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More students than ever are playing key leadership roles in Lafayette’s Alternative School Break Club, which is sponsoring service projects over the winter and spring breaks in Honduras, Hungary, Arizona, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. in 2001-2002.

All of the trips will take place over spring break (March 25-29) except for the one in Washington, D.C., which will be done over the January interim session between semesters.

The club is led by Meghan Oakley ’04 of Newton, N.J., president; Alex Karapetian ’04, a government and law major from Easton, Pa., vice president; Katie Pursel ’04, a neuroscience major from Easton, Pa., fund raising chair; Julie Handley ’04, a chemical engineering major from Seattle, Wash. treasurer; and Elyssa Molloy ’05 of Troy, Mich., secretary.

This year is the first in which the student leaders of each team were selected before the rest of the trip participants. In addition, other students now have greater leadership opportunities, according to Kate Wick, intern with the Lafayette’s Landis Community Outreach Center and the club’s advisor. Along with its student leader, each team has at least one student taking on the following roles: cultural/educational guru, who educates team members about the culture of the area, the agency with whom they are working, and issues that surround the need they are serving; scribe, who takes minutes and records service hours and other general information; treasurer, who is responsible for keeping financial records; team builder, who develops teamwork and group dynamics; and fund raising experts.

The Urban Immersion team will prepare and deliver lunches to HIV/AIDS patients in Washington, D.C. The students are Kate Cimino ’02, a government and law and foreign language major from Midland Park, N.J., team leader; Kelly Wise ’02, a psychology major from Queens, N.Y., treasurer; Catriona Duncanson ’03, an A.B. engineering major from Basking Ridge, N.J., team builder; Meghan Masto ’03, a psychology major from Wall, N.J., and Michelle DiMeglio ’04, a civil and environmental engineering major from Morton, Pa., cultural/educational gurus; and Andrew Lee ’04 of Brooklyn, N.Y., and Cristin Timoney ’05, an intended psychology major from North Wales, fund raising experts. Stephanie Hayes ’94, associate director of development services; Jodie Frey, director of recreation services; and Karapetian will accompany the students.

Another team will travel to Lexington, Va., to work with a Habitat for Humanity affiliate on construction of a new home for a low-income family. The students are Tana Zerr ’02, team leader, a psychology major from Hamburg, Pa.; David Norton ’04 of Kensington, Md. and Melissa Kirk ’05, an intended biology major from Easton, Conn., treasurers; Jessica Papada ’03, a neuroscience major from Hazleton, Pa., and Devin Wallace ’02, a computer science major from Ridgefield, Conn., team builders; Sarah Bassin ’04, a religion major from Shawnee Mission, Kan., and Erika Marshall ’03, a government and law major from Bonita, Calif., cultural/education gurus; Rachel Siegel ’04, a biology major from Bayport, N.Y., fund raising expert; and Kristen Cahill ’04, an undeclared liberal arts student, scribe. Ross Gay ’96, Dean of Studies Humanities Fellow, and Sarah Diamond, visiting assistant professor of anthropology and sociology, will join the students.

In Honduras, students will perform tasks at a city hospital, a rural nursing home, an elementary school and an orphanage. Previous years’ duties have included painting, singing with children, visiting the elderly, and donating clothing and medical supplies. The team is comprised of Mia Lorenzetti ’02, an A.B. engineering major from Alpha, N.J., team leader; Garret Nicodemus ’04, a chemical engineering major from Lake Charles, La., treasurer; Zakia Dilday ’02, a Spanish major from Boston, Mass., team builder; Cassandra Appel ’04, a chemistry major from West Wyoming, Pa., and Fernando Luna ’04, a civil engineering major from Managua, Nicaragua, cultural/educational gurus; Geoffrey Oxholm ’04, a computer science major from Merion Station, Pa., and Marly Hammer ’05, an intended government and law major from Manalapan, N.J., fund raising experts; and Sara Yevics ’03, a psychology major from Scranton, Pa., scribe. Carmen Hernandez, an intern with the office of intercultural development; Anne Barnhart-Park, Skillman librarian; and Boucher also will participate.

For the second year, a group will work in Arizona with Tuba City for Family Harmony, an affiliate organization of the Navajo Way, which provides shelter, emergency services, and prevention resources to victims of domestic violence. Tuba City also provides aid in filing protection orders, public information on domestic violence, and community education materials. The students plan on working with children and focusing on after-school homework help. They are Jen Rusak ’04, a neuroscience major from Ashley, Pa., team leader; Jed Wilbur ’02, a mechanical engineering major from Woodstock Valley, Conn., treasurer; Julia de Graaf ’03, an economics and business major from Brussels, Belgium, team builder; Cheryl Christianson ’03, a biology major from Sea Girt, N.J., and Janille Smith ’03, a civil and environmental engineering major from Kingston, Jamaica, cultural/education gurus; Renee Ferrari ’04, a biology major from Collingswood, N.J., and Kenya Flash ’03, a government and law major from Coopersburg, Pa., fund-raising experts; and Gül Güven ’03, an international studies major from Brussels, Belgium, scribe. Molloy and Chawne Kimber, assistant professor of mathematics, will accompany the team.

The following students will travel to a location just outside Budapest, Hungary to work with a Habitat for Humanity affiliate on home construction for low-income families: Vivienne Felix ’03, an international affairs major from Hollis, N.Y., team leader; Greg Dahling ’04 of Shamong, N.J., treasurer; Shana Merrill ’04, a biology major from Egg Harbor Township, N.J., team builder; Emily Gustin ’04 of Bridgewater, Conn., and Heather Trautner ’04 of Trout Run, Pa., cultural/educational gurus; Stacey Wagner ’03, a biochemistry major from Shavertown, Pa., and Carly Reiser ’05 of Palmerton, Pa., fund raising experts; and Stephanie Regan ’03, a history major from Montville, N.J., who is studying abroad and may serve as scribe. The team will be joined by Oakley and Wick.

The Alternative School Break Club received 60 applications from students, ten of whom are on an alternate list. The organization conducted its first service project in 1994 through a spring break trip to Honduras.

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