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A Miami Moment with ... Cassie Wilson
"A Miami Moment ... " is a Q-and-A column featuring Miami employees.
Wilson promotes a healthy Miami by planning wellness programs for faculty and staff as part of the employee benefits and wellness department. In return, she is grateful to Miami for providing her with opportunities that make her a happy and healthy employee.
Q: Tell me about these photos. The first one shows you with a group of smiling people who are wearing what looks like walking shoes. Is this one of the HawkWalk events?
A: This is one of the walking clubs started by employee wellness. We met once a week at the hub and just walked for 30 minutes. I love it when I get to not only plan wellness events, but also participate in them. It is great to meet new people, share our day’s events and relieve stress. We in benefits and wellness put a lot of thought into creating fun and supportive programs that allow employees to make health a part of their workday Many don’t even realize until the end of the walk that they worked out.
Q. The second photo shows what looks like employees dancing in Cook Field. Is this one of the program’s famous Zumba classes?
A: Zumba is our biggest class to date. In this photo, I was participating in a Zumba class for one of our program’s field days. We hold Zumba classes three times per week across all campuses. We continue to get about 25 people each week. We try to provide a variety of different fitness options for employees. Some like the group fitness classes and others enjoy just working out on their own in the Phillips fitness room. I too try many things. I teach yoga, personal train and lead group fitness classes. As assistant director for wellness, my days include many meetings and planning, but I still make a point to teach and/or take at least one exercise class per week. We just released our new fall line up of classes.
Q: This next photo shows you on a stage, sitting in a chair holding a very cute little girl. Is this a play or performance you were involved in at Miami?
A: This is one of several different performances that I have been very fortunate to participate with the Miami Dance Theatre Company. Lana Kay Rosenberg (kinesiology and health) invited me to audition for the company when she learned that dance was a passion of mine. This photo is of me with my daughter performing a dance called, “For Finley,” her name. It was dance that originally steered me toward learning about exercise science and kinesiology. Ultimately it led to my Master of Science degree from Northeastern University in Boston, MA. When my husband, Roscoe Wilson (art, Miami Hamilton) and I moved here, Miami provided me with the opportunity to turn my degree into a health promotion profession. And, without Miami, I would not have been able to revive my passion for dance.
Q. So that leaves the fourth photo that shows you flying through space carrying a Miami pennant. Are you really in space?
(Photo available below in PDF format.)
A: Actually, this is at the Johnson Space Center in Texas. I was flying in what they call their DC-9, or airplane that simulates weightlessness in space. Prior to my role with benefits and wellness, I spent my time between here and Texas working in the exercise physiology lab for three years at the space center. My graduate work was in the study of exercise and microgravity. I then moved permanently back to the area and was teaching adjunct at the Hamilton campus when I got the call to finish out a research project with the center. I took the Miami pennant so I could show my students that I was thinking of them, even while I was working in Texas. Funny thing is that there were several research teams flying in the airplane that day, and one of the members from another team saw the pennant and said that he was a Miami graduate. I never would have known if I hadn’t pulled out that pennant, or if Miami hadn’t again given me the opportunity.