H U M A N S & N A T U R E S E M I N A R


Jacob Hundt grew up on a dairy farm in the Driftless Region of southwestern Wisconsin and was one of the founding students of the Youth Initiative High School. He studied and gathered inspiration for transformation in higher education at Deep Springs College, the American University in Bulgaria, and the University of Chicago Master of Arts Program in the Social Sciences, earning a BA in History and an MA in Social Sciences.  Since 2004, he has worked as a trained Waldorf high school teacher and guidance counselor at Youth Initiative High School and was a founding board member and instructor of the Driftless Folk School.  Jacob is passionate about the importance of the liberal arts for our civilization and motivated to create a model that enables students to freely choose a post-secondary education dedicated to the cultivation of thinking, feeling, and willing.

Y A R D E N I N G & H O R T I C U L T U R E


Arwyn Wildingway will be leading the gardening (or “yardening”, as she would put it) aspect of the labor program. She is a mother and step-mother of five young adults, partner of artist Frank of The Ark, and long-time employee of the Viroqua Food Co-op. Before moving to Viroqua in 2004, she was a carpenter, market gardener, and homeschooler on a central Pennsylvania homestead. Loving all plants, she has started the Pleasant Ridge Waldorf School garden, initiated the building of the attached PRWS greenhouse, and helped PRWS take over running the Growing for Good greenhouse and spring garden center. As a Wisconsin Master Gardener for over 10 years, her passion for sharing plant wisdom has actualized in hundreds of hours of community service. Ask her a plant question, and watch her light up!

I N N E R D E V E L O P M E N T & C O N S C I O U S C O M M U N I T Y

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Robert (Karp) Karbelnikoff, M.Ed. is an educator, writer, consultant and entrepreneur informed by the insights of the philosopher and social activist Rudolf Steiner.  Robert is the former Executive Director of the Biodynamic Association and of Practical Farmers of Iowa and is the founder of New Spirit Farmland Partnerships, which helps organic and other conservation minded farmers secure long-term access to farmland by facilitating partnerships with social investors. Recently published articles by Robert include Agriculture and the Sacred, published in Journeys and Awakenings: Wisdom for Spiritual Travelers and A New American Revolution? Associative Economics and the Future of the Food Movement published in Free, Equal and Mutual: Rebalancing Society for the Common Good. Thanks to a spiritual awakening when he was 18, it took Robert 10 years to secure a bachelor’s degree; a challenge he hopes to help the next generation navigate more gracefully through his involvement with Thoreau College. Learn more about Robert at robert.karp.net.


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Dave Puig has been a wilderness instructor for fourteen years, leading expeditions in the desert, the arctic, the wondrous Northwoods, and into the minds of authors, social critics, and high school students.  He developed the expedition-based Land Ethics Curriculum at Youth Initiative High School which challenges students to see their own growth in reciprocity with their peers, those they see as different from themselves, and the earth.  He also builds houses and lives on his wife’s family farm where they are embarking on the incredible journey of parenthood!


O R I G I N S & D E S T I N A T I O N S : W R I T I N G & C R E A T I V E P R A C T I C E S

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Franciszka Voeltz is a poet, educator, and farmer. Over the past twenty years, their pedagogy has been shaped by living and working in rural and urban collectives, growing food and tending to land, leading community-based writing workshops, providing humanitarian aid, and studenting/teaching in academia. In classes and workshops, Franciszka establishes a supportive atmosphere that encourages students to incorporate their hearts, bodies and spirits into their intellectual endeavors while taking risks in their writing. Just as Franciszka’s writing strives to connect humans to the natural world and to each other across differences, so does their teaching. Voeltz earned an MFA in Writing from University of California, San Diego and is the recipient of poetry fellowships from Helene Wurlitzer FoundationSanta Fe Art InstituteBrush Creek Arts Foundation and Art Farm. Their most recent chapbook All This Blue, All This Broken is available from Iron Point Press. More here: franciszkavoeltz.com

L A B O R, S E R V I C E, & M A N U A L S K I L L S S T E W A R D


Since his early introduction to cultural exploration in Mexico and Guatemala, Bryan Heystek has been an avid traveler. He majored in Spanish and Biomedical Science at Grand Valley State University in Michigan, leading to his study abroad program in Argentina and Peru. After graduating, Bryan spent a year teaching English in Jangyu, South Korea. From his diverse cultural experiences, he has developed a passion for nurturing meaningful relationships and community living. While exploring the Continental Divide Trail, he came across the opportunity to participate in and develop programs at Thoreau College. Currently, his work focuses on facilities stewardship and coordinating the labor program. Alongside this work, he is also teaching Math and Science at Youth Initiative High School. He looks forward to the coming semester program and continued development of Thoreau College.