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 AIHA University Pop-Ups: Bringing OEHS Training Closer to You

By Erin Breece 

Here at AIHA, we are always looking to bring innovative learning opportunities to our members. From professional development courses at AIHce EXP to e-learning and face-to-face training sessions, our goal is to offer industrial hygiene and OEHS professionals cutting-edge information so they have the tools to do their best work and are in control of their career. So we’re excited to introduce our latest educational tool, the University Pop-Up, which will debut later this year. 

But what is a University Pop-Up?  

Once upon a time, the concept of “pop-up” was limited to the world of retail (think pop-up stores and pop-up restaurants) and music (pop-up concerts). Here’s how it works: a restaurant or store is set up, news spreads through social media, the venue operates in that location for a couple of days, and then it closes, packs everything up, and moves to the next city. The same formula applies to pop-up museums and pop-up libraries. The idea behind pop-ups is that they offer new experiences and learning opportunities to communities that otherwise wouldn’t get them (it’s unreasonable to think that every town in America can have its own national museum, or that a store can have outlets in every town). It wasn’t long before this concept was adopted by institutions of higher learning, which are using pop-ups to teach their students valuable skills and information that can’t fit in a semester program. These courses allow students to explore the latest developments in their chosen field, acquire new skills, or simply learn more about a subject.  

AIHA’s Education Department saw an opportunity in the pop-up concept to take professional development courses to local regions. The University Pop-Up also helps us achieve another goal: to provide industrial hygiene and occupational and environmental health and safety professionals with access to high-quality education outside of AIHce EXP. For various reasons, not everyone can attend AIHce EXP, and they miss out on hands-on group exercises, discussions, and collaborations that online courses can’t offer.  

AIHA’s University Pop-Up makes up for that. Courses on noise control, the tools for compliance with the OSHA silica standard, safety related to fentanyl and high-potency drugs, and the legal aspects of IH​ allow attendees to dive into emerging trends and gain skills that aid in their professional development. These non-traditional courses also allow attendees to build a more intimate relationship with the instructors and other participants, which in turn boosts collaboration and brainstorming.  

Chicago will be the site of the inaugural University Pop-Up, which will take place Oct. 27 and 28. Four courses are offered each day, with each course running from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The courses will be taught by popular instructors, including Dianne Grote Adams, Michele Blanney, Paul Hewett, Rod Harvey, Neil Feldscher, Pranav Rane, and many more. If you live in or near the Chicago area, come join us for AIHA’s first University Pop-Up and see for yourself how we challenge our assumptions about traditional learning courses.  ​

Erin Breece is AIHA’s program director, Education. 


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