Employee Spotlight: Autumn Cleverly


Autumn Cleverly has dedicated 7 years of her college career at the Rec Center!  Autumn is the Aquatics Graduate Program Assistant, a Fitness Intern and one of our talented GroupX instructors!  While forming an appreciation for campus recreation after being hired in February of 2010, she is very fortunate to have found her passion at such an early age!  She is a graduate student majoring in Exercise Science, gaining valuable and practical experience at the Rec!

Why did you want to work at the Rec?

I was looking for a fun job that was on campus when I was a freshman.  As an athlete, I was looking for a place that would be flexible around practices.  The Aquatics center was the first to contact me, so I went out and got my certification.

How did you choose your major?

I have a B.S. in biology, but during my sophomore year I realized that I did not want to go into the medical field, but rather work with Athletes.  I started my minor and knew right away that studying exercise is where my heart is! I love being able to teach someone something new!12107095_10153704309757287_4443226545967094582_n

What is your favorite part about working here?

I love my lifeguarding staff(most of the time) ;)  There is a great sense of teamwork within the guards and they make it a fun place to work!  I have met some of my best friends because they worked here!

What transferable skills have you acquired that will help you in the future?

Well, I want to go into campus recreation, so this is the perfect experience for me!  Managing and filling schedules and training guards allows me to really think outside the box. Sometimes things just don’t work the way you want them to. 

What are your favorite Rec activities?

I love doing our GroupX classes!!!  You can’t beat our yoga teachers and class prices!!

When you’re not at the Rec, what are some things you like to do?

I love to travel! This summer I was able to spend 2 weeks in France with my family! It was everything I could have ever dreamed of and more! I had visited my friends who life in the South of France and the food was wonderful! I did not have a bad meal the entire trip!

What are you looking forward to?

I am really looking forward to graduating with my Master’s degree in April. I am ready to be done with school and find a real job!  Also, I am excited to go to NIRSA this year, especially since it’s in Orlando.

What are your plans for the future?

After graduation, I plan to hopefully find a job in the midwest in campus recreation!

Fun Fact: I can correctly identify all the jelly belly flavors just by looking at them!


Club Sport Spotlight: Nic Bongers


Nic Bongers, Campus Advisor to the Football Club at Oakland University took the time to talk with us about what he does for the club and the Oakland University Community as a whole.  Nic is part of the full-time staff in the e-Learning department. He is also a lecturer for the art and art history department, teaching Graphic Design. Nic played a year of NCAA DIII Football back in 1998 in Wisconsin and when he saw a flyer at Oakland University about an upcoming Football Club, Bongers decided that he would help the club’s president with the start of the club by becoming their advisor.

What do you do as an advisor?
I try and help the team in any way I can. Generally, I assist them with financial responsibility, and run the executive board elections. I try to make the leadership transitions smooth from year to year, and provide historical context as to what is usually done based on the time of year. I also help them understand OU branding, and campus politics. I do most of the advertising and graphics for the club as I have a MFA in Graphic Design.

What does it mean to you to be an advisor of the football club?
It means a lot. For what it offers our student athletes, and for how it fills a gap in our current varsity sports, I truly love this club. Clubs are run by the students, and for a college football team, it makes it feel like you’re part of the team “front office.” There is a lot of freedom and control by this football team being a club and not a varsity sport. Keeping in mind we represent Oakland University, we take our reputation seriously as we want the campus to support and be proud of us. We like to appeal to alumni and community supports that are just happy to have college football in our community. We don’t worry about nay-sayers about how “it’s just a club.” It’s college football any way you slice it.

Do you have plans for the club?
My plans are just for it to get bigger every year. We want more students and campus members at our games. A college football atmosphere is a goal, and I think we’re getting there. It would be nice to fill a 60 player roster, as depth is a major key to winning in our 26 team league. Spreading awareness of the club to faculty and staff is a goal of mine, because people that come to our games have an overwhelming positive attitude about who we are and what we are doing.

How long do you hope to be the club’s advisor?
As long as it’s fun, I’ll stay on. Personally, I like to know that I’m making a positive impact in player’s lives or the team as a whole. I don’t mind helping during times of stress, as long as I can celebrate during moments of triumph.

If you are interested in keeping up with the Football Club, follow them on Facebook, Twitter, or go to their website here.

GroupX Spotlight: Melissa Walters


GroupX format: 3,2,1 Shred and Cardio & Core

Schedule: Tuesdays- 3,2,1 Shred: 12:10pm-12:50pm,  Cardio & Core: 4:15pm-5:15pm.

How long have you been teaching at the Rec?

One year this December

What made you want to teach GroupX?

I am in physical therapy school and enjoyed teaching exercise.  I wanted to further improve in that area and teach others how to exercise safely. 

What is your favorite thing about teaching GroupX?

My favorite thing about teaching is hearing back that I’m helping people achieve their fitness goals and that they are feeling better.


Employee Spotlight: Emma Spak


Emma Spak has been working at the Rec since October 2012.  She has a very active role here at the Rec and definitely manages her time well.  She is one of our lovely Building Managers, as well as, working in Member Services.  She is also the President of the student organization, Recreation Leadership Council (RLC), hosting meetings and promoting professional development and networking events. Her major is English Secondary Education and is a senior this year!!

Why did you want to work at the Rec?

I wanted to work at the Rec because I liked the idea of working in a place where people come to have fun!  Also, my friend from high school worked here and I knew I would enjoy it!

How did you choose your major?

I love to read and have always wanted to be a teacher.  I’ve never changed my mind about wanting to teach.

What is your favorite part about working here?10422106_864180296938170_443416410262316319_n

I love that I have become friends with everyone that works here.  Every single time I come in to the Rec I know someone and am greeted by a friendly face.  While I have developed profoundly as an employee, the friendly environment is always something that I will love.

What transferable skills have you acquired that will help you in the future?

I have improved my communication skills, learned how to network with professional staff, become more of a leader within the department and have also become much more organized.  I attribute much of this growth to working for the Department of Campus Recreation. 

What are your favorite Rec activities?

I am President of RLC, the Marketing Street Team intern and love to take GroupX classes… overall, I enjoy a lot of activities at the Rec.

When you’re not at the Rec, what are some things you like to do?

I like to read, hang out with my best friends and watch Gilmore Girls.

What are you looking forward to?

I am looking forward to going to Europe after I graduate.

What are your plans for the future?

I plan to graduate and find a job teaching high school English.  In my spare time, I hope to continue to travel as much as I can. 

Fun Fact: I am obsessed with Peanut Butter and have watched every season of Gilmore Girls more than 10 times. 

Welcoming Pastime Favorite, Softball, to Club Sport Lineup

collection of softballs in pile

Once again, we welcome a new club sport to Oakland University’s lineup of almost 30 club sports. This time, we’re welcoming a sport with ties to America’s pastime, softball.

Softball as a sport was initially described as “indoor baseball”. It was a sport to keep people in shape during the wintertime and to help baseball players keep their skills sharp during the off months. Overtime, and with growing interests in the game, it developed into a full fledged sport played throughout the United States at all levels.

Softball and bat on base

The Softball Club at Oakland University is getting itself together this year with ambitions to begin competition in 2016. The club will be a member of the National Club Softball Association in time for their fall season, “our regular season is mostly in the fall, starting in September… where we play against MSU(Michigan State), CMU(Central Michigan), EMU(Eastern Michigan), GVSU(Grand Valley State), and Bowling Green”, Club President, Emily Quigley, tells us, “since we weren’t able to join the league this year, we are planning to scrimmage Eastern Michigan University and Central Michigan University in the spring”.

Currently, the club is looking for an indoor facility so they can start to prepare for next year’s inaugural competitive season. The Softball Club is atill accepting new members, so women that are interested in joining the Softball Club may start by contacting Emily Quigley at erquigley@oakland.edu.

#ThisisOUCampusRec: The Biggest Loser Challenge

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OU’s fitness program is promoting their version of The Biggest Loser Challenge for the New Year.   Break through stubborn plateaus and reach greater levels of fitness and health than you ever imagined!

The program starts off with a provided fitness assessment offered between January 12th-January 17th followed by the official program start date on January 18th and ending April 10th.

Participants must commit to 4-6 hours per week dedicated to this 12-week program. Mandatory lifestyle behavior change sessions are a vital component of the program and all are expected to attend. These informational sessions on nutrition, stress management and physical activity, will fuel your success at the end of the program.

In order to closely monitor your journey, we ask that you utilize MyFitnessPal to keep an activity log and food journal, tracking your daily efforts. Also, two 1-hour group workout sessions are scheduled each week. Instructors will go over various exercises, while you familiarize yourself with the wide range of exercises, giving you the experience to continue your fitness well after the program is completed.


The program is intended for those who have 15 or more pounds to lose and is a beginner-intermediate exerciser. Participants must provide proof of having a physical exam in the last year, as well as a physician’s clearance to participate. As you must fulfill these requirements, some leniency may be place on registration deadlines.

Registration and Prices

Early Bird registration is through November 1st-December 21st. Price: $100 for students and members.

Late registration is through December 22nd-January 5th. Price: $150 for students and members.

Refer to our website for more information regarding registration requirements or conflicts, application process and price reductions. If you have further questions, contact: mwolak@oakland.edu

We want all who will benefit from this program to attend and do not want cost or other issues be a factor that will prevent your participation. So let’s kick off next year with a healthier and happier you!

Running Club Begins To Compete

OU Running Club after the MSU Invitational

This past year has been a transformative time for the Running Club. For the first time in its history, the club has shifted from a recreational running club to a more competition heavy club with plans to push it further.

Starting in 2011, the Running Club has been an opportunity for all students to get involved with the activity, regardless of their history of running. “We take students of all levels” says Syed Murtaza, president of the Running Club.

In the last semester, the club decided to join the National Intercollegiate Running Club Association (NIRCA) to compete in races that could rank runners on the national level. “The club qualified for the regional and national tournaments this year, but they were too far away and expensive for us to travel to those tournaments” says Murtaza, “but we have hopes for next year to compete in them”.

This year, the running club competed in two NIRCA races, one in Lansing, the MSU Invitational and the other, in Mt Pleasant, the Central Michigan Invitational. In the latter, Running Club’s own Renee Ashley placed 6th overall.

The club has also become more active in “fun runs” or races that are designed more for fun rather than for competition. So far, they have participated in the Zombie Fun-Run, where Danielle Elder placed 1st. The club also participated this past weekend in the Hideous Holiday Sweater Run and has plans to participate in the Turkey Trot Fun-Run on Thanksgiving Day.

Danielle Elder with 1st place trophy from the Zombie Run

Danielle Elder with 1st place trophy

As the weather gets colder, the club moves indoors and their indoor track season begins. The club will run in the Recreation Center on the indoor track and is looking at competing in local indoor track competitions.

In the future, the club’s president has big plans. “We want to host our own meet in the next year” Murtaza says, ” we also plan on enacting a due structure for the first time in the club’s history in order to pay for the registration fees of runners”.

running club group before practice

Although the club is becoming more competitive, it is still a club sport that is open to all students of all experience levels. If you’re interested in learning more about the club, you can find them on Grizzorgs, Facebook or you can contact club president, Syed Murtaza at shmurtaz@oakland.edu