How We Empower Our People
Ask anyone what makes Ursinus special, and while the answers may vary, there’s almost always a common thread: It’s the people—our Bears. Our students, faculty, and staff carry on more than a century-and-a-half of history and tradition infused with a contemporary approach to the liberal arts. Over the past year, we’ve remained flexible in the face of uncertainty and shouldered extra burdens, all while remaining committed to our goals and values. We’ve doubled down on our mission, learned to take calculated risks, emboldened our thinking, and launched new wellness initiatives. Together, we’ve made the improbable possible.
Embodying Healthy Research
Students in health and exercise physiology (HEP) are advancing their body composition research thanks to a generous donation from Jeannine Stuart ’85, who cofounded AREUFIT Health Services, Inc. It’s gifts like this that help provide even more avenues for academic innovation for Ursinus students. Stuart provided Ursinus with a BOD POD, often used by professional sports teams, so students can perform studies related to obesity, clinical populations, and athletics. “I’m always impressed by the work coming out of the HEP department at Ursinus,” Stuart said. “The amount of research and the quality of research the students do is quite impressive.”
Tapping Toward Dance Education
As a board member for the Pennsylvania Dance Education Organization, Professor of Dance Karen Clemente is taking an active role in getting dance teacher certification legislation passed by the state. It would clear a pathway for dance—much like art and music—to be embedded as part of K-12 school curriculum. In April, she taught a tap dance lesson to two state representatives—one from each political party— in the state capitol building in Harrisburg.
Meet a Student-Athlete
Building on the legacy of legendary coach Eleanor Frost Snell and a rich history that has included Olympic athletes and NCAA champions, Ursinus has always been at the forefront of women’s athletics. Sydney Bowman ’22 is the latest of our trailblazers, becoming the first woman wrestler to compete in and win a match for Ursinus in the 2021 Delaware Valley Aggie duals. During the 2022-23 year, Ursinus will become the eighth college or university in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania with an NCAA women’s wrestling program and the first Centennial Conference school to offer women’s wrestling as a varsity sport. “Having a women’s team is one big step, and I hope it enables Ursinus to gain more recruits who want to come to Ursinus to wrestle,” Bowman said.
Advocating for Workplace Wellness
As director of prevention and advocacy, Katie Bean focuses on the health, wellness, and safety of embers of the Ursinus community, working to prevent harm on campus and advocate for students’ needs. She has also incorporated a personal passion into her work: yoga. As a certified yoga teacher, she brings a new layer of wellness to her work with students. When COVID-19 led to restrictions on in-person events last year, Bean decided to offer yoga online, including a “rise and stretch” morning routine and a session targeted to those who spend many hours sitting at a desk each day. “Yoga is a philosophy and an approach to life,” she said. “[It] can help the body as well as the mind.”
Charting a Course for Every Student’s Success
Every innovative vision must have a roadmap to success. In 2022, Ursinus began laying the groundwork for the next strategic plan, Every Student’s Success, giving our students agency to chart their path and lean into their potential. The plan will also create a blueprint for our faculty and staff to uniquely contribute to our students’ personal and academic growth guided by four themes: academics, inclusion and equity, student experience, and finance and philanthropy.