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.

GroupX Spotlight: Yoga for Relaxation with Paula

What is the class? A slow-flow yoga class that encourages stretching and creating stillness.

When and where:

Days: Wednesday

Where: Studio 919

Duration: 1 hour


How does this class improve your body? Practicing yoga is great to gain strength and flexibility, however, my practice and in many of my classes we practice balance. Balance of the body, and balance of the mind as well.  Yoga encourages quieting the mind and developing stillness, which in this sometimes chaotic or over stimulated world of always being “on” or “plugged in”, it’s nice to learn how to create that balance and stillness to carry off your mat and into your daily life.

What’s your favorite thing about teaching GroupX classes? The students, their energy and the amazing transformation in their expressions and energy from the beginning to the end of class.   

What made you want to teach GroupX in the first place?  I was working with a trainer that taught spin classes and we weaved the spin class and my training sessions together, after the first class, I was hooked. Shortly after, I received a G.E.A.R Indoor Cycling certification to be able to teach as well.  Spin/Cycling and yoga are completely different and I enjoy both of them so much, that it’s an absolute joy to share them with our students.   

6 Ways to be Financially Healthy

What does it mean to be financially well? According to Consumer Finance, there are four elements of financial well-being. These include control over your day-to-day and monthly finances, the capacity to absorb financial shock, financial freedom to make choices to enjoy life, and being on track to meet your financial goals.

College students are at a tumultuous point in their lives where they may be managing their own money independently for the first time. According to a study done by the Journal of Family and Economic Issues, “Young adults age 18–25 are in a distinct life-cycle stage. This period, known as emerging adulthood, is characterized by major life-changing experiences, including college. In the midst of these transitional life events, money, and, in particular, the credit system they have gained access to, unarguably plays a central role in shaping the attitudes they form and behaviors they adopt, not only toward financial management but also toward life in general.”

Here are 5 ways college students can make themselves financially well now and maintain that well-being in the future:

  1. First of all, check your spending habits and cut out mindless spending. Are you dropping $50 a month on McDonald’s? Try meal planning, which is far less expensive (and healthier) than the drive-thru.
  2. If your bank has an app, download it on your smartphone. It’s easier to track your spending and saving when it’s right in the palm of your hand.
  3. Create a budget and stick to it. There are many free budgeting apps out there to help you, like Good Budget, Level Money, or Mint.  
  4. Start creating an emergency fund. If something unexpected happens, then you always have a cushion. According to The Vanguard Group, an emergency fund is between three and six months of living expenses. Even putting aside as little as $10 a month helps!
  5. Take advantage of financial help on campus, like Student Financial Services or the OU Credit Union.They have financial literacy programs aimed directly at students to build credit and create financial success.
  6. Be patient and stick with the budgeting system that works best for you. Soon, saving will become second nature.

GroupX Spotlight: Yin Yoga with Mia

What is the class? Yin Yoga is a style that focuses on holding postures, or asanas, for an extended period of time.

When and where:

Days: Sunday

Where: Studio 919

Duration: 1 hour

How does this class improve your body? It challenges both the body, and mind to help maintain a peaceful and balanced state. The constant deep breathing in Yin Yoga helps to strengthen the body from the inside out.

What’s your favorite thing about teaching GroupX classes? My favorite thing about teaching GroupX classes is the sense of community. I have a few regulars at my classes now who are helping to create an awesome environment and a different experience each week. I love talking with my students after classes and getting to know them! It is one hour out of all of our weeks that it filled with nothing but peace, mindfulness, and great energy!

What made you want to teach GroupX in the first place? Yoga became a huge part of my life very quickly. It has helped me in so many ways and I continue to learn more about myself through my personal yoga practice each time I step onto my mat. I decided to teach GroupX with the hope that more people will try yoga and fall in love with it! I want to show everyone who takes one of my classes that yoga truly is for everyone and can benefit us in so many amazing ways!!