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Employee Wellness

Oakland University Employee Wellness strives to support the enhancement and maintenance of Oakland University faculty and staff’s quality of life. In collaboration with campus and community resources, our goal is to provide you with valuable educational programs, resources, and activities that support your personal goals to live a healthy lifestyle.

Wellness programming is open to all Oakland University employees to participate.

Online Training - Be Well Points+ Members!

Due to the increased popularity of the Be Well Points+ program, the tracking and recording of points will now be done online, and each member will have access to record his or her own points!  Training sessions will be held on the following dates at 12:10 p.m. in the Rec Center Wellness Classroom:
July 22, 23, or 24
July 28, 29, or 30

All members will be required to attend one training regarding how to use the online tracker in order to be eligible to earn points in the Fall 2014 semester.  Training's will last no longer than 30 minutes, and you are more than welcome to bring your lunch to eat during the training time.  Registration: Please sign up here and reserve your spot today; space is limited in each session!

Employee Wellness Incentive Program

The goal of Be Well Points+ is to provide you with the opportunity to earn points through participating in wellness programs throughout the semester. Turn in your points toward an item of your choice that will motivate you to improve or maintain your healthy lifestyle. Be Well Points+ is an incentive program for all Oakland University employees. This is a program you must enroll into every year in order to earn points and receive incentives for wellness programs that you participate.

There are a number of ways to earn Be Well Points+ throughout the semester on Oakland University’s campus. If there is a wellness opportunity taking place, we encourage you to submit a BWP+ Program Points Request Form. If approved, the upcoming event you are planning to attend will be another opportunity for you to earn points towards incentives of your choice.

Below, you will find a list of Wellness Programming for the summer 2014 semester for which you are able to earn points. Next to the event/class/program, you will see an associated point value, and if applicable, the maximum amount of points you are able to earn for that specific program. You are eligible to earn a maximum of 200 points per semester.

Rules and Regulations
Registration Form
Pre Approved Programs Summer 2014
Program Request

BWP+ Incentives

Item #
 Teal Padfolio
 Black Recycle Lunch Bag
SUOU Red Stainless Water Bottle
SUOU Black Lunch Bag
SUOU Lunch Bag with Water Bottle
SUOU Red/Black Duffel Bag
SUOU Umbrella
Strawberry Stress Ball
Stainless Steel Tumbler
Lime Green/Black Tote Bag
 Grey/Black Duffel Bag
SUOU Gift Pack
Purple Dotted Lunch Bag
Purple Duffel Bag
OU Grey Blanket
 I Heart Clean Air T-Shirt


Fall 2014 Group X FitPass
White Tumbler

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Exclusive for OU Employees* – Meet privately with Registered Dietitian Debra Cavender to discuss your unique health and nutrition needs. Have a mini-health plan designed for you and gain an understanding of the science that validates:
  • Many medical problems can be treated by appropriate lifestyle and nutritional changes
  • There are some nutrition alternatives to medications and surgery
  • Asking key questions and reviewing options with a healthcare practitioner can give you better outcomes
Consultations are 40 minutes, and available at no cost to you. Appointments must be scheduled online and are available on a first come, first serve basis.

REGISTRATION: All sessions filled. Please check back for openings.

Consultation dates:
  • May 13, 2014: 12:15 p.m., 1:00 p.m., 1:45 p.m., and 2:15 p.m.
  • June 3, 2014: 10 a.m., 10:45 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 12:15 p.m.
  • June 17, 2014: 12:15 p.m., 1:00 p.m., 1:45 p.m., and 2:15 p.m.
  • July 22, 2014: 10 a.m., 10:45 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 12:15 p.m
One, 40-minute consultation per employee per semester, please.

Be Well Points+ Members – Earn 10 points per consultation. 

*If you are not a benefits-eligible employee and are unable to do an online registration through the Campus Rec website, please email Stephanie at or call ext. 4968.

Nutrition Consultation Cancellation Policy: Due to an extreme number of last minute nutrition consultation cancellations, a cancellation policy has been developed.  Effective May 1, 2014: Any employee wishing to cancel their appointment must do so within 48 hours of their scheduled appointment time.  Cancellations may be made by calling Stephanie Willis at 248.370.4968 or email at with no penalty.  Any persons making a cancellation less than 48 hours in advance will be prohibited from booking another nutrition consultation for 6 months past the date of their original appointment. 
**This policy is subject to change at any time by the Assistant Director of Programs or the Wellness Coordinator in Campus Recreation.

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Employee Poker Walk

Thank you to everyone who participated in the Poker Walk this year to celebrate National Employee Health and Fitness Day!  We can't wait to see you next year!

Poker Walk 2014 Results:

Top Poker Hands:
1st Place: Omar Brown El - Center for Multicultural Initiatives
2nd Place: Cassandra Barragan - Institutional Research
3rd Place: Chris Stiller - Health Sciences
TIE 4th Place: Steve Vamossy - University Services
TIE 4th Place: Linda Wallace - Strategic Programs
6th Place: Kathy Angel - Communications & Marketing

Best Team Name:
1st Place: "Talk Moodle to Me" - e-Learning and Instructional Support
2nd Place: "The Dirtbags" - Grounds
3rd Place: "The Gradapillars" - Graduate Admissions

Best Team Costume:
1st Place: "The 3 Amigas" - Computer Science and Engineering
2nd Place: "The ERL Suess-ka-teers" - Educational Resources Lab
3rd Place: "Risky SBA Business" - School of Business Administration

Most Enthusiastic Teams:
1st Place: "The Provost's Princesses and a Prince" - Academic Affairs
2nd Place: "Super Regi-stars" - Registrar's Office
3rd Place: "Detroit Spirit" - First Year Advising Center

OU Moves: Walk to Mackinac
Let's get moving this summer with OU Moves: Walk to Mackinac!  This is a walking program open to all OU Faculty and Staff designed to simply get you out of your seat and moving!  Participants will track their steps using a pedometer and then enter their steps online everyday.  
  • June 2 - July 25 (8 week program)
  • All participants will receive a pedometer
  • Online Tracking through Google Form
  • PRIZES!!!
  • Earn BWP+ Points
The top five individuals who walk the most steps over the 8-week program will get to select some OU gear of their choice!
  • 1st Place - $75 value
  • 2nd Place - $50 value
  • 3rd Place - $40 value
  • 4th Place - $30 value
  • 5th Place - $25 value

In addition to prizes, all BWP+ members are eligible to earn points for each day steps are entered online.

  • 6,000 - 7,999 steps = 1 point/day
  • 8,000 - 9,999 steps = 2 points/day
  • 10,000+ steps = 3 points/day

For tracking instructions, please email Stephanie at

Summer Outdoor Yoga
This OU Employee only outdoor yoga class offers you the opportunity to start your mornings feeling energized and refreshed!  All fitness levels are welcome to attend; no experience is necessary.  This class is provided to all OU Faculty and staff at no cost. 
  • Thursday mornings
  • June 12 - July 31
  • 6:30 a.m.
  • Location: TBD

Remember to bring: Yoga mat*, towel, water, and your Grizz ID**

Register today. 

*It is recommended you bring your own yoga mat to class, however a limited number of mats will be available for you to borrow for the duration of the class.

**In case of inclement weather conditions, class will be moved indoors to the Recreation Center.  Your Grizz ID is needed in order to enter the building.

Please contact Stephanie Willis at or ext. 4968 with any questions. 

Meet the Instructor: Jonathan (an Oakland University Employee in the First Year Advising Center) has been practicing yoga since 2008, and received his RYT-200 certification through Red Lotus Yoga in Rochester, Michigan.  While his foundation of yoga education lies in Ashtanga yoga, he brings a sense of diversity and integration to his classes in an attempt to help people of all backgrounds find their most authentic self through yoga by exploring flexibility of not only the body but of the mind as well.

OU Night at Intentional Yoga
Join us at Intentional Yoga in Rochester as we learn and practice yoga together!  OU Night at Intentional Yoga is open to all OU faculty and staff and all yoga/fitness levels!

Class Description: Feeling a little frantic lately? Find challenge in stillness. The iY Earth Flow puts you back in touch with the ground beneath your feet. Here we'll focus on slowing things down. This class will incorporate slower-paced series of powerful postures with longer holds and deeper breaths. By cultivating patience, physical strength and mental stability, you'll feel more grounded in no time. This class is accessible to all levels. Every teacher has their own style, so come and try them all! 

Location: Intentional Yoga, 1394 Walton Boulevard Rochester Hills Plaza
, Suite 13, Rochester Hills, MI 48306

Tuesday, July 1, 2014 at 6:30 p.m.

Cost: $10 (To be paid in person at Intentional Yoga on the day of class)

Registration available here.

OU Employee Team Brooksie Way: Running & Walking Groups
Are you looking to join a non-competitive walking, jogging, or running group? Join other OU faculty and staff as we work together and encourage each other to run or walk across the finish line at the Brooksie Way!  Join our team and participate in weekly runs or walk to get ready for race day.  This program is designed to build support and comradery amongst the OU employee community; it is not a competition!  A printable flyer with more information is available here.

June 30 through September 25

Cost: $10

Registration cost includes:
  • $20 towards your registration cost for the Brooksie Way race of your choice (5K would then be free!)*
  • 13 weekly meetings with your running/walking group
  • Employee Team Brooksie Way t-shirt
  • Pasta Party on Thursday, September 25
  • Specialized Workshops throughout the duration of the program

  • *Please, DO NOT register for the Brooksie Way race on your own.  In order to receive the $20 credit, we will register you for the race of your choice.

    Registration Information:
    When you register for this program, you will be asked to rank three (3) days and times that work best for you in order to be placed in a group for your weekly walk or run. Participants must attend 10 out of 13 weekly meetings in order to be eligible for the $20 credit and t-shirt. You are free to walk, jog, or run at your own pace during the weekly meetings, but we will be working together as a team to support and encourage one another.

    Registration available here.

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    February 2014 Spotlight

    Mark Bertacchi

    Department: Skilled Trades - Electrician
    Years at OU: 15

    While talking with Mark he described the time he decided to get pro-active about his health was around the same time health related issues seemed to keep piling up. He was ready to get healthy and when he saw a postcard while working in the shop at OU for a  wellness fair at the Rec he decided to go. After the fair he noticed Debbie Cavender, our Registered Dietician, at a table with a sign that read "Know your Numbers". Mark decided to sit down with Debbie and begin his journey to better health. As he puts it, he wants to "stay young as long as he can".

    Mark participates in many programs at the Rec. He has met with Debbie for Nutrition Consultations and made some major changes to his diet and lifestyle. He enjoys swimming once a week and was involved in the "Maintain Don't Gain" employee wellness program during the winter break. Tonight he is branching out and taking his first yoga class and says he's going to try cycling soon! He has had great progress getting healthy and has even reversed some of his health problems completely!

    He explained he finds motivation to stay healthy with support from his daughter, friendly staff at the Rec and through the use of the wellness programs here at OU. His advice for others thinking about getting healthy, "Find what's fun and you'll continue with it!"

    Fun fact: Mark loves the water. Outside of working at OU he's a Coastguard Auxillarist, helping to patrol Lake St. Clair in the summer and owns a boat. He also participates in his church programs and is an active member of the Knights of Columbus.

    March 2014 Spotlight

    Kath Borg

    Department: University Library - Executive Secretary for the Dean
    Years at OU: 8

    Kath first started participating in employee wellness when Shape Up OU was implemented in 2006. Over the years, Kath has become an avid wellness participant, enjoying a variety of programs and events. Some of Kath’s favorite wellness programs include Nutrition Consultations with Debbie, Maintain Don't Gain During the Holidays, Walking Programs, iPause, Restorative Yoga, Lunch & Learns, and RAD. 

    Kath says actively participating has allowed her to gain the benefits of a very healthy lifestyle, pay less money towards health insurance, she has more energy to keep up with her grandchildren, and her clothes fit much better! In the next year, Kath’s goal is simple: MAINTAIN! By maintaining her current healthy status, Kath hopes to bike across Michigan with her family, continue her love of hiking, and play with her grandchildren as much as possible.

    Fun fact: Kath is working hard toward finishing up her degree in Integrative Studies this December! In addition, Kath also holds an Associate’s degree in ministry and is a youth minister in her free time. Finally, Kath loves to snowshoe in the winter and kayak in the summer!

    April 2014 Spotlight

    The First Year Advising Center

    Department Members: Sara Webb, Yoel Joa, Adam Duberstein, Brittani Hobbs, Amy Jacovetti, Jennifer Janes, Bill Johnson, Derek Moreno, Roberta Rea, Anna Mrdeza, Scott Kokotovich, Adrienne Spitzer, Jonathan Mann, Sarah Bowen, and David Ollie Ray
    The First Year Advising Center is one department that stands out at Oakland University when it comes to the importance of health and wellness at work and at home!
    Sara Webb, Director of the FYAC, says, “To be the best wecan be in all areas of our life, including work, we need to take time to focus on our overall health and well-being.  It’s important to me that I set an example of work/life balance, take time to rejuvenate, and participate in the resources OU has to offer in these areas. I’m fortunate to work with an extremely dedicated team who sees the benefits of OU’s wellness programs and are excited and willing to participate.”

    Some wellness program favorites among the FYAC staff include: 30 Day Challenge, Group X Classes, The 35 Group X Challenge, and Walking Club. In addition to participating in wellness programs, members of the FYAC describe the importance of participating in health and wellness programs.  Improved mood, feeling less fatigued, lower insurance costs, being a healthy role model for their children, improved relationships with family, friends, and co-workers, and being able to be healthy while enjoying treats in moderation were just some of the things mention by the FYAC staff as to why they place a high importance on health and wellness.

    Fun Facts about Members of the FYAC: Brittani Hobbs (Communications Coordinator) loves sports cars! She hopes to own a Corvette or Lexus LFA – or both! Jonathan Mann (Office Assistant) is an Adjunt Faculty of Music and Arts at MCC, in addition, he has ran a few marathons, including running 30.30 miles on his 30th birthday! Yoel Joa (Assistant Director) has been married to his wife for 7 years, and come to find out , they were both at the same New Kids on the Block concert when they were 8 years old! Anna Mrdeza (Academic Adviser) is starting a student affairs fashion blog! Amy Jacovetti (Coordinator, Orientation & New Student Programs) has competed in two full marathons, one half marathon, and a sprint triathlon! Roberta Rea (Academic Adviser) used to play Rugby for Grand Valley State University! Adrienne Spitzer (Academic Adviser) completed the 35 Group X Challenge this semester!

    July 2014 Spotlight

    Ashley Samson

    Department: School of Nursing - Event Coordinator
    Employed at OU: 8 months

    Ashley first heard about wellness programs at OU when she started to receive emails and postcards telling her about available programs.  Running and yoga are some of her favorite activities, so she immediately signed up for those opportunities! Some of the programs Ashley has participated in include: Outdoor Summer Yoga and the Brooksie Way Employee Running Group.  Ashley says she loves to exercise in the morning, and participating in these programs before her workday starts, always puts a positive spin on her day.  She has more energy, focus, and doesn’t feel the effects of sitting at her desk all day.  

    One of the biggest impacts wellness programs has had for Ashley can be seen in her pocketbook.  Ashley says, “If I were to calculate how much money I have spent on yoga classes, road races, and gym memberships over the last decade, I would probably be horrified.  Making these programs available to employees at no cost says a lot about the University and its’ commitment to the health of its’ employees, and it’s a real budget-save for me.”   

    Fun facts: Ashley is working and training hard to build up her yoga practice in addition to running the Detroit Marathon in October!  Ashley loves trivia, especially about U.S. Presidents; as a child she remembers eating her lunch on a placemat that illustrated all (at the time) 42 Presidents.  Ashley’s goal is to visit all of the Presidential Libraries in her lifetime, especially if one ends up being located in Hawaii so she will have a nice and warm vacation to plan! 

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    Online Registration is required if you wish to attend any Lunch & Learn session. Be Well Points+ Members – Earn 5 points per Lunch & Learn session you participate in!

    If you are not a benefits-eligible employee and are unable to do an online registration through the Campus Rec website, please email Stephanie at or call ext. 4968.

    Sign up online for either nutrition or non-nutrition focused Lunch & Learns.

    Lunch and Learn sessions will return
    in the Fall 2014 Semester. 

    Please check back in August for more information.

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