marketing and public relations
click here for the news highlights
click here for all news releases
click here for contacts
click here to read our functions
click here for the experts guide
click here for our home page
click here to subscribe to news by email
click here for the southern miss home page
click here for licensing
style guide
graphics standards
Released December 11, 2003


HATTIESBURG - The University of Southern Mississippi's Department of Recreational Sports has been named the recipient of the Mississippi Governor's Commission on Physical Fitness and Sports Worksite Wellness Award.

As a recipient of the award, the Department of Recreational Sports will be honored at the governor's mansion in Jackson on Tuesday, Dec. 16. Department representatives will receive a framed letter of recognition from Governor Ronnie Musgrove and will receive local affiliation status with the Governor's Commission of Physical Fitness and Sports.

Reviewed by a panel of business and fitness experts, nominees were judged on various criteria gauging the overall health of worksite wellness. These include employer investment, such as workout facilities and incentives; quality of life factors, such as contributions or incentives to the local community to promote healthier choices; labor-management relations, such as safety issues, self-improvement, etc.; leadership, found in innovative programs to promote wellness; and recognition for contributions to worksite and community wellness.

"This isn't just an award for the Rec Sports Department, but for the whole university," said Stacey Ready, assistant director for marketing and public relations for Recreational Sports. "Fitness helps everyone who works here because it ensures a happier, healthier, more productive environment."

Touted in the department's application, Ready said, were several outstanding facts about its employees and facilities. All employees of Recreational Sports are trained in basic First Aid, and some have extensive additional training like CPR and AED, which provides a safe wellness and fitness environment, she said.

"At the heart and soul of our fitness community is the Payne Center, which offers a myriad of activities and services. We also offer two trails - the Wilgus Trail and the Longleaf Trace -- that are available not only to the university community but to Hattiesburg and the surrounding area, as well," Ready continued.

Counting intramural sports and student, faculty and staff workout activities, the Payne Center has had more than 4 million participants since opening in 1993.

The department also offers fitness incentive programs to the university community such as "No Payne, No Gain" and "Club Natural High: A Freshman Year Experience."

"We also employ a full-time Wellness Director, Dr. Susan Bone, who works to provide our community with information about self-improvement opportunities and healthy lifestyle choices," Ready said. "We continually monitor how we are doing through a variety of instruments designed to give us feedback.

"We are constantly coming up with new ideas of how to promote fitness for all of our academic community, staff and students. Whether it's a smoking cessation or a weight-loss program, we have something for everyone."

Mike Giles, director of Recreational Sports, said he was proud to accept the award on behalf of the governor's council and promised even better results in the future.

"I feel our employee wellness program is in its infancy, and we plan to grow it in the future to ensure the possibility of a healthy lifestyle for everyone in South Mississippi," Giles said.


to the top


This page is maintained by the Department of Marketing and Public Relations at
The University of Southern Mississippi at
Comments and suggestions are welcome; direct them to
URL for this page is
April 20, 2004 4:09 PM