Interested in joining our Board of Directors?

We're looking for new members! To apply, please send your resume and cover letter to us at breakaway [at] alternativebreaks [dot] org. Feel free to reach out with any questions you have regarding what it means to be on our Board of Directors. We'll let you in on all the secrets.

Board members are passionate about the mission and approach of Break Away and alternative breaks, and serve as advocates and ambassadors for the organization. They represent a variety of personal and professional backgrounds, and are based throughout the country. They take a collaborative, open-minded approach to strategic planning and problem solving.

The full Board member Job Description is available here.


Samantha Giacobozzi

Executive Director

sg [at] alternativebreaks [dot] org

Sam was a student coordinator with the alternative breaks program at Eastern Michigan University, before an internship with Break
Away led her to serve as Programs Director for five years. She returned to Break Away in the position of Co-Executive Director after receiving a Masters of Social Work from the University of Michigan, where she focused on Community Organizing. She was a Global Scholar (working on gender-based violence in South Africa) while at Michigan as well as co-founder of the Alliance of Progressive Social Workers and The Feminist Table.

Tia Fay

Programs Director

tia [at] alternativebreaks [dot] org

Tia fell in love with alternative breaks at her first ABCs in Grand Canyon National Park in 2010. Already a believer in the power of small groups, she took what she gained from the ABCs and worked as part of a dedicated team founding the alternative breaks program at the University of Delaware. Tia has since served as an AmeriCorps VISTA with Campus Compact in West Virginia, and has contributed to the movement as a Break Away Intern, Trainer, Fellow, and now - Programs Director. Tia is honored to continue her involvement with this powerful movement, contributing to, and learning from, community every day.

Nico Climaco

Programs Director

nico [at] alternativebreaks [dot] org

Nico stumbled onto alternative breaks at James Madison University (Go dukes!), but was transformed on his first trip working with environmental restoration in New Orleans. It was there that he saw alternative breaks through a new lens, as a vehicle toward justice. From his role as a trip leader, he went on to co-lead the program as a student coordinator and develop curriculum around social justice and community impact. With a background in identity politics and higher education advocacy, Nico is proud to continue as an active member in the movement working for Break Away, first as an intern and now Programs Director - toward his passions of civic and community engagement.

Nisha Kavalam

Programs Director

nisha [at] alternativebreaks [dot] org

Nisha's alternative break experience started as an out-of-state freshman looking to make friends. After her first trip, she was quickly hooked and continued on as a three-time site leader, co-chair, then program chair. In her time at the University of Utah, she helped develop program-wide social justice trainings and used alternative breaks as a model to write her thesis on the essential integration of social justice and community engagement. Nisha worked with Break Away as a summer intern in 2015 and the official Social Work Intern the following fall. She graduated from the University of Utah in 2015 with an honors degree in social work and a minor in political science.

Our Team

Board Members

Lauren Haynes

Board Chair

University of Chicago, Chicago, IL

Former AB Executive Board member at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Matt Gayer

Board Vice Chair

Advisory Board Company, Washington, DC

Former AB Chair at Southern Methodist University

Katie Stearns

Board Treasurer

iMentor, Chicago, IL

Former AB Executive Board member at Northwestern University

Abby Williams

Board Secretary

Suvoda, Philadelphia, PA

Former AB President at Lafayette College

Bethany Glass

Emory University Law School, Atlanta, GA

Former AB Executive Board member at Vanderbilt University

Jared Greene

Starcom MediaVest Group, Chicago, IL

Former AB Executive Board member at Xavier University

Camille Hart

University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) Translational Research Institute (TRI), Little Rock, AR

Matt Henkes

Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, OH

Current AB Executive Board member at Bowling Green State University

Lucas Hernandez

Knight Foundation, Miami, FL

Former AB Executive Board member at Rollins College

Melody Porter

College of William & Mary, Williamsburg, VA

Coauthor of Working Side By Side: Creating Alternative Breaks as Catalysts for Global Learning, Student Leadership, and Social Change

Amira Shouman

The Islamic Center at NYU, New York, NY

Former AB advisor at New York University

Brooke Smith

PFLAG, Washington, DC

Former AB Executive Board member at University of Kansas