On the Campus
Students who took part in the Breakout trip to Big Mountain, Ariz., a community
on the Navajo Nation native American reservation, stand in front of a home and
straw bale that they worked on as part of their sustainable building project.
From left are Thomas Yersak '09, Isabel Pike '11, Jasmine Jeffers '11, Kathryn
Huddleston '11, Robert Cooper GS, Molly O'Connor '11, Sheri Senge '11, Anupama
Pattabiraman '10, James Bryant '09, RuiZhi Yu '11, Richard Andrews '09, Christine
Chong '10, Brian Geistwhite '09, and James Coan '09, along with the two homeowners,
Marie and Avron.
Jasmine Jeffers '11 and Kate Huddleston '11 feed one of the lambs in a
herd of 50 that they cared for at the home of a Navajo Nation family.
Both photos above were taken by Thomas Yersack '09.
Students who joined a Breakout group to the International Institute of
New Jersey (IINJ), in Jersey City, N.J., filmed a publicity video that highlighted
the Institute's work with refugees. Standing, left to right, are Joy Li '11,
Juan Farfan '11, Sue Azaiez GS, Kohei Noda '11, Albert Nguidjol (a member of
the IINJ Board of Directors), Jinju Pottenger '10, Cathe Tansey (executive director
of the IINJ), Yang Cai '11, Marissa Lee '11, IINJ secretary Stephanie Perrotta,
and Sheena Bailey '10. At bottom are Adrienne Clermont '09 and Hyeon-Ju Ryoo
This photo was taken by Tiffany Tong GS.
April 23, 2008:
trips become a chance to serve
By Julia Osellame '09
Spring break meant more than sipping margaritas on the beach for many students
interested in civic engagement.
The Student Volunteers Council (SVC), which provides service opportunities
for students year-round, ran two spring-break trips. The Pace Center for Civic
Engagement sponsored four trips, and associate professors Kimberly K. Smith and
Melissa V. Harris-Lacewell took their environmental justice class to volunteer
For students who can't volunteer during the academic session of the semester,
service trips are a rewarding alternative. "I think a lot of people want
to serve during the year and don't get the opportunity to because they're busy," said
Farrell Harding '10, coordinator for the SVC break trips.
One SVC group worked with the Youth Service Opportunities Project in New
York, serving the homeless at a different Manhattan soup kitchen every day of
the week, while a second helped map post-Katrina reconstruction efforts for the
"What was great about this project," Harding said, "was that
they actually worked with the homeowners and got to interact with the community
when the neighbors cooked Creole lunches for them every day."
The Pace Center's new Breakout service-trip program was also popular, receiving
about 70 applications from undergraduates. One of its four trips was to New Orleans
to meet with the mayor's office and discuss policy, rebuilding, and education
challenges in the hurricane-ravaged city.
The Breakout trips' goal – to incorporate service and learning – was
emphasized on the trip to Los Angeles, where students visited detention centers
and toured Skid Row. At the end of the week, they presented their experiences
to the Princeton Club of Southern California.
"I was drawn to the Breakout trips because of the idea of putting learning
and service together," said Christine Chong '10, a leader of the trip to
a Navajo reservation in Arizona.
This group met with Indigenous Community Enterprises in Flagstaff and spent
a night in a traditional Navajo Hogan home. Larry Nez '77 and Roman Bitsuie '78,
of the Navajo-Hope Land Commission, also spoke to the students about how to plan
development respectfully in Native American communities.
"I would not have traded my week in Arizona for any other spring break," said
James Bryant '09.
The fourth Breakout group worked on a publicity video for the International
Institute of New Jersey in Jersey City, which gives psychological and legal counseling
to asylum-seekers. Students also toured a refugee detention center in Elizabeth,
N.J., and met with Emily Holland '01, who works for the International Rescue
Committee in New York.
"Visiting the detention center was by far the most emotional experience
for everyone in the group," said Adrienne Clermont '09, the group's co-leader. "We
were so moved that we're going to have a group of people who go back up there
once a month."
by Hyunseok Shim ’08