The Nobbs Wellness Center (pictured here) serves the headquarters for Make Marble Pay, a wellness initiative designed to raise money for the general scholarship fund at USAO. The program, now entering its fourth year, has raised more than $13,000.
USAO News Bureau

University weight-loss initiative launches Jan. 20

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

A scholarship drive designed to promote healthy eating and wellness launches its fourth year with a lunchtime get together, beginning at noon on Jan. 20 at Dusty’s in the Student Center at the University of Science and Arts.

The program, called Make Marble Pay, will award a Fitbit Flex, an innovative, wearable device that tracks exercise and fitness goals throughout the day, to four grand prize winners. Each winner will also receive a $50 gift certificate to Hibbett Sports.

The four winners will be chosen from the male and female student who loses the greatest percentage of body mass, the staff/faculty member with the greatest percentage lost and to the individual who loses the greatest number of pounds.

The program will end on April 11, two weeks before the end of the spring term.

For every pound lost during that period, Dr. Dex Marble, vice president of academic affairs at the university, will donate $10 towards the general scholarship fund.

Though the initiative had been capped at $5000 for the first two years of the program, Marble has lifted those limitations last year and remains committed to funding whatever the campus initiative can generate.

“I want people to know that I’m as serious as they are about this program,” Marble says. “If, as a group, we can shed a thousand pounds through good nutrition and exercise, I’m fully prepared to write a check for $10,000 and consider it money well spent.”

Those interested in participating are invited to weigh-in at the Nobbs Wellness Center, located in the Student Center, at any time during the spring term.


Bigger challenges, better tools

The Make Marble Pay program is overseen by Chris Basco, USAO’s assistant dean of students.

In addition to ensuring that each participant is healthy enough to take part in the program, he’ll be available to offer counseling on the best techniques for safe and sustainable weight loss and answer questions that may arise related to the program.

All weight totals will be kept confidential and will not be shared with anyone else at any time.

Each participant is eligible to win only one grand prize. In the event that someone loses both the most weight and the greatest percentage, the additional prize will be awarded to the closest second place finisher.

Participants are invited to come and weigh-in during the course of the initiative at the Nobbs Wellness Center at their leisure. They must weigh in at least four times during the program to be eligible for the prizes.

“If they want to participate, people have to do the initial and final weigh-in with me,” Basco says. “After that, they can weigh in with the Nobbs staff as often as they like and we’ll encourage that behavior by giving away prizes for those who weigh in regularly.”

Tools for Success

To increase awareness and provide more tools for success, USAO Campus Dining, who provides food services for the campus, will be designating one meal per service as optimized for those participating.

The Make Marble Pay meal option will be designated by specially-branded displays on the serving line alongside the nutritional information that is already available.

Programs optimized for those beginning a new exercise regimen, created by Basco, also will be available in the Nobbs Wellness Center along with dietary tips.

Informational Meeting

The launch meeting is designed to give participants an overview of all the tools being made available for the program. Marble is scheduled to share his vision for tying fitness with academic success.

Alea Burke, Health and Wellness director at the local YMCA, will share tips for combining changes in eating with a sensible exercise regimen to achieve fitness goals.

Water and fruit will be provided by Student Services during the meeting.

More information about the program can be obtained by calling 574-1331.