Wellness grant aims to boost healthy living

Published 8:00 pm Friday, September 7, 2012

Copiah-Lincoln Community College will receive a $110,000 grant aimed at encouraging healthy living on the Wesson campus.

     Board members formally approved the acceptance of the grant at their Thursday board meeting, though school administrators received the grant money about a month ago from the Blue Cross & Blue Shield Foundation of Mississippi.

     The grant money will fund the school’s “Wolfpack Wellness Initiative.” Co-Lin Director of Information Natalie Davis explained the initiative aims to increase cardiovascular wellness on Co-Lin’s Wesson campus.

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     To this end, the school is eying a lunchtime walking program for faculty and staff and the construction of stretching and circuit training stations on the college nature trail.

     There are one-mile and two-mile trails around campus that will be marked and named, said Davis.

     The college track will also be resurfaced with grant funds.

     “(The track) is very popular to both staff and community members and has come in disrepair due to lack of local funds,” said a press release.

     She added that the recent renovations at the school cafeteria have also expanded the size of the salad bar, a move the school considers part of its wellness initiative.

     “We’re trying to emphasize healthy eating,” Davis said.

     The school hasn’t begun any of its wellness initiatives yet, but is planning how to get the most out of the grant dollars, Davis said.

     Board members also heard a report Thursday on the school’s unaudited enrollment numbers for the fall semester from Dr. Jane Hulon, vice president of instructional services.

     Total enrollment across the Wesson, Natchez and Simpson campuses dropped by a less than 1 percent since last fall. Total enrollment fell from 3,585 to 3,565.

     However, total full-time enrollment rose from 3,823 to 3,881, an increase of 1.5 percent.

     Hulon told board members a final audit of the numbers will show some further change.

     “We expect these numbers to go down,” Hulon said.

     Several Co-Lin instructors also appeared to brief board members on a cooperative effort last year between students and faculty to construct a remotely operated underwater robot and enter it into competition.

     The program brought together students and faculty from both the academic and vocational sides of the campus, said Kevin McKone, physics instructor.

     Electronics instructor Carey Williamson agreed.

     “It was really neat to see the interaction between the different disciplines,” Williamson said.

     Co-Lin President Ronnie Nettles also briefed board members about the steps taken by the administration in response to Hurricane Isaac. He added that no serious damage occurred to the of the school’s campus sites, although some water damage did occur to one building.