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Iowa Lakes' Algona campus promotes wellness in students, academics

July 16, 2013
Estherville Daily News

ALGONA - The members of the Board of Trustees of Iowa Lakes Community College had the opportunity to hear about 'wellness' efforts at the Algona campus during a meeting Tuesday afternoon in Algona.

First, they heard an update on the massage therapy program which will be entirely implemented by this fall at the Algona campus. Instructor Janet Gentle shared that the coursework is fully approved by the Iowa Board of Examiners for Massage Therapy. While several students started classes this summer, the curriculum has been designed so that additional students can start this fall and stay on track for graduation in July 2014.

The Algona program allows flexibility for the students as classes are held in the evenings from 5-9 p.m. Monday through Thursday. An informational meeting is scheduled for Aug. 6 in Algona for those interested in learning more. The college continues to maintain its day massage program in Spencer with classes held Monday through Thursday.

"This evening option will allow those living farther away from Spencer to have an option to attend a campus closer to them," Gentle said.

The other wellness activity shared with the trustees came from Lynn Jenson, Success Center instructor. She talked about two student wellness activities held during the past college year. In the fall, students participated in "Fall into Wellness" bingo. Students and staff who completed five to 20 activities were eligible to win prizes.

Then, in February, the campus kicked off an activity entitled "Climb Mt. Kilimanjaro." Participants earned one point for each 30 minutes of activity as they moved 'up' the mountain. For the upcoming college year, staff members are planning monthly activities for the Algona students which will start with a "Fall Kick-Off" on Aug. 21. There will also be a Munch and Learn, Snowball Olympics and a community service project. The goal of each month's wellness activity is to get students more involved on campus, increase student retention, promote healthy habits in partnership with the Blue Zone initiative in Algona and build a sense of community on the Algona campus.

Also, Theresa Waechter, supervisor/advisor at the Algona campus, welcomed the trustees to the campus and introduced faculty and staff members. And, two students - Holly Hamlett, a nursing student, and Jamie Mueller, a massage student, talked to the trustees.

Upcoming activities in Algona include the Kossuth County Fair where Iowa Lakes will have a booth.

In other business, the trustees approved employee salaries for the 2014 fiscal year along with the master contract of the Iowa Lakes Education Association. The proposal includes a salary increase of 1.33 percent. When insurance benefits are included, the total package comes to 4.1 percent.

Jolene Rogers, executive director of Business and Community Relations, brought forth a revised 260E New Jobs Training Agreement for Simonsen Iron Works of Spencer, which is now owned by Thurston Manufacturing. The trustees approved the agreement.

Rogers also updated the trustees on potential 260F training programs with area businesses.

In Foundation news, a quarterly meeting is scheduled for August; the Scholarship Foundation Executive Committee will meet in early August; the Alumni & Friends Association has developed a marketing plan for Students Today and Alumni & Friends Forever (STAFF); and scholarship events continue through the summer months. The next event is the Poker Ride/Cruise scheduled to start at the Algona campus Saturday morning.

Delaine Hiney, executive director of Facilities Management, updated information on several projects at the college. First, construction on the swine facility is moving forward and will likely begin next Monday; second, labs on the Emmetsburg campus - Auto Tech, Farm Equipment and Welding classroom - are being upgraded this summer; and 30 geothermal wells have been installed for the Sustainable Energy Resource Technology (SERT) building on the Estherville campus.



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