Category Archives: Student Wellness Network

LaParis Grimes’ Story

LaParis Grimes, B.S. in Applied Health Science – Specialization in Public Health (2015)
Wellness Connection Attendant, Peer Educator, and Student Wellness Network Member

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It was great to work alongside people who share your passions and really love and care about what they do. Before I became involved with the Department of Recreation and Wellness I was not involved on campus at all. I was not a member of any clubs and never attended any events. I tended to hang out with a smaller group of friends that I met freshman year and that was it. When I became a part of RecWell all of that changed. I finally felt like I had a place where I really fit in. I met different types of people who were all brought together with a similar passion. It is very hard to not want to be a part of that. Most of my best memories of college involve RecWell.

The Department of Recreation and Wellness is a huge factor behind my professional growth and success as well. I was able to obtain an internship through the Wellness Connection that gave me experience with the process of program planning and marketing strategies. Through the Peer Education program I was able to overcome my fear of public speaking and work on my presentation skills with different audiences. I had the opportunity to attend and present at both regional and national Peer Education conferences. Also, through the Student Wellness Network organization I was able to gain leadership experience that was critical in getting my current position in Americorps VISTA after graduating.

Working for the Department of Recreation and Wellness has really taught me about the importance of building relationships with people. The staff at RecWell are some of the greatest people I’ve ever worked with. It never felt like work while I was there. This department goes above in beyond to care for their employees and bring them together for both learning opportunities and fun. It was great to work alongside people who share your passions and really love and care about what they do. There were so many people who mentored me and helped me make it through college and on to my next steps. I was overwhelmed by the amazing recommendations I received from some of the staff after working there. I made some great friends while I was there that I plan on staying in contact with as I transition through life.

All of these experiences have been critical in me finding Public Health and my love of health education. These things are huge reasons for me serving with Americorps VISTA. Without my involvement in RecWell I would not be where I am now or the person I am now. I thank the Recreation and Wellness Department for my accomplishments both during and after college. Leaving RecWell and all of the great experiences and relationships I built there was one of the saddest parts of graduation. I will always be grateful for my time there and all of the wonderful people I built some great memories with.

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Peer Education Training Weekend

Becoming a peer educator is a great way to get involved on campus, strengthen public speaking skills with presentations, and make new friends. It gives students the opportunity to learn from other students as well. Peer educators present on various wellness topics, including nutrition, body image, alcohol and other drugs and sexual health.

By completing the peer education intensive weekend training held in September or January, you can become a peer educator in one weekend long training session. A registration form is required to participate.

Enroll online:

Fall 2015 Schedule
Saturday and Sunday, September 12 and 13 | 12:00 PM – 6:00 PM

For More Information:
Faith Yingling

Meet the New Health Educator

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.

Karyn Smith has been a personal trainer for four years.

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.

Students Relieve Stress before Heading Home for Break

Stress was released and fun was had at the Department of Recreation and Wellness’ third annual Stress Free Zone before Thanksgiving break.

Students enjoyed a night of fun and stress-relieving activities at the Student Recreation Center Thursday, Nov. 18. The stress-free activities included free food and drinks, prizes, a DJ, dodge ball, three on three basketball tournament, Wii Bowling, yoga, art and crafts, climbing wall, meditation and relaxation techniques, human bowling and an inflatable obstacle course.

Senior Jillian Urig, member of the Student Nutrition Association, educated students on how to eat healthy while stressed.

The event was sponsored by; Recreation and Wellness, Student Wellness Network, BGSU Bookstore, Student Nutrition Association, BGSU Counseling Center and the Falcon Parent and Family Association.

Britani Williams, a senior intern with the Wellness Connection, was in charge of putting the event together. She worked with and coordinated a group of freshman in order to create, organize and publicize the event.

“I had never planned an event, so it was very different from anything I had done before,” Williams said.

Over 100 students attended the event. Considering it was the premier of the Harry Potter movie, senior Dietetics major, Jillian Urig said it was a good turnout.

“I think the event was very well run and organized,” Urig said.

Urig is a member of the Student Nutrition Associate and held table display for students to present information on how to snack healthy when stressed out. The table consisted of a display of healthy stress relieving foods and a few samples such as dark nuts for students to try.

“We wanted to give students the information they needed so the next time they were stressed out they could make a healthy stress relieving decision,” Urig said. “Instead of reaching for a bag of potato chips or a tub of ice cream, we wanted to give students healthy, but stress relieving options.”

Chelsea Verhoff, senior HDFS major, also volunteered at the event, with a slightly different role.

“My favorite part was the free food and watching people do the human bowling,” Verhoff said.

Verhoff, who is also an executive member of the Student Wellness Network, helped with the human bowling activity.

Students filled out evaluation forms at the end of the night to receive a free stress ball. The results were mostly positive and showed that most students’ favorite part of the event was the free food, yoga, arts and crafts and basketball.

“My other favorite part of the Stress Free Zone was actually seeing it come together and watching people enjoy the event,” Williams said.

Gradute Assistant Eric Teske and Senior Chelsea DeSouza roll a student to the pins for Human Bowling at the event.

Condoms and Tree-Climbing Attract Students to the Department of Recreation and Wellness

From students hanging from trees to handing out free condoms, the Department of Recreation and Wellness was well represented at this year’s Campus Fest. There were multiple tables representing each aspect of the Department such as the Wellness Connection, Outdoor Program and the Student Recreation Center.

While walking past the Department of Recreation and Wellness section students received an ear-full from Dan Mattina, Student Supervisor for the Outdoor Program, as he yelled out while hanging from a tree to lure students in.

“It’s self-promotion for free climbing at the Wall,” Mattina said.

Mattina, treasurer of the Outdoor Adventure Club, represented his organization to earn more members while also distributing approximately 150 informational flyers on the Outdoor Program to students. He promoted the new General Physical Education course; white water rafting.

Next to the guy shouting from the tree, a popular table each year at Campus Fest, was the Student Wellness Network, a student-run healthy life-styles organization known for passing out condom beads to students for free.

“We had a line of like 89 million people backed up all the way to the snow cones for condom beads.” Mindy Radabaugh, Vice President of the Student Wellness Network, said. “It was fantastic.”

The Student Wellness Network covers all types of wellness topics such as body image, sexual health, mental health, fitness, nutrition, tobacco and alcohol.

Representing all areas of recreation and wellness was Amy Sheldrick, the Administrative Secretary of the Wellness Connection.

Sheldrick said her table handed out multiple flyers on the various services and information. Sheldrick also helped conduct a fitness survey to see what group exercise classes students would be interested for the spring semester and what times they prefer to work out.

Sheldrick’s main message to students as they walk by: “Check out Recreation and Wellness; we have something to offer everyone.”