Springfield College Center for Wellness Education and Research Sponsors Alumni College Event Focused on Childhood Obesity



The Springfield College Center for Wellness Education and Research sponsored an alumni college event on Nov. 15, at the YMCA of Greater Nashua in Merrimack, N.H. The event focused on best practices in lifestyle-related strategies to prevent childhood obesity.

The keynote speaker for the event was Russell Pate, a Springfield College graduate from the Class of 1968, who addressed current policies to promote physical activity and prevent obesity in youth. Pate currently is a professor in the Arnold School of Public Health’s Department of Exercise Science at the University of South Carolina, and he is an exercise physiologist with interests in physical activity, physical fitness in children, and the health implications of physical activity.  He has published more than 300 scholarly papers, and has authored and edited eight books.


In 1995, Pate coordinated the effort that led to the development of the physical health and public health recommendations for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American College of Sports Medicine. He also has served on the U.S. Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, the U.S. Physical Activity Guidelines Advisory Committee, and an Institute of Medicine Panel that developed guidelines on prevention of childhood obesity.

Take-home strategies to prevent childhood obesity opened the day’s presentations with 2008 Springfield College graduate Casey Pilkington Aiezza providing examples of innovative ways to incorporate physical activity into a kid’s school day. Aiezza has been teaching physical education in New Fairfield, Conn., for the past seven years.  Joining Aiezza was Gigia Kolouch, education director of the Seed-to-Table Program at Slow Food Denver, a program that provides support to local school gardens for more than 50 local schools.

Social media was utilized during the event to engage attendees in what they were learning and provided individuals who were unable to attend an opportunity to ask questions and address the topics discussed. Participants utilized the Springfield College Center for Wellness Education and Research official Twitter address at @SpringfieldCWER to discuss the information they were learning in real-time by utilizing the hashtag #kidswellness.  

This interactive and hands-on event offered professional credits (PDPs), CEUs, and CMEs while allowing participants an opportunity to receive real solutions and real connections in the field of childhood physical activity and nutrition.

Founded in 1885, Springfield College is known worldwide for the guiding principles of its Humanics philosophy—educating students in spirit, mind and body for leadership in service to others. With its foundation of academic excellence and rich athletic heritage, Springfield College prepares students with real-world leadership skills for careers that transform lives and communities. The college offers a range of undergraduate and graduate degree programs in the fields of health sciences, human and social services, sport management and movement studies, education, business, and the arts and sciences. It also offers doctoral programs in physical education, physical therapy, and counseling psychology. The college is ranked in the 2015 edition of “Best Colleges” in the top tier of “Best Regional Universities – North Region” by U.S.News and World Report, and is designated as a premier Leadership Development Center by the YMCA of the USA. More than 5,000 traditional, nontraditional and international students study at its main campus in Springfield, Mass., and at its School of Human Services campuses across the country.