New “Hands-On” Classes Coming To School of Hospitality

Biology student, Anaiti Arauz, and hospitality student, Edward del Castillo, collect leftover pasta from the Barilla booth at the SOBE Food and Wine Festival. Victor Jorges/PantherNow.

Luna Theus/Contributing Writer

Ever wanted to learn how to make whiskey sour? Can you name every ingredient in your favorite craft beer? This fall, the school of Hospitality and Tourism is offering new classes aimed at hands-on learning. 

Students will learn about real world experiences while taking Program on Demand or POD classes like Mixology 101 and Full Use Kitchen.

Diann Newman, vice dean of FIU’s Hospitality and Tourism Management Department says “the students will benefit a lot from these courses, as they are getting to see what happens in hospitality…behind the scenes.”

Most of the upcoming Hospitality PODs are going to take place over the course of two to three days, which involve learning in a non-traditional setting. Assignments and classwork will include learning the basics of how businesses, organizations and events are assembled. Then students will create or volunteer at an event. 

 “PODs are a good way for students to get a feel for hospitality. It brings out their attention, plus enhances their learning outcomes and experiences,” says Newman.

Carolin Lusby, professor of FIU’s Marine Tourism POD, who taught the class last year says that the experiential learning in these PODS helps students with networking as well, because they interact with people working in their field of study.

Taking Marine Tourism includes a two night stay in Islamorada, which is located in the Florida Keys and is the world’s third largest barrier reef. Students will get to go on boat trips around the island, while also learning about the importance of reef and ocean conservation from marine tourism experts. 

The Mixology 101 POD will focus on the fundamentals of bar operations. PODs that involve the handling of alcohol will be age-restricted. Students 21 years and older will get to attend class at the Fontainebleau Hotel. 

The POD will be split into a two-day course. The first day will consist of students learning about setting up, running and financing a bar. The second day will be more hands on, as students will learn how to make three different types of cocktails in the Fontainebleau HR training room. 

Mishko Josifov, the professor of Mixology 101 says that the course isn’t just for students looking to bartend for their friends.

 “This course isn’t just about making drinks, but making leaders in the hospitality industry,” says Josifov.

Another new POD available is Full Use Kitchen, taught by Professor John Buschman. The first day will focus on teaching students to become more efficient, eco-friendly and sustainable while cooking in the kitchen and on the second day students will make meals from scraps of food.

“We don’t realize the amount of food waste that accumulates in the kitchen, this course will definitely bring awareness to that,” says Buschmann.

Other PODs FIU offers include Wedding Certificate, Universal Studios, Concert Management and Social Media.

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