Employee Spotlight: Ben Schmitter


Job Title: 

IM Official


Health Science with a concentration in Physical Therapy

Why did you want to work at the Rec?

“I wanted to work at the Rec because my entire life I have been participating in sports and I wanted to work where they would take place.”

What is your favorite part about working at the Rec?

“My favorite part about working at the Rec would be the people I work with.”


What skills are you learning while working at the Rec that will help you in the future?

“With school and work, I’m learning to balance the work load and I am becoming better at time management.”

What did you want to be when you were younger?

“When I was younger, I wanted to be an engineer like my dad, but as time progressed, I wanted to be a physical therapist.”

Fun fact about yourself?

“I have a hat collection of over 50 hats.”

Spotlight: Fitness & Wellness GA Erin Davidson


Where did you do your undergrad? What did you study? 

I went to Grand Valley State University and got my B.S. in Health Professions.


What are you getting your Master’s in?

I am getting my Master’s in Exercise Science.


What do you do as the Fitness & Wellness Graduate Assistant? 

My primary role is to help manage the group exercise instructor staff. Some of my responsibilities include: making the group exercise schedule each semester, hiring new staff, coordinating fitness/wellness events around campus, teaching group exercise classes, and I also work on marketing materials for campus recreation.


Why did you want to work at the Rec?

I first started working in campus recreation as a freshman at Grand Valley State University and I fell in love with it. It is such a positive atmosphere to work in.  I enjoy planning, teaching, and being surrounded by people who are working to better themselves and others both physically and mentally.


What is the most exciting aspect of your job?

I have freedom to be creative and work on projects that I think will help campus recreation grow. I also really enjoy teaching group exercise classes. It is rewarding to watch students achieve their goals and have fun while doing it.


When you were younger, what did you want to be when you grew up?

I wanted to be a singer/actress!


What are your plans for once you’re done with school?

I want to continue to work at a university within campus recreation in a coordinator or director position. I also hope to teach higher education.


Fun fact about yourself?

I love to travel! It is my goal to travel to every state in the US (I am getting close!).


Training Follow-Up

It’s been an absolutely crazy three weeks. From getting back from vacation to the fall semester starting to a different schedule at work — there hasn’t been much time to breathe! Between all of these things, the Rec Center staff went through training. August 26-28, we got together and learned about the Rec, Student Affairs as a whole, and what we, as student leaders, can do to make Oakland University a welcoming place to attend school.


Here’s a rundown of what happened each day:


Day 1: Rec Staff


We started our day off at 11:00am with an introduction from Greg Jordan, the Director of the Department of Campus Recreation. The energy in the room was contagious! Everyone was so excited to be there.


We discussed our Emergency Action Plan to help all student employees know their role if there was ever an emergency in the building. We also learned about some of the new student development initiatives. This was really eye opening because I didn’t realize there were SO many opportunities for students who work at the Rec.


After that, each unit put  together a “Top 5 Things You Should Know About…”. It was a really fun way to learn a little about each unit in the Rec. As the social media / blog intern, I don’t spend too much time with all the different areas, so it was a really great way for me to get out and learn more about the awesome facility I work at.


Day 2: Student Affairs Kick Off


This was the first ever Student Affairs Kick Off Training Event. Employees from the Center for Student Activities, Housing, Career Services, the Recreation Center, and more participated.


Glenn McIntosh, Interim Vice President of Student Affairs & Enrollment Management addressed the 400+ student employees, and challenged us to learn new ways, create an inviting atmosphere on campus,  and provide excellent customer service.


The new President of Oakland University, Dr. George W. Hynd addressed the students as well. He brought an incredible energy to the room. His excitement about OU made ME excited about OU!


After that, there was a keynote speaker, Jennifer Miracle, who discussed “Serving OU’s Invisible Students” and making everyone feel welcome.


Once the keynote speaker was finished, we took a break for lunch. After lunch, the students rotated through presentations. There were five to select from, and we were required to attend 3 of them.

1. Active Shooter-Presented by Chief Gordon. This presentation involved learning key survival strategies for an active shooter situation.
2. Diversity Panel-Presented by a diverse panel of students with various backgrounds at OU. This presentation gave awareness and reinforced the richness of the multiple layers of diversity and inclusion on OU’s campus.
3. SAFE Training- Presented by Grace Wojcik, Coordinator of Gender & Sexuality Center at Oakland University.  This presentation examined what it means to be an “Ally” and where to go for support on campus.
4. Conflict Management- Presented by Beth Talbert. This presentation taught attendees how to approach disagreements in positive ways, as well as how to work with people that drive you crazy.
5. Recruitment, Retention, and Collaboration- Presented by Becky Lewis, Sara Webb, Nancy Schmitz.  The presentation put the puzzle of Student Affairs together, how and why each department is what it is. This showcased how everyone is one piece to a big puzzle.


Day 3: Individual Unit Training

Each unit had something different going on the third day.


As a whole, I learned a lot. My favorite part of training was the different seminars we attended on the second day. We learned skills that are transferable to all different types of jobs and areas of our lives.


As the marketing intern, it was interesting to see how each student got something different out of the training. There was so much being put on the table for students to soak in. I think Marie and the rest of the Student Affairs leaders put together a wonderful program and I think it will continue to benefit student employees in years to come!

OU Campus Rec: Street Team

The intent of the street team and Recreation Ambassador program is to train DCR student employees on how to properly represent and promote the purpose, programs, services  and memberships offered by the department of Campus recreation. Through Participating in these program students will gain resume building skills as well as be able to implement new ideas/techniques for marketing promotions.
There are currently 28 DCR student employees on this years street team! 6 of which are Ambassadors.
Our Street Team Intern, Christina Luczak said, ” The street team has been doing awesome so far! I love everyone’s energy and enthusiasm about their events. Now that welcome week and homecoming are over, we are definitely not as busy as we have been, but I am so excited about the rest of the semester because a few of my favorite ambassador events are coming up (Employee Benefits & Wellness Fair; Go for the Gold). This will give the current ambassadors a chance to interact with employees and future students, so I am really looking forward to that.”
If you are interested in being on the Street team please contact Morgan Roberts at mmroberts@oakland.edu.
streetteam1 streetteam2 streetteam3 streetteam4

Group Ex Instructor: Jermaine Jones



What group ex classes do you teach? What days / times? 

Indoor Cycle Monday/Wednesday 12:10-12:50 and Fit for Life Strength and balance Wednesday 9:00 A.M. -10:10 A.M.


How long have you been teaching group ex classes at OU Rec Center?

2 years.


What did you / are you studying in school? Certifications?

I’m in my senior year as a Integrative Studies Major.


Outside of group exercise classes, what do you like to do to stay fit?

To stay fit I play baseball, lift weights, and walk my dog.


What do you like about teaching group ex classes?

Motivating others towards fitness goals is my passion. Teaching group ex classes has giving me an opportunity to build lifelong friendships with OU students and facility.


Any hobbies?

Spending time with family, traveling, attending Detroit Tigers games, and volunteering.


What did you do over the summer?

This summer I traveled to Georgia, Washington D.C, and I caught a homerun ball at the Tigers vs. Ray’s game.


Excited for group ex classes to start? Any additional thoughts?

Yes! I can’t wait to turn up the music and encourage participants to push themselves to new limits.


“Don’t make a habit out of choosing what feels good over what’s actually good for you.” – Eric Thomas

Group Ex Instructor Spotlight: Ashlynn Law

What group ex classes do you teach?
Tuesday: Abs, Glutes & Thighs at 5:30pm
Wednesdays: Zumba at 12:10pm
Thursdays: Zumba at 4:00pm
Fridays: Zumba at 12:10pm
How long have you been teaching group ex classes at OU?
This is my third semester teaching Group Ex at OU.
What are you studying in school?
Right now I am majoring in Health Sciences with concentrations in Exercise Science and Physical Therapy.
Outside of group ex classes, what do you do to stay fit?
I love to work out on my own and do Zumba, Pilates, and kickboxing. I also enjoy figure skating, snowboarding, swimming, kayaking, and long boarding.
What do you like about teaching group ex classes?
I like being able to share my passion for exercise and show others how working out can be fun!
Any hobbies?
When I have free time I like to get involved in sports, go boating/sailing, scrapbook, and do some modeling.
What did you do over the summer?
The highlight of my summer was hiking and swimming in Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. I even got to snorkel on a sunken ship!
Excited for group ex classes? 
I am very excited to start teaching again and I hope to see you in one of my classes!

OU Moves… Walk To Mackinac Winners

We’re always impressed with Oakland University Faculty and Staff who participate in our programs. One of our summer programs, “OU Moves.. Walk to Mackinac” recently came to an end and we are beyond excited about the results.

There were 152 participants from departments all across campus. Each participant kept track of the steps they took for eight weeks.

Stephanie Willis, Wellness and Educational Outreach Coordinator, added up the total number of steps from all participants. The results? 32,174,136 steps. That’s 16,087 miles! 37 people walked 400,000+ steps.

The top five participants won a shopping spree at the Barnes and Noble on campus.

Here are the winners:

Walking Program_Monica_1stPlace (1)

 ​1st Place: Monica Haines (University Human Resources) – 941,560 steps 


(Not Pictured)

 2nd Place: Sheryl Hugger (Biological Sciences) – 932,673 steps 


Walking Program_Sharon_3rdPlace (1)

 3rd Place: Sharon Hiller (SEHS) – 804,865 steps


Walking Program_Bill_4thPlace

 4th Place: Bill Johnson (First Year Advising Center) – 767,528 steps


Walking Program_Paul_5thPlace

5th Place: Paul Battle (Registrar) - 725,379 steps


Once again, great job to all Oakland University Faculty and Staff who participated!

For information about upcoming Employee Wellness programs, click here.