Bear Breaks Executive Board

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The Bear Breaks Executive Board works alongside the Center for Community Engagement, advisors, and community agencies to plan and lead retreats, meetings, trainings, and service days for Trip Leaders. The Board works closely with other student leaders to ensure trip leaders are prepared to lead engaging and meaningful immersion trips for Missouri State students. Key actions of the Board are to:

Develop Vision and Goals - The Executive Board members are responsible for the program’s strategic planning process. This includes solidifying a yearly timeline, developing training curriculum, etc. They check regularly on the progress of that plan to be sure board members, Trip Leaders, Program Advisors, and Faculty/Staff Advisors are fulfilling their roles. They also plan to implement program-wide special events that work toward overarching goals.

Train and Advise Site Leaders - The Board plans and implements training sessions throughout the year, troubleshoots challenges with Trip Leaders in regular advising meetings, and models behavior and attitude for Trip Leaders and Participants. The Executive Board leads a retreat for trip Leaders as part of the comprehensive Training for the year.

Ensure Quality Trips - The Board ensures there is a Diverse offering of high-quality trips held at different times during the year, including Fall Immersion, Weekend Immersion, Winter Immersion, Spring Immersion, etc. With program values and rubrics, they help Trip Leaders plan Immersion experiences that achieve Missouri State’s Public Affairs Mission and adhere to the eight components of a quality trip.

Oversee Program Operations and Promotion - The Board works closely with Community Involvement & Service staff to oversee program operations, including finances, fundraising, and budgeting. They also take major responsibility for promoting Immersion Trips on campus, setting a tone of excitement and integrity for the program, coordinating participant recruitment, representing the program as ambassadors to the campus and community, and coordinating with other service and social justice efforts on campus.

Plan and Implement Program-Wide Events - The Bear Breaks Executive Board coordinates large events, including community engagement speakers, service days, tabling at community fairs, etc. They also ensure Trip Leaders implement team-based reorientation, advise on best practices, and follow up to capture outcomes and successes.



Meet our Board

Sarah Harp

Director of Membership & Education

Sarah is a Professional Writing major and has served with Bear Breaks in the Atlanta (participant) and Dallas (Trip Leader). Her favorite Bear Breaks memory was spending an afternoon at the senior center in Dallas. "It was really neat to hear their stories!"  As the Director of Membership & Education, Sarah works closely with Trip Leaders to develop Education, Orientation, and Training.


Aidan Williams

Director of Retreat, Reflection, and Orientation

Aidan is a Middle School Education major (Language Arts and Social Studies) going into his fourth and final year at Missouri State. He is from Lake Ozark, MO. Since his freshman year he has been actively involved in Pride Band, the campus ministry The Green Room and Bear Breaks! His passion for service has centered around youth through participating and leading the Dallas trip. He is excited for this next school year and working with the exec board, advisors and leaders to create Active Citizen Bears.


Liz Wyman

Director of Community Outreach

Liz is a biology major and in her third year at Missouri State. She is from New Hampshire and has been both a Trip Leader and participant for the community revitalization trip to New Orleans. Her favorite part of Immersion Trips is growing with participants and gaining additional insights into the communities she supports through these service projects. She enjoys working with Habitat for Humanity in both her hometown and in Springfield!