Student Development Workshops


What does it take to be a leader today? Being a leader is more than a fancy title. Leadership comes with great responsibility of helping those around them to succeed, just as much as the leader once needed when they were in their shoes.

As students go through their years at Oakland University, they are gearing up to become the future leaders of tomorrow. Leadership development workshops are hosted all around campus to help build student leadership skills, and teach different perspectives that shape the reality around each person.

University Recreation and Well-Being hosts workshops that are categorized into five dimensions of well-being: physical, occupational, environmental, social, and intellectual well-being. A multitude of topics range from revamping your workout, eating healthy, or even practicing environmentally friendliness, and acing your next job interview.

As a student, attending these workshops gives you access to new information, and provides the opportunity to network with each speaker from across campus and the community.

The remaining workshops are listed below for the rest of the 2017-2018 school year. You will not want to miss them!

Register for workshops here:


New Year New You: Goal Setting

-January 8 | 7:00-8:00p.m. | Hamlin Hall | no pre-registration required

Fitness Fixes: Working out with Limited Time

-January 11 | 3-3:45p.m. | Herman Room of the Rec Center

Nutrition and Fitness

-January 15 | 7-8:00p.m. | Hamlin Hall | no pre-registration required

So You made a Resolution?…

-January 16 | 7-7:45p.m. | Vandenberg Glass Rooms

Taste of Group Exercise

-January 22 | 7-8:00p.m. | Hamlin Hall | no pre-registration required

Fitness in a Time Crunch

-January 29 | 7-8:00p.m. | Hamlin Hall | no pre-registration required

Keeping Your Status ‘Happy and Healthy’

-February 12 | 7-7:45p.m. | Vandenberg Glass Rooms

Grizzlies Go Green

-March 13 | 7-7:45p.m. | Vandenberg Glass Rooms

Focused and Fit: Getting through Finals

-April 8 |7-7:45p.m. | Vandenberg Glass Rooms


Employee Spotlight: Ciara Rechtzigel


Ciara is a Graphic Design Intern at the Rec and has been working here since September 2017. She is currently a senior studying Graphic Design at Oakland University.


Why did you want to work at the Rec?

It is an opportunity to gain experience in my field of study.


What is your favorite part about working here?

My co-workers and getting paid for what I love to do is very fulfilling.


When you’re not at the Rec, what are some things you like to do?

Graphix OU Events


What fuels your shift? (music, food, people, etc.)



What are you looking forward to?

Senior Thesis, Graduating and Graduation Pictures


What are your plans for the future?

Get a job in my field, earn a certificate, and go back for Masters in Integrated Marketing Communications


Name your top 3 workout songs

  1. Kayne West- New Workout Plan
  2. Nicki Minaj- Pound the Alarm
  3. Rihanna- Disturbia


What is your best tip for health and wellness?

Surround yourself with positive people with similar goals


Fun Fact:

I think Christmas music is acceptable after October 31st.




Employee Spotlight: Elizabeth Suchocki

EmployeeSpotlight_LizElizabeth Suchocki has been a marketing intern at the Recreation Center since August 2016. She is a senior who is double majoring in journalism and graphic design here at Oakland University.


Why did you want to work at the Rec?

I started working here as an internship for my journalism capstone and when that semester ended I was asked to stay on the team. I love the mix of working with my peers and the professional staff. I get social media and digital marketing experience and paid to do what I love.


What is your favorite part about working here?

My favorite parts about working here are my co-workers and the flexibility with my schedule.


What are your favorite Rec activities? (IM sports, GroupX, Street Teams, RLC, etc.)

Yoga Classes and Street Team


When you’re not at the Rec, what are some things you like to do?

I like to hang out with friends, participate in sorority activities, travel, read, and nap. I’m the Director of Philanthropy for my sorority so I also volunteer a lot.


What fuels your shift? (music, food, people, etc.)

Music and my co-workers


What are you looking forward to?

Graduating this December!


What are your plans for the future?

I plan to travel right after graduation, get a job in marketing, and hopefully travel some more.


Name your top 3 workout songs

  1. Wasted- Tiesto
  2. Courtesy of the Red, White, and Blue- Toby Keith
  3. Basically anything on “Booty Bouncers Radio” on Pandora


What is your best tip for health and wellness?

My best tip for health and wellness is to seek help if you need it. It could be for physical health or mental health. All around wellness is important.


Fun Fact:

I have been to 14 of the 50 United States so far, and by the end of 2018 I plan to have visited at least 20 of the 50.




6 Yoga Classes at OU RecWell and What Makes Them Unique

yoga photo

This semester, RecWell is offering six different yoga classes each week. What is the difference between each class? How do I know which one to attend? I decided to try each class to help others understand the difference. Although there are similarities, it is the differences that make each class unique. Here is my personal experience with each class:

  1. Power Yoga– Let me just start off by saying, if you’ve never done yoga or incorporated stretching into your workouts, this is not the best class to start with. While all yoga classes at RecWell are open to new participants, I recommend choosing a different class before making your way to Power Yoga. The instructor talked us through the positions, but did not demonstrate them all so I did a lot of looking around the room to figure out what a “locust pose” was. It was more energetic than relaxing in my opinion. I recommend this class for anyone who really wants a cardiovascular workout while at the same time as doing yoga poses.
  2. Slow Flow Yoga- This class was not as upbeat as Power Yoga. The instructor began class with instrumental music at a low volume, and this made it easier to focus on our breathing. In addition to our yoga mat, we used yoga blankets, blocks, and straps. I attended this yoga class after a long morning of school and it brought my energy up for the rest of the day. I recommend this for a great lunchtime workout.
  3. Let Go and Flow Yoga- This class was similar to the Slow Flow Yoga class in the movements and positions. Different instrumental music was playing, however, it was still calming and relaxing. We focused a lot on our breathing and how to breathe while moving into the next position. The teacher both talked through the movements and did all of the moves at the same time so we could either listen or look at her depending on what is easier for us to follow. I recommend this class for people who need to unwind after a long day while still wanting to get a workout in.
  4. Gentle Yoga & Meditation- This class was more calming than Slow Flow Yoga and Let Go and Flow Yoga. This class is great for people who have injuries or are beginning yoga because of the slower pace. The instructor would also show people alternative poses so people would not worsen their injuries. The class ended with a guided meditation. The class laid down in shavasana while the instructor gave meditation prompts. I recommend this class if you are stressed, wanting to connect to yourself and the world through meditation, or if you are a complete beginner at yoga.
  5. Gentle Yoga- From my experience, Gentle Yoga is a mix of the Yoga for Relaxation and Gentle Yoga and Meditation. Many of the poses and stretches were the same in this class as they were in the other two. So if you want a mix of two classes in one, or if you can’t make it to Yoga for Relaxation or Gentle Yoga and Meditation, then
    this might be the class for you.
  6. Yoga for Relaxation- The RecWell website states, “This practice is about achieving body and mind relaxation.” This is a perfect description. This class helped me relieve stress from the stress of everyday life. I felt I was escaping reality when I took this class. I highly recommend this class for anyone who is very stressed about anything in their life whether it is school, work, or anything else. We ended the session in shavasana, which is lying on your back with legs and arms stretched straight out with palms facing the ceiling. This was a common ending to all of the classes I participated in.

Tried out all the classes and yoga still isn’t your “thing”? We’re here to help. The Recreation Center offers over 44 different group exercise classes throughout the year. This includes some of the fun GroupX programs such as Partner Yoga and Class on the Grass, which took place earlier this semester.
yoga photo 2


Making it to the finish line with personal training

Do you agree one of the biggest challenges of going to the gym is finding the motivation to leave the house? According to Susan Mason, parent of an Oakland University student, the personal training program at Oakland’s Recreation Center helped her conquer just that.

Mason was tired of feeling discouraged and she wanted to make a positive change. She wasn’t very active, but support and encouragement from her family got her to the gym. She later signed up for personal training and was assigned personal trainer Josh McMillon, a senior at OU.

McMillon’s first task for Mason was to create a goal she wanted to reach. “I was stumped,” she said. After realizing how out-of-shape and out-of-breathe she was, Mason’s goal became to run a marathon to help her improve and learn all aspects of fitness (strength, balance, and endurance).

Mason instantly noticed the difference of having a trainer because the motivation of having someone cheering for her was huge. “Even when I could not run a single lap on the indoor track or do one lunge, my trainer believed in me. It was his [McMillon’s] encouragement and positivity that kept me on track. He pushed me more than I would have on my own. He always watched my form to make sure I was doing it correctly and stayed injury free.”

Even though Mason was spending more time each week running and training with or without McMillon, she still had barriers to overcome. Having negative thoughts can be a push-back when starting a new workout. Quickly though, Mason realized that the gym is a place to allow individuals to improve, and setting mantras helped her.

Susan noticed results shortly after 30 days. She went from being able to run one lap around the track–to a few miles and even joined a running group. Mason said, “Losing the inches and pounds has been great, but gaining the strength and endurance has been the best result.”

Mason reached her goal of running a marathon in 18 months and has participated in over 20 races. She is still working with McMillon setting new goals and reaching higher heights. Over the summer, she went hiking and got to experience things she wouldn’t have been able to before she had a trainer. With the change in eating habits and exercise, her cholesterol level has even decreased 100 points.

Having a trainer helps motivate you more than you think you can yourself. She is now with a local training program to help others reach their running goals. Mason’s take away is that “Actions, not wishes, make opportunities happen. One step, no matter how small, is still progress.”

Personal Training: Matt’s Making a Change

Matt PT Before & After Socail MediaThe only good thing about hitting rock bottom is that the only way to go from there is up. That is exactly what Matt Brafman did. Matt wants to share his personal training success story to motivate others and show how greatly it has impacted his life.

When asked how he felt before starting this journey, he replied, “I was as low as a person can be”. He felt unhappy and alone with himself because of his lack of motivation. “[I] Hit rock bottom”. At his heaviest, he weighed 290 pounds. “Body image shouldn’t be how you value yourself as a person,” Matt said. “However, it’s ok to set health goals for yourself in order to improve your energy and the way your body functions”.

His first attempt with personal training lasted one month in July 2011 at a gym, but he gave up after losing 10 pounds. His second try was July 2015 at a different gym and lasted seven months, but he gave up again because he wasn’t burning fat. His most recent attempt in December 2016 turned out to be a success when he met with Austin Standridge, personal trainer with Oakland University Recreation and Well-Being.

Austin is a graduate student studying Exercise Science at OU, and has been a personal trainer for five years. He became a personal trainer at OU Rec Well in 2016 as part of his graduate assistantship. Austin started training Matt about 10 months ago. Austin was encouraged by Matt’s tenacity and perseverance to make a positive change in his own life. Austin said, “I met Matt and recognized his determination. I was excited to contribute to his journey”.

Matt continues to show his attitude through answering the question ‘why did you want to do personal training versus just working out on your own?’ His answer was very easily put: “The person who puts in the work is me. Only I can do the things to make me better, and I’m a person who believes in guidance. I found a trainer at a point when I was ready to work and get results”.

For roughly nine months, Matt trained with Austin one to two times per week and spent the rest of the week working out on his own. They talk frequently about how Matt can improve his “me” days. “Personal training isn’t just about goblet squats and burpees. I learned patience and the reward of long-term dedication,” Matt stated. He mentioned that he plans to continue weight loss training until October 2017 and then will switch to focus on muscle mass and body fat percentage.

Matt shares how many positive changes he has experienced through personal training in less than one year. He reflects on his nine-month journey and is so thankful that he made the choice to begin taking his health and wellness into his own hands. Today he weighs 200 pounds, which means he has lost 90 pounds so far! Matt revealed that the most important thing he’s gained is the confidence in himself that he can overcome obstacles if he tries.

Matt left us with some powerful words of wisdom that he gained from his experience; “A person has the power to make positive change happen if they are persistent in their desire to make life better for themselves or for others”.

If you want more information on personal training options available at the Recreation Center click here.

OU RecWell also has programs such as Know Your Numbers and Drop-In Body Composition that help participants understand more about their bodies in relation to fitness and well-being. Keep an eye out on our social media for updates of when we are hosting Know Your Numbers and Drop-In Body Composition events or click here.









Intramural vs. Club Sports

We know it’s confusing. What IS the difference between intramurals and club sports? It’s a question that we hear quite often at Oakland University Recreation and Well-Being. Now that everyone is back on campus for the fall, we are here to clear it up for you.


Getting involved in intramurals is a fun way to play a sport in the league for potentially a few weeks with an option to play up to 13 sports a semester. All teams consist of students that compose their own team and compete against other student teams in a specific sport. Leagues can be men’s, women’s, coRec, or open teams depending on the sport.

Club Sports are often considered more competitive than intramural sports, but can also be instructional and recreational. Each club is governed by an elected board of student members that make the decisions of how the team operates (e.g. coach selection, tournaments, fundraising, etc.). Additionally, serving as an e-board member is a great way to gain leadership experience and transferrable skills.


For each intramural sport at OU Rec Well, the season is relatively short. It could range from a single day tournament to a four-week league. Team members need to register by the deadline and show up for their games at the designated times with their Oakland IDs.

Signing up for a club sport means you are signing up for the year. Each club sets a schedule for competitions, team meetings, and weekly practices. Typically club sports will play against other universities in games, competitions, and national tournaments, while other sports are more recreational. These clubs are primarily made up of OU students. Many club student athletes choose to participate in clubs because it is a great way to continue being active in a specific sport.


The registration fee for intramurals range from free to $25 per team depending on the sport. For club sports, each club defines their own costs and dues per member depending on how active they may be.

Intramurals and club sports are a great way of staying active on campus while allowing students to continue to play the sports that they love. Additionally, these opportunities help you meet new people that have similar interests and make life long friends. More information can be found on