Brittany K. White and Marc Gordon
During an eight-week period over the summer, the Division of Student Services took part in the "Step Up with Student Services" challenge. The challenge included 43 participants and encouraged people to move away from their desks and get involved in a more active lifestyle. A total of 19,248,810 steps were taken during the challenge, besting the original goal of 16,000,000. The event was open to all who wanted to participate, regardless of fitness level.
Cheryl McCloskey, assistant director of Housing Operations and Marketing, came up with the idea when she noticed people wearing Fitbit devices and other activity trackers. As a student services professional, McCloskey organized the event to help exemplify a healthier lifestyle to students.
"We support the well-being of students, this is a way to support our well-being and be an example to students of an active, healthy lifestyle," said McCloskey.
Vice President of Student Services Tracy Gottlieb noted, "In the Division of Student Services we are in charge of the life of the student outside the classroom. We want our students to be healthy and to get moving. We might as well model that good behavior ourselves."
Dean Gottlieb was the inspiration for the "Beat the Veep" competition, which awarded two prizes to the participants who most often had more weekly steps than Dean Gottlieb. The "Beat the Veep" winners were Marc Gordon, coordinator for Scheduling and Events, and Brittany White, Freshmen Studies mentor.
"Dr. Gottlieb is always walking around campus, so I didn't think I would have a chance at beating her. It's nice to see that my hard work, sore legs and even some tears paid off in the end," said Brittany White.
White also shared her thoughts on the overall benefits of the Step Up with Student Services challenge, "The challenge was great in bringing the Student Services community together for a fun competition. It is so easy to get carried away by all the work and the efforts we put into the University and our students and forget about our own health and well-being, but the challenge allowed us to get up from our desks, enjoy the weather and scenery and bond with our colleagues."
Marc Gordon also won the "Most Steps in Division" category with an average of 199,823 steps per week. Marc took 1,598,581 steps over the eight-week period and held eight percent of the total steps taken in the challenge.
"For me, it started back on March 1, when I decided I wanted to lose 50 pounds by Labor Day. This was another way of pushing myself even harder to get into better shape. Even though I fell two pounds short of my goal, the Step Up challenge made it easier to lose the pounds," said Gordon on his motivation to participate in the challenge.
The Division of Student Services luncheon, held on October 13, awarded each of the "Beat the Veep" competition winners, Marc Gordon and Brittany White with a $75 Visa gift card. As the "Most Steps in Division" winner, Gordon also received a $100 Visa gift card.
In December, the competition begins again with a varsity and a junior varsity league to help even out the competition. The varsity league will include staff members whose jobs keep them active walking about campus while the junior varsity league will consist of those whose work keeps them close to their desk.
For those interested in increasing their activity level Dean Gottlieb noted, "If anyone would like to join me, I try to take a spin around campus at 7:45 a.m. each morning before settling in at my desk."
For more information on the Division of Student Services, click here.