Awards & Accomplishments

UCO Healthy Campus consists of a coalition of students, faculty, staff, and community partners that are working together to create a healthier campus and community. The awards and accomplishments described below are not a comprehensive list of the initiative's work, but rather a highlight of efforts.


CERTIFIED HEALTHY CAMPUS The University of Central Oklahoma maintained its status as a Certified Healthy Campus for the fifth consecutive year for the calendar year 2015, while also ranking as a Certified Healthy Business for the second consecutive year. The dual certification recognizes the university’s efforts to promote health and wellness among its students, faculty and staff.

2015 MASONIC ENDOWMENT FOR TRANSFORMATIVE LEARNING AWARD The UCO Peer Health Leadership program was recognized with the $4000 award from the Masonic Fraternity of Oklahoma. The award is given to a UCO organization that exemplifies the university's commitment to providing transformative learning experiences to its students.

ACHA NCHA SURVEY Central has participated in the American College Health Association National College Health Assessment Survey in 2006, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2014 and 2016.  NCHA is a population-based assessment of student health status and needs.  The assessment tool provides standardized measures with published reliability and validity data.  In addition, the NCHA provides data from questions that inquire into the connection between health status and academic progress.

SUICIDE PREVENTION Over 15 faculty and staff from UCO were certified in QPR--Question, Persuade, Refer--through the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse in February 2015. Each QPR trainer has committed to providing at least 2 training sessions for the UCO community per year.

BYSTANDER INTERVENTION In summer of 2015, 4 representatives from UCO were trained in the Bringing in the Bystander® curriculum which focuses on a model that teaches bystanders how to intervene safely and effectively in cases where sexual assault may be occurring or where there may be a risk. Currently, Bringing in the Bystander® is being implemented throughout the campus in curricular and co-curricular environments such as Greek Life, Residence Life, Peer Health Leaders, and Healthy Life Skills classes.

NO MORE ZEBRAS In recognition of Sexual Assault Awareness Month in April 2015, the UCO Healthy Campus Initiative partnered with campus and community organizations to bring Steve Thompson, one of the country's foremost experts on sexual assault, stalking, harassment and threat assessment, to speak to over 1,000 students regarding sexual assault and bystander intervention. Thompson brought his impactful No Zebras, No Excuses® curriculum to groups such as UCO law enforcement, athletics, and the general student population.



CERTIFIED HEALTHY CAMPUS Central was recognized as a Certified Healthy Campus (Excellence Level) for its outstanding efforts and achievements in actively creating a safe and healthy environment for students, employees and visitors for the calendar year 2013 by the Oklahoma State Department of Health.

ACHA LEWIS BARBATO AWARD UCO Peer Health Leader - Sara Shipley received the 2013 American College Health Association Lewis Barbato Award for Outstanding Student Service for her original health education program - Supermarket Smarts.  The program is held at local grocery stores and teaches students how to shop for healthy food, read food labels and to make healthy food selection.

EXERCISE IS MEDICINE Developed by the American College of Sports Medicine, Central launched an intentional referral network and documented process between the Wellness Center, Mercy Clinic at UCO, Student Counseling Center and the Department of Kinesiology and Health Studies to assist students with referral to care and appropriate follow up.

SEXUAL ATTITUDE REASSESSMENT WORKSHOP Healthy Campus hosted a SAR workshop for higher education professionals in the fall of 2012. The workshop was designed to promote open, honest self-awareness for anyone who deals with sexuality at work. Participants are then more competent and comfortable working with any population on sexual behavior.

CAMPUS AND COMMUNITY HEALTH RESOURCE GUIDE Developed by UCO Peer Health Leader - Danielle Hernandez - this guide provides students with campus and community information for medical, mental health and social services.  The guide can be found on ALL students' D2L accounts to access at any time for information and referral.

SUICIDE PREVENTION UCO partnered with Headline to implement suicide prevention efforts with all Healthy Life Skills classes which are part of the core curriculum.  The HELP curriculum ASK, LISTEN, TELL has allowed thousands of UCO students to receive valuable suicide prevention information.

NATIONAL NUTRITION MONTH Held in March of each year, Peer Health Leaders and the Student Dietetic Association implement a variety of health education programs including the Campus Cook, Supermarket Smarts and the Bite Me social marketing campaign. The goal of the program is to bring awareness to healthy eating.

HEALTHY VENDING OPTIONS  Central launched its healthy vending machine initiative in the fall of 2013. The first of six healthy vending options was installed in the Human Environmental Science building, the second in Coyner Health Sciences and the third in the Wellness Center.  More healthy vending options to come!

CVS COMMUNITY FOUNDATION ACCESS TO HEALTHCARE GRANT UCO received the CVS Community Foundation - Access to Healthcare Grant of $2500 to help student veterans transition from traditional rehabilitation services to post-rehabilitation fitness programs.  The program provides student veterans with free personal fitness training services.

HPV VACCINATION CLINIC  UCO received a CDC grant for free HPV Vaccine for students 19-26 through its partnership with the Oklahoma City-County Health Department. The retail value of the vaccine was approximately $40,000 and provided 300 free doses to students.



ACHA NCHA SURVEY Central has participated in the American College Health Association National College Health Assessment Survey in 2006, 2008, 2010 and 2012.  NCHA is a population-based assessment of student health status and needs.  The assessment tool provides standardized measures with published reliability and validity data.  In addition, the NCHA provides data from questions that inquire into the connection between health status and academic progress.

STUDENT LEADERSHIP AWARDS UCO student organizations Delta Sigma Theta and Alpha Kappa Alpha received the UCO Healthy Campus Initiative Leadership Awards in 2011 and 2012, respectively.  Students Larissa Adams Boyd and Alaura Ervin received the Healthy Campus Initiative Award for Individual Student in 2011 and 2012. 

Sponsored by Campus Activities & Events, these leadership awards are designed to recognize student organizations and individual students for their efforts in creating programs, policies, and services that support student learning and wellness.

FLU & COLD PREVENTION CAMPAIGN Central launched flu campaigns in the fall of 2011 and 2012.  The campaign included education, flu vaccinations and the distribution of flu kits to students living on campus. 

In 2010, 21.8% of UCO students reported that the cold or flu had a negative impact on academic performance; in 2012 9.7% of student reported the cold or flu had a negative impact on academic performance. In 2012, 35.3% of UCO students received the flu shot; 37.2% reported receiving the flu shot in 2012. (ACHA NCHA 2012).

LABYRINTH Coordinated by Dr. Diane Rudebock of KHS, Central's 11 circuits outdoor grass Labyrinth design includes one meandering path that starts at the outer edge and encircles the center.  The walker is encouraged to reflect on the thoughts that come and go as they move along the path; often times these thoughts provide interesting insights and clarity for the walker.

The Labyrinth has been host to hundreds of students and employees participating in "Gratitude Walks", Inauguration Week activities, academic classes and other events.  Groundbreaking for a permanent campus labyrinth was held in December of 2012 and will be located in Heartland Plaza.

TOBACCO FREE On July 1st, 2010, Central became a Tobacco Free Campus. Cessation and prevention programs continue to be promoted and implemented for the campus community, including the American Lung Association's Freedom from Smoking program, Oklahoma Tobacco Quit Line, American Cancer Society's Great American Smokeout, Kick Butts Day and others.

Over 20 universities and technical schools in Oklahoma have implemented a tobacco-free or smoke fee policy in the last five years.  Among young adults aged 18 to 24 years, smoking cigarettes have decreased by 20 percent in Oklahoma. (U.S. Surgeon General, Preventing Tobacco Use Among Youth and Young Adults 2012).

PEER HEALTH LEADERSHIP PROGRAM Since the fall of 2010, twenty students have served as Peer Health Leaders for the campus community - with the goal of promoting health and wellness and serving as positive role models for their peers.  These students have implemented numerous health education programs including the Dorm Room workout, Supermarket Smarts, the Happy Lives blog, Sexual Health Awareness Week and others.  Peer Health Leader programs served over 600 students at Central.  In the fall of 2011, 12 peer health leaders participated in the BACCHUS Peer Health Educator workshop, earning nationally recognized certifications.

Through participation in the program, UCO Peer Health Leaders have reported an increase in several student learning and development outcomes including improvement in communication and interpersonal skills; presentation skills; problem-solving skills; leadership; networking and campus involvement; team building; multicultural awareness and knowledge of various health topics. 

BE BRONCHO FIT! EMPLOYEE WELLNESS In September 2011, Central full time and part-time employees were provided no-cost memberships to the campus Wellness Center as an employee benefit.  Since the implementation of the new policy, Wellness Center visits by employees have increased fourfold. 

With increased organizational support from campus leadership and awareness of employee wellness, many campus departments have implemented various health and fitness programs including Enrollment Management's GET EM (Go Exercise Together); College of Education and Professional Studies WALKFIT; Wellness Center Incentive Campaign; and the Department of Kinesiology and Health Studies and Nutrition Department's Student and Employee Coaching program.

HEALTH & WELLNESS FACULTY LIAISON In January 2012, UCO's Academic Affairs named Christy Vincent, Ph.D. as Faculty Liaison for the health and wellness tenet of Transformative Learning.  In the role, Dr. Vincent, associate professor of Organizational Communication at Central, provides support and advises faculty colleagues in developing programs and services that will enhance the student learning experience; and serves as a resource to students and faculty for health and wellness issues on campus.

SEXUAL HEALTH AWARENESS WEEKS  UCO Healthy Campus, in partnership with Teen Empower and Planned Parenthood-sponsored Sexual Health Awareness Week in April 2012 and September 2012.  The weeks' events consisted of events and programs geared toward sexual health and responsibility for college students. Over 750 students participated in both weeks' events.  Students were encouraged to sign the "Big Bed"; attend a movie night and participate in "Sex in the Dark".

AHA GOLD FIT! FRIENDLY COMPANY Central has been recognized as a Gold Fit! Friendly Company for years 2010 and 2011 by the American Heart Association for its positive efforts in providing and promoting health and wellness activities for its employees.

FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE GROUP FITNESS Hundreds of students have participated in group fitness classes at the Wellness Center - from yoga to indoor cycling, Zumba, cardio hip hop and more.  Through a generous gift from Oklahoma Fidelity Bank, 40 students were provided with financial assistance to participate in Wellness Center group fitness classes at no cost.

CAMPUS WALKING TRAILS - MOBILE APPLICATION  A web application was created by Central's CPDE office for the campus walking trails.  The web app allows the campus community access to three unique campus trails via mobile devices.  The application uses Google maps and provides users with features such as directions between 'waypoints' and lap time/speed.  The goal of the app is to encourage improved fitness and health in the campus community by providing easy and convenient access to trail directions and information through the use of technology and mobile devices.

CERTIFIED HEALTHY BUSINESS AND CAMPUS UCO received the Certified Healthy Business - Certificate of Merit for 2010 and received the Certified Healthy Campus - Certificate of Merit in 2011 and 2012.   The Certified Healthy Business and Campus Programs recognize those businesses and higher education institutions that work to improve health and wellness through various programs and services. The program is sponsored by the Oklahoma State Department of Health, Oklahoma Turning Point, Oklahoma Academy for State Goals, and the State Chamber.

SPIRITUAL WELLNESS NETWORK In the fall of 2010, the Edmond Spiritual Network formed to bring awareness to the role that spirituality plays in individual and community health; and to promote student access to Edmond faith-based organizations.

UCO received the 2011 Southwest College Health Association (SWCHA) Award & Grant for Best Practice/Program - Institution for its development of the Spiritual Wellness Network. The $500 grant helped to fund a campus and community resource guide for students.

QPR: QUESTION, PERSUADE & REFER - SUICIDE PREVENTION Since the fall of 2010 and as part of coursework objectives for the Healthy Life Skills class, the QPR program has provided approximately 3600 student information and training on how to recognize the warning signs of someone who may be in a suicidal crisis.  In the spring 2012 semester, over 100 students at Central reported that they had an opportunity to apply QPR with someone they know. (ACHA NCHA 2012).

NACUBO AWARD FOR INNOVATION UCO is awarded the 2010 National Association of College & University Business Officers (NACUBO) Award for Innovation for its partnership with the Mercy Health Network. Mercy Health provides medical services for the campus, operating the campus health clinic.

For more information on awards and accomplishments of the Healthy Campus Leadership Team, contact Alex Russell at or 405-974-3407 or

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