Health and Wellness Innovation Embedded in an International Study Abroad Experience


  • Melissa J Geist Tennessee Tech University
  • Cary Cass Tennessee Tech University


Cuba, Healthcare, Innovation, Design thinking, Cross-Disciplinary


Over the course of ten years, faculty who teach at a four-year Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) focused university created relationships with stakeholders in Havana, Cuba with the goal of connecting students and faculty to explore solutions to common health-related problems. Ultimately, this proved to be a powerful and unique experience rooted in high impact practices that provided real-world practice settings, teamwork, and cross-cultural awareness. This article describes how faculty from different disciplines and different countries implemented a course focused on innovation, low-budget prototyping and Design Thinking to improve health and wellness in a broader global and professional context.