Monday, August 28, 2006

Susan Difrancesco: Taking wellness into her own hands, with a little help from Columbus State

Sitting on the couch, surfing TV channels, smoking cigarettes, and eating ice cream used to be a way of life for Susan Difrancesco, accountant II in Business Affairs. Throughout life she could always eat what she wanted with no worries. In her 40s, her metabolism slowed down and she noticed a difference in her energy and fitness level. When she turned 43 last September, she got fed up and decided to do something about it.

For people who don't know her and see her around campus, they might think, it's easy for her to talk about getting healthy and fit, she's thin. In fact, in the last year she's lost 23 pounds while participating in Columbus State's wellness courses of Active Living and Healthy Eating Every Day, wellness seminars, the Human Performance Center, and smoking cessation classes.

"I never used to eat properly, let alone exercise. I've also been a smoker since I was in sixth grade."

In order to succeed, she started out slowly by taking the Active Living I and II courses. "Active Living is for everyone," Susan says. "I now look at life and exercise differently."

"I used to think that to exercise, I had to set aside one hour a day to work out. Now I know that every five minutes of activity counts," she says. While Susan used to classify sweeping carpets as a chore, she now knows it counts as part of the recommended 30 minutes a day of exercise, as does playing with a dog or gardening.

After becoming more active, she decided she needed to work on her eating habits as well and signed up for Healthy Eating I and II.

"I never used to eat the correct foods. I didn't eat breakfast or vegetables, and my eating habits were heavy on meat," Susan comments. "After taking the Healthy Eating courses, I learned all about portion distortion. I now know what 2,200 calories of food looks like, that a portion of meat is the same size of a deck of cards, and that iceberg lettuce has no food value."

She also learned that there is no such thing as a bad food, but that some things like Italian bread, French food, and ice cream need to be eaten in moderation.

Since taking the Healthy Eating classes, she now "grazes" throughout the day, eating at least three meals and drinking mostly water.

After having a fitness assessment as part of her Active Living class, she realized she wasn't as in shape as she thought. Spring quarter she ventured down to the Human Performance Center to sign up for a personal trainer. She met with a personal trainer once a week to learn how to exercise correctly and has adapted those exercises to fit in her routine at home.

This summer, she decided it was time to try to kick her smoking habit and she joined the smoking cessation class. While Susan says she's wearing a patch until she can get over the habit, she hasn't smoked a cigarette in over three weeks and will quit using the patch in about two weeks.

"There's never a good time to stop smoking. You have to want to do it," Susan says. Since she's stopped, she "feels better and breaths better." "I've got allergy induced asthma, and I haven't had to use my inhaler in five-and-a-half weeks."

"The Wellness programs are the best things that Columbus State has ever done for its employees," says Susan. "The programs are for everyone regardless of your job or education. Where else can you work out in a gym for free or have a personal trainer for $5 a session?"

What is her advice for anyone wanting to participate in the programs? "Pick one thing and start off slow. Don't try to change everything at once," Susan says. "You need to take baby steps and track your changes."

Are you looking to make a change?

The Active Living or Healthy Eating Every Day classes are being offered fall quarter. The course numbers are: SES 299A Active Living I, SES 299B Active Living 2, SES 299C Healthy Eating I, SES 299D Healthy Eating II. For more information on the courses, contact David Litt, coordinator in Sport and Exercise Studies, at 287-3681.

To sign up for a fitness assessment or a personal trainer, contact Don Laubenthal, coordinator of the Human Performance Center, at 287-3627. For employees, assessments range from $10-$20 depending on the assessment type and $5 per session for a personal trainer.

For more information on the smoking cessation classes, contact Human Resources at 287-2408.


Forums planned to meet the candidates for dean of Career and Technical Programs

The search for the dean of Career and Technical Programs has been narrowed down to two candidates: Dr. Polly Owen and Dr. Al Barringer.

Dr. Owen is the chair of Columbus State's Nursing and Related Services. Her forum will be held Monday, August 28, at 3 p.m. in Nestor Hall Seminar D.

Dr. Barringer is the former chair for the Public Safety Careers Division of the Northeast College-Houston Community College in Texas. His forum will be held Wednesday, August 30, at 3 p.m. in Nestor Hall Seminar Room D.

During their forums, the candidates have been asked to address the approaches, techniques, and strategies they would use to: attract high school graduates to Columbus State's career and technical programs; connect the college to businesses and industries in our service district; and remain current in curricular content and state-of-the art equipment to meet business and industry standards.


AQIP needs you

Don't forget to have your say in the future of the college. The AQIP accreditation survey is still available. Take the survey today by going to, click on the survey link, and use cscc as the login.

Make sure to print out your survey ticket number in order to win prizes including two tickets to Taste the Future to be drawn on August 31.

If you don't have time to complete the entire survey at one time, you can complete it later by logging in again with your ticket number.

To take a paper version of the survey, contact Sunday Zidonis at 287-5987.


Adkins named to United Way board

Kay Adkins, provost, was recently named to the Board of Trustees of the United Way of Delaware County.


Proposed Curriculum Change Policy and Procedure Forums

The Curriculum Committee of Shared Governance will hold two forums to discuss the revisions to Policies 5-04 : Degrees and Diplomas, 5-05 : Academic Courses and Credits, 5-06 : Degree Program Requirements, and 5-07 : Approval of Degrees and Degree Programs, and Procedure 5-07.

The forums will be held:

The revised Policy and Procedure may be found at Look under Documents for links to "Degrees & Diplomas Policy 5-04 Revised," "Policy 5-05 and Procedure 5-05(C) Revised," and "Curriculum Handbook Final Draft."

If you are unable to attend one of the forums, you can send your feedback to Mary Insabella or Jim Hamberg.


Get a massage and relax

Thirteen graduates of Columbus State's Massage Therapy Program recently passed the State of Ohio Medical Board exam granting them the license to practice massage therapy in Ohio. The exam scores for our students continue to be well above the state average of all massage schools in Ohio.

Faculty and staff are encouraged to visit the Massage Therapy Student Clinic located in Union Hall 319 and experience a full body massage. The cost is only $10, and coupons may be purchased in the Cashier's Office.

The student clinic will open September 26 for autumn quarter. To schedule an appointment for next quarter, call 287-5943.


Employees bowl for kids

Jennifer Snider, office associate in Instructional Services, and her daughter Blake hit the lanes at the Staff Advisory Council's (SAC) annual Bowling for Kids event August 22 at the Palace Lanes. SAC raised $111 for Holidays Are for Kids. 









Gearing up for Governance

On Friday new and returning Shared Governance members gathered to train for the upcoming year. This year, Governance has over 85 members, who will be working on issues from updating records managment policy and procedures to energy use on campus.


Leadership Institute extends deadline
The Leadership Institute has extended its deadline until August 31 to sign up for this year's class. For more information, contact Human Resources at 287-2408.