December 13, 2010

UMC Web Designer Takes Nearly 1 Million Steps to Win Wellness Challenge

Gina Prodan and UMC Wellness Challenge team

University Marketing & Communications team members (from left) Amy Raufman, Melissa Evans, Jacqueline Fitch and Gina Prodan won the November 10,000 Step Challenge. Photograph by Susan Griffith.

What is it like to walk almost a million steps in a month?

Just ask Gina Prodan from University Marketing and Communications. She was the top stepper in November with 979,603 steps in the pilot run of the 10,000 Step Challenge, sponsored by Office of Human Resources as part of the Case Employee Wellness program.

“If I had known that I was just 21,000 steps away from a million, I would have walked them,” said Prodan, the senior web designer/developer whose goal was to reach that milestone.

Few things stop Prodan when she gets in the competitive spirit. She even accomplished this feat after recovering from stress fractures in both legs from running a summer marathon (which she finished).

Prodan walked and ran her way to first place in this competition of 300 individuals from the Departments of Finance (38) and Administration (240) and UMC (22).

Not far behind were Katie O’Keefe (UMC), 808,955; Nick DeGeorge (Finance), 684,107; Joe Nikstenas (Administration), 630,348; and Glenn Bieler (UMC), 622,874.

Prodan’s team, composed of members Paula Baughn, Melissa Evans, Jacqueline Fitch and Amy Raufman, took first place in the team competition by logging 2,606,152 steps.

Not far behind were Team Captain DeGeorge’s team from finance with 2,136,543 and Captain Anna Dubnisheva’s administration team with 2,104,537.

“I think the participants took the challenge to a level that even we didn’t expect,” said Sarah Ziance, 1-2-1 Fitness Center program director. 

Ziance kept weekly tallies from team captains and periodically sent out encouraging messages about how to keep moving. She’s pleased with the success of the pilot. 

“It had been designed to bring a little bit of friendly competition to campus and to encourage our employees to increase their daily amount of physical activity,” Ziance said.

She added that it was encouraging to see captains urge team members to increase steps by having “walking meetings” or noontime walks.

Ziance is also hearing from walkers that the competition was just what they needed to jumpstart a consistent exercise routine and that they plan to continue.

Early next year, the campus community will have the opportunity to step it up for good health as the competition opens for everyone, said Carolyn Gregory, vice president in the Office of Human Resources.

Individuals and team winners of the challenge receive a variety of prizes including lunches, goodie bags and passes to 1-2-1 Fitness Center.

The Case Employee Wellness program also offers a variety of activities from cooking classes to health seminars to help staff and faculty learn how to live healthier lives. For more information, visit

Posted by: Emily Mayock, December 13, 2010 02:33 AM | News Topics: Staff

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