From left are Massimiliano Galeazzi, Elizabeth Soriano, Laila Reed, Jacqueline-Marie Mathieu, Samer Ahmed Zafar, Titanva Ramsingh-Pierce, President Shalala, Denice Cruz-Rodriguez, Yenisel Garcia, Miriam Lipsky, and Humberto Franquiz
CORAL GABLES, Fla. (May 14, 2015) – President Donna E. Shalala hosted her final Walking ’Canes luncheon last Thursday at the CanesZone in the Hecht-Stanford Dining Hall. This annual luncheon recognizes the top participants in the University’s Walking ‘Canes program that begins each January.
In addition to President Shalala, the top walkers, who earned points for meeting step goals and losing weight, were joined by Patricia A. Whitely, vice president for student affairs, Scott Levin, executive director of the Patti and Allan Herbert Wellness Center and the UHealth Fitness and Wellness Center, and staff members of the Herbert Wellness Center, including Tony Musto, who developed the program 12 years ago.
“Sitting is the new smoking,” said Musto, director of fitness programs at the Herbert Wellness Center and UHealth Fitness & Wellness Center. “Many UM employees underestimate the powerful impact walking can have on their health. Walking ’Canes is designed to encourage participants to be more active throughout their normal day, without necessarily having to go to a gym.”
This year’s top participants, many of whom participated in Walking ’Canes for the first time, represented a variety of University departments and spanned both the Coral Gables and Miller School campuses. They are:
- Denice Cruz-Rodriguez, administrative assistant in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
- Elizabeth Soriano, senior administrative assistant in the Department of Public Health Sciences
- Humberto Franquiz, budget manager in the Department of Real Estate and Facilities
- Jacqueline-Marie Mathieu, senior medical biller in the Department of Pediatrics
- Laila Reed, clinical division administrator in the Department of Orthopaedics
- Massimiliano Galeazzi, professor and associate chair for the Department of Physics
- Miriam Lipsky, lecturer in the Department of Teaching and Learning
- Samer Ahmed Zafar, web developer for the College of Arts and Sciences
- Titanya Ramsingh-Pierce, executive assistant in the Office of the Vice President for Information Technology
- Yenisel Garcia, credentialing specialist in the Department of Credentialing
This year’s prizes included airline tickets courtesy of UM’s Business Services and tickets to an event at the BankUnited Center, courtesy of Global Spectrum. BUC tickets were raffled off to Galeazzi and Reed. As the top two point earners, Franquiz and Soriano were awarded the roundtrip airline tickets.
As a group, those at the luncheon increased their average daily step count by almost 4,000 steps. That equates to walking two more miles each day and burning an average of 200 extra calories. On average, a person can expect to lose up to 20 pounds over the course of a year simply by walking those extra steps each day.
“The program was a kick-start for me,” said Franquiz, the top point-earner who lost 26 pounds while participating in the program. “It encouraged me to be more active and it really helped me. Even my dogs benefited from the extra walks!”
More information about Walking ’Canes is available online at www.miami.edu/walkingcanes.