WINONA LAKE — Grace College has announced it will launch its new Center for Movement and Well-Being this summer.
The center will provide programming and information to help Kosciusko County residents take ownership of their health and wellness. The center will focus on four pillars of activity: assessment, education, research, and collaboration.
A grant from Lilly Endowment through its initiative, Charting the Future, is funding the center.
“This center has been a dream of mine since I took over the exercise science program in 2015,” said Christina Walters, director of the Center for Movement and Well-Being and director of exercise science at Grace. “For many years, I have hoped for an opportunity to better serve the community and engage students alongside this pursuit. The center has so much potential to encourage real people in Kosciusko County to make real changes toward movement and well-being.”
Over the past several years, under Walters’ leadership, the exercise science program has grown to become one of the largest majors at Grace College. Recent expansions of the program have included adding a fitness and nutrition concentration and purchasing a VO2 max machine.
Christi continually promotes the growth and development of her program and its students,” said Dr. Kevin Roberts, provost at Grace College. “Her desire to invest in the community is a by-product of her commitment to excellence. These initiatives will also coincide with Grace’s emphasis on the sciences. I am confident this center will have a long and lasting impact on the residents of Kosciusko County.”
Rich Haddad, president of the K21 Health Foundation, agrees.
“Having this center at Grace College in Kosciusko County will have significant benefits for our community and everyone that lives here,” said Haddad. “The center’s commitment to not only creating an amazing education experience for its students but to giving back and contributing to the community’s well-being is exciting. We’ve seen the huge impact the Lilly Center for Lakes and Streams has had with a similar model, and I believe the Center for Movement and Well-being could be just as beneficial for all of us now and for future generations.”
The Center for Movement and Well-Being will give Grace exercise science students a plethora of opportunities to get hands-on experience in their field, from conducting assessments to analyzing data, doing research, and implementing programming. Eventually, Walters envisions the center will provide learning opportunities for students outside of the exercise science major, such as the behavioral sciences, marketing, journalism, public health, business, and more.
“From decades of research literature, we now know the value of movement for our physical, social and emotional well-being,” said Roberts. “This initiative allows Grace College to significantly impact health initiatives within Kosciusko County and enrich our student’s learning experiences.”
The center’s first event will be held this summer on June 2 and June 3. An exercise science combine day camp for area high school students will test campers’ bodies in a traditional combine event, measuring their speed, agility, and power. After the combine, campers will hear from a health professional and a clinical psychologist about mentally preparing for athletic events.
Beyond the camp, Walters has several ideas for the center to engage with the community, including working with homeschool co-ops, high school and middle school sports teams who need assessment and aging residents of Kosciusko County who need age-specific movement and well-being guidance.
“We are exploring all options,” said Walters. “We are simply looking to partner with what is already happening in our very active community.”
To learn more about the Center for Movement and Well-Being, contact Christina Walters, director of exercise science at Grace, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information about the growing exercise science program at Grace, go to www.grace.edu/major/exercise-