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Bradley Hilltopics

Fall 2008 • Volume 14, Issue 4  

Notebook

 

Stairway to wellness

By ABBY WILSON ’10

bu artists painting osf mural

Employees at OSF Saint Francis Medical Center have a new reason to take the stairs, thanks to art instructor HEATHER BRAMMEIER ’00 and nine students. The group volunteered about 40 hours and painted a series of murals on seven landings in one of the hospital’s stairwells to encourage wellness.

OSF wellness specialist Pam Lichtenstein contacted Brammeier in spring 2007 with the possibility of painting the murals to encourage hospital employees to take the stairs instead of the elevator, as well as engaging in general healthy behavior. Brammeier began working on a design inspired by her own garden.

Once a design and color palette were decided upon, the students penciled a grid onto the walls. By referring to a gridded version of the original design, students were able to enlarge the design into the corresponding grid on the walls. Next, the students looked at pictures of flowers and began adding their own touches to the murals. Finally, they added inspirational quotes such as “Wish it…Dream it…Do it” to the top layer of each mural.

CONNIE WILLIAMS ’10 commented, “I just thought it sounded like fun, and I haven’t been disappointed.” For BECKY GOUGHNOUR ’09, painting the murals provided an opportunity to bring her art to the community. “It’s a good way to get out in the community — a way to share art because not everyone gets to see it.”

Gymnast overcomes hurdles

By ABBY WILSON ’10

kristin kaye stretching

Over the past year, KRISTIN KAYE ’11 has experienced more hands-on interaction in her field of study than any internship could provide. The 20-year-old dietetics and psychology double major took a one-year leave of absence from Bradley to compete around the world in rhythmic gymnastics with the U.S. Senior National Group Team four years after an eating disorder forced her from the sport.

Kaye thought her career ended in 2003 at the age of 15, during her time on the Senior National Team. While away from the sport, she worked with doctors and therapists to overcome her eating disorder.

She began rhythmic gymnastics when she was 8 years old; her coaches thought she could go far. “I didn’t really have any expectations for myself going into it,” says Kaye, who won the Level 8 Junior Olympic Championships in 2000. She continued to compete as an individual, and in 2001 joined the Junior National Team. The next year, she became the 2002 Junior National Champion.

“I tried to think that was the end of my gymnastics career,” Kaye says. “I tried to find new interests — and I did — but I realized there was something missing.” Her therapists and doctors believed returning to gymnastics would trigger unhealthy dietary behavior. During her freshman year at Bradley, however, she decided it was time to go back. “When I got the idea of coming back, I really thought I could use what I’d learned through working with a dietitian and a psychologist and apply that to being on the team.”

Kaye spent the year traveling the world, representing the United States in several European competitions, even though the American rhythmic gymnastics team was unable to win a spot in the Olympics. However, they did beat one Olympic-bound team and tied another at a competition in Portugal.

Kaye helped start a support group on campus for people struggling with eating disorders and also speaks for the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders (ANAD). She wants to work with other gymnasts struggling with eating disorders. “I feel like I’m done with this part of my life. Now I can move on to finish my education and help other athletes.” Since Kaye has left competitive rhythmic gymnastics, she has taken up ballroom dancing. View a slideshow of Kaye’s travels here.