Student Staff Spotlight on Meg Rux

Hometown: Chicago, IL

 Majors: International Studies and Strategic Communication

Minors: Spanish and International Business

Meg Rux, a senior graduating in a few weeks, is one of our most loved group fitness instructors at the Rec. This year, she had the honor of being voted Group Fitness Instructor of the Year by her peers. She is extremely passionate about her job and truly cares about her students’ wellness, that’s why we wanted to learn more about her before her bittersweet departure.

When did you become a group fitness instructor?         

I finished my training after sophomore year, so I started teaching Kickboxing my junior year.

What’s your favorite class to teach?

This semester I’m teaching Kettlebell, Kickboxing, and Hard Core Abs, so out of those, my favorite is definitely Kettlebell. However, of all the classes I’ve taught, I think my favorite is Cardio Blast.

What’s something valuable that you’ve learned during your time here at the Rec?

One thing for sure would be adaptability because a lot of things change, either when you’re in class, right before class or on day-by-day schedule. I have a good team working with me, in addition to Shannon who is a great mentor, and both have helped me learn to take things as they come. I have also learned that when it comes to class, getting that endorphin high can change anyone’s mood. I really think getting your endorphin high has a great impact on me and on the patrons I teach.

What’s the thing you like the most about the REC?

I like that it has a really good sense of community. Outside of teaching, I always run into people that I know from class or people that work in the Rec, or people I’ve met over the last four years. I think it’s a good central hub for everybody.

What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced working here?

Going back to that comment of adaptability, anything can change, anything can happen. Sometimes the microphone won’t work, sometimes I have more people than I  anticipated, so if I had a class planned out, having to change things last minute to accommodate for space and equipment.

How would your students/colleagues describe you?

Loud! Definitely loud.

What’s your dream job?          

I could do this forever, that would be great! With my Strategic Communication major I’ve earned a lot of experience coming up with content roadmaps, social media management, writing, anything along those lines if I could do that for a health and wellness company, that would be perfect.                                                               

What are you most passionate about?

I really like the idea of being unapologetically happy. How you define that is very different for a lot of people, but I am so lucky to work here at the Rec and to be with the people I work with and the patrons I teach. Seeing them want to come to so many classes and seeing how they light up, but also seeing how happy I am at the end of class is great. I love seeing that fitness does bring happiness to a lot of people.   

What’s your life’s biggest dream?

A lot of my friends joke it’s not a question if ill have a gym, it’s when I’ll have a gym? Having my own gym would be a fantastic dream. On the other hand, because of my International Studies major, I’ve studied abroad and been to a lot of countries. Therefore, currently on the top of my bucket list is hiking Machu-Picchu.  

 

Dania Puente

Student Spotlight on Cody Kenyon

Cody Kenyon is a Miami University freshman from Toledo, Ohio. He is majoring in Sports Leadership Management and has become a loyal Rec Center patron. Cody strives to show that a disability doesn’t create limitations. His passion, motivation, and desire to help others are admirable and that’s why the Rec marketing staff wanted to learn more about him.

When did your fitness/sports passion begin? 

Around junior high. That’s when I started to get exposed to other kids and I started to want to fit in. Basketball became my passion, I fell in love with the sport and I wanted to play as much basketball as I could.

What motivates you to work out every day?

I know that whenever I step on the court,  people will obviously give me a different look because of my leg. I tend to use that as motivation because people are going to look at me as if I’m different no matter where I go. I feel that it’s my job, I represent everybody with a disability out there. I view this as promoting awareness and letting people know that we don’t want to be treated differently and that we can play ball just like anybody else.  

Has the Rec helped your health in any way?

Yes, it’s definitely nice having an indoor court and having a facility to lift and workout, it has certainly been useful. Otherwise, I would be sitting in my dorm doing push-ups.

What do you like the most about the Rec?

I would say the indoor courts, it’s nice to be able to play with everybody. Obviously, there are times where it’s nice to have the gym for myself and I know what are some good times to come for that. Yet I know that I can also come and play with a bunch of people and get that experience of playing with a team.

How would your friends describe you?

If they were describing me, nothing would ever come up about my leg, because people that I associate myself with don’t see me as being different. For example, a lot of people when they see me playing basketball say “oh you’re pretty good for a guy with one leg”, my friends would just say I’m pretty good in general.

What are you most passionate about?

I’d have to say, the people that I care about. When I was growing up, I always tended to put other people before myself. I’m passionate about caring for the people that care about me: my family, my girlfriend, and everybody back home. I like to make sure that they’re well and that everything is good with them.  

 

Interview by Dania Puente

Club Sports Weekly Update 04/09-04/015

Baseball: Lost to Ohio State

Men’s Ultimate: Came in 6th place in Sectionals

Miami Skating: Finished 4th at Intercollegiate Nationals

Rowing: Home regatta at Hueston Woods. Hosted 8 teams.

Broomball: Finished 3rd at Nationals after losing in the semifinals

Quidditch: Attended Quidich National Tournament. Made it to sweet 16.

Women’s Volleyball: Won Silver Bracket in Division 1AAA of National Tournament.

Tennis: Completed in USTA Tennis on Campus Nationals. Placed 4th in the copper bracket.

Running: Went to NIRCA Track and Field Nationals, Robby Alexander claimed All-American for 4th place in the 5K.

Men’s volleyball: Completed in National Club Volleyball Tournament. Finished with a 7-1 record, placed 3rd in the country.

Club Skating
Club Quidditch

Student Staff Spotlight on Aaron Watkins

Major: Finance, Class of 2019                                                                                 Hometown: Cleveland, OH

Aaron Watkins is one of Miami Rec Sports Center’s student managers. He is well known around the Rec for his optimism and for always being “living the dream”.  Aaron goes above and beyond and always does his job with a smile. He often collaborates with the Rec’s marketing team and other departments besides customer service.

 

When did you become a part of the Rec staff?

My freshman year, fall of 2015.

In this position what do you do?

I work at the front desk, the Pro Shop, and informal worker. I walk around with the backpack, help with injuries, restock our Pro Shop, and help patrons out in general. As a student manager, I actually help out with some of the finances here and just try to serve as a role model for our student employees.

What do you like the most about your job?

My coworkers, easy, easy money.  They are great people,  some of my best friends on campus.

How would your colleagues describe you?

Outgoing, goofy, and driven.

As a student manager, what is a piece of advice that you would give to students seeking your position?

You have to give respect, to get respect. If you want people to respect you, you have to be able to do that too, get down the trenches with them, work with them and not just tell them what to do.

Do you think this job is preparing you for your future and career?

Absolutely, when I was interviewing for my internship they asked me: When was one time that you improved a system that was currently in place? I used the example from the Rec Center when I improved our Fellow Merit Point System, which was pretty cool. During the interview, I talked about that for a while, but that’s for the technical aspect. I have also been able to grow my management techniques and to be able to work with people, in addition to customer service.

What are your plans after graduation?

Hopefully, go into corporate finance. I’ll be working with Procter & Gamble this summer down in Cincinnati in the department of finance and accounting. After graduation I’d like to work with them if it presents, if not I’d like to explore other corporate finance options.

When are you happiest?

When I’m at work! I love working here.

What are you most passionate about?

Helping others, no doubt. I love whenever I’m put in the position where I can help others, whether is helping them professionally or personally.

Interview by Dania Puente

Club Sports Update 04/02/18-04/08/18

BOXING – WE HAVE A NATIONAL CHAMP!!!!! Adan Salguero won the tournament at 139lbs and won Outstanding Boxer of the tournament. 4 of the 5 boxers were All-American winners. Jake Isele lost in the quarterfinals, Harold Rogers lost in the semi-finals, Parker Brown & Ryan Adelson lost in the finals. The team took 3rd place in the whole tournament.

Dance Team – Placed 5th in the Nation in Team Performance 1A at NDA Nationals!

Women’s Ultimate Frisbee – Came in 2nd at their home tournament

Women’s Water Polo – Played four games in St. Louis, playing well against GVSU, ND, LU, and lost a close game with ISU in overtime.

Men’s Lacrosse – Played two games at UK and beat Xavier 12-5, and lost to Kentucky 6-4.

Equestrian – Dressage Team qualified for Nationals and are Champions of the Region! Hunt Seat Zones had Haley Hacala place 6th, Alissa Martin place 5th, and Kelly O’Bryan place 3rd.

Broomball – Unrestricted went 3-0-1 in their home Nationals Show Case. Later games in the weekend in Cinci – Co-Ed won 3-2, and Unrestricted won 3-1 in their semi-final game.

Swimming – Went to nationals and was in the top 60 of 120 teams, and broke 17 team records (including a team record sweep of all 10 relays).

Rugby – Got 3rd place in the St. Louis Ruggerfest.

 

Leah Veltri- Shorter Waits, Better Weights

It’s already hard enough to motivate yourself to go to the gym, but when you arrive just to find that it’s too crowded to work out comfortably, you question why you came at all. That’s why Miami University student Leah Veltri created Shorter Waits, Better Weights.

The goal of the Shorter Waits, Better Weights gamification marketing campaign is to move Rec traffic from peak hours to less busy times. By moving people away from 4-10pm Monday–Thursday to earlier hours and weekends, everyone can work out more comfortably. Shorter Waits, Better Weights is a point system that rewards Rec members for going to the gym at less desirable times with raffle entries. The least popular times are earliest in the day and worth the most points, and the point value incrementally decreases as the time gets later. The least busy day is Saturday, followed by Sunday, and then Friday, so extra points are earned for going on those days. Each point is equal to one raffle entry, and there is no limit on how many raffle entries can be earned. The more points you earn, the higher your chance to win. This point system rewards people for being strategic in the time that they go to the Rec, not necessarily for going frequently.

Leah is a senior majoring in Interactive Media Studies, Media and Culture, and minoring in Marketing. She created this campaign for her IMS senior thesis this past fall semester. For Interactive Media Studies students, the purpose of their thesis is to develop a digital solution to a problem through research and innovation. As an active Rec member, Leah experienced overcrowdedness at the Rec to the point where people do not have space and equipment needed to work out. When she mentioned taking on this problem for her thesis to her teacher Artie Kuhn, he informed her that many students had attempted to address this issue for their theses in past years, but found no significant solution. Nevertheless, Leah decided that she was up for the challenge.

Leah worked with Miami staff members that advised and assisted her research. She used the Rec’s data and gathered her own through surveys and meetings to better understand the issue. Her thesis reviewers are IMS faculty staff member Dr. James Coyle and Rec Center Senior Director Ron Siliko. Dr. Coyle, an expert in digital marketing, advised and guided Leah in terms of research methods and game development. Ron, who manages the Rec facility and customer service, provided Leah with data and insight into the Rec’s infrastructure. By December, Leah had designed the gamification marketing campaign, and with the help of Zach Moore, who manages the Rec’s marketing, the Rec agreed to run the campaign for her IMS capstone. This spring semester, Zach and Ron have helped in advertising the campaign, gathering prizes for the raffle, and making the project possible.

“I’m doing this project because exercising should be a positive experience for everyone. I want the Rec to serve its members in the best possible way. Hoping this campaign will help do just that!”

Shorter Waits, Better Weights

Miami students check in at the Rec Center Monday, April 2nd through Sunday, April 15th and earn points to enter a raffle! Every point gained equals one raffle entry. No limit on how many entries you can earn! Seven winners will have the choice of:

  • Rec Center/Miami gift card
  • Group fitness class bundle
  • Rec prize packs

Winners will be announced the week of April 15. See the following table for how many points are earned for visiting during Shorter Weights, Better Weights:

Points Earned for Attending the Rec Center April 2–15

 

 

 

By Leah  Veltri

Member Spotlight on Susan Chabot

Susan Chabot

Susan Chabot is one of our loyal Rec members and with no doubt the most competitive SilverSneaker®. She came in second place, (first place female) for the Fall into Fitness Challenge last December.  She and her husband are residents of The Knolls of Oxford and are Miami University retired faculty and staff. Her energy and determination have made an impact on the Rec Center Community and that’s why we wanted to get to know her better.

When did you become a rec member?

We moved to Oxford in 1984 and I became a member when the Rec was built in 1994. In 2004 we retired to North Carolina and lived there twelve years. Three years ago we returned to Oxford and I became a SilverSneaker® member.

What activities do you normally do here at the Rec?

I swim in the deep water power class, I do stationary bike, pickleball and I take some of the fitness classes.

Has the rec helped your health in any way?

It absolutely reinvented my whole life. I am so grateful that they had the  Fall Into Fitness Challenge from October 8th to December 8th. I was just going through a period where I had no use of my legs for three months and I couldn’t exercise.  I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis and  I could no longer play tennis, a game that I played for so many years.  Someone suggested that I take a deep water aerobics class. I said, “I hate the pool, there’s no way!” I’ve never been a swimmer, I’ve never liked the water, but I tried it, and I came every day because it made my body feel a lot better.  I got started with that and later I picked up biking because the doctor said that was a good thing for me to do. Then on October 8th, this challenge came up -I’m very competitive- I came every single day, 7 days a week and I would come at about 8:30 in the morning and I’d go home at noon, and I would get as many points as I could. My points were: 5 for the pool, 5 for class, 5 for pickle, and 10 for the bike because I biked 10 miles, and that’s what I did for 2 months. It was so good because it got me in the habit of doing those things, which I never would. If that challenge wasn’t here I can’t believe I would’ve done all of those things. It was fabulous, and now I’m addicted.

What is the thing you like the most about the rec?

I really do love the way the water makes me feel. When I wake up in the morning it generally takes maybe an hour or so to get my legs moving. I head over to the pool for the morning class and get out an hour later feeling good. I am back playing pickleball and enjoy spending time with players.

What are some memorable experiences during your time here?

I love the fact that Miami students are beginning to find pickle a fun sport and that we have a really fun group that regularly join the otherwise older players. We enjoy playing with and getting to know Miami students.

 

By Dania Puente

Bridget Oliver in the New Zealand OPC Trip

Bridget Oliver, Miami Alumna is currently one of the Assistant Directors for the Outdoor Pursuit Center. She attended the New Zealand OPC trip during her time here and answered a couple of questions for us explaining her amazing experience.

What was a day like?

Kayak through seal colonies off Abel Tasman

Days were different depending on if we were in the front country or backcountry.  The front country was typically, wake-up, breakfast at the hostel or bakery in town, and then exploring the town.  Specifically, in Queenstown, we had a chance to do some high adventure activities since it is a mecca for that (skydiving, canyon swing, paragliding, bungee jumping, etc.) Some of our front country days were spent driving through the beautiful countryside to new towns and then prepping for the next backcountry trip.  A typical backcountry day would be: Wake up, breakfast at the hut, hike/climb/kayak and explore until we get to a lunch break or the next hut.  We typically had some time to explore around the hut before and after dinner sometimes including time in natural hot springs.  

What’s the thing you liked the most about the trip? I loved that we got to experience so much of an amazing country.  We spent just enough time in each place (well maybe not enough…I definitely want to go back!) and moved around so much that I know I got to see and enjoy way more than if I had tried to plan and complete a trip on my own.

The Angelus Hut

      What was your favorite place?     The Angelus Hut for sure!! It was an amazing, challenging, and fulfilling hike in.  The hike from the previous hut took us above the clouds (and a small airplane that flew by) and along a ridge of the mountain for an exhilarating feeling.  It was a long day, and I just felt so accomplished to make it to the hut.  The Angelus Hut was big enough that our entire group (which normally had to split in 2) was able to be together.  It was our last hike of the trip and we had bonded so much that it was so nice to be able to share the time altogether.  The amazing view didn’t hurt either.  The lake right outside the hut was so blue and calm and some of the purest, most delicious water we’d ever tasted.  I remember waking up to a gorgeous sunrise right out our bunk room window too.  My friend shook me awake thinking he was seeing the Southern Lights it was so vibrant and beautiful.  Everything about getting to and the time we got to spend at that hut was perfect and definitely my favorite place of the trip.  

Why would you recommend students to go on this trip? Why wouldn’t I recommend this trip?! To me, it is the perfect study abroad opportunity!
1. You get a chance to visit a country many people only ever dream about.
2.  You get to experience so much of the country.  
3. You get to be outside and enjoy the true beauty of the country in a way that many citizens of the country don’t even get out to do.   
4. You learn so much about yourself from your leadership skills and style to how

Climbing the Fox Glacier

you handle good and bad situations in and out of nature.  The journal I kept is still so important to me, to be able to look back at the physical, emotional, and spiritual journey I had.  It’s powerful to be able to learn naturally, and that’s what this course allows you to do.  The fact that I got to earn 3 of my college credits on this trip still blows my mind! This trip helped to steer me into my chosen career path, so I may be a bit bias, but I would say that this trip is a powerful development tool that people would be crazy to turn down (especially if you like being active in the outdoors and traveling even a little).