Ambassador Bios

people

Jacqueline Adams

Business Services Coordinator
Phone: (616) 331-2067
Email: adamjacq@gvsu.edu

Q: Is there a driving force behind your healthy lifestyle? Was it a person in your life, a certain event, were you brought up in a healthy environment? What makes you a healthy individual?

A: I have extremely high cholesterol and wanted to reduce my numbers without medication. I started exercising 3 days a week and gradually worked on changing my eating habits. I'm still striving to be that "healthy individual", but I think I've made a good start by putting myself first and taking care of my overall health.

Q: How would you encourage another person to pursue a healthy lifestyle?

A: Keep a diary or journal of what you eat and your exercise regimen. For me, seeing it in black and white helped me to stay focused and it also helped to see what areas I needed more work on.

Q: What activities do you engage in to reduce stress?

A: Zumba 2-3 days a week. Walk the track and bleachers at a local high school 1-2 days a week.

 

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Mary Albrecht

Executive Assistant to the Provost
Phone: (616) 331-2196
Email: albrechm@gvsu.edu

 

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Jennifer Allard

Jennifer Allard

Institutional Marketing 
Phone: 616-331-2525
Email: allardje@gvsu.edu 

Q: Is there a driving force behind your healthy lifestyle? Was it a person in your life, a certain event, were you brought up in a healthy environment? What makes you a healthy individual?

AMy son is the driving force behind me wanting to maintain a healthy lifestyle. I want to be able to keep up with him and his new little brother. I chose to have kids later in life so I knew I would have to maintain my emotional and physical fitness levels to keep up! My father always stressed to me as a child to be healthy and to take care of myself. He was an overweight child and was bullied and teased because of it and did not want his kids to have to go through what he did.

Q: How would you encourage another person to pursue a healthy lifestyle?

AI would say to anyone interested in changing their lifestyle to not make major changes all at once. As they say slow and steady wins the race! Start by gradually increasing the amount and duration of activity and slowly change your eating habits. Fad diets don't work nor does over doing your workouts so you burn out or hurt yourself.

Q: What activities do you engage in to reduce stress?

A: I love to run, participate in boot camp workouts, meditate, and play with my son.

 

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Tona Ambrose

Compliance and Measurement Specialist
Phone: (616) 331-9070
Email: ambrosto@gvsu.edu

 

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Angela Amerson

Professional Support Staff Department of Diagnostic and Treatment Sciences
Phone: (616) 331-5628
Email: amersona@gvsu.edu


Julie Amon

Julie Amon

CLAS Academic Advising Center

Phone: (616) 331-8585

E-mail: amonju@gvsu.edu

Q: Is there a driving force behind your healthy lifestyle? Was it a person in your life, a certain event, were you brought up in a healthy environment? What makes you a healthy individual?

A: Healthy living wasn’t as important to me when I was younger, but a few years ago I realized I had to make a change. I started running and taking exercise classes—I never realized it would have such a positive effect on my physical and mental wellbeing! I now enjoy being active and do my best to make healthy food choices. I feel very fortunate to work at an institution that supports my health and wellness.

Q: How would you encourage another person to pursue a healthy lifestyle?

A: The best advice I could give is to not think about terms like “diet” or “exercise program”—I tried those things in the past and they always had an end date. I had the most success when I thought of it as changing to a healthy lifestyle. The best thing I did when starting out was joining an exercise class and running with a friend. It helped to keep me motivated and accountable. I’ve had some bumps along the road, but I think it’s important to tell myself it’s okay, and I brush it off and pick it back up again. Remember that you are doing it for YOU and for those who love you.

Q: What activities do you engage in to reduce stress?

A: I enjoy taking my dog for long walks on a trail near my house. Also, I love getting on the elliptical or the track with my headphones and zoning out while getting a workout in. Exercise classes keep things interesting and fun!


Mark St Amour

Mark Saint Amour

Milton E. Ford LGBT Resource Center & APSS Union Representative

Phone: (616) 331-8994

E-mail: saintamm@gvsu.edu

Q: Is there a driving force behind your healthy lifestyle? Was it a person in your life, a certain event, were you brought up in a healthy environment? What makes you a healthy individual?

A: About a decade ago I was almost 300 pounds, in extremely poor health, and was almost killed because I fell asleep behind the wheel due to extreme sleep apnea caused by my failing health and weight. That was a literal eye opener. I started out slow by cutting out red meat, which lead to all meat when I became a vegetarian. I learned how to cook, read labels, develop healthy eating habits, and started to exercise. The peak of my success lead me to losing over 150 pounds, ridding myself of all health issues including the sleep apnea, and competing in mountain biking and running competitions. Although, still to this day I struggle with weight and bad eating habits, my love and passion for exercise (particularly biking and running) and diet (I’m a strict vegetarian / vegan) still remain.

Q: How would you encourage another person to pursue a healthy lifestyle?

A: You are going to fail. Seriously, you are going to fail, and fail miserably. What matters is forgiving yourself, and not giving up. Every day, every moment, offers a choice, a decision, an action, to choose health and wellness. That’s all it is – a choice. Stop wishing the weight away – it won’t work and you wouldn’t value it if it did. Stop starting the diet “Monday” or start excising “tomorrow”. Every minute offers you a choice to do those things now. And if you eat an Oreo fifteen minutes later, forgive yourself, and start anew immediately (Oreo’s are vegan by the way – pro tip) . You just have to start the race, you will trip, but just don’t give up – you’re worth it, and you’ll love both the increase in self-confidence and accomplishment!  

Q: What activities do you engage in to reduce stress?

A: RUNNING AND BIKING! I’m actually yelling those things right now (I’m not really yelling those things right now – but I should be)! There is something so visceral and empowering to running and biking. Biking is amazing – it makes me feel like a kid again! If you’re stressed DO NOT go to the gym. Clean off that old Swiss in the garage and go for a ride outside. The wind in your hair, the great outdoors, pushing those pedals, faster and harder, faster and harder, this is the perfect beginners way to fall in love with exercise. I choose to mostly run now. If I’m stressed I literally try to out run my problems (I mean they’re there when I get back, but I feel better about them). You ever see those sad movies when the main character is so stressed or upset they just go out running? That’s not fiction – that works. There is something intrinsically satisfying about pushing your body to the limits by the simple act of pounding pavement. No treadmills, no headphones, just get outside and go – you won’t regret it!


Donovan Anderson

Assistant Professor, Modern Languages and Literatures
Phone: (616) 331-3203
Email: andersdo@gvsu.edu


Rachel Becklin

Assistant Director and Internal Internship Specialist
Phone: 331-6708
Email: ecklira@gvsu.edu

 

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Coreen Bedford

Administrative Assistant to the Director, Pew Campus Security
Phone: (616) 331-3558
Email: bedfordc@gvsu.edu

 


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Health & Wellness Ambassador, Craig Benjamin

Craig Benjamin

ProfessorHonors College 
Phone: (616) 331-3219
Email: benjamic@gvsu.edu 

 

Q: Is there a driving force behind your healthy lifestyle? Was it a person in your life, a certain event, were you brought up in a healthy environment? What makes you a healthy individual?

A: Determined to stay fit and healthy for as long as I can. I have loved hiking and climbing mountains since I was a kid. Climbing big mountains is tough, so I need to stay fit and healthy in order to do this as long as I can.

Q: How would you encourage another person to pursue a healthy lifestyle?

Tell them they only have one life and that every aspect of it is enhanced through maintaining health and wellness. Eat well, exercise daily, be positive, enjoy the great outdoors in every season, and you will be better able to pursue your life goals and dreams. Plus it is impossible to have a healthy, sharp, intelligent mind unless you have a healthy body. (I say this to my students almost every day).

Q: What activities do you engage in to reduce stress?

A: I walk at least one hour a day; I do weights and calisthenics most days of the week; I do aqua aerobics in the GVSU pool at least three times a week; and I hike and climb mountains wherever I am in the world. This August I was in Africa and climbed the two highest mountains in the continent – Mt Kenya and Mt Kilimanjaro. Fantastic, and I am nearly 60!

 

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Health & Wellness Ambassador, Kelly Berendsen

Kelly Berendsen

Assistant to the General Manager, WGVU
Phone: 616-331-2100 
Email: berendke@gvsu.edu

 

Q: Is there a driving force behind your healthy lifestyle? Was it a person in your life, a certain event, were you brought up in a healthy environment? What makes you a healthy individual?

A: I have always lead an active life, but when my mother passed away unexpectedly of a heart attack, it gave me even greater purpose for staying active and working out on a daily basis. I feel so much better when I work out. It's hard, but the payoff is well worth it!

Q: How would you encourage another person to pursue a healthy lifestyle?

A: I would invite them to join me in a walk, workout session, etc. I would encourage them to eat a healthy diet, think positive thoughts, get enough rest, laugh a lot, and enjoy life.

Q: What activities do you engage in to reduce stress?

A: Daily exercise, spending time with family and friends and crafting.

 

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Health & Wellness Ambassador, Andrew Bixel

Andrew Bixel

Assistant Director of Annual Giving, University Development 
Phone: 616-331-6000 
Email: bixela@gvsu.edu 

 

Q: Is there a driving force behind your healthy lifestyle? Was it a person in your life, a certain event, were you brought up in a healthy environment? What makes you a healthy individual?

A: I grew up on a farm so eating healthy and constantly moving was a normal aspect of life. From an early age, I ate vegetables and fruits off the vine and I have continued to eat fresh produce as much as possible. While my healthy eating habits have continued from my childhood, I have had to alter my form of exercise since I no longer live on a farm. I enjoy running and lifting weights, but I also try to stay as active as possible during the day. For me, being a healthy individual means trying to eat healthy and stay active so I will be at my best.

Q: How would you encourage another person to pursue a healthy lifestyle?

A: I encourage other individuals to pursue a healthy lifestyle by demonstrating that being active and eating healthy does not have to be difficult, inviting them to participate in GVSU Health and Wellness Challenges, and offering them words of encouragement as they begin this life changing endeavor.

Q: What activities do you engage in to reduce stress?

A: The activities I enjoy that assist in reducing my stress are walking, running, and mowing the yard.

 

 

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Bonnie Bowen

Financial Assistant, Office of the Dean
Phone: (616) 331-2094
Email: bowenb@gvsu.edu

 

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Ranelle Brew

Public Health
Phone: (616) 331-5947
Email: brewr@gvsu.edu

 

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Amy Bross

Development

Phone: (616) 331-6533

Email: brossa@gvsu.edu


Lindsey Burns

Lindsey Burns

Secretary, School of CIS
Phone: (616) 331-2060
Email: burnsli@gvsu.edu

Q: Is there a driving force behind your healthy lifestyle? Was it a person in your life, a certain event, were you brought up in a healthy environment? What makes you a healthy individual?

A: The driving force behind me being healthy is my two kids. With two little ones who have an abundance of energy it can be hard to keep up. I feel better about myself and what I am teaching my kids when I am engaging in a healthy lifestyle. 

Q: How would you encourage another person to pursue a healthy lifestyle?

A: I like to encourage people to be healthy by making it fun. I think if people have fun doing something they are more likely to keep doing it. Making it fun makes it feel less like work. 

Q: What activities do you engage in to reduce stress?

A: I like to take walks with my kids, and running when I get the chance. 

 

 

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Health & Wellness Ambassador, Wendy Burns-Ardolino

Wendy Burns-Ardolino

Chair, Liberal Studies Department 
Phone: (616) 331-8020
Email: burnsarw@gvsu.edu 

Q: Is there a driving force behind your healthy lifestyle? Was it a person in your life, a certain event, were you brought up in a healthy environment? What makes you a healthy individual?

A: There are so many people and moments that have brought me to triathlon. First, a friend of mine who taught spin classes, Laura McCormick, encouraged me to try spin and then to do a triathlon as part of a relay team. After that I was hooked, but I did not know how to swim competitively in open water, so I hired a coach, Anne Chrzanowski, who is a certified triathlon coach with Endurance Concepts. Coach Anne helped me complete my first Olympic Distance Triathlon in 2011. Since moving to West Michigan, I have trained for swimming with Griff Griffin and Gabriele Gottlieb, two GVSU faculty members. I also am a member of the Real Women Tri Team - with 100 women members who all inspire me!

Q: How would you encourage another person to pursue a healthy lifestyle?

A: I would say start small and set achievable goals - your first 5k race is always memorable. Preset your calendar with training times blocked in and keep those appointments just like you keep meetings and events scheduled. Be kind to yourself and your body - listen to what it needs to be happy and healthy. Lots of rest and good nutrition make all bodies run more efficiently.

Q: What activities do you engage in to reduce stress?

AI swim, bike, and run at least 2 times per week. I know that sounds like a lot, but it gives me the energy I need to think better and perform better at work and at home and in life.

 

 

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Health & Wellness Ambassador, Robin Burris

Robin Burris

Academic Unit Coordinator, School of Engineering
Phone: 616-331-6750
Email: burrisr@gvsu.edu

 

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Amy Campbell

Assistant Director of Wellness, Campus Recreation
Phone: (616) 331-2409 
Emailcampbamy@gvsu.edu 

 

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Bernadine Carey - Tucker

University Communications 
Phone: (616) 331-2798
Email: careyb@gvsu.edu 

 

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Cassonya Carter-Pugh

Admissions Coordinator in the Kirkhof College of Nursing
Phone: (616) 331-5782
Email: carterc@gvsu.edu

 

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Michelle Dawes

Michelle Dawes

Department of Biomedical Sciences

Phone: (616) 331-9231

Email: dawesm@gvsu.edu

Q: Is there a driving force behind your lifestyle? Was it a person in your life, a certain event, were you brought up in a healthy environment? What makes you a healthy individual?

A: I really found exercise as an outlet for school stress early in college. A chemistry professor of mine actually encouraged me to take exercise breaks from studying! Thereafter I decided to take a swim conditioning class and joined the triathlon team at MSU! Training for triathlons really has fueled my passion for all types of exercise and a healthy lifestyle. I believe all modes of exercise have a benefit – I enjoy cycling, swimming, and running, as well as strength training, yoga, and Pilates. Activity and healthy eating are a priority of mine - I make sure that my day starts with some type of activity and that I pack healthy food to eat throughout the busy day. I also make sure to listen to my body and mind, giving it the rest and relaxation it needs whether it be through yoga or meditation, or just being with family and friends.

Q: How would you encourage another person to pursue a healthy lifestyle?

A: Find activities you enjoy doing – exercise shouldn’t be something you dread! And remember that a lot of little things can really reap big rewards.

Q: What activities do you engage in to reduce stress?

A: Yoga and meditation have been very beneficial in reducing stress! Meditating before bed helps me to fall asleep quickly!

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Autumn Deroo

Information Technology Department 
Phone: (616) 331-5936
Email: derooau@gvsu.edu

Q: Is there a driving force behind your healthy lifestyle? What makes you a healthy individual?

A: I don’t really have a driving force behind my healthy lifestyle.  I just try to eat the best I can with the limited time I have.  I also try to be as active as I can.  Most of the time I only have time for walks with the family in the evening. 

Q: How would you encourage another person to pursue a healthy lifestyle?

A: Try to take small steps, don’t go overboard with trying to ensure everything you eat is the healthiest.  Realistically it is not always practical.  Get moving, you don’t have to run, spin or get a gym membership to be active.  I make sure to take the stairs and if I have time I walk laps around my building.  

Q: What activities do you engage in to reduce stress?

A: Family time is the most important thing for me these days.  Being active with them and playing outside makes it easy to reduce stress.  I use to work out but I do not have the time anymore.  I recommend Zumba because it is fun and doesn’t seem like work. 

 

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Amy Dettwiler

Conference & Event Planning Services

Email: dettwila@gvsu.edu
Phone: 616-331-6461

1Q: Is there a driving force behind your healthy lifestyle? Was it a person in your life, a certain event, were you brought up in a healthy environment? What makes you a healthy individual?

I want to be active with my children and husband.  We enjoy biking, running, walking the dog, snow shoeing and hiking.  My household growing up was not active, we were very sedentary.  My husband and I encourage our children to compete in school sports and we lead by example.  I run several 5k races a year.  My husband races BMX and runs with me.  We cook with whole ingredients and meal prep to be ready for busy work weeks.

 

2Q: How would you encourage another person to pursue a healthy lifestyle?

I lead by example in my office.  I bring my lunch to work every day.  We chat about different recipes and activities we are doing.  We join each other in Fitbit challenges to encourage movement through the week.

I’m very open with friends and others about my recent 35 pound weight loss.

 

3Q: What activities do you engage in to reduce stress?

I walk or run to alleviate stress.  If I can be outside, that’s my favorite. 


Health & Wellness Ambassador, Andrea Dewicki

Andrea Dewicki

Accounting Clerk, Business & Finance Office
Phone616-331-2230
Emaildewickia@gvsu.edu

Q: Is there a driving force behind your healthy lifestyle? What makes you a healthy individual?

A: My family is the driving force behind my healthy lifestyle. I want to set a good example for my young children and I want to be around as long as possible to enjoy life to the fullest. My amazing husband is my encourager and main support for my wellness journey. It's not about being skinny, it's about being healthy- in mind, body and spirit. I eat healthy food, exercise, and try to find the positive in everything in order to be completely happy.

Q: What activities do you engage in to reduce stress?

A: Spinning, running, yoga, tea parties, and dance parties with my kids!

Q: How would you encourage another person to pursue a healthy lifestyle?

A: Feeling great overall is the key to enjoying every aspect of life! You need to start by making small changes- eat more veggies and less processed foods, take the stairs, park further out. Get a good night's sleep! Don't sweat the small stuff... sweat to burn calories! If you need motivation, take an exercise class... your friendly coworkers will hold you accountable!

 

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Michelle Duram

History Department
Phone: (616) 331-3298
Email: duramm@gvsu.edu

 

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Jenniffer Eckert

Jenniffer Eckert

Officer Coordinator, Art Gallery
Phone: 616-331-2563
Email: eckertj@gvsu.edu

Q: Is there a driving force behind your lifestyle? Was it a person in your life, a certain event, were you brought up in a healthy environment? What makes you a healthy individual?

A: I strongly believe in creating and supporting a healthy emotional wellbeing. After having struggled with depression and anxiety for a good portion of my life, as well as experiencing various intense life stressors, I have become passionate about maintaining a healthy emotional wellbeing. Moreover, I want to help others identify struggles in their lives that may relate to an unhealthy emotional state of wellbeing and connect those people with resources to help them help themselves.

Q: How would you encourage another person to pursue a healthy lifestyle?

A: I encourage all faculty and staff to utilize the amazing exercise facilities and health and wellness programs GVSU has to offer. Take advantage of the sunny days by taking breaks from your work day to walk around our beautiful campus, recharge your mind while accomplishing a light workout. Life gets tough and stressful. You have to make time to focus on yourself so you can be the best “you” you can be to produce your best work and present your best self, both personally and professionally.

Q: What activities do you engage in to reduce stress?

A: Mindfulness. Try it. It works! Incorporate mindfulness practice into your workday – create group sessions to practice as a team. It’s amazing what it can do for your mind, body, and soul!


Health & Wellness Ambassador, Shawn Evans

Shawn Evans

School of Education, Dean's Office
Phone: 616-331-2039 
Email: evanssha@gvsu.edu 

Q: Is there a driving force behind your healthy lifestyle? Was it a person in your life, a certain event, were you brought up in a healthy environment? What makes you a healthy individual?

A: I made a decision. I was not raised particularly healthy; I did not live the beginning of my adult life in a particularly healthy fashion. At age 33, I weighed 330 pounds. Today, at age 37, I weigh 215 pounds. I made a decision. I then began doing that which I set out to do. I began humbly, pushed myself, created new challenges, and found an almost spiritual happiness from diet and physical activity.

Q: How would you encourage another person to pursue a healthy lifestyle?

A: It helped me to develop a routine and commit to it. It was important for me to schedule my priorities, but not prioritize my schedule. I did not begin doing everything I do now. I never dreamed I would thrive from diet and physical activity. Over time the results came. I found/created activities that I found enjoyable, and I participated. I like competitive sports and began playing soccer with friends and community members. I participated in challenges/educational opportunities offered by Health and Wellness, such as Fruit and Veggie Challenges and Pedometer Challenges. I incorporated in fit camp classes which began to incorporate regular evaluations of vital statistics by which I could measure the results of my efforts. Someone mentioned spin class; I tried it and loved it. I found a great group of guys that create and participate in varied athletic and social events to raise money for charity. I began running and found it to be simple and peaceful. Just do it. Do what you love, but develop a schedule and commit yourself to it. If you find you don't love it over time, find something you do love.

Q: What activities do you engage in to reduce stress?

A: I find stress relief in physical activity. I run; I am currently training for my first half marathon. I play softball in the Wyoming Parks and Rec Men's League (Team Caveman Rules!). I consistently participate in faculty/staff fitness opportunities such as fit camp and spin. I organize/play drop in soccer during the spring, summer, and fall, and I play competitive dodge ball in the winter. I play football with another great group of guys. I also enjoy swimming, walking, biking, hiking, and camping with my wife, two sons, family and friends. Stretching, yoga/meditation, and ice cream also help to reduce stress.

 

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Jeremy Flynn

Information Technology 
Phone: (616) 331-2035 
Email: flynnjer@gvsu.edu 

 

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Marcia Frobish

Affiliate Faculty, Mathematics Department 
Phone: (616) 331-2040
Email: frobishm@gvsu.edu 
 

 

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Health & Wellness Ambassador, Eric Garvelink

Eric Garvelink

Campus Rec
Club Sports (Office of Student Life)

Phone: 616-331-3659 
Email: garveler@gvsu.edu 

 

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Joy Gianakura

Joy Gianakura

Seidman College of Business

Phone: (616) 331-7500
Email: gianakuj@gvsu.edu

Q: Is there a driving force behind your lifestyle? Was it a person in your life, a certain event, were you brought up in a healthy environment? What makes you a healthy individual?

A: I have several reasons for wanting to live a positive, healthy and active lifestyle. I really believe in quality of life. Without good health, the quality is severely impacted. I can’t say there is a person necessarily that has influenced me, but I do know that when I feel good I have more energy, I am more productive, I sleep better, have better results at work, and am a good example for my children. I don’t weigh what I wish I could weigh, but I am always working on that and know that everything I do will have an impact on my wellbeing. I do my best to make good choices every day. I also think that having a strong faith base is something that has made me stronger and feel I can do more. I have one body…it is a gift, I need to take as good care of it as I can.

Q: How would you encourage another person to pursue a healthy lifestyle?

A: Don’t try fads if you are trying to lose weight, or put yourself into a scenario that cannot be sustained. I believe that “getting there” is easier than “staying there”. Little steps, like increasing water intake is a great first step. After that, add on a multi vitamin…then add on walking or another form of exercise. Set yourself up for success, don’t try to do things that are uncomfortable or take on a total change in lifestyle overnight. Little steps yield big rewards.

Q: What activities do you engage in to reduce stress?

A: I really enjoy Spinning; so much so that I became certified at the age of 48! It’s never too late to do new things. I also like working out with weights. I like feeling stronger physically, I think it impacts me psychologically and I can handle more of the stuff that life throws our way. I do run and I enjoy that but I have had some knee issues the last couple years so I haven’t done as much, but it is a great way to keep weight off…so I need to get back into it!!! I also like to hike (long and uphill!) as well as mountain bike and road bike. I do these things for recreation. I have done some 5 and 10k races, but only to prove to myself I can finish, and to have a goal I must achieve. I don’t like to do things that are competitive. I’d rather compete against myself. 


jennifer glabb

Jennifer Glaab

Chemistry Department 
Phone
: (616) 331-3317 
Email: glaabj@gvsu.edu 

 

Q: How would you encourage another person to pursue a healthy lifestyle?

A: Wear a pedometer at all times. You would be surprised at the difference it makes in how many steps a day you walk. It definitely makes you more conscious about taking the steps, taking the long way around and parking further away from your destination.

Q: What activities do you engage in to reduce stress?

A: I really enjoy reading.  I have a special room in my house that is decorated to be extremely cheerful & peaceful.  I will sit in my chair, play relaxing music and escape into another world via good book.

 

 

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Meri Goehring

Associate Professor, Physical Therapy Department
Phone: (616) 331-5651 
Email: goehrimn@gvsu.edu


Health & Wellness Ambassador, Melanie Grover

Melanie Grover

Housing Assistant, Housing - Main Office 
Phone: (616) 331-2120 
Email: groverm@gvsu.edu 

Q: Is there a driving force behind your healthy lifestyle? Was it a person in your life, a certain event, were you brought up in a healthy environment? What makes you a healthy individual?

A: Ultimately, I want to be healthy for my family. I have two young children, and keeping up with them requires energy and health! I also want to set a good example for my kids that being healthy is important.

Q: How would you encourage another person to pursue a healthy lifestyle?

A: Mostly I try to talk about the benefits I receive from eating well, getting physical activity and trying to keep stress in check. Sometimes it's as easy as inviting them to take a walk, sharing a healthy new recipe, or talking about the fun I had participating in a particular activity.

Q: What activities do you engage in to reduce stress?

A: Read, hit the treadmill or the track, play games with my family, making mental lists and setting goals.

 

 

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Liza Guikema

Bookstore - UBS Allendale 
Phone: (616) 331-2453
Email: guikemal@gvsu.edu

 

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Michelle Holstege

Facilities Assistant, Facilities Services
Email: holstegm@gvsu.edu 
Phone: 616-331-3000

Q: Is there a driving force behind your healthy lifestyle? Was it a person in your life, a certain event, were you brought up in a healthy environment? What makes you a healthy individual?

A:I was at a point in my life where I decided what I could control was how I ate and what activity level I chose to pursue. Grand Valley allowing us to use our lunch hours to work out is the only time I have! I think now what makes me a healthy person is keeping the balance between work, home and everything else that comes with being a full time mom and employee.

Q: How would you encourage another person to pursue a healthy lifestyle?

A: I think the most important thing in someone’s life is balance. We all have so many directions we are pulled in. Encouraging someone to also take care of themselves along with everyone else is important. You cannot be at your best for everyone else if you are not at your best for yourself.

Q: What activities do you engage in to reduce stress?

A: Cooking, camping, shopping, time with my family and I love golf - it is a great way to relieve stress! Where else can you see the beautiful area we live in, have fun with friends / family and chase a little ball around.

 

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Health & Wellness Ambassador, Shelly Irwin

Shelley Irwin

Producer and Host, WGVU - AM/FM/TV
Phone: 66 616-331-6666
Email: irwinsh@gvsu.edu 

Q: Is there a driving force behind your healthy lifestyle? Was it a person in your life, a certain event, were you brought up in a healthy environment? What makes you a healthy individual?

AI was brought up in an active, healthy environment, where movement was necessary!! Healthy competition always a part of the life, from 6th grade dodge ball to today's half ironman I'm healthy by the 80-20 rule. 80 good choice, 20 ... could be improved!

Q: How would you encourage another person to pursue a healthy lifestyle?

A: Lead by example

Q: What activities do you engage in to reduce stress?

A: Running, biking, swimming, planning

 

 

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Health & Wellness Ambassador, Wanda Isenga

Wanda Isenga

Assistant Registrar, Records/Registration
Phone: (616) 331-3327 
Email: isengaw@gvsu.edu 

Q: Is there a driving force behind your healthy lifestyle? Was it a person in your life, a certain event, were you brought up in a healthy environment? What makes you a healthy individual?

A: The driving force behind my healthy lifestyle is I.  You’ve got to want it! I want to retire as healthy as I was in my earlier years, this is my goal.

Q: How would you encourage another person to pursue a healthy lifestyle?

A: My encouragement comes from doing and by example. I’m older but willing to try and pursue anything at least once.  My motto is you don’t know till you try it!

 

Q: What activities do you engage in to reduce stress?

A: I enjoy TRX, Spinning, Rock Climbing, Running, Straight up Strength and Functional Fitness classes.  These all help to reduce stress in my life and that’s a good thing.

 

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Maria Jarmillo-Gonzalez

Records/Registration
Phone: (616) 331-3327 
Email: jaramilm@gvsu.edu 
 

 

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Health & Wellness Ambassador, Sandra Jennings

Sandra Jennings

Administrative Assistant, Athletics 
Phone:  (616) 331-8800
Email:  jennings@gvsu.edu 

 

Q: Is there a driving force behind your healthy lifestyle? Was it a person in your life, a certain event, were you brought up in a healthy environment? What makes you a healthy individual?

A: The desire to enhance my quality of life is my driving force. We only have a limited number of days on the earth and I want every day to count.

Q: How would you encourage another person to pursue a healthy lifestyle?

A: Never stop making changes toward a healthy life. Sometimes the changes are tiny. Sometimes the changes are drastic, 360 degree-type changes. Keep making enhancements!

Q: What activities do you engage in to reduce stress?

Meditation. Loving family and friends. Music that makes me feel good, whatever the moment calls for. Observing nature. Photography.

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Ingrid Johnson

Ingrid Johnson

Movement Science Department

Phone: (616) 331-8873

Email: johnsoi@gvsu.edu

 

Q: What activities do you engage in to reduce stress?

A: I love hiking, spinning, swimming, walking and taking group exercise classes. I am a member of several support groups and that helps manage stress. I get regular massages and acupuncture and make sure that I get plenty of sleep. All of these things help keep my body and mind strong.

Q: Is there a driving force behind your healthy lifestyle? Was it a person in your life, a certain event, were you brought up in a healthy environment? What makes you a healthy individual?

A: I have always led an active lifestyle. I was an athlete when I was younger and always enjoyed playing sports. I was always encouraged to play outside as a kid. As a result, I became a physical education teacher and am currently a professor in the Physical Education Teaching program.

Q: How would you encourage another person to pursue a healthy lifestyle?

A: I think it is important to be a good role model by eating well and staying physically fit. I also try to encourage people to find an activity that they enjoy. If you enjoy doing something then you are more likely to stick with it.

Q: What activities do you engage in to reduce stress?

A: I jog with my children (ages 9 and 14), I love hiking, walking and taking group exercise classes. I am a member of several support groups and that helps manage stress. I get regular massages and acupuncture and make sure that I get plenty of sleep. All of these things help keep my body and mind strong.


Sherry Johnson

Sherry Johnson

Assistant Professor, African/African American Studies Coordinator; English
Phone: 616-331-8110
Email: johnsshe@gvsu.edu

Q: Is there a driving force behind your healthy lifestyle? Was it a person in your life, a certain event, were you brought up in a healthy environment? What makes you a healthy individual?

A: Choosing to live a healthy lifestyle was a decision I made a long time ago.  I was having a difficult time in my life at the time and found that whenever I worked out I felt better.  Ever since then I've considered working out to be my medicine, but not in the sense to get rid of an illness, but rather to stave one off.  If I take a longer look back, however, I would say that the principal driving force in my lifestyle is my mother.  She made all of her children eat what was "good for you"--whether we liked it or not.  The funny thing is when I moved away from home and was doing my own grocery shopping I was surprised that I tended to go with the things that I already knew.  Because of my mother they were principally healthy choices.  Thanks, Mom! Today, I'm a (mostly) healthy individual!  I eat well, but do indulge pretty regularly.  (I blame the oatmeal raisin cookies sold at River Landing!)  I workout daily, too, by going to the gym and/or walking or taking the bus wherever I have to go.

Q: How would you encourage another person to pursue a healthy lifestyle?

A: My main suggestion for those who are just beginning:  don't wait for exercise to "feel good;"  make the decision to live healthy and stick to it.  See your decision as a commitment to yourself, and honor that commitment.  Also, try new things!  Maybe going to the gym mightn't be the most comfortable place for you.  Perhaps it might be dance lessons, or tennis lessons (i.e. small group settings or working with someone individually).  Pay attention to what keeps you motivated and stay true to you.  Finally, time of day is important--and entirely individual.  Arrange your life around what time works out best for you and your daily schedule.  

Q: What activities do you engage in to reduce stress?

A: All forms of exercise help me to relief stress from weight lifting to yoga.  I also find meditation to be very powerful.  Outside of exercise, however, I find that "unplugging" at least an hour prior to going to bed reduces my stress levels too.

 

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Cheryl Jones

Human Resources Assistant, Human Resources
Phone: (616) 331-2215
Email:  jonesca@gvsu.edu
 

Q: Is there a driving force behind your healthy lifestyle? What makes you a healthy individual?

A: I have watched a few documentaries and attended a couple demonstrations about healthy eating and exercise and feel it is very important to fuel our bodies furnace with the best fuels possible to keep it working as long and efficiently as possible.

Q: What activities do you engage in to reduce stress?

A: Be a good example and share interesting facts about what has helped me and others I know.

Q: How would you encourage another person to pursue a healthy lifestyle?

A: I don't have a lot of stress, but I pray, participate in yoga, 15-15-15 and jog a little.

 

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Catherine Jones-Rikkers

Associate Professor, Management Office
Phone: (616) 331-7464
Email: jones-rc@gvsu.edu

 

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Health & Wellness Ambassador, John Kilbourne

John Kilbourne

Professor, Movement Science
Phone: (616) 331-8683
Email:  kilbourj@gvsu.edu

 

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Priscilla Kimboko

Priscilla Kimboko

Professor of Gerontology and Healthcare Management
Phone: 616-331-7265 
Email: kimbokop@gvsu.edu 

QIs there a driving force behind your healthy lifestyle? Was it a person in your life, a certain event, were you brought up in a healthy environment? What makes you a healthy individual?

A: Is there a driving force behind your healthy lifestyle?Motivating me is a desire to stay off drugs of any sort and to be healthy as I age...motivated by my aging mother (now 94 years old and quite healthy physically and mentally) and my deceased husband (at 76 who struggled with obesity, diabetes, ) whose chronic health problems were such a negative factor in his later years. The driving force is to experience a whole person healthy aging.Was it a person in your life, a certain event....Being the 'caregiver' for my husband when dementia took hold of him and trying to manage his prescriptions, diet, and encourage him in a more active lifestyle, helped me come face-to-face with the fact that I could well be on the same path...overweight, pre-diabetic, elevated blood pressure, extremely sedentary. I resolved NOT to follow that path but to take action to change my own path and face my later years in a holistic health lifestyle.  I teach about aging in our society...and am familiar with the conditions that make healthy aging possible...Were you brought up in a healthy environment?I was brought up in a big family, and, in order to feed us all, we had a dairy cow and a garden, also sometimes chickens...What today might be called organically raised, pastured food was our primary diet.  Also we were pretty active - although I often was less active than my siblings because I loved to sit with a book and read...What makes you a healthy individual?I am committed to holistic health - and have worked on a rough plan- that includes better food choices (as unprocessed as possible - without preservatives and sugars, for example), and avoiding foods that can cause sensitivities, for example) and more active lifestyle including walking and full-body strength training.  I also do mental, social and spiritual practices to round out a healthy life.. It is a challenge to find and maintain a balance...sometimes I'm better at it than others, but since I made the choice to more actively pursue this path I have been able to go off all prescription drugs and improve my overall health status
 

Q: How would you encourage another person to pursue a healthy lifestyle?

A: I talk about my own health activities and goals, I encourage others to take small steps toward health, and share information about ways they can, I help organize and promote the annual Art & Science of Aging Conference, which provides several workshops on health promotion, disease management and lifestyle choices that can promote a healthy old age.

Q: What activities do you engage in to reduce stress?

AHmmm!  Sleep (working on getting 7 hours per night), Read, Garden, Walks, Facebook with Family/Friends, Solve Puzzles, Yoga...Face-to-face time with friends  

 

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Kay Klosowski

Kay Klosowski

Budget & Finance Assistant, Budgets & Financial Analysis 
Phone: 616-331-2831 
Email: klosowsk@gvsu.edu 

 

QIs there a driving force behind your healthy lifestyle? Was it a person in your life, a certain event, were you brought up in a healthy environment? What makes you a healthy individual?

A: I was an athlete growing up and realized the benefits of staying fit early in my life. Staying in shape through my pregnancies resulted in easier deliveries and not a lot of weight to shed after my babies arrived. I have recently realized the benefits of adding weight training to my routine, reversing some of the bone loss I had as a result of osteopenia. I have always been a relatively picky (but healthy) eater and prefer small snacks/meals throughout the day over eating large meals, and fruits & veggies are a big part of my diet.

Q: How would you encourage another person to pursue a healthy lifestyle?

A: One of the most effective ways I have found to encourage others in their pursuit of health is to live the healthy lifestyle and be excited about the benefits it provides. When it comes to exercise, encouraging others to start with small steps seems to work. Too many people start by doing too much, end up sore, exhausted and discouraged and don't continue.

Q: What activities do you engage in to reduce stress?

AI love being outdoors and enjoying natural beauty. I play golf, walk, take trips to the peach/blueberry apple orchards to pick fresh fruit and sometimes just enjoy reading and/or listening to music outside on our deck. Being aware of how my body is responding in stressful situations helps me to keep the stress in check. Exercise is also key to managing my stress, and I occasionally rotate yoga into my routine to incorporate more mindful stretching.

 

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Health & Wellness Ambassador, Rita Kohrman

Rita Kohrman

Liaison Librarian in Professional Programs and Curriculum Materials
Phone: 616-331-3500
Email: kohrmanr@gvsu.edu 

 

Q: Is there a driving force behind your healthy lifestyle? Was it a person in your life, a certain event, were you brought up in a healthy environment? What makes you a healthy individual?

AI am getting closer to retirement and wanted to be as healthy as possible for the 'golden years.'

Q: How would you encourage another person to pursue a healthy lifestyle?

AListen, praise, encourage

Q: What activities do you engage in to reduce stress?

A: Right now I am unsuccessful in dealing with the stress in my home life. I have a friend to talk with which helps. I also have kept my immediate supervisor aware of the situation in case I must radically change my hours at a last moment. Keeping the supervisor abreast in any major changing event assures support in the work area.

 

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Dalila Kovacs

Dalila Kovacs

Professor, Department of Chemistry
Phone:  (616) 331-3806
Email: kovacsd@gvsu.edu

Q: Is there a driving force behind your healthy lifestyle? What makes you a healthy individual?

A: My driving force is my desire to function independently and be able to do the things i like to do! I have a fear of my genetic make-up! Lost my mother to diabetes and my father to a stroke and heart attack. I am healthy because I have found a balance between work and play, between professional commitments and family & friends, between keeping my body in motion (like a spinning class or a long hike) and keeping it still (enjoy good book). Balance is challenging! I need to keep at it, like working at the yoga tree pose, I can get better but, if I do not practice for a week, I have to start again….

Q: What activities do you engage in to reduce stress?

A: Personal example: a happy, energetic, calm, and passionate friend is the best encouragement for a person in need to change to a healthier life style. Sharing goals, encouragement and accountability work best among my friends. Healthy lifestyle is to be gently shared not imposed! 

Q: How would you encourage another person to pursue a healthy lifestyle?

A: Until a year ago, I thought that (1) regular challenging physical activity, (2) a life style centered on physically challenging outdoor activities –a passion inherited form the same two parents who handed me the poor genetic makeup—and (3) enjoying friends and family classify me as a healthy individual.

2013 life serendipitous events brought me to mindfulness stress reduction. I started with 8-week mindfulness stress reduction class and continue to practice ever since. I finally understand that the ‘muscles’ of my brain should be exercised as much as my biceps or hamstrings!

Hence, mindful eating, meditation, and yoga, are now counterbalancing the physical activity arsenal of my weapons against stress. 

 

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Tina Lee

Tina Lee

Center for Adult & Continuing Studies - Grand Rapids
Phone
: 616-331-7598 
Email: leeti@gvsu.edu 
 

Q: Is there a driving force behind your healthy lifestyle? Was it a person in your life, a certain event, were you brought up in a healthy environment? What makes you a healthy individual?

AMy son, being diagnose with high blood pressure a few years ago and losing two siblings to diabetes is the driving force behind me wanting to live a healthy lifestyle. The older I get life and death becomes more of a reality to me, I want to be around for a long time for my son and see him get married and have kids.

Q: How would you encourage another person to pursue a healthy lifestyle?

AJust know pursuing a healthy lifestyle will be different for everyone; you have to decide what is healthy for you! For me isn’t just about food and exercise, but about being happy and living a stress free life that is combined with eating well. I also never deprived myself of the things that I love to eat and I don’t fall into all of those diet tricks; my motto is everything in moderation. 

Q: What activities do you engage in to reduce stress?

AI pray, walk, from time to time take part in group exercise programs, spend time with family and friends and just laugh and enjoy life

 

 

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Sarah Keranen-Lopez

TRiO Educational Talent
Phone: 616-331-7112
Email: keranesa@gvsu.edu

 


Steve Lipnicki

Dean of Students Office, Vice Provost
Phone: 616-331-7188 
Email: lipnicks@gvsu.edu 

 

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Jeff Marcinkowski

Maintenance Supervisor
Phone: 616-331-3000 
Email: marcijef@gvsu.edu 
 

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Kelsey Martin

Media & Communications Coordinator
Phone: 616-331-3266
Email: martike1@gvsu.edu

Q: Is there a driving force behind your healthy lifestyle? Was it a person in your life, a certain event, were you brought up in a healthy environment? What makes you a healthy individual?

A: Healthy Living hasn’t always been a priority for me. It wasn’t until a couple of years ago that I really started to engage in an active lifestyle. I started by just making small changes here and there, like choosing a healthier option for a meal. I also started taking exercise classes at Grand Valley. I feel very fortunate to work at an institution that supports my health and wellness in so many different ways.

Q: How would you encourage another person to pursue a healthy lifestyle?

A:  Know what it is that is driving you to live a healthier lifestyle and know what keeps you going. For me it is much easier to accomplish my goal if I have a friend or coworker by my side. I am a social person, so it makes it easier to get to the gym if there is an added social aspect. Group exercise works for me because it is a great way to workout and make new friends during the process.  

Q: What activities do you engage in to reduce stress?

A: I enjoy taking the different group exercise classes. They truly keep things interesting and fun! For a few minutes a day, I also practice being mindful—focusing only on what’s going on in the present. I have found that this plays a large role in reducing my stress. 

                                      

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Health & Wellness Ambassador, Sienna Mavima

Sienna Mavima

Information Manager & Assistant to the Director
Small Business & Technology Development Center State Headquarters
Phone616-331-7480 
Email: mavimasi@gvsu.edu 

 

Q: Is there a driving force behind your healthy lifestyle? Was it a person in your life, a certain event, were you brought up in a healthy environment? What makes you a healthy individual?

AMy unhealthy body talked to me before anyone else did and before anyone else even noticed. It remains my driving force behind my healthy lifestyle. Whenever I slacken in my good habits, I ache and become miserable.

Q: How would you encourage another person to pursue a healthy lifestyle?

ALike tasting the goodness of the Lord, taste the goodness of a healthy lifestyle and you will not want to live without it.

Q: What activities do you engage in to reduce stress?

AGym exercise, speed walking, meditation

 

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Health & Wellness Ambassador, Joe McCargar

Joe McCargar

Affiliate Professor, The School of Communications
Phone: 616-331-3548
Email: mccargaj@gvsu.edu

 

Q: Is there a driving force behind your healthy lifestyle? Was it a person in your life, a certain event, were you brought up in a healthy environment? What makes you a healthy individual?

A: I was introduced to bicycling when my neighbor gave me his "old" Schwinn™ ten speed bike. I took it completely apart, put it back together, and discovered speed and freedom under my own power… To this day, riding a bicycle hard replaces all manner of things that are bad for me and helps me know the gift of life when I see it.

Q: How would you encourage another person to pursue a healthy lifestyle?

A: All things being equal, if you found yourself in a life or death situation, who would you expect to have the best chance of survival, a fit person or a sedentary person stuck an unhealthy lifestyle? Life-threatening illness, a car crash, a house fire. I like my chances. I urge people to improve theirs.

Q: What activities do you engage in to reduce stress?

A: Cycling. Teaching.

 

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Michelle McCloud

Assistant Dean for Finance and Project Management
Phone: 616-331-2495
Email: mccloudm@gvsu.edu

 

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Lisa Miller

Continuing Education - Holland Campus

Phone: (616) 331-3910

Email: milllisa@gvsu.edu


Roxanne Mol

Office Coordinator, CLAS-College of Liberal Arts and Sciences 
Phone:(616) 331-2465 
Emailmolr@gvsu.edu 

 

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Kelley Monterusso

Kelley Monterusso

Nursing - Dean's Office 
Phone: (616) 331-5882
Email: monteruk@gvsu.edu 

Q: Is there a driving force behind your healthy lifestyle? Was it a person in your life, a certain event, were you brought up in a healthy environment? What makes you a healthy individual?

A: Living a healthy lifestyle took on new meaning for me when my husband and I found out we were having our first child.  Exercise became a must.  But it was when the nurse handed me a list of the foods I shouldn’t eat while pregnant that a light bulb went on in my brain.  If I shouldn’t eat these things while pregnant, should I ever eat them?  Should anyone ever eat them?  I read every label on every product from then on and began leaning toward whole, organic and all-natural foods.  Ultimately, being thoughtful about what our children eat helps me make good decisions for myself and my husband.  It has become a way of life.  

Q: How would you encourage another person to pursue a healthy lifestyle?

A: Taking care of yourself doesn’t have to be a burden.  You can have fun with food and exercise and reap the benefits tenfold.  Feeling good about yourself is truly empowering, and I believe every journey begins with one step.  

Q: What activities do you engage in to reduce stress?

A: My treadmill is there for me rain or shine.  I record my favorite shows, and it doesn’t even feel like exercise!

 

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Martha Moore

Accounting Business Office 
Phone: (616) 331-2233 
Email: moorema@gvsu.edu 
 

Q: Is there a driving force behind your healthy lifestyle? Was it a person in your life, a certain event, were you brought up in a healthy environment? What makes you a healthy individual?

A: Yes.  There is a driving force behind my healthy lifestyle.  I was holding at a certain weight prior to marriage and childbirths.  After the last child was born, I was uncomfortable with my weight gain and made a decision to gradually lose weight by continuing to eat healthy and exercise.  I was brought up in a healthy environment.  My parents did a good job in teaching me and my siblings about balancing the various food groups.  I, in turn, am teaching my children about healthy eating by the foods they eat at home. 

Q: How would you encourage another person to pursue a healthy lifestyle?

A: I would encourage another person who wants to manage his/her weight to: (A) set small, achievable goals, (B) watch the food portions at breakfast, lunch, and dinner, (C) eat healthy snacks like fruit, nuts, raisins, and finally (D) enjoy life and exercise the way he/she wants to – if that is taking walks or working out in the gym.

Q: What activities do you engage in to reduce stress?

A: To reduce stress, I like to walk, read the bible, cook, listen/play music, sing, or just hold my children while watching a kid-friendly movie

 

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Dauvan Mulally

Writing Department

Phone: (616) 331- 3547

Email: mulallyd@gvsu.edu


Dawn Nagelkirk

Writing Department 
Phone: 616-331-3411
Email: nagelkid@gvsu.edu 

 

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Shannon Owen

Center for Adult & Continuing Studies - TC 

owensha@gvsu.edu
102 Traverse City Regional Center @ Northwestern Michigan College


Q: Is there a driving force behind your healthy lifestyle? Was it a person in your life, a certain event, were you brought up in a healthy environment? What makes you a healthy individual? 

A: Ultimately when I eat healthy and exercise I feel better, sleep better and am a much happier person!  It started when my mother who was in her late 50s started running.  She was healthy and active prior to running but I saw how much more energy she had.  I thought if my mother could do it, I certainly could.  So I registered to run my first 5K and she decided to join me.  We live 4 ½ hours away, but we were excited to share the experience together and didn’t want to let each other down.  When we’d visit each other we’d run together and motivate each other.  I really try to eating clean, drink lots of water and exercise.

 

Q: How would you encourage another person to pursue a healthy lifestyle?

A: I make every effort to lead by example and to encourage others to join me.  For example in our work environment we spend lots of time sitting in meetings.  Whenever possible I try to schedule walking meetings.  It’s a great way to keep moving at work and encouraging others to move as well.

 

Q: What activities do you engage in to reduce stress?  

A: Running when I’m stressed is the best way for me to reduce stress.  I enjoy the euphoria I feel after a good run!  But I also enjoy a good hike with my family.


Clayton Pelon

Education - Center for Educational Partnerships
Phone: (616) 331-6240 
Email: pelonc@gvsu.edu 

 
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Linda Ray

Multicultural Affairs
Phone: (616) 331-2177 
Email: rayli@gvsu.edu 

 

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Mary Reimink

Administrative Computing Professional, Information Technology
Phone: 616-331-2035 
Email: reiminkm@gvsu.edu 

Q: Is there a driving force behind your healthy lifestyle? Was it a person in your life, a certain event, were you brought up in a healthy environment? What makes you a healthy individual?

A: The driving force in my attempt at a healthy lifestyle is an effort to extend my longevity.

Q: How would you encourage another person to pursue a healthy lifestyle?

A: Invite them to walk at lunch, try a class or join an exercise group

Q: What activities do you engage in to reduce stress?

A: Swimming, knitting, reading, walking, kayaking.

 

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Christine Rener

Pew Faculty Teaching and Learning Center
Phone: (616) 331- 3499
Email: renerc@gvsu.edu

Q: Is there a driving force behind your healthy lifestyle? Was it a person in your life, a certain event, were you brought up in a healthy environment? What makes you a healthy individual?

A: I was definitely raised in a healthy environment – little processed food, homemade granola and yogurt (!) and family gardens with plenty of sharing. In terms of exercise – for the body and the brain – I have seen the stark contrast between faculty members who kept active and those who did not. Part of my own understanding of the importance of a healthy lifestyle comes from my background in biochemistry. Knowing more about what is happening at the metabolic level helps me stay grounded in the WHYs and HOWs of healthy living. 

Q: How would you encourage another person to pursue a healthy lifestyle?

A: By making it a fun, shared approach. It does take time and attention to stay focused and having other people around to support is really helpful. 

Q: What activities do you engage in to reduce stress?

A: Meditation, walking in nature (in any weather), and listening to loud music. Sometimes all three if it has been a rough day! 

 

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Valerie Rhodes-Sorelle

Procurement Services 
Phone: 616-331-2280 
Email: rhodesv@gvsu.edu 

 

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Health & Wellness Ambassador, Chelsea Ridge

Chelsea Ridge

Math Program Coordinator, Regional Math and Science Center
Phone616-331-2267 
Emailridgec@gvsu.edu 
 

Q: Is there a driving force behind your healthy lifestyle? Was it a person in your life, a certain event, were you brought up in a healthy environment? What makes you a healthy individual?

A: My family history is filled with various health concerns, so I am trying my best to beat my genes and lead a long healthy life. A healthy lifestyle makes you feel better and live happier every day. These are the reasons that I choose to lead a healthy lifestyle.

Q: How would you encourage another person to pursue a healthy lifestyle?

A: I would encourage other people to pursue a healthy lifestyle by explaining all of the benefits of a healthy lifestyle.

Q: What activities do you engage in to reduce stress?

A: jogging, cycling, yoga, kickboxing

 

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Ericka Rivera

Operations Department
Phone: (616)331-5800
Email:
riveraer@gvsu.edu

Q: Is there a driving force behind your healthy lifestyle? Was it a person in your life, a certain event, were you brought up in a healthy environment? What makes you a healthy individual?

A: The positive effect that exercising has had on my physical and mental wellbeing has driven me to continue to live a healthy lifestyle. Exercising and eating healthy has allowed me to gain confidence and  feel overall more energized!

 

Q: How would you encourage another person to pursue a healthy lifestyle?

A: I think using positive reinforcement and enthusiasm is key in encouraging another person to pursue a healthy lifestyle.  If a person enjoys living a healthy lifestyle it makes it easier for them to stick with it long term.

 

Q: What activities do you engage in to reduce stress?

A: I reduce stress by exercising daily and spending time with family and friends.

 


Mark Rousseau

Facilities Services
Phone: 616-331-3000 
Emailroussema@gvsu.edu 
 

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Carol Sanchez

Seidman Management Department

Phone: (616) 331-7451

Email: sanchezc@gvsu.edu


Kim Schmidt

Associate Director, Alumni Relations 
Phone: (616) 331-3590
Email: schmidtk@gvsu.edu 
 

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Health & Wellness Ambassador, Bob Schoofs

Bob Schoofs

Liaison Librarian in Liberal Arts Programs
Phone616-331-3500 
Email: schoofsr@gvsu.edu 

 

Q: Is there a driving force behind your healthy lifestyle? What makes you a healthy individual?
A: My faith motivates me to live a healthy lifestyle: my body is a temple of the Holy Spirit. I also feel better, sleep better, and enjoy life more when I live a healthy lifestyle. As academicians, thinking human beings, why would we not live a healthy lifestyle?
 

Q: How would you encourage another person to pursue a healthy lifestyle?
A: You will feel better and enjoy life more if you do.
 

Q: What activities do you engage in to reduce stress?
A: Exercise and prayer. For exercise, I enjoy running, biking and walking.

 

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Health & Wellness Ambassador, Mark Schaub

Mark Schaub

Chief International Officer, Barbara H. Padnos International Center
Phone616-331-3898 
Email: schaubm@gvsu.edu 

 

Q: How would you encourage another person to pursue a healthy lifestyle?

A: Find enjoyment and companionship in your activities and exercise.

Q: What activities do you engage in to reduce stress?

A: Walking, swimming, jogging. Even a walk across campus to deliver something serves multiple purposes: you meet students and faculty and staff, you get a bit of exercise, and you get the delivery to its destination. Stress relieved in the process.

 

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Health & Wellness Ambassador, Jerry Scripps

Jerry Scripps

Assistant Professor, School of Computing & Information Systems
Phone: (616) 331-2060 
Email: scrippsj@gvsu.edu 
 

Q: Is there a driving force behind your healthy lifestyle? Was it a person in your life, a certain event, were you brought up in a healthy environment? What makes you a healthy individual?

A: I just started running as soon as I graduated because I was in an unfamiliar city and had time on my hands. I was motivated by watching the first telecast Ironman triathlon. I always had that as a goal, to complete an Ironman but work, finances and kids sort of got in the way. I did a lot of triathlons but nothing quite that long. Last year they held the first Ironman here in Grand Rapids. It was too convenient to pass up. So 30 years after seeing my first one on TV, I finally completed an Ironman (barely).

Q: How would you encourage another person to pursue a healthy lifestyle?

A: Make it part of your social life. Running, biking, doing events with friends is fun and knowing someone is counting on you to be there makes it more accountable.

Q: What activities do you engage in to reduce stress?

A: Run!

 

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Courtney Sherwood

Kutsche Office of Local History 
Phone: 616-331-8099
Email: sherwoco@gvsu.edu 
 

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Carla Slabaugh

Occupational Therapy Department 
Phone: 616-331-5648
Email: slabaugc@gvsu.edu 

Q: Is there a driving force behind your lifestyle? Was it a person in your life, a certain event, were you brought up in a healthy environment? What makes you a healthy individual?

A: I want to be healthy, yet weight management has been a lifelong struggle for me. I grew up in the south, where even a healthy pot of green beans are made “good” by adding butter and ham. I have tried several diets through the years, Weight Watchers and South Beach to name two, but I did not make a new lifestyle. While all the education about food and nutrition are important, I now seek to make health and wellness part of my daily routine. I am completing my clinical doctorate in OT, which has offered many opportunities for self-discovery. I recently realized that the perseverance and resilience are skills that I developed further while pursuing the doctorate and these skills can be transferred to my challenges with weight and lifestyle. Although I have struggles with my weight I strive to be a healthy individual. A positive attitude has been my best asset. This has helped me have healthy relationships with others and again this is a skill I can use in my weight loss journey.

Q: How would you encourage another person to pursue a healthy lifestyle?

A: I am not sure I can encourage others…yet. I feel I need to be able to model a healthy lifestyle before I can be a trusted source of encouragement.

Q: What activities do you engage in to reduce stress?

A: I truly enjoy walking in the woods with the dog and I need time alone to ‘mentally process.’ In the past, I knew I needed to exercise and viewed it as a chore that I did not want to engage in. Having a daily exercise goal produced stress by adding another item to my daily list of things to do. With some reflection on how I work best, I realized I need time alone and I enjoy walks in the woods, so I can engage in an enjoyable, stress relieving activity that also benefits my health.  


Paul Stephenson

Statistics Department

Phone: (616) 331- 2081

Email: stephenp@gvsu.edu


Ruth Stevens

Associate Professor, School of Criminal Justice
Phone: 616-331-7130 
Email: stevenru@gvsu.edu 

 

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Joshua Stickney

Department of Biomedical Sciences
Phone: 616-331-3629
Email: sticknjo@gvsu.edu

 

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Health & Wellness Ambassador, Roxana Taylor

Roxana Taylor

Administrative Assistant, Robert B. Annis Water Resources Institute 
Phone: (616) 331-3749
Email: taylorr@gvsu.edu 

Q: Is there a driving force behind your healthy lifestyle? What makes you a healthy individual?

A: When my dad had a heart attack about 22 years ago, my family began eating healthier – more fruits and vegetables, less red meat. In 2008 I had cancer twice, and in 2010 a benign tumor in my sinuses. I know that living a healthful lifestyle is going to keep me on earth longer, and feeling better while I'm here! In Feb. 2011 my husband and I joined SNAP Fitness. We now eat even healthier - more raw fruits and vegetables, less carbs and meat. I still have a lot of weight to lose, but I keep trying! Exercise and portion control are the things I'm concentrating on now.

Q: What activities do you engage in to reduce stress?

A: Walking, weight training, deep breathing, and prayer.

Q: How would you encourage another person to pursue a healthy lifestyle?

A: I have people in my life who are dealing with long term illness and even they can do something! Walk a few extra minutes a day, lift weights from their chair, something! And for those who are still healthy I would say: move while you can still do it easily! It will be so much harder later if you don't!

 

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Health & Wellness Ambassador, Annuka Thelen

Annuka Thelen

Office Coordinator, College of Education - Student Information & Services Center
Phone: (616) 331-6650 
Email: thelenan@gvsu.edu 

Q: Is there a driving force behind your healthy lifestyle? Was it a person in your life, a certain event, were you brought up in a healthy environment? What makes you a healthy individual?

A: I grew up with parents who role modeled making healthy living a priority. Even today, they walk or run daily today (regardless of the weather), maintain a balanced diet and continue to research what they can do to improve their health. Now in the mid-60’s neither of my parents are on any medications and are able to fully enjoy their travels and grandchildren. Having my parents as strong role models encourages my husband and I strive for same thing for our children, so that they will grow up with healthy habits and views regarding food and exercise and we are able to fully enjoy our time with them while they are young and in the future still be in good health and able to be an active part of our own grandchildren’s lives, are able to fully enjoy their travels and grandchildren. Having my parents as strong role models encourages my husband and I strive for same thing for our children, so that they will grow up with healthy habits and views regarding food and exercise and we are able to fully enjoy our time with them while they are young and in the future still be in good health and able to be an active part of our own grandchildren’s lives.

Q: How would you encourage another person to pursue a healthy lifestyle?

AI’ll be the first to admit, that it can be a struggle. Especially when we’re busy. My husband and I both work fulltime, our children have after school activities and sports we constantly running them to. There are days that we don’t return home until 7:00 PM and the kids have to be to bed by 8 pm. By planning ahead and doing some prep-work on the weekends, making healthy choices is a lot easier. The weeks that I don’t take a little time to plan out our meals for the week, are the weeks we make bad choices and then we feel guilty. Just a little effort in planning has a big pay off and makes you feel more accomplished in your efforts to live a healthy lifestyle. The same is true for exercise. I don’t have a lot of time in the evening to exercise and I’ve found I don’t enjoy getting up extremely early to get my exercise in before my day starts. However, working at GVSU we have the benefit of so many different types of classes offered right on campus and a beautiful campus to walk. By planning ahead and packing my workout bag, I can find time to attend a yoga class, visit the gym to lift weights or take a walk outside. Taking classes with a friend or coworker also really helps keep you on track. You start to depend on each other to always be there, keeping each other accountable.

Q: What activities do you engage in to reduce stress?

AThere is nothing better than attending a yoga class in the middle of a stressful work day. I return to work with a clearer mind and ready to continue my work day.

 

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Beverly Tramper

Department Coordinator, Integrated Science Program 
Phone:
 (616) 331-2315 
Email: tramperb@gvsu.edu 

 

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Aaron Velting

Academic Records Staff
Phone: (616) 331-3327 
Email: veltinga@gvsu.edu 
 

Q: Is there a driving force behind your healthy lifestyle? Was it a person in your life, a certain event, were you brought up in a healthy environment? What makes you a healthy individual?

A: I was raised in a very active family. Since kindergarten up until 8th grade, I was on a traveling/competition jump rope team. We practiced every day for an hour before school. We traveled doing school assembly and halftime shows promoting the American Heart Association. From a very early age, I was preaching heart healthy living to groups of people on a weekly basis. My parents involved my siblings and I in about every sport imaginable. I played high school volleyball, basketball, ran track and cross country for a while. I was also a swim instructor and lifeguard. I've enjoyed running races from 5K to Marathon and especially triathlons.

Q: How would you encourage another person to pursue a healthy lifestyle?

A: Never, ever tell yourself you can't do something! Set goals and strive to reach them, take small steps - there's nothing you cannot do! You will surprise yourself. Some days will be hard and you'll want to quit...and some days you won't believe what you've accomplished. Always measure your success as your success…not your success as compared to others.

Q: What activities do you engage in to reduce stress?

A: My church, running, swimming, biking, triathlons, road races, wakeboarding, waterskiing, cross country skiing, kayaking, hiking, watching my kids play sports, going to the park with my kids.

 

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Joan Visser

Joan Visser

Engineering & Computing, Seymour & Esther Padnos 
Phone: (616) 331-6260
Email: vissejo@gvsu.edu 

Q: Is there a driving force behind your healthy lifestyle? Was it a person in your life, a certain event, were you brought up in a healthy environment? What makes you a healthy individual?

A: I am rebounding from a “not as healthy” season in life.  So my most recent inspiration is my daughter-in-law who is a busy professional, mom and wife who recently lost 25 pounds and gained new momentum by doing the Whole30 challenge and that spring-boarding into a resolve to healthy eating again. 

Q: How would you encourage another person to pursue a healthy lifestyle?

A: .  It is really hard to make a change in your life, but encouraging someone is easy!  Through compliment and engagement, I find that having someone share their key to success, it also encourages them to continue.  I do believe that people need to find their own reasons for pursuing a healthy lifestyle and encouraging can only do so much!

Q: What activities do you engage in to reduce stress?

A: To reduce stress, I enjoy my pets (Wheaten Terrier &  Quarter horse), traveling or visit a second hand store – and trying not to bring home another project!

 

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Erika Wallace

Erika Wallace

Financial Aid Office 
Phone: (616) 331-3234 
Email: wallacee@gvsu.edu 
                   

Q: Is there a driving force behind your healthy lifestyle? Was it a person in your life, a certain event, were you brought up in a healthy environment? What makes you a healthy individual?

A: The driving force behind my health lifestyle was growing up in a very active household. Sports, specifically basketball, was always huge part of my life. I was a student athlete through high school and all the way throughout my collegiate career here at GVSU, which opened many doors for me. Being fit and feeling fit has always been a part of my lifestyle. Due to the fact that at such a young age I was active it allowed me to realized early on how much better it made me feel emotionally and physically. 

Q: How would you encourage another person to pursue a healthy lifestyle?

A: I would encourage others to get healthy by adding some physical activity to their week. Even if it’s getting out and taking a walk.

Q: What activities do you engage in to reduce stress?

A: Physical Activity is a huge stress relief for me. If I go a couple of days without exercise I can tell, I get very anxious and tired. It’s amazing how much better I feel after I exercise, I’m more efficient at work and at home. Some activities that I enjoy are jogging, sports and playing outside with my kids.

 

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Andrea Westdorp

Accounting Business Office 
Phone: (616) 331-2233
Email: westdoan@gvsu.edu 
 

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Health & Wellness Ambassador, Scott Whisler

Scott Whisler

Project Manager, Facilities Planning 
Phone: (616) 331-3258
Email: whislers@gvsu.edu 

 Q: Is there a driving force behind your healthy lifestyle? Was it a person in your life, a certain event, were you brought up in a healthy environment? What makes you a healthy individual?

A: I am a goal oriented person. Once I set a goal, I do all I can to reach it. I played sports in High School and have carried on that lifestyle into my adult life. I sign up for several races and usually one other major physical activity each year.

Q: What activities do you engage in to reduce stress?

A: I run, cycle and lift weights daily for a balanced mind and body. During the summer we take bike rides with the kids or play with them at the park.

Q: How would you encourage another person to pursue a healthy lifestyle?

A: Sign up for something...and tell everyone you know about it! You're more likely to stick with it if you have people holding you accountable. Another great way is to sign up for a walk/run through a charity and raise money. You'll help an organization as well as yourself. Join a run or cycling club or get involved in the GVSU pedometer challenge to get started.

 

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Sue Wierzbicki

Sue Wierzbicki

Office Manager, Center for Adult and Continuing Studies
Phone: (231) 995-1785
Email: wierzbis@gvsu.edu

Q: Is there a driving force behind your lifestyle? Was it a person in your life, a certain event, were you brought up in a healthy environment? What makes you a healthy individual?

A: I appreciate the opportunity to develop “more awareness” to the benefits of living healthy with all my colleagues in Traverse City.  Although as many of us would agree, living a healthy “manageable” lifestyle can sometimes be a challenge.  Through different stages of my life I had to adapt to my priorities and adjust some of the struggles that life brought my way to maintain a healthy weight and promote wellness within my own family.  Growing up in a large family, then marrying and raising three children with my husband in Northern MI allowed me to benefit from many outdoor sporting activities that aided with what can sometimes become a sedentary lifestyle during the cold wintery days.  My mother was a dietician, so eating healthy was imbedded at an early age and actually helped mold “me” to give my children the necessary tools they needed grow and live a healthy lifestyle too.  A healthy lifestyle isn’t just about eating and exercising right, but having a good rounded attitude about “life”. 

Q: How would you encourage another person to pursue a healthy lifestyle?

A: We all read about how important it is to be active, but as I get older I realize how challenging at times that can become, especially if you are faced with any type of serious health issues…whether it is you or someone you love.  I have always been diligent about health screenings and regular checkups…both dental and medical.  Listening to my healthcare provider and being an advocate of my own healthcare seems to have benefitted me in many ways.  I love being outdoors, so that makes exercising much easier.  My husband and I have become avid bicyclists, so we ride the beautiful bike trails in and around Northern MI every week.   In the winter months we cross country ski…and this past winter I learned to be a fan of pickle ball and indoor tennis.  

Q: What activities do you engage in to reduce stress?

A: As I mentioned, I ride my bicycle whenever possible, but always have my “comfort” shoes close by in the event a brisk walk presents itself. I have come to learn the true benefits of drinking water…and I do drink a lot of it!  At work, I consciously try to get up and move throughout the day and have made it a “goal” to investigate the possibilities of including a stand up workstation or treadmill workstation here at the GVSU Traverse City site.  My hope is to introduce others in our office to the benefits… and who knows….maybe it will catch on!

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Shontaye Witcher

Shontaye Witcher

Disability Support Resources
Phone: (616) 331-2490
Email: witchesh@gvsu.edu

Q: Is there a driving force behind your healthy lifestyle? Was it a person in your life, a certain event, were you brought up in a healthy environment? What makes you a healthy individual?

A: There is a driving force for trying to stay healthy.  Diabetes runs in my family and I do not want the disease.  I try to be healthy by eating the rights foods as well as incorporating some type of aerobic activity 30 minutes a day.

Q: How would you encourage another person to pursue a healthy lifestyle?

A: I would encourage another person by giving them my story for achieving a healthy weight goal

Q: What activities do you engage in to reduce stress?

A: I engage in walking to reduce stress as well as meditation.

 

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Charlyn Worthem

Charlyn Worthem

Music & Dance
Phone: (616) 331-3484
Email: worthemc@gvsu.edu

Q: Is there a driving force behind your healthy lifestyle? Was it a person in your life, a certain event, were you brought up in a healthy environment? What makes you a healthy individual?

A: The driving force behind my healthy lifestyle is getting off my diabetes medication. I was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes in the early 90’s and I have decided that I wasn’t going to allow this disease to get the best of me. I have had numerous family members taken away by this disease and I refuse to let it happen to me.

Q: How would you encourage another person to pursue a healthy lifestyle?

A: I would advise them to put themselves first. Often times we put ourselves last and put our love ones, work, and everything else before ourselves without thinking about ourselves and that is when we began to get fatigued, stressed out because we’re not allowing our bodies to get the rest that we need.  Not saying we can help others but we have to help ourselves first.

Q: What activities do you engage in to reduce stress?

A: I get up every morning and make sure I get at least a ½ hour of exercise. Whether it is on the treadmill, or sometimes I use my aerobic dvd’s. I also get a bike ride in at least once or twice a week if my schedule permits it. Also, I make sure that I schedule a time that I can be consistent with. I know that I have other commitments after work so I don’t schedule my exercise plan for after work because I know I’m not going to be able to stick with it.

I’m a morning person, I know I will get up at 5:00am and get my work out in before coming to work. I lay my clothes out at night and set my time clock away from my bed on the other side of the room so that when it goes off I the morning, I have to get my body out of bed to shut it off. Also, I make sure to lay my exercise clothes out at night so they will be ready in the morning.

 

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MarcQus Wright

MarcQus Wright

Education Support Program/TRiO
Phone: (616) 331-3401
Email: wrighmar@gvsu.edu

Q: Is there a driving force behind your healthy lifestyle? Was it a person in your life, a certain event, were you brought up in a healthy environment? What makes you a healthy individual?

A: My healthy lifestyle is driven by my family history. We have a history of heart disease and diabetes. My goal is to do what I can to prevent this conditions from taking over my body. I like to be an example to my children as well so they understand the importance of a healthy lifestyle. 

Q: How would you encourage another person to pursue a healthy lifestyle?

A: I would encourage others to set a reasonable goal and take it take it one step at a time. Once you have achieved that goal set another one.

Q: What activities do you engage in to reduce stress?

A: I relieve stress by playing with my kids in the backyard. 

 

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Gail Zemmol

Hospitality and Tourism Management

Phone: (616)331-8866

Email: zemmolg@gvsu.edu



Page last modified October 17, 2017