a Good Example
With another new year
approaching, a range of resolutions will soon be declared.
Quit smoking. Tame debt. Take a class. What’s yours?
Those in the Office of Admission already have a plan.
It’s among the most common New Year’s resolutions:
This year, I’m going to get fit.
That objective echoed in the halls of the Office of Admission
earlier this year when staff members were asked to post their
resolutions on a bulletin board for all to see. The eventual
result was an office-wide fitness challenge in which 20 admission
staff members committed to sticking to an exercise regimen
of walking or running.
They called it “Fit to Admit,” explained
Karen Kristof, senior associate director of admission,
and a challenge participant. It took a while to initiate
the challenge after their resolutions were posted, but
at the beginning of last August, admission staffers pledged
to walk or jog at least 10 miles for four consecutive weeks.
Participants were eligible for prize drawings each week
and a grand prize drawing at the conclusion of the challenge.
The admission office fitness challenge was the idea of Maureen
Pine, assistant director of admission, who joined the Smith
staff after coaching basketball for 18 years at Trinity College.
“She quickly became an informal fitness mentor to
the office,” recalled Kristof, “part personal
trainer, part cheerleader and part expert on all things athletic.”
Pine learned that while
some admission staff members had been maintaining regular
exercise routines, others were just beginning, said Kristof.
That’s when Pine launched
the idea of a group challenge.
That first challenge was
so successful that the office quickly decided to go for
more. “Halfway through the challenge,
it became apparent that we could aim higher than 800 miles,” said
Kristof. So in October, Pine issued an updated challenge
to her cohorts: log a total of 1,000 miles in four weeks,
an average of more than 13 miles per participant each week.
“We didn’t quite make it that time,” said
Kristof, “but we came in with a respectable 979 miles.”
The main goal of the challenges was not necessarily the
number of miles literally walked or run, explained Pine.
Rather it was about encouraging fun, health and the pursuit
of a team objective.
Meanwhile, admission staffers inevitably got to know each
other better and strengthened their ability to collaborate
as a result of their common participation.
So what will the admission
office’s 2009 resolution
“More applications and more miles!” declared
Deb Shaver, director of admission.