Faculty/ Staff Advisor Information

Missouri S&T's faculty/staff advisor information page provides valuable resources and contact information for students seeking guidance and support throughout their academic journey. Whether you're looking for ac

Dave Westenberg shares his experience being a Miner Challenge Faculty Advisor in 2018-19.

MC Advisor Info

Please note, this opportunity is only open to S&T Faculty and Staff. We are looking for 4 Faculty/Staff Advisors for our Miner Challenge Domestic Spring Break experiences.  Application deadline: August 29, 2019

Thank you for your interest in advising a Miner Challenge trip for the 2019-20 school year!  Faculty/Staff Advisors will work closely with student leaders and their team of participants throughout the school year in an advisory capacity, as well as participate in all group activities including the Alternative Break Trip.  Please note that serving as a Miner Challenge Advisor is a purely volunteer role, and will require weekly meetings, evening and some weekend commitments from September-April, as well as attendance on our Alternative Break Trip over Spring Break (March 21-28, 2020 or March 22-29, 2020).  Advisors will also be required to attend monthly advisor meetings.  The cost of attending the Alternative Break Trip will be covered by the Miner Challenge program; however, you will need to ensure with your supervisor that you are able to take the entire period off from work to attend the trip.


About Miner Challenge Alternative Break Program:


Miner Challenge is Missouri S&T’s student-led Alternative Break Program sponsored by the Department of Student Life. Every year, we engage students in immersive volunteer experiences across the U.S. and internationally. Participants bond with a small team throughout the year while they develop leadership skills, gain awareness of social issues, and work to improve communities. We encourage our participants to examine the importance of social responsibility and civic engagement with regard to cultivating and sustaining a positive, productive society. By using their talent, creativity, energy, and generosity, participants in Miner Challenge make a lasting impact on the individuals and communities they work with throughout this experience.

Role of the Faculty/Staff Advisor:

Faculty/Staff Advisors are an integral part of our Miner Challenge program, and serve to support and guide our Trip Leaders throughout the planning and implementing of their service trips.  Our student Trip Leaders coordinate the logistics for the trip, facilitate team activities and reflections, and serve as the main contact for service sites.  In addition to serving as an advisor to the Trip Leaders, Faculty/Staff Advisors serve as a resource and mentor for participants before, during, and after the trip experience.  Advisors also have the responsibility of stepping up to help the Trip Leader handle any situation, such as an emergency, that may arise throughout the experience.

Faculty/Staff Advisors will receive direction and resources to help guide them in their roles through monthly meetings with each other and the Program Administrator for Volunteerism and Greek Life.  It is also important for Faculty/Staff Advisors and Trip Leaders to proactively discuss expectations they have for each other and specific tasks to be distributed throughout the experience.

Benefits of Serving as a Faculty/Staff Advisor:

Serving as an advisor provides Faculty/Staff a unique way to get involved with students, the campus, and service work, such as:

  • Opportunity for personal development and increased understanding of social issues and social justice through participation in an extended service-learning experience
  • Opportunity for professional development through advising Trip Leaders and interacting with a small group of students from a variety of college departments and interest areas across campus
  • Opportunity to share personal expertise or research interests with a group of students in a real-world setting
  • Trip expenses (including transportation, lodging, and food) are covered in full

Time commitment:

Faculty/Staff Advisor duties will begin in September and run through the end of April.

Advising Miner Challenge is a volunteer role, much like advising a student organization. Please note that advisors are expected to meet certain objectives of the program and university, but also recognize that Miner Challenge advisory duties will take place outside the scope of your current role at the university. Before committing, please check with your supervisor to ensure that you will be able to take on this role, especially in regards to attending the entire Spring Break trip.

Fall Semester (2-3 hours/week):

  • Attend a monthly Advisor meeting
  • Attend all weekly team meetings, service, and social events
  • Meet with Trip Leader every other week
  • Attend and contribute to fundraising events

Spring Semester (2-3 hours/week, Spring Break)

  • Attend a monthly Advisor meeting
  • Attend all weekly team meetings, service, and social events
  • Meet with Trip Leader every week
  • Attend and contribute to fundraising events
  • Attend Alternative Break Trip
  • Attend Spring Celebration event


General Duties of Faculty/Staff Advisor:

Faculty/Staff Advisor duties will begin in September and run through the end of April.

Before the Trip:

  • Meet with the trip leader at least twice a month in person (Fall semester), and meet weekly during Spring semester to discuss progress in planning trip logistics and managing group dynamics
  • Assist your team in fundraising efforts by attending fundraising events, such as making cookie dough, as well as helping to sell products
  • Attend team meetings, social events, and service activities; assist Trip Leaders in setting meeting agendas and objectives when needed
  • Encourage and support Trip Leaders as the primary guides, facilitators, and leaders of the Alternative Break experience
  • Guide Trip Leaders as they work with their team; provide advice/direction on managing group dynamics, managing conflict, and planning/facilitating activities and reflections
  • Attend mandatory trainings such as Driver Safety and Risk Management

During the Trip:

  • Take appropriate actions in case of an emergency on the trip
  • Participate in all service and reflection experiences during the trip
  • Create deep, meaningful dialogue, inquiry, and critical thinking surrounding social justice issues
  • Serve as a resource for the Trip Leaders concerning group dynamics and logistics as needed
  • Encourage and support Trip Leaders as the primary guides, facilitators, and leaders of the Alternative Break experience
  • Ensure trip leader is diligently tracking expenses and receipts
  • Assist with transportation as one of the drivers

After the Trip:

  • Ensure Trip Leader submits all expense reports and receipts
  • Complete Miner Challenge Assessment
  • Meet with the Trip Leader to debrief the experience
  • Attend post-trip Advisor Meeting
  • Attend Spring Celebration

Selection Process:

Applications will be reviewed, and selected candidates will be invited for an interview with the Program Administrator for Volunteerism and Greek Life and Miner Challenge Mentors.  On this application, Faculty/Staff Advisor candidates will have the opportunity to rank their interest in the Spring Break trips.  After Faculty/Staff Advisors are chosen, they will be assigned to a Trip Leader and trip based on preferences, experience, and personality.  The first meeting that Faculty/Staff Advisors are required to attend will take place in the week of September 23-27, 2019


If you have questions, please contact Jessica Haywood, Program Administrator for Volunteerism and Greek Life, at haywoodj@mst.edu or by phone at 573-341-7981.