MSUToday
Published: June 9, 2020

MSU faculty member earns 'Best Practices in College Health' award

Contact(s): Ri'An Jackson University Communications jack1432@msu.edu, Maddie Curley University Communications office: 517-355-4082 curleym@msu.edu, Kristin Traskie Student Health Services at Olin Health Center office: 517-353-7868 traskiek@msu.edu

The American College Health Association announced MSU's Kristin Traskie is the recipient of the Best Practices in College Health award for the 2019-2020 program year.

This award recognizes inspirational practices in four areas of college health — clinical services, counseling services, administrative and consumer services and health education and promotion services.

Traskie, the fitness and wellness coordinator at the Health Promotion Department, also has been honored for her work alongside MSU’s Exercise is Medicine on Campus Initiative.

“Congratulations to Kristin and her colleagues,” Teresa A. Sullivan, interim provost, said in an email. “Winning an award at any time is an honor, but at this time and, in the field of health — it is a special distinction.”

The Exercise is Medicine on Campus Initiative, or EIM-OC, is a global health program managed by the American College of Sports Medicine. It encourages colleges and universities to promote physical activity as a vital sign of health, and urges faculty, staff and students to work together to improve the health of the campus community.

Currently, more than 280 campuses are involved with the initiative. MSU joined the movement in 2015, led by James Pivarnik, who is faculty adviser for the program, and Kerri Vasold, a former Ph.D. student in kinesiology.

The program is designed to improve students’ wellbeing, with an emphasis on mental, physical and social health, Traskie said. “We do that by making movement not only a part of their everyday life, but a part of campus culture.”

The initiative both educates students and supports healthy exercise habits. It achieves this through features like the ACTIVE Spartans program, Healthy Homecoming Walk and EIM-OC registered student organization. Also, there are currently virtual resources available for students in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Since 2015, MSU was one of the first seven schools nationwide to be awarded gold level status by EIM-OC’s recognition program and has maintained that status since, Traskie said.

Traskie, a five-year MSU employee, works on the leadership board for the initiative. “I really like to be able to work with students to figure out how they can make their lives better,” she said. “We just want to get them to a place where they’re thriving every day during their college career and beyond.”