A Healthy Undertaking

New Ohio Wesleyan initiative supports recreation, fitness, health education

As part of the Healthy Bishop Initiative, the fitness center at Stuyvesant Hall is open for more hours each day. (Photo courtesy of OWU’s Office of Marketing and Communication)

A committee of Ohio Wesleyan University students, faculty, and staff have joined forces to form the Healthy Bishop Initiative—an ongoing program to study how campus resources and programs can be improved to encourage recreation, fitness, and healthy lifestyles among the OWU community.

This effort was prompted by a request to administration from WCSA (Wesleyan Council on Student Affairs), says Sharif Kronemer ’12, WCSA vice president.

“The student body expressed an overwhelming interest and concern for the health and fitness needs on campus,” Kronemer explains. “It was clearly too large a student concern for WCSA not to work with the University on various health- and fitness-related fronts.”

Kronemer, a neuroscience major from Silver Spring, Maryland, co-chairs the Healthy Bishop Initiative with Vice President of Student Affairs Craig Ullom.

“We are very excited about bringing together this exceptional group of student leaders, faculty, and staff to develop a blueprint for what it means to be a Healthy Bishop and what we need to do to enrich opportunities for our community to more easily and completely engage in a healthy lifestyle,” Ullom says.

The four areas under study include ecology, services, recreation and fitness, and health education. Separate committees have been formed to study each topic.


Chair – Brad Trees ’86, professor of physics and astronomy. Committee members include Ullom, Dustin Rudegeair, athletic facility and summer camp director; and Chardae Spencer ’11.


Chairs – Emily Mowry-Dobran, counselor/substance prevention programmer, and Marsha Tilden, director of the wellness center. Committee members include Amanda Stewart, residential life coordinator, and Gene Castelli, senior director of dining services.

Recreation and Fitness

Chair – Cassie Cunningham, director of the intramural sports and recreation program. Committee members include Kronemer, Alina Ruzmetovia ’11, Carly Shields ’13, and Nancy Knop, physical education professor.

Health Education

Chairs – Vicki DiLillo, associate professor of psychology, and Chris Fink, assistant professor of physical education. Committee members include Hannah Berger-Butler ’11, Jillian Prusa ’12, and Mona Spalsbury, office manager for the student involvement office.

The committees are completing inventory of current conditions and practices, evaluating staffing and resources, and recommending action plans and timetables for implementation. They also are studying similar programs at other institutions.

Significant improvements are already in the works. In addition to increasing the hours of operation for the Fitness Center at Stuyvesant Hall, the Healthy Bishop Initiative will bring a speaker to campus on October 19 to discuss nutrition and its correlation with athletic performance. Chartwells, OWU’s dining services contractor, has provided funding for the visit by Tim Wierman of the sports nutrition Web site “Eat to Compete.” The time and location for this event were not available at the time of this publication.

The OWU Intramural Sports and Recreation Program also was re-evaluated over the summer by Kronemer and Cunningham, who also serves as head coach for the OWU women’s softball team.

Two students now will be paid to help coordinate and create a more structured intramural program. Matt Martin ’13 of New Brighton, Pennsylvania, is the student intramural director. A second student intramural coordinator is being recruited to assist with planning details.

Read more about the intramural sports program.

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