Welcome to Healthy Urban Bodies’ new spaces to move and fuel you!

Posted on November 7, 2017
People exercising with bars, balls, and weights, and food demonstrations.

On Wednesday, October 18, doors officially opened on the newly renovated and expanded Healthy Urban Bodies program at UW-Milwaukee.

The result of collaborative effort of Kinesiology and Nutritional Sciences programs at the College of Health Sciences (CHS), the expanded Healthy Urban Bodies program better serves the growing need for experiential learning opportunities for CHS students and quality health and wellness programs for UWM employees and in the community.

Healthy Urban Bodies, or “The HUB” as it is referred to by dedicated program participants, now occupies two on-campus locations –in Enderis Hall and the Northwest Quad – and hopes to expand programming to other UWM locations and beyond campus into the community.

Mission and rebranding

The mission of Healthy Urban Bodies is student-centric: to enhance the academic achievement and overall experience of undergraduate and graduate students pursuing degrees in Kinesiology and Nutritional Sciences by providing student- developed and led healthy lifestyle and wellness-related services and programs to UWM employees and members of the greater Milwaukee community.

“The HUB” got its start in 2014 when leadership spanning the College recognized that students needed additional opportunities and programming space to put the knowledge and skills they acquire in class into practice. This coincided with a growing interest and opportunity for academic units in CHS to provide evidence-based, high-quality exercise, activity and healthy living classes and programs that are convenient and accessible to all.

Rebranding to “Healthy Urban Bodies” took place over the summer of 2017 in an effort create greater connection to UWM while retaining familiarity as “The HUB” on campus. “Healthy” is an obvious priority and connection to CHS while “Urban” recognizes the role and importance of UWM as an urban university.

What we do and where we do it

“Students focusing on exercise and wellness in our academic programs do have lots of chances to practice their skills during classes, but they are usually limited to practicing with each other,” said Clinical Associate Professor Laura Rooney, PhD, MS, Department of Kinesiology, Exercise Science and Health Promotion (ESHP) Unit.

“What they don’t always get the chance to do is to translate their skills to different settings or across a greater diversity of individual ages, backgrounds, interests and abilities. Experience through Healthy Urban Bodies gives them that opportunity.”

The mostly student staff includes knowledgeable and high-energy students pursuing degrees in Kinesiology and Nutritional Sciences mentored by clinical faculty and community instructors and trainers.

Healthy Urban Bodies currently offers group exercise and activity classes in a variety of formats and intensity levels for UWM employees through its renovated spaces on the ground floor of the Northwest Quad building. As student and participant involvement continues to grow, HUB aims to keep expanding to welcome community members and add programs such as personal and small group training, individual fitness assessments and specialty workshops and events on a variety of healthy living topics.

In Enderis Hall, HUB visitors will find a newly designed Applied Foods Lab and teaching kitchen. Clinical Assistant Professor Michelle Rimer, MPH, MS, RD, Department of Kinesiology, ESHP Unit, celebrates the renovation of the original space in Enderis Hall because  “having this kind of demonstration space for experimenting with different methodologies takes the educational opportunities available at UWM to the next level.”

Rimer also noted that “this is not just a space that will help Nutritional Sciences students. We recognize the value of having a teaching kitchen on campus and an Applied Foods Lab that can be rented out to other groups or student organizations who wish to use the space.”

Both Rooney and Rimer agree that this fall’s “grand opening” of Healthy Urban Bodies with expanded spaces on campus is a springboard to continued success and an opportunity to reinforce the mission of the program.

“The grand opening this month is really about recognizing what we have been able to create so far and recommitting to mission and continued growth,” said Rooney. “Expanding from a one-room, 900 square foot, shared programming space (for both exercise and cooking!) to over 2,000 square feet of separate exercise and cooking-specific spaces has enhanced our ability to realize goals by offering more than was previously available.”

We get by with a little help from our friends

Healthy Urban Bodies is a fully integrated initiative made possible through the effort and support of several individuals within CHS and community sponsors:

  • Ron Cisler, PhD, dean of the College of Health Sciences and professor in the Department of Health Informatics and Administration
  • Clinical Associate Professor Sue Stalewski, MBA, MLS (ASCP)CM, Department of Biomedical Sciences and director of Academic Innovation and Planning for CHS.
  • Ann Swartz, PhD, ACSM Fellow, chair of the Department of Kinesiology
  • Community sponsors, especially Kohler® and Sendik’s.

For more information about the Healthy Urban Bodies program including descriptions and schedules of classes and events, visit uwm.edu/thehub/

Kinesiology: the science that moves us…

On the ground floor of Northwest Quad – building B (the previous Columbia St. Mary’ hospital building), you’ll find a newly renovated spaces for exercise and activity. At nearly 1,200 square feet of programming space, HUB has two multi-purpose rooms and a variety of group and individual-based exercise equipment that allows for a wide variety of programming.

The group activity room hosts activity classes ranging from dance to circuit training, from strength training to yoga, self-myofascial release and more for groups of 6-10 participants. Small group and personal training and assessments take place in an adjoining cardio and weight training studio space with attached locker rooms, including private changing spaces, storage lockers and restrooms (no showers… yet!) and two private offices for client consultation and coaching.

Students interested in Exercise and Wellness in Kinesiology should contact Clinical Associate Professor Laura Rooney (lrooney@uwm.edu) to learn more about how HUB supports Kinesiology courses and learn more about volunteer, part-time staff and internship opportunities. Any UWM employees interested in participating in programs can also contact Laura or find information at uwm.edu/thehub/


Nutritional Sciences: the science that fuels us…

The “learning” kitchen includes a fully equipped kitchen, with five cooking stations including an electric range, oven, shared refrigerator and microwave. As a fully functional Applied Foods Lab, the space also has a white board, monitor and camera at demonstration area to facilitate up to 25 student learners and 20 attendees for hands-on activities.

Students interested in Nutritional Sciences should contact Clinical Assistant Professor Michelle Rimer (rimer@uwm.edu) to learn more about the curriculum and internship opportunities. The program currently supports four interns per semester from NUTR 470. The teaching kitchen can also be rented out by other groups on campus.