Tag Archive | "Department of Wellness and Recreation"

Tags: , ,

University of Miami Recognized as Gold-Level ‘Exercise is Medicine’ Campus

CHAMP-stretchCORAL GABLES, Fla. (March 22, 2018)— The University of Miami has earned gold-level status for its Exercise is Medicine on Campus (EIMOC) programs, an initiative led by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and American Medical Association to promote physical activity and health on college campuses.

UM earned EIMOC’s highest recognition for creating partnerships between healthcare and exercise departments that provide physical-activity prescriptions and encourage students and employees to take advantage of recreational facilities and health and fitness programming.

The University is among 38 gold-level colleges and universities that will be recognized for their EIMOC programs at a special session, held in conjunction with the annual ACSM meeting in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on May 30.

“This recognition is a result of many collaborations of the entire University community to promote exercise,” said Tony Musto, director of fitness programs at the Herbert Wellness Center and UHealth Fitness and Wellness Center. “What is really impressive is that most of the programs and protocols that earned us this award have been in place for years, clearly showing how advanced we are.”

UM’s EIMOC initiative includes several programs and services hosted by the UM Wellness Centers for students, employees, and community members promoting safe, smart, and effective physical activity. Currently 500+ individuals participate in EIMOC activities between both UM campuses.

For individuals prescribed physical activity supervised by exercise professionals like physiologists, the Herbert Wellness Center and UHealth Fitness and Wellness Center offer the Supervised Exercise Program. Intended to improve cardiovascular fitness, muscular strength, mood, concentration, and sleep patterns, the Supervised Exercise Program targets individuals with cardiovascular risk factors such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and obesity.

Research shows that physically inactive older adults who become active can offset 50 percent or more of their physical loss during these years. Living Independently Through Fitness and Exercise (L.I.F.E.) at the Herbert Wellness Center is designed specifically for individuals 65 years of age or older to improve strength and flexibility, enhance activities of daily living, remain independent for as long as possible, and prevent falls.

Further, there are approximately seven to 10 million people worldwide living with Parkinson’s disease, and studies show that the repetitive rhythm and movements of cycling help decrease symptoms in Parkinson’s patients. Exercise helps people with Parkinson’s maintain balance, mobility, and daily living activity. Following its success at the UHealth Fitness and Wellness Center, the Herbert Wellness Center introduced Cycling for Parkinson’s, a program in line with the most current research indicating the benefits of cycling. The program features two one-hour cycling sessions a week where participants are able to keep a steady pace.

Another EIMOC initiative is SHAPE-UP, an incentive program designed to encourage participation in fitness and wellness programs. Full-time and regular part-time UM faculty and staff, and their spouses who have UM health insurance, are eligible to earn a 20 percent rebate on the cost of a membership by checking in and working out at either wellness center at least 10 times a month.

In order to coordinate these programs, the Herbert Wellness Center works with a committee of collaborators comprising colleagues from the Department of Wellness and Recreation, Student Health Services, the Student Counseling Center, Housing and Residential Life, the Sandler Center for Alcohol and Other Drug Education, and ’Canes Care for ’Canes. This committee creates programs to address overarching health and fitness needs for students and staff, utilizing the resources and expertise of each department.

To continue its legacy, UM continues to educate physicians and wellness professionals on the importance of EIMOC initiatives. Third-year medical students attend a mandatory Wellness Week as part of their general primary care clerkship. This five-day rotation includes nutrition education and smoking cessation but focuses on understanding EIMOC through a basic fitness assessment and consultation, a one-hour observation of a supervised exercise program, exercise prescription education for special populations, and explanation of and mandatory attendance to five various group exercise classes.

This is the first year ACSM has recognized UM’s EIMOC program, which provides the opportunity for campuses to enhance their image as a healthy academic environment, emphasizing the commitment to utilizing exercise as medicine to create a culture of wellness.


Posted in Honors, NewsComments Off

Tags: ,

Mini Canes Camp Registration Opens

Mini CanesCORAL GABLES, Fla. (March 15, 2018)Mini Canes Recreational Sports Camp, which runs for four, two-week sessions beginning June 11 at the University of Miami, is not your traditional sports camp. As a multi-award-winning camp, Mini Canes offers children ages 6 to 12 educational and recreational activities to help develop lifelong skills while having fun in a safe environment. Starting at 7:30 a.m. on Monday, March 19, UM employees and alumni can register their children at the Patti and Allan Herbert Wellness Center.

“Mini Canes is a multidimensional camp,” said Tom Soria, director of Mini Canes Camp at the Herbert Wellness Center. “Our campers are on the Coral Gables campus and learn a range of skills, from sports and swimming to art and cooking all with health, fitness and safety in mind.”

Campers are divided into groups by age and will participate in a variety of activities focused on sports, health and wellness. Depending on which session a camper enrolls, basketball, kickball, flag football, soccer and softball are among the sports taught. In addition to sports and games, campers engage in educationally focused activities such as wellness education, arts and crafts, cooking lessons and special events. Campers also take part in daily swim lessons.

“Camp offers a variety of educational learning opportunities, and daily swim lessons are just one of our main highlights,” Soria said. “Swimming is a vital skill that every child living in South Florida should master.”

Additionally, each day, campers create beautiful art projects using a collection of art materials and techniques that become increasingly challenging as the campers grow older. Once a week, campers learn how to read recipes and apply various cooking techniques while whipping up delicious treats.

At the end of every two-week session, camp culminates with an extravaganza performed by the campers. Parents, family and friends are invited to watch as their children sing, dance and act in a special-themed show.

The four two-week Mini Canes Camp sessions begin June 11. Parents have the option to sign their children up for any combination of sessions, depending on availability. Camp drop-off begins at 8:45 a.m., which coordinates with the UM workday. Before and after-care are available for additional fees.

Camp Session Dates

  • Session 1: June 11 – 22
  • Session 2: June 25 – July 6 (Closed Wednesday, July 4)
  • Session 3: July 9 – 20
  • Session 4: July 23 – August 3

Registration is available for all UM affiliates, including students, faculty, staff and alumni. To expedite registration, visit minicanes.miami.edu to download and complete the necessary enrollment packet before registering. Camper enrollment packets must be delivered in-person to the Mini Canes office on the second floor of the Herbert Wellness Center. Please be prepared to present your Cane Card and C# (or alumni association card) upon registration. Incomplete registration materials will not be accepted. For complete registration procedures, click here.



Posted in Enrichment, Events, NewsComments Off

Tags: ,

Tee It Up for the Annual Norm Parsons IM Golf Tournament

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (February 20, 2018) – Tee it up ’Canes! The Department of Wellness and Recreation will be hosting the third Annual Norman C. Parsons, Jr. Intramural Golf Tournament, open to members and non-members of the Herbert Wellness Center, on Friday, April 6.  The tournament, a two-person scramble, begins with a 1 p.m shotgun start at the Miccosukee Golf and Country Club. Proceeds from the tournament benefit the DWR Student Employee Development Fund.

The tournament honors the lasting impact Norm Parsons, the first executive director of the Department of Wellness and Recreation, had on the establishment of the Herbert Wellness Center. For 43 years, Parsons served the University of Miami and the Division of Student Affairs with dedication, distinction, and a commitment to the health and well-being of students, faculty, staff, and alumni.

“Norm was a strong advocate for all of our students,” said Tom Soria, associate director of recreational sports at the Herbert Wellness Center. “As the largest student employer on campus, we emphasize teaching our student employees useful and transferable skills. With this fund, we can now further support their personal and professional development.”

The entry fee—$40 for UM students and $75 for all others— includes a cart, green fees, range balls, a boxed lunch, and a goodie bag. Free transportation will be provided for a limited number of UM students living on campus who need transportation to the course.

For more information or to register for the tournament by the March 23 deadline, visit miami.edu/parsonsgolf.


Posted in Enrichment, Events, NewsComments Off

Tags: ,

Forum Addresses Well-Being, Health and Safety on College Campuses

Special to UM News

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (October 27, 2017)—With student and employee well-being as a central theme, a two-day conference hosted by the University of Miami’s Division of Student Affairs and Department of Wellness and Recreation examined strategies and best practices to foster a culture of health and safety on college campuses nationwide.

Held October 13-14 at the Herbert Wellness Center, the forum attracted 18 leaders from 12 colleges and universities and was co-hosted by the National Intramural and Recreational Sports Association (NIRSA) and the Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education (NASPA)—two organizations that recognize that a campus environment of healthy behaviors not only contributes to academic success but also plays an important role in forming and maintaining positive relationships in communities.

Representatives from the American College Health Association (ACHA) also attended and spoke at the forum, exchanging their experiences and perspectives on student and employee well-being.

NIRSA Past-President Kathleen Hatch facilitated the forum and encouraged dialogue about how to best align campus partnerships and resources to successfully integrate universal well-being into campus cultures.

NIRSA’s mission is to advocate for the advancement of recreation, sport, and wellness by providing educational and developmental opportunities, generating and sharing knowledge, and promoting networking and growth for their members. The organization also believes in transforming lives and inspiring the development of healthy communities worldwide.

The leading association for the advancement, health, and sustainability of the student affairs profession, NASPA has a similar mission with four guiding principles of integrity, innovation, inclusion, and inquiry. NASPA’s vision is to be the principal source of leadership, scholarship, professional development, and advocacy for student affairs.

UM’s Department of Wellness and Recreation strives to foster a lifestyle of responsible choices supporting the mind, the body, and the spirit in educational, wellness, and recreational programs through services and facilities for the University community.

“Wellness involves more than physical fitness—it’s about maintaining a balanced lifestyle,” said Scott Levin, UM’s executive director of wellness and recreation, who, along with Vice President for Student Affairs Pat Whitely, hosted the meeting. “At the Herbert Wellness Center, we offer programs such as group fitness classes, intramural sports, and weight training that focus on physical well-being as well as classes like cooking, meditation, mindfulness, and yoga that focus on mental well-being.”

All of the organizations present at the forum have missions aligning core values that attempt to grow and develop their community to make choices that promote a wholesome lifestyle. Through the forum, the organizations were able to develop content and resources to assist their community members in finding their wellness fit.



Posted in NewsComments Off

Wellness Staff Lends Expertise to National Committees

Tags: ,

Wellness Staff Lends Expertise to National Committees


From left are Tony Musto, Michelle Kasparian, and Tom Soria.

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (Aug. 3, 2016) –  As the higher education landscape becomes more complex and campus administrators face increasing challenges in their work, professional associations and committees provide University of Miami staff with opportunities to collaborate and learn from colleagues at other schools around the nation.

In addition to national conferences, published research and online resources, many of these professional associations present opportunities for their members to hold leadership positions within the organization. Recently, three staff members from the University of Miami’s Department of Wellness & Recreation have taken on such roles.

“With the mental and physical well-being of our students at the core of our division’s mission, it is especially important that the University of Miami is part of national conversations in the areas of fitness, wellness and recreation,” said Patricia A. Whitely, vice president for student affairs. “In addition to the Department of Wellness & Recreation, I am proud that staff members from all departments within the Division of Student Affairs continually lend their professional experiences and expertise to national committees and professional associations.”

Tony Musto, Ph.D., director of fitness programs for the Department of Wellness & Recreation, serves on the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) Exam Review Committee and is the co-chair of ACSM’s Clinical Exercise Physiologist Exam Team. Comprised of 10 faculty members, fitness center directors, and degreed exercise professionals from across the United States, the Exam Review Committee is the chief oversight committee for the development of ACSM’s certification exams for various levels of exercise professionals, including for personal trainers and group exercise instructors. The Exam Team is an extension of the review committee as its members serve as content experts for various sections of the ACSM Clinical Exercise Physiologist certification exam.

Michelle Kasparian, who joined the Department of Wellness & Recreation as the assistant director of group exercise and community classes in January 2015, was named to the ACSM Group Exercise Instructor Certification Exam Team. Kasparian’s role on the six-member team is to review the results of exam questions to ensure the exam is appropriate and defensible based on current research and standards of practice for group exercise instructors.

“I applied to be on the committee to make a greater contribution to the fitness industry, specifically in group exercise,” Kasparian said. “I love learning in my field by attending conferences and workshops, but serving on this committee gives me the ability to apply my knowledge and give back by ensuring these certified professionals are held to a high standard.”

With more than 20,000 certified members worldwide, ACSM is considered to be the “gold standard” of certifying organizations for exercise professionals around the world. Musto believes that he was selected for the committee because his experience is a balanced mix of academic and practical experience.

“ACSM is a well-respected organization and their certification is one of the most rigorous in the industry,” he said. “It’s one thing to hold a certification from ACSM, but it is another level to write the questions and design the exam itself, leaving an impact on the national organizations and its members.”

Tom Soria, assistant director of intramural sports and director of the Department of Wellness & Recreation’s Mini Canes Summer Camp, was recently appointed to the National Intramural Recreational Sports Association (NIRSA) Professional Registry Commission. With representatives from four other universities as well as from NIRSA’s national headquarters, this commission oversees the policies, standards, and other criteria for NIRSA’s Professional Registry. The registry serves as a credential program for NIRSA’s 4,500 members and is designed to recognize campus professionals who set the highest standard in collegiate recreation through continuous education and professional development.

“As professionals with a direct impact on our students’ college experiences, we must be aware of and understand current trends and issues affecting our students,” said Soria. “But we must also anticipate new issues that may arise before they even reach our own campus. NIRSA’s Professional Registry recognizes those campus recreation professionals who dedicate themselves to purposeful development within our field.”

The staff at the Patti and Allan Herbert Wellness Center represent diverse backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives. It is through their involvement with various national organizations that they work together to deliver exceptional fitness, wellness, and recreational programming for the University of Miami community.

“I support members of my team who want to get involved at the regional and national levels within their professional associations,” said Scott Levin, executive director for the Department of Wellness & Recreation. “We can better serve our students and other constituencies by becoming active members in these organizations, which are designed to bring together colleagues from around the country and the world for opportunities to share our experiences and expertise with each other.”


Posted in News, Priority: Home Page TeaserComments Off

  • Features
  • Tags
  • Popular
  • Subscribe
  • Subscribe to the Veritas RSS Feed
    Get updates to all of the latest Veritas posts by clicking the logo at the right.

    You can also subscribe to specific categories by browsing to a particular section on our site and clicking the RSS icon below each section's header.

UM Facebook

UM Twitter