Having accepted the challenge to lose weight to generate monies for the scholarship program, student Taryn Mazur and Sodexo manager Cynthia Richardson each brought home the grand prize of a 42-inch flat screen television.
They were competing against 54 students and staff in a pounds-for-dollars program called Make Marble Pay. The program ran through the Spring 2011 trimester at the University of Science and Arts.
The trimester kicked off with a challenge from Dr. Dex Marble (B.A., Stanford, M.A. and Ph.D., Texas Christian University, J.D., University of Oklahoma,) vice president for academic affairs, to students, faculty and staff alike. For every pound lost, Marble would donate $10 to the scholarship fund.
After a grueling term that included an unscheduled “snowmageddon stay-cation” just when people were trying to shed holiday pounds, USAO students, faculty and staff lost a total of 416.75 pounds.
Sixty-eight students weighed in at the beginning of the program. While only 24 completed the initiative by registering the ending weight at the end of the term, the students, as a group, trimmed a total of 228.5 pounds. Mazur, a sophomore business administration and physical education major from Tucson, Arizona, reduced his total mass by 15 percent.
The staff and faculty had a higher participation rate with 30 of the 40 who began the program returning to register a final weight. In total pounds, the students maintained a slight edge as the staff and faculty ended the program with 188.25 pounds lost. Richardson, however, achieved the best mass reduction with 19 percent.
Though the competition, on the surface, was about scholarship money and winning a flat-screen television, Chris Basco (B.S. Fort Hays State University, M.A. Northwest Louisiana State), director of Health Services, was quick to return the focus to its proper place.
“At the end of the day, this is all about the students,” Basco said. “If this program, or any other weight-loss initiative, can instill in even a few of them the habits of healthy eating and regular exercise then we’ve fulfilled our mission of helping them to lead fuller, happier lives. That’s what we want for every student.”
Marble, who had pledged up to $5,000 for the program was a little disappointed with the strong turn-out.
“There is not enough money left over to go to Las Vegas which is disappointing, perhaps more so for my wife than for me,” he said. “Right now, we’re debating between a trip to the Golden Corral or finally paying off our late fees at Blockbuster video.”