Alternative Breaks looking for faculty and staff to attend spring break trips

November 15, 2017

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State Alternative Breaks (PSAB) is looking for full-time faculty or staff to be Learning Partners on alternative break trips in March 2018.

At University Park, PSAB has been run by the Office of Student Activities since 2007. Since 2015, the program has grown exponentially, from having two to three trips a year to doing 10 trips in 2016-2017 to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of the program.

In 2017-2018, 17 different trips were scheduled for the fall, winter and spring breaks, focused on a variety of social justice topics including; urban poverty, education access, homelessness, LGBTQ issues, race relations, community development, refugee resettlement, environment and sustainability, youth development, rural poverty, food insecurity and disaster relief.

In order to continue to expand and provide more hands-on learning opportunities for students to engage with different communities through service, PSAB needs the help of faculty and staff willing to join these students as Learning Partners for these trips.

Main responsibilities include driving a 15-passenger and/or mini-van throughout the trip; handling a University Purchasing Card and budget provided by the Office of Student Activities; and being an emergency responder in difficult situations. Other fun parts of the experience include participating in daily service projects; learning more deeply about a social justice topic of importance; being immersed in a culture outside of your own; and reflecting with the students and seeing them transform throughout the week.

This spring we are also collaborating with six different Commonwealth Campuses to go to Texas to work with Hurricane Harvey victims. This collaboration will take 100 Penn State students to the Beaumont and Port Arthur areas of Texas to work on local residents’ homes and help to provide relief to those communities. This will be a great opportunity to show what Penn State students can do to make a direct impact on such a large scale. PSAB also needs Learning Partners for this experience.

Full-time faculty and staff interested in being a Learning Partner for a trip this spring, scheduled for March 3-10, 2018, should visit to fill out our interest survey. For more information, contact Program Coordinator for Service and Leadership Kelli Dowd, at or 814-867-1242. Those unable to participate this spring but would still be interested in being a Learning Partner on future trips, can be added to a waiting list.

Visit the website for more information and descriptions of the spring trips.

Last Updated November 16, 2017