San Diego.
(46554) Financial Chair Taylor Mauro is a senior from North Liberty, IN studying accounting and finance with an interest in corporate and individual tax. He plays in the Pep Band and is in the professional business fraternity Delta Sigma Pi. His past AB experience includes West Virginia and Florida. His career plans include working for the Disney Corporation or going into private firm auditing. He interned at Busch Gardens Williamsburg and at Kings Island.
(53226) Site Coordinator Grace Gucciardi is a junior nursing major from Wauwatosa, Wisconsin. She has participated in AB Biloxi on hurricane relief, and AB West Virginia about poverty and Appalachian culture. She is a summer staffer for Appalachia Service Project, XU Outdoor Club Board, and Community Action Day Committee. She is planning AB trips to New Orleans, Cincinnati, Florida and Mobile, AL.