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College of Public Health

Short-term Knowledge, Immersion-Learning, and Leadership Skills

SKILLS experiences are a series of half- to multi-day intensive immersion experiences that introduce participants to a clustered set of related skills.  SKILLS experiences are focused on skill sets such as agricultural skills, complex logistics and first aid, basic skills, and group problem-solving.

Tortilla Experience

Tortilla Experience

“This experience was amazing.  The best part was going step by step and working through each challenge to do such a seemingly simple task.” - Participant

The "Tortilla Experience" is a day-long, intensive program that requires participates to work in small groups to take all the steps necessary to make a "tortilla" from clearing the fields, planting the corn, grinding the corn, making a brick stove, cooking the tortilla, and, after making a field hand-washing station, eating their efforts.


Refugee Experience

Refugee Experience

“. . . I thought the diversity between scenarios covered a wide set of skills necessary for teamwork.”  - Participant

The "Refugee Experience" is a one to two day-long, intensive program that challenges interprofessionals to prepare for an influx of refugees, utilize equipment given to assist in clinical scenarios, and then analyze the experience to identify areas of improvement.  

This footage from an actual experience shows what a participant might encounter.


Pioneer Experience

Pioneer Experience

“It was fantastic and a lot of fun.  Although it was hard work, I feel as if it really allowed me to be able to connect what we learned in class to real life.“ - Participant

Students in a classroom may use videos, textbooks or lectures to KNOW how the early settlers lived, but during the "Pioneer Experience," participants will actually DO what the early settlers did.


Otzi Experience

Otzi Experience

In 1991, a body was found at 10,500 feet in the Italian Alps.  Though initially thought to be a recently deceased skier, it soon became clear that the body, nicknamed Otzi, after the region of the Alps in which he was found, was a well-preserved ice-mummy of a 45 year old man who lived over 5,000 year ago.  Otzi has been carefully analyzed and evaluated, and a great deal has been learned about his diet, his health, his travels and even the suspicious circumstances around his death.  Otzi’s clothes, shoes and tools, were quite remarkable.  Replicas of his shoes, made of calf, bear and deer leather, and stuffed with hay are reported to be both comfortable and well suited for hiking on uneven surfaces above the snowline. 

In the “Otzi Experience” participants are challenged to create a pair of shoes from randomly available materials.  While many valiant and creative efforts have been made, none have approached the 5,000 year old originals.

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