People|Meet Us

2014-15 Executive Board (E-Board)


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

Matt Hibbs

Year: Senior
Majors: Biology/Psychology
Past Experience/Issues:
Public Stewardship, Grand Canyon National Park; Racism & Children’s Issues, Selma, Alabama; Hunger & Poverty, Perryville, Arkansas; Sustainable Farming & Permaculture, Puerto Rico; Rural Healthcare, Wise, Virginia

Why is UMAB important to you?
It's so hard to answer that question since it carries such weight. There is that moment when students return back to campus from their trips and you can see the difference in their eyes. Alternative Breaks gives students a chance to submerge themselves into a new atmosphere. Sometimes we miss what is happening around us, but Alternative Breaks opened my eyes to the issues within our community and gave me the tools to start building a better future for it. For me, Alternative Breaks acts as the first stepping stone along the winding river of social justice and active citizenship.

Miranda Goot

Year: Junior
Major: Management Science/Ecosystem Science and Policy
Past Experience: Fall Break 2012 Participant (B.E.S.T./Coconut Grove, FL/Human Trafficking); Spring Break 2013 Participant (Freedom Foundation/Selma, AL/Children's Issues and Racism); Winter Break 2013/4 Site Leader (Plenitud Iniciativas Ecoeducativas/Tres Marias, Puerto Rico/Environmental Sustainability); Spring Break 2014 Site Leader (Once Upon A Time/Maryville, TN/Native American Rights and Environmental Advocacy); Site Logistics Tri-Chair

Why is UMAB important to you?
UMAB is an incredible experience! Each person gains something different from the program: new friends, a new understanding of oneself, a deeper knowledge of social justice issues, a different view of the community, new ways to serve, and memories that will last a lifetime. I have been lucky enough to have gained all of this and so much more. UMAB has the power to spark change – will you join the movement of alternative breakers?

? Return to top

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

Jasmine Tomita-Barber

Year: Senior
Major: Biology
Past Experience: Environmental Conservation in Jupiter FL; Developmental Disabilities in Chicago, IL; Environmental Sustainability in Puerto Rico; Racism and Children's Issues in Selma AL; Neighborhood Revitalisation in a depressed economy in Detroit, MI

Why is UMAB important to you?
UMAB is important to me because it offers an immersive service experience that is designed to be a catalyst for change. The alternative breaks movement strives to create active citizens by performing conscious and intentional service during a week that will last a lifetime.

Allison Donahue

Year: Senior
Majors: Marine Science and Biology
Past Experience: Site Leader Spring Break 2014, Issue: Environmental Sustainability and Cherokee Rights, Site: Once Upon A Time

Why is UMAB important to you?
UMAB is important to me because it provides us with an opportunity to not only examine social justice issues that are a part of the world we live in, but also equips us to address the problems and find solutions, on individual and collaborative levels.

? Return to top

Budget Chair
Manages the overall budget for the program and presents a report to the Student Activity Fee Allocation Committee (SAFAC)

James Hennessy

Year: Senior
Major: Math
Past Experience: Racism in Selma, Alabama (2012);Poverty in Detroit, Michigan (2013)

Why is UMAB important to you?
UMAB is a dandy organization that knows more than a thing or two about change on all levels of society. It is both fun and educational. James is also a FANTASTIC dancer with a heart of gold. These things are undeniable.

? Return to top

Site Logisitics Co-Chairs
Manage the booking of flights and other logistical aspects of trips.

Payal Patel

Year: Junior
Major: Physics (Pre-Medicine)
Past Experience: 2013-2014 Fundraising/Sponsorship Co-Chair (E-Board); 2013 Winter Break Co-Site Leader Plenitud; 2013 Fall Break Co-Site Leader Everglades National Park; 2013 Spring Break participant to International Rescue Committee

Why is UMAB important to you?
UMAB is important because it allows students to learn about social and environmental issues by directly engaging in community service. With education, direct service, and reorientation, UMAB has the ability to reshape people and spark a movement against injustices that we all face everyday. For me, UMAB has exposed me to other people and their beliefs, values, customs and has made me into a stronger and better person!

Karishma Gupta

Year: Senior
Majors: Biology and Criminology
Past Experience: 2013 Spring Break participant working with The Freedom Foundation for children and racism; 2014 Spring Break Site Leader working with children with disabilities at Camp CAMP

Why is UMAB important to you?
UMAB is important to me because it allows me to be a part of a national movement that works to help others and raise awareness for social justice issues. It emphasizes the importance of direct community service and reorientation to facilitate the growth of an active citizen. The experiences I've had with UMAB have opened my eyes to the issues plaguing society and how dedication and commitment can produce change. I am excited to be working with UMAB for yet another year while creating even greater memories!

? Return to top

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

Shannon Pammer

Year: Senior
Major: Nursing
Past Experience: Spring break trip to Chicago working with ageism, Spring break trip to Gaston, NC working with education inequality and Spring break trip to San Antonio working with children with developmental disabilities, E-board fundraising and sponsorship

Why is UMAB important to you?
I love UMAB because it opens my eyes to many new experiences. Learning more about a social justice issue and doing service in a completely new environment gets me out of my comfort zone. Also, meeting the people in my group and hearing their opinions on different issues challenges some of my view points and I am able to see things from a different perspective. Meeting new people and working in different communities makes me more culturally aware and helps me to make positive changes and inspire others to do the same.

Saskia Groenewald

Year: Junior
Majors: Microbiology and Public Health
Past Experience: Women's Issues 2013 Fall Break; LGBTQ 2014 Spring Break Site Leader

Why is UMAB important to you?
UMAB takes service beyond a one day event and turns it into an catalytic experience. From the education component before the trip, direct service during, and reflection after, UMAB really allows you to explore the social issue you are working with and gain the tools in order to make a meaingful long term impact. It also provides the opportunity to meet and bond with great people as well as have lots of fun all while making a difference.

? Return to top

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

Katrina Enoch

Year: Sophomore
Majors: History and Economics
Past Experience: Focus Hope in Detroit for Neighborhood Revitalization (Spring 2014)

Why is UMAB important to you?
UMAB educates us about the complexities of the issues we face in our world, and instills a sense of empowerment to participants. UMAB demonstrates that anyone can institute meaningful change.

Neela Persad

Year: Junior
Major: Human & Social Development (Pre-Med)
Past Experience: Homeless Voice Participant (Fall Break 2013), Harvest Farms Participant (Spring Break 2014)

Why is UMAB important to you?
I love UMAB because it challenges me to empathize with individuals from other backgrounds and think critically about social justice issues. It is one thing to discuss social ills and targeting root causes in my classes but it becomes an entirely different learning experience when you actually immerse yourself in these issues. I have also met my closest friends on these trips and created lifelong friendships. If you want an unforgettable life experience, UMAB trips are where it's at! :)

? Return to top

Publicity Co Chairs
Coordinates the design of promotional materials.

Gerardo Delgadillo

Year: Junior
Major: Architecture
Past Experience: Participant in Lupe - Immigration. and Harvest Farms - Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation.

Why is UMAB important to you?
UMAB is important to me because it provides a quality and comprehensive perspective on learning about social issues and acquiring the tools to engage. However, it does much more in that it provides the platform for students to determine how they are related to their surroundings on different scales and thus act on it. This knowledge of connectedness informs the context of an individual and their efforts. It thus becomes an empowering experience to take part in the trips and ongoing dialogue that inspire direction and the ability to create change.

Constance Lopez

Year: Junior
Major: Neuroscience (Pre-Med)
Past Experience: Hunger and Poverty at Homeless Voice in Hollywood, FL (2013); Refugee Resettlement at the International Rescue Committee in Atlanta, GA (2014)

Why is UMAB important to you?
UMAB has been the best organziation 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 unforgetable breaks while also meeting the people who have become some of my closest friends.

? Return to top

Andrew D. Wiemer

I earned my B.A. in Business Administration (Management) from Doane College and my M.S. in College Student Personnel Services and Administration from the University of Central Arkansas. Currently I serve as the Director of the Butler Center for Volunteer Service and Leadership Development at the University of Miami. My responsibilities include administrative oversight of 40+ Service and Leadership Organizations, Alternative Break Programs, Service and Leadership Living-Learning Communities, Campus Wide Days of Service, Leadership Retreats and Symposiums, along with engaging students to help support non-profit organizations in the Miami Dade Community and throughout the world.
E-mail: andreww@miami.edu

? Return to top