With a vision to make wellness and athletics an integral part of the student, faculty and staff experience, Westminster College set out to make a statement by designing the 85,500 sf Dolores Dore Eccles Health, Wellness and Athletic Center (HWAC) on a 28-acre campus to become home to the School of Nursing and Health Sciences and Intercollegiate Athletics. Intending to bring fitness, wellness and recreation to a campus with a weak intramural program, the Center needed to bring a new vision, new department and new culture to campus—one that inspired every individual to maximize their potential in all domains of wellness.
Development of a Fitness, Wellness and Recreation department would be central to the success of the HWAC – ensuring all facets of the curricular and non-curricular student experience were integrated. A comprehensive baseline assessment allowed for “the voice” of campus to drive the development of a clear vision and strategic plan, ultimately yielding program offerings and staff hiring, training and departmental policies which reflect the principles of wellness.
Alesha served as the first Director of Fitness, Wellness and Recreation, pioneering a campus-wide cultural shift toward greater health and wellness. In addition to guiding the architectural design of the HWAC, Alesha was instrumental in hiring and training all staff, developing programs in group fitness, personal training, wellness seminars, indoor rock climbing and intramural sports. She assisted with fundraising, developed all facility operations protocols, informed marketing and communications strategies, and facilitated program integration across: Intercollegiate Athletics, Counseling, Campus Ministry, Human Resources, Food Services, Environmental Studies, Psychology, the School of Nursing and Health Sciences, Administration and external stakeholders. The Health, Wellness and Athletic Center more than tripled its membership in the first three years.