Learn more about the people who have been involved with ASB over the years! 

Alana Ferguson

Zambia 2018 - Project Coordinator

Summer Coordinator 2017

Nepal 2017 - Project Coordinator

India 2016 - Project Leader

India 2015 - Team Leader

Uganda 2014 - Team Member

Alana is a graduate student from the Bachelors of Science in Nursing program at Ryerson University and is currently working as a Registered Nurse at Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital. She has always had a love for travelling from a young age and found quickly that ASB was a place for her during her time at Ryerson. Throughout her undergraduate degree, Alana was able to travel to 27 different countries through her participation in ASB, and other associated travel experiences. Her passion for ethical global engagement and ASB shaped her experience as an undergraduate student and has led her to now plan to pursue a Masters of Science in Global Health: Disease, Burdens, and Challenges. Later in life, Alana wishes to combine her travels and education to work as a leader in global health promotion.

 

Caitlin Russell

India 2017 - Project Coordinator

Laos 2016 - Project Coordinator

Summer Coordinator - 2015/2016

India 2015 - Project Coordinator

Uganda 2014 - Team Member

Caitlin graduated Ryerson with a major in Film Studies and a minor in Non-Profit and Voluntary Sector Management. After travelling to Uganda with ASB as a team member in 2014, she found the experience to be profoundly life changing. She returned to coordinate another three projects with ASB, and expanded the organization into a two trip model. Caitlin believes ASB to be the most influential and important aspect of her university career and is incredibly grateful for the all the amazing people she met both in Canada, and abroad. In the future, she hopes to pursue a career in international development and help to give more travellers meaningful and impactful experiences abroad.

 

 

Mathew Czipf

India 2018 - Team Leader

India 2017 - Team Member

Mathew Czipf is in his final year of the History program, with a minor in Criminology. His love for both student engagement and to travel eventually lead to ASB in his fifth year. Through ASB he has been able to not only travel to regions he had studied in textbooks but to volunteer in them. He is very excited to be returning to India, and working with NGO Yearoutindia and to contribute to their goals even if only in a small way. Outside of ASB he co-hosts the International Issues Discussion Series and is an avid collector of comic books, which he hopes to sell one day to pay off his student fees.

 

 

 

 

Maddy Pilon

India 2018 - Project Leader

Nepal 2017 - Team Member

Laos 2016 - Team Member  

India 2015 - Team Member

Maddy is currently in her 5th year of Film Studies at Ryerson. This will be her last year as a member of ASB and she is happy to be returning to India for her final volunteer trip. Last year Maddy travelled to Nepal with ASB an had the chance to extend her trip to trek the Himalayas, travel southeast Asia, and become a certified TESL/TESOL English teacher. Because of her positive experience with ASB, Maddy plans to start a travel-related career as an English teacher or working for an NGO after university.

Myuh Findlay 

Nepal 2017 - Team Leader

India 2016 - Team Member

India 2015 - Team Member 

Maya is currently in her forth year of Performance Production at Ryerson University. Her passion for theatre is focuses on projects to do with equity, diverse perspectives, youth, and thought provoking content. Upon finding ASB in her first year, she was sure she’d stumbled upon something special, as it had been a dream to travel to India for many years. Her first trip to India was truly life changing. She returned to India the following year as a team member, and was again humbled by YOI sanitation projects in Kochi. In 2017, she joined the leadership team, working on events and grants pre-departure and VIN out of Kathmandu. Maya would like to thank ASB for the incredible experiences it provided for her throughout her 3 years. They are the most cherished of her university career, and will undoubtedly influence her work for years to come. 

Taylor Stone

India 2017 - Team Leader

Laos 2016 - Team Member

Taylor Stone is a graduate student from the Professional Communication program with minors in Public Relations and Marketing. She has always had a passion for traveling but found a new understanding of its true impacts after volunteering with ASB. After her first trip to Laos in 2016, she felt the world become a little smaller and knew traveling with a purpose would now always be part of her life. Taylor hopes to bring her knowledge and the first hand experience ASB has given her to any and all of her future career endeavours.

Mallory Warren 

Nepal 2017 - Team Leader

India 2016 - Team Member

After graduating from Ryerson's Journalism program, Mallory went on to complete a graphic design program at Humber to add on to her media skills. Mallory fell in love with ASB and international volunteering after her trip to India in 2016. She came back the next year to lead the team to Nepal. Mallory hopes to continue volunteering abroad and highly recommending that experience to everyone!

 

Aidan Kerr

India 2017 - Team Leader

Laos 2016 - Team Member

Aidan graduated from Ryerson University in 2017 with a major in Political Science and a minor in History. After hearing about ASB through a friend, Aidan applied and was accepted as a team member on team Laos 2016. His experience on the trip would change his outlook regarding his role at the university. After returning from the trip, Aidan knew that he wanted to help other students experience what he had on ASB. Aidan went on to help lead the ASB trip to India in 2017. Again, this experience was amazing. Aidan is now pursuing a Masters in Immigration and Settlement Studies at Ryerson University. ASB provided Aidan with a new understanding of what a university can offer its students beyond a traditional education. 

 

 

Haley Ashford

Laos 2016- Team Leader

India 2015 - Team Leader

Uganda 2014 - Team Member

Haley is a graduate of the Social Work program at Ryerson University. Wanting to better herself and move far out of her comfort zone, Haley knew joining ASB was something she had to do. After being a team member for Team Uganda in 2014, Haley returned home with a passion to continue to grow and travel, which prompted her to come back to ASB for another two years as a leader for Team India 2015 and Team Laos 2016. Upon completion of her BSW in December 2016, Haley hopes to continue to travel, volunteer and find a meaningful job in her field.

Alana Pitamber

India 2016- Team Leader

India 2015 - Team Member

Alana is pursuing a degree in the Aerospace Engineering program. She joined ASB as a team member on Team India 2015, and then returned to lead a trip back to India in 2016. She first became interested in the non-profit sector while choosing her career path in high school; where she discovered she'd never be happy pursuing a career in commercial engineering. She has since aspired to volunteer locally and internationally as much as she can. ASB has provided her with the opportunity to learn and grow and develop her skills outside academia. One day, Alana hopes to work for a non-profit organization and/or the Royal Canadian Airforce.

 

Sherin Surenthiran

India 2015 - Team Leader

Uganda 2014- Team Member

Sherin is a graduate from Ryerson University with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology. Her passion for travelling and volunteering abroad was something she had always aspired to do since high school. She is keen on making a positive impact within communities both locally and internationally. Her continuous education about diverse people and cultures learned throughout her program further increases her passion to travel and embark on new journeys. Along with travelling, Sherin is an avid dancer and has been dancing since she was six years old. She is a part of various cultural dance teams, some of which were within Ryerson. She loves the opportunity for self growth and experience that ASB has given her. Sherin is interested in attaining a Masters in Social Work and hopes to find a career that allows her to travel and work abroad.

 

Carl Meschino

India 2015 - Team Member

Summer Coordinator 2013
Carl is a recent graduate from the Urban and Regional Planning program at Ryerson University. He is currently working as a Liaison Officer for Undergraduate Admissions and Recruitment. During his time as Summer Coordinator for ASB in 2013, he was tasked with researching various grassroots organizations for future ASB projects. He discovered what came to be the projects for Team Uganda and Team India. Carl was a proud member of Team India in 2015 where he and his peers helped build 7 latrines for a small tribal community in the state of Kerala. In his spare time, Carl enjoys playing guitar and training in trampoline (gymnastics).

Melissa Lopez

India 2015 - Leadership Advisor

Summer Coordinator 2014

Uganda 2014 - Team Leader
Kenya 2013 – Team Leader
Ghana 2012 - Team Leader
Colombia 2011 - Team Member

Melissa is graduate from Ryerson with a degree in Sociology. Due to her interest in Sociology she is always curious about different cultures and people’s interactions with one another. This is one of the many reasons that has fueled her passion to travel, despite her slight aerophobia. Ever since the beginning, her journey has been filled with incredible experiences and a spectrum of learning, she constantly finds herself outside of her comfort zone and this is where the majority of learning happens. After working for four years with ASB, Melissa is going to travel the world on her own to see what other experiences come her way. She hopes to continue connecting with people around the world and continue to step outside of that comfort zone. 

 

Christina Tachtampa

Uganda 2014- Project Coordinator 
Kenya 2013 – Team Leader
Ghana 2012- Team Leader
Vietnam 2011- Team Member

‚ÄčChristina graduated from the Arts and Contemporary Studies program, with a major in History at Ryerson University. Her strong desire to learn, increase her knowledge in world history, and passion for helping others enabled her to become an active global community member through ASB. Her adventures with us started in 2010 as a member of Team Vietnam. Then, the following two years she led over 30 students to Ghana and Kenya. In her last year, she was the Project Coordinator for Team Uganda where she realized that she wants to pursue a master's degree in international development with a focus on food security. In her last semester, Christina found the White Elephant Project, an initiative aimed to better prepare students who are taking part in short-term international experiential learning with an emphasis on ethical engagement. Currently, she is working with WE as the Associate Director, Global Program Innovation where she continues to make a local and global impact by empowering youth to discover their potential, explore social issues, build transferable skills and create positive social change.

 

 

Humza Hussain

Uganda 2014- Team Leader
Kenya 2013 – Team Leader
Ghana 2012- Team Member

Humza is a graduate from the Ted Rogers School of Management. Humza joined ASB in his first year and immediately fell in love with the program. Other than the unique opportunity to travel abroad, what was most exciting to him about ASB was its desire to practice "ethical" volunteering. With so many questions about the effectiveness of international development and the impact that foreign volunteers have on rural communities across the globe, he really appreciated ASB's focus on respecting the communities it visited. Humza looks back at his involvement with ASB as the most important education he received in university. After graduating from Ryerson in 2015, Humza went on to pursue his J.D. at Queen's University Faculty of Law.

Jeffrey Patterson

Uganda 2014 - Team Leader

Kenya 2013 - Team Member

Moving to Toronto in 2011 to study Sociology at Ryerson University, Jeffrey Patterson soon realized the importance of stepping outside his comfort zone. Without hesitation he volunteered his time to be apart of Ryerson Residence Council, where he was a floor president and later became Pitman Hall Community Director. Soon thereafter, Jeffrey joined Alternative Spring Break Ryerson (ASB) Team Kenya in 2013 as a team member. His addiction to international volunteering and traveling brought him back to ASB as he became a team leader for Team Uganda. ASB gave Jeffrey the opportunity for personal growth and development. Among the many lessons Jeffrey has learnt throughout his time being apart of ASB, one thing that stands out is “many small people who in many small places do many small things that can alter the face of the world.”

Francesca Piacente

Kenya 2013 - Project Coordinator
Ghana 2012 - Team Leader
Colombia 2011- Team Member

Francesca graduated from the Arts and Contemporary Studies Program, with a major in Global Studies. Her first volunteer abroad project was to New Orleans to participate in the Hurricane Katrina program through a Ryerson course. Her adventures with ASB began in 2010 as a member in Colombia, then lead a team to Ghana and ended with coordinating and leading the project to Kenya. Francesca has learned that volunteering abroad is more than just passing bricks, and clearing a farm. The best moments are when she is spending time with a family, learning a new culture, and playing with the kids! Currently, Francesca works at Teach Away Inc.

Laura Hache

Ghana 2012- Team Leader
Vietnam 2011- Team Member

Laura is a graduate of Arts and Contemporary Studies at Ryerson and is currently a 2015 Master of Public Policy Candidate at the School of Public Policy and Governance at University of Toronto. During her time at Ryerson, Laura was involved in many leadership roles on campus that allowed her to engage with the Ryerson community.  She was on the ACS course union executive for three years and worked as campaigns and advocacy coordinator with the Ryerson Women's Centre. Her involvement with ASB began as a team member on team Vietnam 2011, and she became a team leader for team Ghana 2012.  Laura has worked on many collaborative projects in the non-profit sector, most recently with Jane’s Walk and Civic Action and recently split up her summer living in a tent in the woods on weekends and completing an internship at the Ontario Public Service during the week at the Ministry of Tourism, Culture, and Sport in the Culture & Strategic Policy Branch. Laura is passionate about social policy, gender equity, encouraging civic literacy, high fives, and good coffee.

Gabriella Penev

Ghana 2012 - Team Leader
Colombia 2011-Team Member

Gabriella is a recent graduate from the Arts and Contemporary Studies program, with a major in Global Studies.  Her involvement with ASB as a member and leader profoundly enhanced her hands-on approach to understanding the world’s complex problems.  She believes that collaborative work and the creative application of socially-minded ideas have the power to inspire individuals to create positive developments in their surroundings.  She is looking to pursue a Master’s of History in 20th century International Relations and History in the near future.

Taryn Linder

Ghana 2012- Project Coordinator
Colombia 2011- Team Member

Taryn is a graduate of the Arts and Contemporary Studies Program who specialized in Global Studies and minored in Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Studies. Her desire to improve the student experience at Ryerson can be found in her involvement in the Arteries Undergraduate Research Conference, ACS Course Union and the ACS Program Council, where she is an advocate for promoting her fellow students academic prowess and experiential learning. Being a part of ASB Team Colombia in 2011 demonstrated that it is the community that ultimately shapes the project and the students. As a result, her work as Corporate Sponsorship and Fundraising Liaison has shaped her desire to create sustainable programmes for international communities and Ryerson students alike. By fusing a knowledge of global politics with the innovative spirit of the nonprofit sector, Taryn hopes to further ASB’s grassroots approach to partnering student strengths with those of the communities we serve. Armed with a knack for organization and a passion for positive change, Taryn took on the Project Coordinator position for ASB 2012.

Danielle Dye

Kenya 2011 - Project Coordinator 
Vietnam 2011 - Project Coordinator 
Colombia 2011 - Project Coordinator 
Kenya 2010 - Project Coordinator 
Peru 2010 - Project Coordinator 
Panama 2009 - Team Member

Dani is a graduate from the Arts and Contemporary Studies program with a major in Global Studies. She first became involved with ASB in 2009, when she volunteered in Panama. A year later, Dani coordinated and co-led a two week project to Peru and a month long project to Kenya. In five years, Dani traveled to over 16 countries and had some unforgettable experiences; from getting lost in the Tanzanian jungle to being a bridesmaid in a Vietnamese wedding, Dani’s been there. While in Kenya, she started a small micro-credit organization, and shadowed Ryerson alum Olga Moraczynski on a research project in Uganda for the Grameen Foundation. When Dani is not planning trips abroad, she can be spotted riding her bike around the city or documenting her life through photography. Dani is currently studying Anthropology at the University of Sussex.

Darya Khamseh

Kenya 2011 - Project Coordinator 
Cambodia/Vietnam/Laos 2011 - Team Leader
Colombia 2011 - Team Leader
Kenya 2010 - Team Member and Leadership Advisor
Peru 2010 - Team Member

Darya is a graduate from the Film Studies Program. When he is not capturing metaphysical poetry - in the ocular sensibility – he conducts explorations of these understandings through the work he pursues around the globe. Following his introduction to ASB in his third year, Darya has volunteered on two projects as a motivated and motivating team member in Peru and Kenya. He has come to a realization of the opportunities the group has to offer its members: to discover and achieve a sense of inner balance and piece of mind. In 2011, he coordinated and led the team with Dani, thus, using his knowledge and creativity to foster a rewarding and substantial program for all the members.

 

Steph Perrin

Cambodia/Vietnam/Laos 2011 - Team Leader
Colombia 2011 - Team Leader
Peru 2010 - Team Member

Steph is a 2012 graduate from the Arts and Contemporary Studies Program who majored in big ideas and minored in project juggling. After two weeks in Peru with ASB in February 2010, Steph came down with a serious case of wanderlust that has yet to relent. Steph's experience leading two teams to Colombia and Vietnam was a great personal challenge that left her inspired to pursue work with young people and global issues. Since graduating, Steph joined the team at Manifesto Community Projects and will be pursuing her Master's in International Studies at Simon Fraser University in September.

Andrew Doudnikov

Kenya 2010 - Project Coordinator 
Peru 2010 - Project Coordinator 
Panama 2009 - Team Member

Andrew completed his degree at Ryerson in International Economics and Finance in 2010. His involvement with ASB began in 2009, when he participated in the Panama trip with 9 other students. Alongside Dani, Andrew coordinated and led ASB projects in Peru and Kenya in 2010. ASB has had a profound impact on Andrew’s life, and believes that ASB has given him the confidence and ability to go beyond his comfort zone and accomplish feats he never thought possible, such as completing a solo trip across Europe and skydiving to being awareness about children with facial differences (for a person who is petrified of flying and heights, this was a step out of the comfort zone like no other). Since graduating, Andrew moved on from ASB, but believes that the lessons and experiences he gained from his involvement with the group will continue to have a meaningful impact on his life (and it still does). Andrew encourages students to take chances and believes that ASB is a great way to expand skills, meet new people and explore what other parts of the world are REALLY like. Andrew is a hockey fanatic, and most recently completed his Masters in Economics. 

 

Bria Cole

Guatemala 2008 - Team Leader

Bria Cole is a New York-based filmmaker and educator, directing short narratives and producing documentaries while acting as Workshops Manager at DCTV. Her current feature project is The R Word based in Philadelphia where student editors of a high school newspaper redact printed mentions of their racist mascot in solidarity with a concerned Native American mother. Her short film about the escalation of conflict in casual relationships, The Attraction of Nipples premiered Summer 2017. She holds a Master of Arts in Media Studies from The New School.

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