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Spring ‘Wellness’ Series Offered


In keeping with a College priority of wellbeing, each semester SUNY Cortland offers weekly encouragement to the campus and community to pursue a lifetime of good health.

The Spring 2014 “Wellness Wednesday Series” will feature speakers and panels, informational fairs, self-help workshops, demonstrations and other programs intended to encourage campus and community members to learn more about health and wellness.

Programs continue through the spring semester with topics including yoga for beginners; fitness approaches for individuals of all sizes and physical conditions; hazing and how to avoid it in the college experience; avenues to healthy relationships; careers in the health professions; using social media to improve, not harm, one’s future professional reputation; and alternative means of achieving better health, including tai chi.

Primarily sponsored by the Health Promotion Office and the Student Development Center, the series will take place on Wednesdays at 7 p.m. in Corey Union Exhibition Lounge, unless otherwise noted. The events are free and open to the public.

working out at the gym
SUNY Cortland students relax in the gym during a break in the game.

On Jan. 29 Louise Mahar, the College’s assistant director of recreational sports for fitness, will offer “An Intro to Yoga.” Participants will experience a beginner-level yoga class and should dress in loose, comfortable clothing and bring a towel.

LeAlan Jones, a national speaker, journalist and 2010 Green Party candidate for the U.S. Senate, will address “What Will the Collective Voice of a Generation Have To Say?” on Feb. 5 in the Corey Union Function Room. Jones is the lead author of Our America: Life And Death On The South Side Of Chicago, one of the College’s two common-reads for the 2013-14 academic year. “Inter/Action,” the common read theme for 2013-14, starts from the premise that not all Americans are always given an equal opportunity to speak their piece. However, as Jones and co-author Lloyd Newman state in Our America, “You must learn Our America as we must learn Your America, so that maybe, someday, we can become one.” Jones’ talk is co-sponsored by the Cultural and Intellectual Climate Committee (CICC), which organized the common read program.

On Feb. 12, the College’s Multicultural Life and Diversity Office will present “Speak Up/Speak Out: Inclusive Language — Saving Lives and Building Communities.” 

National speaker Tracy Maxwell will offer real stories of hazing, its harms and the impact on both hazers and their victims, at 7: 30 p.m. on Feb. 19, in the Function Room. Maxwell’s talk, “A Conversation About Hazing,” is intended to help students realize how hazing is the complete antithesis of all they proclaim themselves to be. The event is co-sponsored by Campus Activities and Greek Affairs.

National presenter Ragen Chastain will present options for health, happiness and high self-esteem for individuals of all sizes and fitness levels at 7:30 p.m. on Feb. 26 in the Function Room. Chastain will combine humor with hard facts in her talk, “The Positive Body.” She will share a depth of knowledge of weight- and health-related issues, coupled with her personal story of overcoming an eating disorder to become an elite, plus-sized athlete.

On March 5, the College’s team of health promotion interns will staff “Safe Spring Break” tables from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the Corey Union first floor. The students assisting the Health Promotion Office will offer fun activities and helpful hints for a safe and healthy spring break.

SUNY Cortland graduates who have embarked on careers in the health professions will return to speak with students on campus March 19. Part of the Alumni Speaker Series that is co-sponsored by Career Services and Alumni Affairs, “Health Professions Panel” participants will share how they got from SUNY Cortland to where they are today. Students will be offered insight into the health professions and gain valuable advice directly from working professionals.

On March 26 Michele Baran, the College’s assistant director of career services and online operations specialist, will offer pointers on how to maximize a positive professional brand and minimize online regrets. Her presentation, “Like a Tattoo: Digital Dirt, Social Media and Your Personal Brand,” shares ideas about what smart students want to put on their social media site and what they would be well advised to remove.

At Raquette Lake
Recreation on the high ropes course at Camp Huntington in Raquette Lake is one of many ways SUNY Cortland students work out, relax and unwind. In this picture, one student helps another with her helmet strap.

Don McPherson, a 2008 NCAA College Football Hall of Fame inductee and former Syracuse University quarterback, will demonstrate how to challenge the narrow expectations of masculinity, nurture positive language and understand masculine identity on April 2 in the Function Room. His talk, “You Throw Like a Girl,” focuses on nurturing positive language and understanding of masculine identity. With testimony before the U.S. Congress, appearances on national news and the Oprah Winfrey show, and lectures across North America, the former Philadelphia Eagles quarterback who finished second in voting for the 1987 Heisman Trophy has reached more than 1 million people with messages that address complex social issues. The event is co-sponsored by Students Active For Ending Rape (SAFER).

Members of the Ithaca Branch of the Taoist Tai Chi Society of the USA will offer a Taoist Tai Chi demonstration on April 9. The event will serve as an introduction to an ancient Chinese lineage of body movements designed to improve health and well-being.

A panel of students and faith leaders will describe their journey in faith, from childhood to adulthood, on April 16. The “Transitions in Faith: Becoming an Adult” panel will include campus ministers Shawn Allen and Rev. Vicki Johnson. The seminar encompasses the rituals some individuals have followed and considers the questions with which they have wrestled. The session includes those who have chosen a different religion from their parents or rejected formal religion, redefining themselves as “spiritual but not religious,” secularist humanist or atheist. 

On April 23, a College team of student affairs sustainability committee and health promotion interns will staff a “Green Days Fair” from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the Corey Union first floor. The students assisting the Residential Life and Housing Office and the Health Promotion Office will offer fun activities and helpful hints for being green.

For more information or accommodation to attend an event, contact Catherine Smith, the College’s health educator, in Van Hoesen Hall, Room B-1, or at 607-753-2066.