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Focus on Wellness Earns UCO Certification as a Healthy Campus

Jan. 22, 2014

Media Contact: Whitt Carter, Communications Specialist, Wellness Center, University of Central Oklahoma, 405-974-3127,


The University of Central Oklahoma maintains its status as a Certified Healthy Campus for the third consecutive year, recognizing the university’s efforts to promote health and wellness among its students, faculty and staff.

A part of the “Shape Your Future” campaign driven by the Oklahoma State Department of Health, Central was awarded the highest level of certification, garnering the excellence designation. The program recognizes college campuses and vocational technical schools that make a positive impact on the health of their employees and students.

“We recognize that a healthy mind and body allows our students, faculty and staff to be their best. That’s why wellness is one of the six tenets of our transformative learning focus at Central,” said Mark Herrin, assistant vice president of wellness and sport.

“This certification endorses our efforts and gives our team encouragement to continue expanding our programming as we work toward a healthier campus and community.”

Central is using its designation as an official U.S. Olympic and Paralympic training site to launch its newest wellness program, the Sochi Challenge. In celebration of the upcoming 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia, the university is offering fun and interactive ways for the campus community to collectively log miles (running, cycling, walking, etc.) with the goal to reach 6,333 miles – the distance from Edmond to Sochi.

The university is one of only two universities in the nation designated as an Olympic and Paralympic training site, hosting the national Men’s and Women’s Sitting Volleyball teams along with athletes training in Paralympic archery, track and field, and powerlifting, and the Olympic sport of taekwondo.

The UCO Wellness Center serves as the hub for the university’s health initiatives that extend well beyond Olympic training. The campus community can participate in fitness classes, personal training or climb the outdoor rock wall. The facility also houses the Mercy Clinic at UCO.

Wellness staff also lead the Student Counseling Center, health promotion programming, intramurals, sport clubs, adventure programs like the ULEAD Challenge Course, the Oklahoma Project Wild, the tobacco-free campus and peer health leaders initiatives, and more. Activities extend to the university’s Center for Outdoor Adventure Recreation on Lake Arcadia.

The university is also a part of the national Healthy People 2020 and Healthy Campus 2020 initiatives.

For more information on the “Shape Your Future” campaign and the Certified Healthy Oklahoma awards ceremony on Feb. 13 where certified businesses and campuses will be recognized, visit

For more information on Central’s health and wellness programs, visit


Editor’s Note: Download art to accompany this release at

Cutline: The University of Central Oklahoma maintained its status as a Certified Healthy Campus for the third consecutive year, recognizing the university’s efforts to promote health and wellness through initiatives like group fitness classes at the UCO Wellness Center.