Campus rec shapes up

Following its own mission statement, UVM Campus Recreation has done some body sculpting and gained muscle over the summer.This July, Shena Faith became the new coordinator of fitness programs.Gregg Bates, assistant athletic director and director of Campus Recreation, said that Faith was “the top choice of the search committee … [which] consisted of Campus Recreation staff, student fitness employees and fitness participants.” Similar to the previous coordinator, Aleksandra Townsend, who added group fitness and instructional programs, along with African dance, zumba, belly dance and pilates, Faith, too, will spice up the recreation options.  Faith expressed excitement for her initiation of Iyengar yoga, a heart rate training instructional course. In addition, she will also be adding Forza, a class based in the martial arts.The teachers for both the Iyengar yoga and Forza classes are the only individuals certified for their respective fields of expertise in all of Vermont, Faith said, giving UVM students a backstage pass to these types of fitness.Faith recently earned her master’s degree in health and physical education from Valdosta State University (VSU) in Georgia, where she also worked as the graduate assistant of Fitness and Wellness before she was offered the position at UVM.Prior to her assistantship at VSU, Faith said that she taught exercise classes and worked as a nutrition consultant, personal trainer and weight room supervisor.With a philosophy that fitness and exercise is for everyone, Faith said her ultimate goal is to reach out to those who do not embrace exercise and its values.  “We all need to be active in order to live a full and complete life,” she said. “Recreation programs offer a great deal to help enhance development [toward this goal].”When Townsend became fitness coordinator two years ago, the fitness program was still relatively new and has been growing ever since, Bates said.Consequently, he said that Faith will be able to contribute new ideas and instructional programs that, he hopes,  “will enhance the quality of the current programs.”Larry Mellinger, assistant director of programs of Campus Recreation, agreed whole-heartedly.”Shena’s expertise in group exercise and her student-centered approach will allow her to provide a diverse range of cutting edge classes for the campus community,” he said.Tim Lewis, assistant director of operations in Campus Recreation, is also optimistic toward the future of the department.”I hope Shena will continue to offer the outstanding mind and body programs we have developed … while adding some of her own … ideas,” he said.Faith admitted that she already loves Vermont and is excited to learn more about the fitness program, UVM and the students.”College is an extremely important time for development in a person’s life,” she said. “I want to provide students with opportunities to learn and grow.”