While many students spent their summers doing internships, going on vacation or simply relaxing, the Division of Student Services spent their summer differently. Between faculty and staff across different offices, 43 members participated in “Step Up with Student Services.”
It was a competition created by Cheryl McCloskey, assistant director of housing operations and marketing, who came up with the idea after seeing her colleagues walking around campus with Fitbits.
“It was an idea I had over the summer when I noticed so many of our division members wore Fitbits and other fitness tracking devices,” McCloskey said. “I approached Dr. [Tracy} Gottlieb about the idea and she was totally in support of it because she’s a big walker herself.”
The contest ran from July 11 to Aug. 29. Through the blistering summer heat, the participants were able to pull through and exceed McCloskey’s expectations. With each person averaging about 65,030 steps per week, all the participants together took 19,248,810 steps.
Gottlieb, vice president of Student Services and one of the competitors, brought a new category to the competition. “Beat the Veep” was a winning category that encouraged others to exceed Gottlieb’s step count.
“The employees in my division know that I like to walk and that I log lots of steps every week,” Gottlieb said in an email interview. “So the catch was, who can walk more than the Veep?”
McCloskey said Gottlieb averaged 94,000 steps per week, which is higher than the 70,000 steps recommended by the American Heart Association.
Marc Gordon, coordinator for scheduling and events, won for “Most Steps in the Division” and consistently won “Beat the Veep.” Gordon took 1,598,581 steps, averaging 199,823 steps per week, triple the average of his competitors.
Gordon said he enjoyed the experience since it allowed him to meet people from other departments and improve his health.
“It’s good for morale boosting,” he said. “You would talk to people like, ‘Good job, Marc,’ or ‘Keep it up!’ from different areas because sometimes you only talk to people in your own department.
It’s a good way to interact with each other and it’s a contest that benefits you.”
McCloskey said the competition also impacted her in a positive way.
“It felt really good to be a part of something that was helping to build a team amongst my colleagues, but also to get myself healthier,” she said.
Katherine Segovia can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.