Making History Come Alive


It’s one thing to learn history, it’s another to live it, and soon basin students will have that opportunity in a Crisis Leadership and Learning Center (CLLC) at the JBS Public Leadership Institute.

The CLLC will feature crisis-oriented case studies in the form of computer-assisted simulations that aim to actively engage students in learning how to make important decisions under-pressure in a short time.

Executive Director Robert Brescia said the center will make historic moments like President Kennedy’s Cuban Missile Crisis as real as possible.

“He went through a big crisis and it was the Cuban Missile Crisis, so we figured you know that’s 1962 and although it’s a little bit long in the tooth it is a classic study on group think.” said Robert.
Students from all over the state could work together as a team through real-time audio and video technology.

“You’re playing a scenario and you live in Brownsville, maybe you’ll be on that top left monitor, maybe the person playing the role of President will come from El Paso will be on the right hand top monitor.” said Brescia as he explained a set-up of five computer screens grouped together.

The crisis leadership-oriented simulations will run for 4-hours with computer-assisted simulations.

Participants will have the opportunity to assume roles of national and/or state leaders as they collaborate to solve large-scale crises.

In addition to Presidential-level crisis leadership case studies, the JBS crisis center will be multipurpose, offering state, county, and city-level crisis and emergency management scenarios.

“This puts you in the locus of the action puts you right in the center of the action makes you a living participant, it makes history come alive.” said Brescia.

He added the project was made possible with help from the Rural Digital University Grant, which works to broaden learning experiences for students in rural communities.

Because of the program the JBS center will be able to partner with banks and financial institutions seeking Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) credits by delivering financial training to K-12 schools and districts.

The institute plans to have their first crisis simulation early this fall semester.

For more information, please contact Dr. Robert Brescia at 432-552-2853,

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