People|Meet Us

2016-17 Executive Board


Co-Chairs
Coordinate and direct all the members of the executive board to achieve organizational goals

Alexis Musick

Year: Junior
Majors: Biology, Microbiology, Political Science, and Spanish and a minor in Chemistry
Past Experience/Issues:
Spring participant at Camp CAMP in Central Point, TX; Fall site leader at Give Kids the World Village in Kissimmee, FL; and Spring site leader at a multi-site "disaster relief" trip to New Orleans, LA

Favorite UMAB Experience?
During the last night of Camp CAMP's spring respite, we had a dance party. It was completely decked out, from rainbow lights to smoke-covered floors, and gave our CAMPers the chance to have one more wonderful night with their friends. Throughout camp, the CAMPer with whom I spent the most of my time was never particularly into the activities; instead, we played a lot of cards and games on the side. But that night, he -- and every single other person at camp -- came alive. We spent hours singing at the top of our lungs and dancing and spinning and acting completely over the top. It was so great to see him break out of that shell, and to be honest, I hadn't had that much fun in a while.

Hidden talent:
I can read really, really, really quickly.


Brandon Desousa

Year: Senior
Majors: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Neuroscience Minor: Chemistry
Past Experience/Issues:
Site Leader SB 2015 - Youth Empowerment and Racism, Freedom Foundation, Selma, AL Site Leader SB 2016 - Global Poverty, Heifer Ranch, Perryville, AR Recruitment and Reorientation Co-Chair 2015-2016

Favorite UMAB Experience?
My favorite UMAB experience is also one of my first. During my first trip to Selma, AL we had the opportunity to cross the Edmund Pettus Bridge, a major landmark of the Selma to Montgomery March of 1965. The march also served as a huge turning point for the civil rights movement in the 60's. Being able to cross the bridge with tens of thousands of others during the 50th anniversary of the march was both humbling and empowering. It also reminded me why I chose to take part in UMAB. It demonstrated the importance of action to me, and I am grateful for that. of that shell, and to be honest, I hadn't had that much fun in a while.

Hidden talent:
Uhh I can blow bubble off of my tongue?

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Site Leader Education Co-Chairs
Prepare and implement site-specific and general education topics for trip site leaders.

Earl Generato

Year:
Major: Biomedical Engineering/Minors: Education and LGBTQ Studies
Past Experience: Spring 2015 - Participant (Gay Men's Health Crisis) Fall 2015 - Participant (United Global Outreach) Spring 2016 - Site Leader (International Rescue Committee)

Favorite UMAB memory?
My favorite memory is of one of our reflections in Atlanta where my co-site leader and I had decided to ditch the planned activity for a better alternative. In the end, we settled on an impromptu bonding session with the site group, where everyone had to give an answer to deeper, personal questions, as opposed to superficial, minor ones. We talked about our struggles, our pain, our hopes, our fears... I remember everyone having cried a little bit that night, and I honestly don't think anyone expected for it to have been that emotional. Yet, I can say that I loved every moment of it.

Hidden talent:
I used to play Scrabble competitively at the National level.

Nitya Ramalingam

Year: Senior
Major: Biochemistry and Nutrition/Minors: Psychology, Public Health
Past Experience: Spring Break Site Leader -- International Rescue Committee

Favorite UMAB memory?
My favorite memory was talking to a Cuban refugee in (broken) Spanish. When she realized that I could understand her native language, she felt very comfortable with me and allowed me to hear her story of triumph and how she got to where she was.

Hidden talent:
I draw really good cartoon cows.

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Site Coordinator Co-Chairs
Recruit and coordinate with community partners across the country.

Patrick Shipman

Year: Junior
Major: Public Healht/Chemistry
Past Experience: KaTREEna SB '16, and upcoming FB '16 as site leader

Favorite UMAB memory?
The learning experience - from community partners, community members, and exposure.

Hidden talent:
I'm 3/16 Native American (Cherokee, Choctaw, and Black Cherokee)


Carolina Bendana

Year:
Major: Anthropology and Women and Gender Studies.
Past Experience: I have been a participant of UMAB, a site leader, and now I am the site coordinator co-chair!

Favorite UMAB memory?
My favorite UMAB experience was participating in a traditional sweat lodge with native american people in New Mexico.

Hidden talent:
I do not have any hidden talents but some things about me: I love sports, and my ultimate goal in life is to change the world through social justice.

Lena Son

Year: Senior
Major: Mathematics, Economics; Minor: Finance (Pre-Med) Minors: Public Health and Chemistry
Past Experience: 2015 Spring Break paricipant (Children with disabilities in Center Point, Texas), 2016 Spring Break Site Leader (Global Poverty in Perryville, Arkansas)

Favorite UMAB memory?
When I fed baby goats in Arkansas.

Hidden talent:
I have perfect pitch.

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Recruitment & Reorientation Co-Chairs
Program campus-wide recruitment and reorientation functions.

Elizabeth Acevedo

Year: Sophomore
Major: Biology, Microbiology & Immunology minors: Chem , Art History
Past Experience: I went on my first trip freshman year to Selma, Alabama to work with racial issues and youth empowerment.

Favorite UMAB memory?
I honestly can't pin it down to a single memory. I was truly blessed to have been able to go to Selma. The people we worked with their are incredible and the sights that we saw are truly eye-opening. It completely changed my perception on so many issues and I was shocked to see how racism still lingered so strongly within our country. I was able to visit three major cities in Alabama that all played a huge role in the Civil Rights Movement (selma, birmingham and montgomery) and I saw hoe segregated they were to this day. I LOVED working with the children there. We were able to go into the schools, which were 99% african american, and teach for a few days as well as just spend time with the young toddlers. I was in shock as I saw them staring at us and begging to ply with our hair, because I realized it was because they had never seen children of other ethnicities before. I can't remember the last time I smiled and laughed so much. This trip truly brought me so much happiness and made me embrace traits such as humility, appreciation and responsibility.

Hidden talent:
I used to paint.

Rushabh Kamdar

Year: Sophomore
Major: Biochemistry
Past Experience: Past member on the spring break New Orleans environmental trip

Favorite UMAB memory?
Eating Walt's biscuts and gravy at Camp Hope

Hidden talent:
Walking back to campus from the grove at night without getting stabbed.

Constance Lopez

Year: Senior
Major: Neuroscience (Pre-Med) Minors: Public Health and Chemistry
Past Experience: Hunger and Poverty at Homeless Voice in Hollywood, FL (2013); Refugee Resettlement at the International Rescue Committee in Atlanta, GA (2014); Environmental Issues at Tropical Forest and Botanical Garden in Key West, FL (2014); UMAB Publicity Co-Chair 2014; UMAB Webdesigner 2014-current

Favorite UMAB memory?
UMAB has been the best organization that I have become a part of here at UM. In both of my previous trips, my eyes were opened to not only the issues pertaining to my site but also how they connect with other social justice issues. This interconnectedness within issues and between each other has really changed my outlook on the world. I have been able to channel my passion through these amazing and unforgettable breaks while also meeting the people who have become some of my closest friends.

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Fundraising/Sponsorship Co-Chairs
Organize fundraisers and seek corporate sponsorships and grants.

Chris Kurien

Year:
Majors: Accounting and Mathematics
Past Experience: Spring Break 2016 Participant

Favorite UMAB memory?
Playing hide and seek in a 200+ year old building, and just getting to meet the people in my group

Hidden talent:
Watercoloring and crafting

Bernie Degnan

Year: Junior
Majors: Economics and Math major/Chemistry, the social sciences and medicine, minors
Past Experience: Spring break 2016 site leader (Proyecto Azteca, Texas), spring break 2015 participant (Medici Project, Atlanta)

Favorite UMAB memory?
PThe number one game of hide and seek in UMAB history at our lodging in Atlanta

Hidden talent:
I've played the piano since I was 7 years old.

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