Trip Leaders

Immersion Trip Leaders are students dedicated to service! Trip Leaders are responsible for planning and facilitating trips, including reflections, education about social justice issues, etc. Trip Leaders are part of a semester-long training and leadership program, which includes weekly workshops throughout the Fall semester, weekly meetings through the Spring semester, a ropes course and Springfield Immersion Trip. All Trip Leaders must have been a Bear Breaks participant. Other primary trip Leader Duties are to:

Plan and Lead Trips - Trip Leaders work with community partners, Bear Breaks Executive Board, Missouri State Faculty and Staff to develop work plans and plan logistics, including responsible budgeting and spending, meal planning, emergency management, and ensuring that all participants turn in required forms.

Assist with Participant Recruitment - Trip Leaders will boost participation in the Immersion Programs by serving as spokespeople for their trips and developing creative outreach plans to target groups related to their social issue or location.

Implement Issue Education, Orientation, and Training - A central function of Trip Leaders in planning and implementing creative, diverse approaches to issue education, orientation, and training for participants in pre-trip meetings. They can subsequently coordinate with community partners, faculty, and local community leaders for resources and pre-trip service.

Develop a Strong Team - Throughout their work with participants, Trip Leaders foster cohesion and trust through the use of group builders, icebreakers, and facilitated activities and discussion. Trip Leaders also make space for downtime together to learn about each other.

Prepare Reorientation - Trip Leaders are the key to the Reorientation process and equip participants with resources to facilitate their individual growth as active citizens. Trip Leaders will coordinate post-trip service and advocacy activities for their group.

Promote and Motivate Fundraising - Trip Leaders may assist the Bear Breaks Executive Board with planning fundraisers. They play a key role in motivating energetic involvement in fundraising among participants.


Position Decriptions

Fall Break Trip Leader (Oct 12-15)

  • Participate in the Fall Retreat
  • Attend weekly trip leader meetings
  • Communicate frequently with Co-Trip Leader, the Executive Board, and Program Advisors
  • Coordinate housing, service sites, educational activities, and a budget for the trip
  • Create a plan for education, orientation, and training (EOT)
  • Create a reflection plan
  • Create a reorientation plan
  • Facilitate two pre-trip meetings and one post-trip meeting
  • Assist in the planning of Coffee & Change
  • Complete the Post-Trip Report

Spring Break Trip Leader (Mar. 11-17)

  • Participate in the Fall Retreat
  • Attend weekly trip leader meetings
  • Communicate frequently with Co-Trip Leader, the Executive Board, and Program Advisors
  • Coordinate housing, service sites, educational activities, and a budget for the trip
  • Create a plan for education, orientation, and training (EOT)
  • Create a reflection plan
  • Create a reorientation plan
  • Facilitate two pre-trip meetings and one post-trip meeting
  • Assist in the planning of Coffee & Change
  • Complete the Post-Trip Report

Time Commitment

Trip Leaders can expect to spend 1 to 1.5 hours in a Trip Leader meeting each week, beginning in August and ending a week after their trip.  In addition, Trip Leaders are expected to attend the fall retreat and meet with a member of the executive board occasionally to discuss the planning of their trip. Trip Leaders are also expected to host two pre-trip meetings and one post-trip meeting and attend Coffee & Change.


2017-2018 Trip Leaders

Fall

Milwaukee, WI - Haley Korn

St. Louis, MO - Katy Warfield

Winter

Costa Rica - Focus on Eco-Agriculture, Community Building, and Public Affairs - Alex Johnson

Spring

Asheville, NC - Chelsea Jennings

Atlanta, GA - Kaylan Butler

Chicago, IL - YiKen Jongerius

Dallas, TX - Michaela Goldsmith

Indianapolis, IN - Seamus Shannon

New Orleans, LA - Lane Borsa

Aurora, CO - Yawei Yang

2016-17 Trip Leaders

Fall

Kansas City, MO - Maximizing Potential: Creating Change for Kansas City Youth - Lexi Eghbali and Lauren Cooksey

St. Louis, MO - Deconstructing the Common Narrative: Hunger and Homelessness in Saint Louis - Emily Cassimatis and Haley Korn

Winter

Atlanta, GA - Stepping Into the Light of Humanity: Community Healthcare in Atlanta - Wenxi Yang and Aubrey Snedeker

Costa Rica - Focus on Eco-Agriculture, Community Building, and Public Affairs - Alex Johnson

Spring

Asheville, NC - Health, Wellness, and What it means to the People in Asheville, NC - Molly Limmer and Alison Mclean

Atlanta, GA - Pieces of Poverty: Exploring Different Aspects in Atlanta - Tia Lynn Rounsoville and Kenna Sheppard

Chicago, IL - Breaking Down Barriers: Exposing Homelessness in Chicago and Beyond - Katie Cassimatis and Cindy Her

Dallas, TX - Crossing Cultural BEARiers: Impacting Dallas Youth through Education - Aidan Williams and Sarah Harp

Indianapolis, IN - Raising Social Awareness of Sustainable Practices in Indianapolis - Analise Reed and Lauren Plumlee

New Orleans, LA - Building for Change: New Perspectives in New Orleans - Elizabeth Wyman and Rebecca Turney

Aurora, CO - Engaging Colorado: Communicating with At-Risk Youth and Hospitalized Children Using Therapeutic Play - Kellie Seaman and Makyla Swope

Spring 2016 Trip Leaders

Asheville, NC: Focus on Health and Wellness – Adam Sparks and Zach Dawson

Atlanta, GA: Focus on Urban Development – Zach Dumas and Blake Shepheard

Chicago, IL: Focus on Homelessness and Hunger – Xirun Ping and Autumn Ward

Dallas, TX: Focus on Children & Families – Lexi Eghbali and Lauren Cooksey

Indianapolis, IN: Focus on Sustainability – Haley Korn and John Lang

New Orleans, LA: Focus on Urban Development – Kim Kayser and Jasmine Carter

Meet Our 2017-2018 Trip Leaders!

Chelsea Jennings

Chelsea Jennings

Chelsea Jennings is studying Exercise and Movement Science.  She is so excited to be leading the trip for Asheville, NC! Asheville last year was a very enriching learning experience for her and she cannot wait to see the leadership side to it. Being a social butterfly, she loved getting to know the locals of Asheville and getting to take in the beauty of the Smoky Mountains. If you crave adventure, meeting new people, being cultured, and lots a laughs, 10/10 these trips are for you!


Katy Warfield

Katy Warfield

Katy is a senior Socio-political Communication Major from O'Fallon, IL. She has been a student worker in the Center for Community Engagement for a year and a half and has been a participant in the Costa Rica winter immersion trip. Katy will be leading the fall immersion trip to St. Louis to address sustainability practices within St. Louis communities. Her favorite memory from her immersion trip was witnessing the tight-knit community in Monteverde.


Kaylan Butler

Kaylan Butler

Kaylan Butler is a sophomore majoring in Nursing. She will be gladly leading the trip this year to Atlanta. She was lucky to be a part of the trip last spring to New Orleans. Her favorite memory from the trip was being able to work with Habitat Humanity. As part of our service with them they helped work on two houses. Her favorite part was being able to build a driveway. These trips really help you get involved and be a part of community’s other than your own. Go Bears!


Lane Borsa

Lane Borsa

Lane Borsa is an Interior Design Major with a minor in Construction Management. She is leading the New Orleans trip this year, which is also the trip she was able to go on as a participant last year. She volunteer with Habitat for Humanity with MSU, so she loves having the opportunity to work with Habitat down in New Orleans. Her favorite memory from the trip last year was talking with some locals who survived Hurricane Katrina. It made the experience more personal putting faces to the disaster. She can't wait to share this experience with others this year!


Michaela Goldsmith

Michaela Goldsmith

Michaela Goldsmith is double majoring in Criminology and Psychology. She will be leading the Bear Breaks trip to Dallas this Spring Break. Last year she had the opportunity to travel to New Orleans and work with Habitat for Humanity. Her favorite memory from the trip to NOLA was working closely with the rest of my team and building the foundation for a house. The hands-on service was amazing and it was incredibly rewarding to work with such a strong community to continue rebuilding after Hurricane Katrina. Immersing in the culture, meeting some of the incredible people who live there, and learning more about the history of the city and its people was eye-opening and she looks forward to doing the same in Dallas this coming Spring Break!


Seamus Shannon

Seamus Shannon

Seamus is an Accounting major going into his fourth year out of the five year accelerated Master of Accountancy program. He is from Kirkwood, MO and has participated in Student Government Association, Fraternity & Sorority Life, and Accounting Club. What he took most from his trip to Chicago, which focused on Hunger and Homelessness, was how much we take for granted, including food supply and shelter. He will be leading the Spring immersion trip to Indianapolis to focus on Sustainability.


Yawei Yang

Yawei Yang

Yawei (Tiffany) is a graduate student in the Master of Business Administration(MBA) program. She has served with Bear Breaks in Kansas City and Atlanta, and is going to explore engaging Colorado as a Trip Leader! Her favorite memory about the previous immersion trips was making connections with children from Bright Futures House which provides the means and motivation for youth to succeed in becoming self-sufficient. Serving with ACSS(Atlanta Center for Self Sufficiency) to develop participants’ job career also impressed her a lot. She is excited for the coming communication with at-risk youth and hospitalized children in Colorado and is ready to be immersed in different challenges.


YiKen Jongerius

YiKen Jongerius

YiKen is a sophomore from Overland Park, Kansas. She is a Social Work major and Spanish minor. She was a participant in Chicago last Spring, which focused on homelessness and hunger. Her favorite memory from Bear Breaks was meeting new people and learning about homelessness in the Chicago area. She is leading the Chicago trip this Spring and is super excited to grow as a leader and to get to know all of her participants.