The Department of Recreation and Wellness has a new, yet familiar, face among the staff. Karyn Smith started as the new Health Educator with the department this past October.
Though she started her new position at BGSU this fall, she is not completely new to the campus. Smith received her Master’s in Public Health through the Northwest Ohio Consortium for Public Health and was a Graduate Assistant at the Student Recreation Center.
Before coming to Bowling Green, Smith grew up in an Ohio small town called Hamler where she graduated from Patrick Henry High School. Upon graduation, Smith attended Northern Kentucky University where she majored in Exercise Science with a Health minor, played basketball all four years and was a personal trainer.
Once she graduated from NKU and received her MPH, she was hired at Owens Corning as the Program Manager, where she worked on employee fitness. She was in charge of personal training, group exercise and nutrition programming. After a year and a half, Smith came back to BGSU this fall as the Health Educator.
Smith is in charge of the WellAware Program, which promotes employee wellness. She also supervises the Group-X and personal trainers, while working with the Peer Educators at BGSU.
Smith said she enjoys her new job, the environment and the people she works with.
“The Wellness Connection is very upbeat,” Smith said. “All of us have the same passion.”
Besides her new job, Smith enjoys working out, being outside and running. Smith also enjoys flipping houses with her husband Ryan and friend.
While she flips houses with her husband, she also flips her fellow employee’s fitness.
Smith’s passion is fitness and she has embraced that passion by sharing her knowledge and creating a new program.
“It’s a fun holiday challenge for faculty and staff,” Smith said.
The program is called “Maintain don’t Gain,” which is available to all BGSU faculty and staff for free. Participants receive practical tips, recipes and other information to help them successfully navigate through the holiday season. Participants also receive activity logs and food diaries to track progress. All those who either maintain or lose weight during the season win a prize.
“Research has shown that the average person consumes an extra 600 calories per day between Thanksgiving and Christmas,” Smith said.
Smith said she wants to create an environment where healthy choices are easier choices.
As a certified personal trainer for the past four years, Smith also enjoys working with clients, preferably the ones that most personal trainers would not look forward to.
“My favorite clients are the ones that absolutely hate exercising,” Smith said. “
Smith likes being creative and finding fun ways to help these clients live active lifestyles and find a physical activity that they learn to love.
Smith has goals for her new position as Health Educator. She wants to revamp the personal training program, create new and exciting Group-X classes, provide employees with the tools and resources to help them and help the Student Wellness Network and Peer Educators continue to grow and increase programs and awareness on campus.
“BG will be the healthiest campus of them all,” Smith said.