Lauren Bailey


Lauren is senior Social Work major with minors in Gender and Diversity Studies & Peace and Justice Studies. Lauren originally from Columbus, Ohio, but has grown to love Cincinnati with all her heart. Throughout her time with Alternative Breaks, she has gone on three trips: Immigration: A Look into a Difficult Journey, An Inside Look at Prison Injustice, and Substance Abuse: Prevention and Treatment Education. Although her trips have taken her all over the country, her favorite part is bringing those experiences back to Cincinnati and sharing stories with those who weren't able to have that experience. When she is not in the CFJ, Lauren can be found interning with the Intercommunity Justice and Peace Center. Lauren will be spending her senior year working with the Greater Cincinnati Homeless Coalition for her field placement. If you see Lauren on campus, say hello! Chances are that she has a cup of coffee in her hand and would be excited to have a conversation about life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Feel free to email her with any questions at

Kelly DeLano

Financial Chair

Kelly is a sophomore math major and statistics minor from Grand Rapids, Michigan. Coming into college, Kelly knew Alternative Breaks was something she wanted to be a part of and she her interest was solidified starting at the kickoff event in the fall of her freshman year. That spring, she went on the Immigration: A Look into a Difficult Journey trip where she learned about the several aspects of the process of immigration by talking to undocumented immigrants, lawyers, border patrol, and organizations for aiding the undocumented immigrants. The experience was absolutely transforming and prompted a passion for not only immigration, but the broader topic of social justice in the world. Outside of XUAB, Kelly is a member of the Student Alumni Association, participates in X-Change, and is on the Coalition of Christian Outreach Leadership Team. Please do not hesitate to contact her at

Sara Sweeterman

Fundraising Chair

Sara is a Senior Public Relations and Advertising double major with minors in business and communication arts from Dayton, Ohio. Sara started her AB journey her freshman year with the Refugee resettlement in America trip. Since she had such an eye-opening experience she decided to apply to be a site leader her sophomore year and co-led the Embracing Differing Abilities trip. After these two incredible experiences and a growing passion for social justice, Sara decided to become even more involved and apply for an AB board position. AB sparked a passion for all things social justice and a growing commitment to the world around her. Outside of alternative breaks you can find Sara singing with the Acabellas, working out with CHAARG, or hanging out with the LADS in companion group. She enjoys coffee shops, sit-coms, and snowy weather. Feel free to chat with Sara at

Illy Harris

Membership Chair

Illy is a junior Health Service Administration major with minors in Business and Social Work, and is from Sonoma County, California. Her first AB experience began with the Animal Rights and Welfare trip in New York. Illy had such an amazing and eye-openingg experience on her first trip, she decided to join the Alternative Breaks board to learn about more social justice issues and connect further with the Xavier community. Her duties this year as membership chair include running the social media and designing the t-shirts! In high school, Illy participated in a medical service trip in Sri Lanka, and had a passion for helping others. Besides AB, she is a Xavier Tour Guide, is involved in the Xavier Bird Watching Club, and is a member of the IHI Chapter. She loves hedgehogs, the Goldenn State Warriors, and being outdoors. Illy would love to meet all of you- please don't hesitate to contact her at

Tyler Norris

Special Events Chair

Tyler is junior double majoring in Psychology and Theology. Born and raised in Toledo, OH, he has always loved learning about social justice and traveling to better understand how to fight for it. His freshman year he went on the Fair Trade trip which sparked his passion for AB to go on Urban Microfarms in the Fall and lead The Effects of Coal Mining that next spring. This snowballed him into applying for a board position. Outside of AB, Tyler is a Student Building Manager at the front desk of Gallagher and helps out various student organizations in small ways when needed. He not only is a huge Star Wars and Superhero geek but loves the outdoors, cheesy jokes, and even cheesier pick-up lines. If you need any questions answered or have any jokes you can either find him in Gallagher when not in class or reach him at

Sam Flesh

Fall Site Coordinator  

Sam is a Junior from South Bend, Indiana. She is majoring in Digital Innovation, Film and Television with minors in Writing and Peace and Justice Studies. Her passion for Alternative Breaks began when she went on a tour of Xavier during her Junior year of high school and first heard about the program. Her first Alternative Break Trip was Immigration: A Look into a Difficult Journey, which focused on every aspect of the immigration process specifically from Latin America. This spurred her desire to become a member of AB Board. Since she has gone on a fall break trip learning about Preserving Appalachian Ecosystems and another spring trip focusing on Civil Rights. Outside of AB, Sam is the Treasurer of Animals, People and the Environment and is a member of XUTV’s weekly broadcasts. Feel free to contact her at

Zac Ortiz

Risk Management/Site Coordinator

"Howdy!” Zac is from the great state of Texas (Austin, TX), and is a Senior at Xavier University studying Political science with minors in International Relations, History, Information Systems and Peace & Justice. He developed a love for Alternative Breaks before even going on a program at the Approach Retreat his freshmen year. Zac had no clue what Alternative Breaks was until hearing others talk about how this program changed others’ lives. Zac went on Empowerment of Immigrants Workers Rights (aka Immigration 2) his sophomore year and came back wanting to do more. Last year he went to Atlanta (Friends of Refugees) to learn more about the refugee community. This year he is coordinating Friends of Refugee, Empowerment of Immigrants' & Workers' rights, and Natural Disasters in the Spring. Outside of his AB involvement, Zac is the Club Tennis president and is always playing Tennis. He also spends time in Smith working at the MBA office. Feel free to contact him at if y'all have any questions.

Ella Bjurman 

Risk Management/Site Coordinator

Ella is a senior Political Science major with a minor in Peace and Justice Studies from the city of Chicago. Her journey with Alternative Breaks began her sophomore year when she went on the trip, "Immigration: A Look Into a Difficult Journey," which examined the U.S. Immigration system at large and its current policies. This past spring she had the wonderful opportunity to be a co-site leader on the trip, "Refugee Resettlement: Making America a New Home," learning about the process and realities of resettlement. Both trips ignited her passion for social justice and deepened her outlook on being in solidarity with and for others. These incredibly impactful experiences and love and respect for AB are what propelled her desire to be a member of Board. Outside of AB, Ella is a member of the Muskie Tigers club and Peer Review Board. She also enjoys a warm cup of tea, spending time with friends, and watching a good documentary. Overall, Ella cannot wait for a fantastic year with AB and feel free to reach out to her at  with any questions or to chat! 

 Addy Leopoldo

Travel/Site Coordinator

Addy is a senior Early Childhood Education major from the suburbs of Chicago. Her journey with AB started her sophomore year when she went on a Spring Break trip to Apopka, Florida focusing on farm workers' rights and immigration. This trip had such a lasting impact on her life and left her wanting to do more. It's going to be her first year on board and she's looking forward to what the upcoming year has in store. In the future, she wants to continue fueling her passion for social justice specifically through her work in education. Otherwise, you can find her enjoying the beautiful weather outdoors, drinking coffee, and spending time with family and friends. Don't hesitate in reaching her at with any questions or just wanting to talk!!

Lauren Dencker 

Travel/Site Coordinator

 My name is Lauren Dencker and I hail from Nashville, TN. I am a senior Liberal Arts major with minors in Criminal Justice/Criminalistics, Writing, Theology, Jewish studies, and Deaf Studies. I currently serve as a travel site coordinator! AB has been one of my favorite involvements at Xavier. I have been on The Effects of Coal Mining, Appalachian Culture and Simple Living, Food Insecurity-Austin, Preserving Appalachian Ecosystems, Roots of Our Nation, and will be learning about Micro-farms this fall. This summer, I lived in the Wind River mountain range for 6 weeks. These trips/experiences have inspired and fueled my passion to becoming a Park Ranger and joining the Coast Guard. On campus, you can find me napping on various couches, hanging out in the CIE, at any event with free food, playing outside, or avoiding my homework in GSC. I enjoy meeting new people, so if you see me say hey!

Annie Tobler 

Leadership Development/Site Coordinator

Annie is a sophomore Sociology and Gender and Diversity Studies double major with a Peace and Justice minor, from Denver, Colorado. Last spring, Annie participated in her first Alternative Breaks trip: Becoming Friends With Refugees. She had an amazing experience in Atlanta, Georgia and this trip inspired her to be more deeply involved in the Center for Faith and Justice and on the AB Board as well. Outside of AB, Annie serves as a Peer Mentor and an Orientation Group Leader. Annie loves coffee, dogs, and baking. You can catch her outdoors, studying on the lawn, or playing sand volleyball.  Feel free to contact her at  


 Jess Sausaman

Community Engagement/Site Coordinator

Jess is a junior Health Services Administration and Information Systems double major, with minors in Advanced Technology and Economics. She is originally from Canton, Ohio but calls Cincinnati her new home. Jess started her AB journey last spring by attending the Immigration: A Look Into a Difficult Journey. This trip sparked her passion for social justice issues and led to joining board. Outside of Alternative Breaks, Jess is a member of Student Activities Council, the president of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement club and an intern at CareStar. If you have any questions or want to chat, feel free to reach her at! 


Viktoria Schumacher 

Education/Reflection/Site Coordinator

Viktoria is a Senior Classics and Philosophy Honors Bachelor of Arts Major with Minors in Philosophy and Biomedical Sciences. Viktoria is from Menomonee Falls, WI, which is just outside of Milwaukee. Her sophomore year, Viktoria decided to jump right into a leadership position--having never been on an AB trip before--and ended up leading the 'Refugee Resettlement' trip to Atlanta. Excited and in love with AB, she decided to be a site leader again during her junior year for 'Immigration: a Look Into a Difficult Journey'. These two incredible trips inspired Viktoria to become a member of AB Board. Outside of Alternative Breaks, Viktoria enjoys spending time outside with friends and family, drinking coffee, and watching Netflix. If you have any questions about AB (or anything, really) you can reach her at

Shannon Hughes

Faculty Advisor

Shannon is excited to be continuing Alternative Breaks in her role as Assistant Director for Service, Justice, and 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