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Applications open for Bennion Center’s Alternative Breaks program

We are excited to announce that our Staff/Faculty Partner applications for the Bennion Center’s Alternative Breaks program are now open for Fall 2023 and Spring 2024 experiences. We hope that you will learn more, consider participating, and help us share this opportunity with other U of U staff/faculty members that might be interested!

What is a Staff/Faculty Partner?

This is a unique, one-on-one mentorship experience for staff or faculty interested in student development.  Staff and faculty are matched with a student based on the likelihood of a productive and meaningful mentorship connection, and support their student throughout the year in planning, executing, and facilitating a community engagement experience for 8-10 other students the week of Fall or Spring Break or over a weekend break.  As this is a serious professional development opportunity, we encourage staff and faculty to have supervisor support for their participation. Supervisors are encouraged to release their staff/faculty with pay for the duration of the experience to participate in this program.

Benefits of Staff/Faculty Participation

  • One-on-one mentorship experience with a student leader
  • Participation, travel, and cost of AB experience is free
  • Meet and network with Staff/Faculty around campus
  • Immerse yourself in social or environmental issue that you are interested in
  • Recruit students to your program or college
  • Recruiting tool for your program/center/college
  • Co-facilitate an immersive student leader experience
  • Professional development through ongoing training topics include:
    • Mentorship
    • Social justice and diversity facilitation
    • Quality components of an Alternative Break and active engagement
    • Crisis management and conflict mediation

4-6 month commitment

Applicants are encouraged to carefully consider the timelines of involvement for each Alternative Break cycle (fall/spring) in accordance with their own personal and professional schedules. Please be advised that applicants who express interest in serving as a Fall 2023 Staff/Faculty Partner will be contacted at the interview. Those who express interest in Spring 2024 will be contacted toward the end of the Summer 2023 semester.

  •   Attend the AB training retreat.  This is mandatory.
    • Fall Break retreat (August 11th – 13th)
    • Spring Break retreat (November 10th -11th)
  • Attend Faculty/Staff Partner trainings every week for the duration of the commitment.  Meetings are approximately 1.5 hours and the time is determined by staff/faculty and student schedules. At least 90% attendance is mandatory.
  • Meet with your student Site Leader once a week for the duration of the program in order to build a strong working/mentoring relationship.
  • Assist and mentor Site Leader in pre-break planning activities, contacting agencies, addressing conflict, planning logistics, budgeting, etc.
  • Help student Site Leader plan and attend 3 required pre-departure meetings with participants.
  • Manage and track budget, and also administer funds and cash advances appropriate before, during, and after the AB experience
  • Follow and implement policies and guidelines set by the Alternative Breaks program
  • Occasional social activities or post-break engagements are expected.
  • Mandatory attendance at the reorientation event  

Click here to learn more and apply!

Applications are due ​May 26th for Fall and ​August 11th for Spring.