Women in Motion: The Morrison-Bruce Center for the Promotion of Physical Activity for Girls & Women

Kinesiology is an area of study that is often considered male-oriented, but on this campus, a center has been created that reaches out specifically to women in campus and in the community to get involved in physical activities in their daily lives and careers.

The Morrison-Bruce Center (MBC) holds several fund-raisers and events throughout the academic year, as well as during the summer.  Some of their fundraisers include:

  • A partnership with the Mulligans Golf Center and LPGA to increase physical activity of children in the community and to decrease childhood obesity.
    • (This fundraiser received the Champions Award from the Surgeon General of the United States in 2006.)
  • Girls Golf Days
  • Alumni Health and Fitness Programs
  • Movin’ and Groovin’ Day

Movin’ and Groovin’ Day is an annual event, which draws as many as 100 children from the community and other areas of Virginia.  Judith Flohr, the Director of the Morrison-Bruce Center, says, “No other institution in the state or region has an event equal in size or influence.   The participants are provided an opportunity to understand the role of fitness in helping reduce overweight and obesity as well as gain insight into the “science of fitness”.”  The event took place in March of this year and will take place again in 2011.

The Alumni Health and Fitness Program, which Flohr calls the “flagship of MBC,” takes place once a year as well, and draws alumni back to campus for a two and a half day program that focuses on health and physical activity.  Not only is this program beneficial to the alumni who gather to participate, but the program also works to fund the center through alumni donations.

The MBC also provides opportunities to JMU students, providing them with internship and apprenticeship prospects.

“During academic year 2009-2010, two out of state (Minnesota, Maryland) students chose to accept the Department’s offer for admission and an assistantship because it would allow them the opportunity to work in the MBC. The students indicated that there were no other programs in the country that afforded them the unique learning opportunities offered through the MBC,” stated Flohr.  The program also provides internships for approximately 12 students each year, and has helped to fund just as many students in their masters and honors projects.

The main goal of MBC is to promote physical activity in girls and women, but it also works to provide experience for JMU students in the Kinesiology department in research, outreach, and participation in service programs.

For more information about the Morrison-Bruce Center and its calendar of events, its mission, descriptions of notable women, corresponding news, and more, visit their website:

http://www.jmu.edu/kinesiology/cppagw/

–bellBrumberg

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