This book constitutes a guide for student and staff leaders in alternative break (and other community engagement, both domestic and international) programs, offering practical advice, outlining effective program components and practices, and presenting the underlying community engagement and global learning theory.
Shoshanna Sumka is the Assistant Director of Global Learning and Leadership at American University, where she oversees the alternative break program and other international immersion programs. At AU, she developed the program from the ground up, created a leadership training curriculum, and increased participation by 300%. As a leader in international & experiential education, she has lived, worked and/or traveled extensively in Kenya, Israel, Indonesia, Venezuela, Zambia, Thailand, Colombia, Haiti, and India. She directed the University of Idaho's study abroad program in Ecuador where she taught courses on indigenous rights in the Amazon rain forest. She has a BA in Sociology and Anthropology from Earlham College and a Master's in Applied Anthropology from the University of Maryland. Shoshanna was named Break Away Staff Person of the Year in 2012. Melody Christine Porter is the Associate Director of Community Engagement at the College of William and Mary, where she supervises the alternative breaks program and develops community partnerships. Previously, she served as Director of Volunteer Emory at Emory University, where she developed an alternative fall break program. She has worked in nonprofit administration, ministry, and served as a full-time volunteer for three years after college, in Philadelphia, PA and Johannesburg, South Africa. Melody holds a Master's in Divinity from the Candler School of Theology at Emory University and a BA in Political Science from Emory University. Melody was named Staff Person of the Year by Break Away in 2010, and her program at William and Mary received the Program of the Year award in 2011. Jill Piacitelli is the co-Executive Director at Break Away, having led the organization since 2004. Jill has worked with alternative break programs in various capacities for over fifteen years: in various positions with Break Away: The Alternative Break Connection, as a staff advisor while working on the campuses of Johnson St