News Release

The practice plunge: New students experience public health in action

September 3, 2014, University of Michigan School of Public Health release

Written by Nora White.

ANN ARBOR, Mich.—The University of Michigan School of Public Health put new students out in the "trenches" of public health even before classes officially started. During the August 27 Practice Plunge, part of new SPH student orientation, more than 300 students spent the day volunteering at community health sites in one of six Michigan counties (Oakland, Lenawee, Genesee, Detroit, Wayne, and Washtenaw). The service-learning experience gave them a first-hand introduction to the kind of work they could be doing the rest of their careers.

Accompanied by faculty mentors, students spent the morning at one of six county health departments and the afternoon volunteering at a community public health site. One such site was Gleaners Food Bank's DTE Energy Farm in Wayne County's Westland, MI, which serves to provide fresh, local fruits and vegetables to underserved community members. There, students tended the organic vegetable beds under the guidance of master gardeners and Gleaners volunteers.

Community sites:

  • Baldwin Center: 212 Baldwin Avenue, Pontiac
  • Gleaners: 120 E. Columbia Avenue, Pontiac
  • Habitat for Humanity of Lenawee County: 1205 E. Beecher Street, Adrian
  • Food Bank of Eastern Michigan: 2310 Lapeer Road, Flint
  • Focus Hope: 1200 Oakman Boulevard, Detroit
  • Gleaners Food Bank's DTE Energy Farms in Westland and Plymouth
  • Food Gatherers: 1 Carrot Way, Ann Arbor

Health departments:

  • Oakland County Health Department: 1200 N. Telegraph Road, Bldg. 36E, Pontiac
  • Lenawee County Health Department: 1040 S. Winter Street #2328, Adrian
  • Genesee County Public Health Department: 630 S. Saginaw Street, Suite 4, Flint
  • Institute for Population Health: 1400 Woodbridge Avenue, Detroit
  • Wayne County Public Health Department: 33030 Van Born Road, Wayne
  • Washtenaw County Public Health Department: 555 Towner Street #1, Ypsilanti

Related Links:

See our Practice Plunge photos on the U-M School of Public Health Facebook page.

Contact: Terri Mellow, Senior Media Strategist
Phone: (734) 764-8094

View photos from the 2014 Practice Plunge on U-M SPH's Facebook page.

SPH students at the Practice Plunge SPH students at the Practice Plunge

SPH students at the Practice Plunge SPH students at the Practice Plunge