7th Annual Poker Walk

DSCN0020On May 17, 2017 Oakland University Recreation and Well-Being hosted the 7th Annual Poker Walk. This walk started at the Recreation Center, wove around campus, and then lapped back to the Rec. But what made this walk different from any other walk around campus? Well let us tell you!

The walk is hosted in May each year for National Employee Health and Fitness Month. Roughly 600 employees on Oakland’s campus participate in this walk each year. It is open to full and part time faculty and staff at Oakland University.

There were two paths, a 1.5 mile and a 2 mile route. Along the routes, OU RecWell employees passed out poker chips for walkers to collect. After the walk was completed, the participants placed their bets at the poker tables and tried to win the best hand.

The winners with the best poker hands got prizes. The top three poker hand winners got prizes valued at $100. In addition to these prizes, there were booths passing out items. One of the booths, Trader Joe’s, was passing out healthy snacks and drinks. There was also a food truck and Cool-Yo frozen yogurt cart for the participants to purchase lunch or snacks after the walk.

But the truly fun part was seeing the many departments of employees in their fun costumes. The School of Health Science dressed up as minions and their Dean dressed as the leader Gru. One School of Health Sciences employee mentioned that they are return walkers, but change their costume and team name each year. There were more teams such as the Holy Walkamolies, Run-On Sentence, Another Day in Paradise, Moodle Block Party, and many more.


Overall, participating in this walk is a great way to bond with your co-workers, meet new people, and get in some exercise.

For more pictures, check us out on Facebook at facebook.com/ourecwell/ and go to our photo album 7th Annual Poker Walk.

Did you miss out on the walk this year? Check out oakland.edu/recwell/well-being/employee-well-being/ next May to register for the walk if you are an OU employee.




Employee Spotlight: Sara Heines

Employee Spotlight (Sara Heines)

Sara is a sophomore here at Oakland University studying Mechanical Engineering . She has been working as a Member Services Assistant at the Rec since April of 2016.


Why did you want to work at the Rec?

I heard that the staff was one big family. Also, it is a good opportunity to work on communication skills.


What is your favorite part about working here?

I get to meet new people every day.


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

I am on the OU swim team, but I also love to volunteer at the K9 stray rescue league and I love to wakeboard. And scuba diving!


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

Having conversations with customers, giving tours, and getting to know my co-workers.


What are you looking forward to?

I’m looking forward to becoming an engineer and possibly working out of the country since I’m minoring in Spanish.


What are your plans for the future?

I plan to go to law school to be a patent attorney.


Name your top 3 workout songs

  1. Legend – The Score
  2. Ride- 21 Pilots
  3. Weak- AJR


What is your best tip for health and wellness?

Make sure to always have fun during your workout. Don’t beat yourself up; have fun with it.


Fun Fact:

I’ve scuba divided on shipwrecks that are 100+ years old.

Personal Trainer Prep Course Check-In

After wrapping up a seven week-long course, 14 students are now ready to move on to the next step of becoming a personal trainer.

A lot of people think it’s about lifting weights or doing cardio,” said Austin Standridge, fitness graduate assistant at the Rec Well who co-taught the course. “Personal trainers understand fitness is whole circle. Exercise includes much more than lifting weights and jogging on the track.”

Personal training can be a pretty sweet gig. Not only can people share their love of fitness with others, but the average yearly salary at a big corporate gym is $50,000 and personal trainers make their own hours.

In the personal trainer prep course hosted by OU Rec Well, Standridge said that a myriad of topics were covered, like exercise terminology and biomechanics. Half of the course took place in a typical classroom while the other half was spent applying practical knowledge from the classroom. Students also prescribed exercise to different clients with different needs.

Standridge said that he has complete faith that the students who took the prep course will pass the personal trainer certification exam “with flying colors”. In fact, one student has already been certified through ACSM. According to Standridge, most of the participants signed up to take certification exams in May.

“I hope students learned personal training is more than formulating an hour workout for a client,” Standridge said. “Personal training is about establishing a relationship with a client and achieving goals from there.”

OU Rec Well wishes everyone about to take a personal trainer certification exam the best of luck!

Employee Spotlight: Adam Kott

Employee-Spotlight-(Adam-Kott)Adam Kott started working at the Rec in October of 2016. He is a member services assistant. He is a freshman studying management information systems.

Why did you want to work at the Rec?
People are friendly here. They know that I am a student first.

What is your favorite part about working here?
It is a friendly work environment and co-workers are nice and helpful.

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

When you’re not at the Rec, what are some things you like to do?
Play Xbox with my roommate and study

What are you looking forward to?
Summer vacation

What are your plans for the future?
Achieve a degree in MIS

Name your top 3 workout songs
Bounce Back- Big Sean
Stronger- Kanye West
No Heart- 21 Savage

What is your best tip for health and wellness?
Try to make healthy choice one step at a time

Fun Fact:
In the spring you can catch me roller blading around campus

Get the leadership skills your future employer would really want to see

emerging leaders2Getting involved on Oakland University’s campus isn’t that hard. After all there are 325 student organizations on campus, according to Grizz Orgs as of early April 2017. There are quite a variety of interests that these organizations appeal to, but they all have one thing in common. They need leaders. They need presidents, secretaries, treasurers, and sometimes more.

So where does the OU Emerging Leaders Program come into all of this? Well the OU Emerging Leaders Program is not a club or student organization, but rather a program that teaches students the importance of leadership and gives the students the skills they need to be good leaders.

The program helps students develop useful skills and concepts that can be used to make them well rounded individuals. The leadership skills the students learn are applicable to many aspects of their lives including clubs in college, current jobs, and their future career paths.

The areas covered by the program this year included ethical leadership, servant leadership, purposeful leadership, empowering leadership practices, and being inclusive in practice and thought.

The program was designed by Marie VanBuskirk from University Recreation and Well-Being, and Facilitated by VanBuskirk and Emily DeLano from the Center for Student Activities (CSA) and Leadership.

The semester of events started off with a Welcome Reception and Emerging Leaders Kick-off. Now how many clubs have welcome receptions? Not many.

Kamara Bryant, from the Quicken Loans Family of Companies, and Glenn McIntosh, Vice President of Student Affairs at Oakland University, came together to kick off the semester with some inspiring words about leadership and some encouragement to network with all the speakers.

The impressive list of guest speakers this year included successful Oakland University alumni as well as the kick-off speakers, Kamara Bryant and Glenn McIntosh. Each speaker discussed a different topic and brought their own personal stories and experiences to share with the group. The students listened to each speaker as a group, but had the chance to participate in problem solving activities as well as network with each speaker before or after each event.

Bryan Barnett, Mayor of Rochester Hills, discussed ethical leadership with the students. Later on Nick Kristock, Philanthropist and founder of Fleece and Thank You, came to campus and spoke about servant leadership. Following Kristock was Napoleon Harrington, founder of Ambassador Counseling and public speaker, who talked about communicating through differences. The last guest speaker was Derek Dickow, founder of Steward Media, who discussed purposeful and empowering leadership. Each presenter shared personal life stories and experiences, challenging students to be purposeful leaders, and apply what they learned to their life and future aspirations.

This program was created after hearing many students aspire to be in leadership positions, but not having the words and knowledge to articulate the transferable skills and experiences to demonstrate they in fact are a leader. Through this program students learn that “leadership is really the process of working together with other people, while empowering others, having integrity, and being inclusive while you lead the team toward group goals ” stated Marie VanBuskirk, “Leadership is working with others for the common good of the team”.

The students learned that a leader wasn’t just a title but that being a leader is a process of working on inclusiveness, empowerment, and ethicality toward achieving the groups purpose.

Overall there were 129 applicants to the program, however only 40 were accepted into the program. There was an event each month that the students had to attend. 37 of those 40 students graduated from the program this year and were all congratulated at the CSA awards banquet this April.

To hear the perspective of the Emerging Leaders, and view their graduation assignment click here.

Pictured below are Marie VanBuskirk and Emily DeLano, who facilitated the program, at the CSA awards banquet.IMG_6557

The Best Stress Relievers on Campus

Finals are approaching. (Cue frenzied screaming.) In between frantically studying, working on final projects and presentations, and packing up your dorm, it can be hard to stop and sleep, much less relax. Fortunately, we’ve rounded up some easy, convenient and inexpensive ways to relax on campus.

Hammocks and benches around Bear Lake. When Michigan weather plays nice, loitering around Bear Lake can be invigorating and relaxing at the same time. Enjoy the fresh air and ducks and geese swimming.

Get a cup of tea in one of the many cafes. Try peppermint, chamomile or green tea.

Exercise at the Rec Center. “Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy.” Elle Woods was right! Whether going to a slow flow yoga class or running on the treadmill, the Rec Center is the place to release some endorphins.

Or walk around campus. Nature is great for stress relief, and OU has a whole lot of it. Summon your inner Disney princess (or prince) to see if any friendly woodland creatures will help you out with cleaning your house.

Indulge in a sweet treat. Stop by one of the many cafes to reward yourself for surviving that extra rough final.

Take advantage of the many stress relief programs. They’re all free and you can see them all here.The Wellness Suite in the Rec is also offering free stress kits (including crayons and coloring pages) throughout the month of April.  

Employee Spotlight: Kayla Andreski

Employee-Spotlight-(Kayla-Andreski)Kayla has worked at the Rec since September 2014. She is currently a member services assistant. She is a senior nursing major.


Why did you want to work at the Rec?
I already was using the Rec and wanted an on campus job so it seemed like a perfect fit.

What is your favorite part about working here?
I really enjoy my co-workers and the work.

What are your favorite Rec activities? (IM sports, GroupX, Street Teams, RLC, etc.)
I’m a big fan of GroupX classes.

When you’re not at the Rec, what are some things you like to do?
When I’m not at the Rec I like to sleep, watch Netflix, and do things with friends.

What fuels your shift? (music, food, people, etc.)
My great co-workers and patrons fuel my shift.

What are you looking forward to?
I am looking forward to graduating this year.

What are your plans for the future?
I would love to be a family practice nurse practitioner.

Name your top 3 workout songs
I usually listen to Pandora while working out but I like the Today’s Hits, Vance Joy, and Sam Smith stations.

What is your best tip for health and wellness?
Try to balance school and social life as well as you can.

Fun Fact:
My younger brother also works member services at the Rec.