College of Education and Human Development - George Mason University

College of Education and Human Development

Culture of Wellness

April 8, 2021


April 8, 2021

George Mason University Recognized by Exercise is Medicine® for Efforts to Create Culture of Wellness on Campus

George Mason among 153 campuses honored worldwide

FAIRFAX, Va.— George Mason University has been chosen as one of 153 universities and colleges worldwide to be honored by Exercise is Medicine® for its efforts to create a culture of wellness on campus.

The Mason Nation 5K and educational seminars helped George Mason University earn silver level designation from the Exercise is Medicine® On Campus (EIM-OC) program—an initiative supported by both the American College of Sports Medicine and the American Medical Association. George Mason University also earned EIM’s COVID Conqueror badge, a new honor given to campuses that demonstrated creative adaptations to physical activity programming during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are thrilled to recognize these campuses’ commitment to make movement a part of daily campus culture and equip students with tools to cultivate lifelong physical activity habits, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Robyn Stuhr, vice president of Exercise is Medicine. “These campus programs are nurturing future leaders who will advance a key tenet of Exercise is Medicine: making physical activity assessment and promotion a standard in health care.”

Of the 153 campuses recognized this year, 73 received gold, 59 silver and 21 bronze. All gold, silver and bronze universities and colleges will be officially recognized in June as part of the 2021 virtual Exercise is Medicine World Congress, held in conjunction with the American College of Sports Medicine’s Annual Meeting. EIM-OC calls upon universities and colleges to promote physical activity as a vital sign of health and encourages faculty, staff and students to work together to improve the health and well-being of the campus community.

“This past year, even with the pandemic and shut down, we were able to increase awareness of the EIM-OC program,” said Kinesiology Assistant Professor Debra Stroiney, who serves as the Mason campus advisor for EIM-OC. “We partnered with multiple departments on campus this year to hold events, programs and participate in the Mascot Challenge. We still have so much more we can do with this initiative, and I am looking forward to continuing to improve this program.”

The events held this year were held in the month of October for EIM-OC month. All events were virtual and focused on improving our well-being during the pandemic, which allowed the university to receive EIM’s COVID conqueror badge. The first annual Mason Nation Virtual 5K was held from October 15-17. The 5k was organized by multiple departments across campus and raised almost $20,000 for the Student Emergency Assistance Fund and the Student Food and Housing Insecurity Fund.

With the help of University Life, two seminars were held in October with an EIM focus. One for students discussing the role exercise has on mental well-being and academics, which was followed by a fun and challenging high intensity home workout the students could take part in during the session and keep to use in the future. The other seminar was directed towards faculty and staff to discuss the EIM program being conducted at the Freedom & Aquatic Fitness Center (FAFC). The program allows for individuals to be coached through exercise and nutrition prescriptions with the hopes of preventing and/or managing chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and others. In addition, the FAFC had their first cohort of individuals to participate in the pilot program. Data and feedback was collected on this first cohort to determine the effectiveness of the program and points for improvement in the future. Finally, George Mason participated in the mascot challenge also held in October. The mascot challenge is contest where the campus submits a 90 second video showing the Mascot participating in EIM specific activities. The theme of the challenge was Sweating off the Stress. Watch the video here:

EIM-OC launched its recognition program in 2014 to honor campuses for their efforts to create a culture of wellness. Schools earn gold, silver or bronze status based on their activities. Gold level campuses have created a referral system where campus health care providers assess students’ physical activity and refer students as necessary to a certified fitness professional as part of medical treatment. Silver campuses engage students, faculty and staff in education initiatives and make movement part of the daily campus culture while bronze level campuses promote and generate awareness of the health benefits of physical activity.

View a complete list of recognized schools and learn more about the EIM-OC program at


About George Mason University’s College of Education and Human Development

The College of Education and Human Development (CEHD) at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, inspires undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral students to promote learning and development across the life span. Innovative, inclusive, and cutting-edge, the college and its 30 academic programs that spread across three schools (School of Education, School of Kinesiology, and School of Sport, Recreation, and Tourism Management) prepare professionals who improve lives and make a difference for the community and for the world. The college is a nationally recognized leader in educator preparation, special education, counseling, and school leadership; prides itself in far-reaching expertise that includes sport management, human performance, athletic training, recreation management, and tourism and events management; and is home to 9 centers engaged in groundbreaking research. Learn more at

About Exercise Is Medicine

The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) co-launched Exercise is Medicine® (EIM) in 2007 with the American Medical Association. ACSM continues to manage the global health initiative, which seeks to make physical activity assessment and promotion a standard in clinical care, connecting health care with evidence-based physical activity resources for people everywhere of all abilities. EIM is committed to the belief that physical activity promotes optimal health, is integral in the prevention and treatment of many medical conditions and should be regularly assessed and included as part of health care. Visit for additional information.