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Jun 29

Downtown Greensboro: Free fitness classes offered on Tuesday nights through September – WXII12 Winston-Salem

Its time to break a sweat and jam out to 80s music in Downtown Greensboro on Tuesday night. The free throwback aerobics class is just one of many outdoor fitness opportunities this summer in the triad and its made possible through a longstanding partnership between the Bryan Family YMCA and The Downtown Greenway. Those interested in attending Tuesdays workout are asked to bring a bottle of water, and a lot of energy, to Morehead Park from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. A wide range of fitness classes are scheduled until the end of September which include bodyweight training, strength training, cardio, yoga, and Zumba. Natalie Huffine, the Wellness Director at the Bryan Family YMCA, said the organization looks forward to any opportunity to interact with people from the community, as well as making exercise more accessible to everyone. We know that not everyone has the time to come to the gym or has the means to do so. So if we can get out and give you a fun thing to do on Tuesday nights, you get to hang out with members of your community, meet some of our awesome group fitness instructors, then of course we want to offer that, Huffine said. If interested in attending Tuesday free fitness classes in Downtown Greensboro, text OUTDOOR to 844-765-7664.

Its time to break a sweat and jam out to 80s music in Downtown Greensboro on Tuesday night.

The free throwback aerobics class is just one of many outdoor fitness opportunities this summer in the triad and its made possible through a longstanding partnership between the Bryan Family YMCA and The Downtown Greenway.

Those interested in attending Tuesdays workout are asked to bring a bottle of water, and a lot of energy, to Morehead Park from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.

A wide range of fitness classes are scheduled until the end of September which include bodyweight training, strength training, cardio, yoga, and Zumba.

Natalie Huffine, the Wellness Director at the Bryan Family YMCA, said the organization looks forward to any opportunity to interact with people from the community, as well as making exercise more accessible to everyone.

We know that not everyone has the time to come to the gym or has the means to do so. So if we can get out and give you a fun thing to do on Tuesday nights, you get to hang out with members of your community, meet some of our awesome group fitness instructors, then of course we want to offer that, Huffine said.

If interested in attending Tuesday free fitness classes in Downtown Greensboro, text OUTDOOR to 844-765-7664.

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Downtown Greensboro: Free fitness classes offered on Tuesday nights through September - WXII12 Winston-Salem


Jun 29

9 Birmingham Black-owned fitness studios that will help you fall in love with fitness – Bham Now

These rope pulls are no joke! (Stille Academy / Instagram)

Wanting to get strong and join a community of fitness-loving folks? Check out these nine Black-owned fitness studios in the Birmingham area to get your sweat on and enjoy your workout.

Zany Fit was inspired by William Lewis fitness journey. For people of all ages and abilities, Lewis hosts training programs that make fitness fun. From personal training to group exercise and athletic training, there are programs for everyone.

In addition, Lewis also hosts weekly MACRO meetings, which teach gym-goers how to properly track their macros and meal prep.

While Champion Status Training doesnt have a facility, they make the world the perfect workout space. Owner and head trainer, Monique, uses agility/strength training sessions as well as HIIT training to achieve her clients goals. These programs are designed for women of all ages and are offered online as well as in person.

With a background in sports, specifically basketball, Mo works to combine athleticism for current and former athletes through targeted workouts, maintenance programs and nutrition plans.

Get ready to meet your next gym obsession. Stille Academy takes you to the next level through three different classes: All Pro Class, Rookie Class (for ages 10-12) and Speed and Agility Class. Founded by Simeon Castille, former University of Alabama football star and NFL player, this spot brings athletic training to allnot just athletes.

Want to try it out for yourself? Head to their website to try a free class today!

PYT Studio is Alabamas oldest pole studio and lets you have a good time while you put in workbecause who said fitness couldnt be fun?

This Black-owned fitness studio combines traditional pole dancing, good music and twerk classes in their brand new Southside location. Plus, if youre hosting an upcoming event, PYT hosts private parties for you and your friends to learn the ropes of pole dancing.

Known as the toughest family-friendly gym, Torque combines functional training with a community feel.

Started in 2017 by former NFL player Lewis Sanders, Torque makes fitness a lifestyle through classes and open gym hours. Ready to join the Torque family? Head to their website to see which plan fits your lifestyle.

Yogi Adi Devta Kaur is highly skilled in her practice and loves bringing the concept of yoga, reiki and meditation to the Birmingham area.

She hosts weekly classes at PK Fitness where youll get to meet other members in the communityno yoga mat or previous experience required. Plus, help them raise money to open their own studio by donating here.

Everyone has a different idea of how to beat boredom, but Coach Mario Gates chooses to get fit! This concept is what drove him to create this gym thats focused on making fitness fun. This gym exists for people of all ages and teaches tumbling, gymnastics, strength & conditioning and dance acrobatics.

Book a private lesson or take a group class to experience the community feel that this gym has.

If youre looking to shoot some hoops, this is the place to do it. Owned by Kimani Key and Chelsee Black, this gym teaches kids about basketball through a positive environment.

By getting a membership, renting a court or renting for an event, you can host your games, practices and events in the gym. If youre looking for an indoor spot for you and your friends to play, consider their day pass.

If you want to try a different type of fitness regime, Kickboxing, Muay Thai and US Boxing is a great way to get strong.

Not only are the classes impactful, but there are significant mental effects. Q6 provides positive role models in a positive atmosphere to make workouts you look forward to. Dwight Smith (AKA Q6) has over 20 years of physical fitness experience to equip him to train others.

Be sure to check out their socials to learn more about what they do.

Want to be in the loop about local Birmingham businesses? Check out our Facebook and Instagram.

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9 Birmingham Black-owned fitness studios that will help you fall in love with fitness - Bham Now


Jun 29

Nordic walking helps improve heart function, study finds – Medical News Today

The heart is an organ that is essential to life since it pumps the needed blood, oxygen, and nutrients throughout the body. The heart can experience many problems that impact its ability to function. One such problem is coronary artery disease. Researchers are constantly working to understand how best to improve the health of people with coronary artery disease.

A study published in the Canadian Journal of Cardiology examined the impact of different types of exercise among participants with coronary artery disease. The authors found that all the types of exercise they studied were beneficial but that Nordic walking provided the most significant benefit.

Physical activity is an essential component of health, including cardiovascular health. The Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, explained in a recent blog post the following:

Physical activity is fundamental to overall health and well-being, yet woefully neglected in most of our daily lives. Along with maintaining good nutrition and emotional health, incorporating regular physical activity can help to prevent multiple chronic diseases and improve the odds of better outcomes should you become ill from various conditions.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notes that Coronary artery disease (CAD) is the most common type of heart disease in the United States. CAD is when plaque builds up and clogs the walls of the arteries that supply blood to the heart.

Sometimes, one of the first indicators of CAD is when someone has a heart attack. After experiencing a heart attack, someone can work with medical professionals through cardiac rehabilitation. Cardiac rehabilitation often involves elements of physical activity to help improve heart health.

Generally, the treatment for CAD can involve practicing a heart-healthy lifestyle, including physical activity. Other elements involved in treating CAD may include weight and stress management, eating a heart-healthy diet, and quitting smoking. Experts are still working to understand what types of exercise are most beneficial in the short and long term.

The study in question involved 130 participants with CAD who had already been referred to a cardiovascular rehabilitation (CR) program. Participants completed a 12-week exercise program. Researchers then did follow-up over 14 weeks. Participants were involved in one of three different types of exercise programs:

Dr. Chip Lavie, who led the papers accompanying editorial, explained the differences between these types of exercises to MNT:

Nordic Walking is an enhanced form of walking exercise that uses specifically designed poles to further engage both the upper and lower body muscles. Moderate to vigorous intensity continuous training (MICT) is regular, sustained walking at moderate to high exercise heart rates without the use of the poles. High-Intensity interval training (HIIT) is exercise such as very fast walking without the use of the poles for a few minutes at very high heart rates and then a recovery at a slow heart rate repeated several times.

Researchers evaluated participants functional capacity, which has to do with a persons maximum effort they can put into physical activity. But researchers went one step further and looked at how these different types of exercise impacted the quality of life and symptoms of depression.

The studys results found that all the exercise interventions positively impacted all three areas: functional capacity, quality of life, and symptoms of depression. However, those in the Nordic walking group experienced the most benefit because Nordic walking increased functional capacity the most.

The study authors noted that previous research has often focused on more of the immediate results of cardiovascular rehabilitation. However, their study had a longer follow-up time, allowing even greater data collection.

The study did have several limitations. First, they note that their participants maintained physical activity levels after the initial 12-week time of scheduled exercise programs. But other data has shown that physical activity levels can decrease for people with CAD after completing cardiovascular rehabilitation. So, this studys authors conclude that future research should look more into the prolonged benefits of different types of exercise.

Second, the same center recruited all participants. Finally, the study only included a small number of females, so they cannot generalize the results. Overall, the results demonstrate the importance of physical activity on heart health. And more people with CAD may incorporate Nordic walking as an excellent exercise option.

Dr. Lavie noted the following to MNT:

The addition of Nordic poles to moderate to vigorous-intensity walking is a simple, accessible option to enhance improvements in walking capacity, increase energy expenditure, engage upper body musculature, and improve other functional parameters such as posture, gait, and balance all that could improve walking speed.

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Nordic walking helps improve heart function, study finds - Medical News Today


Jun 29

Looking to Shake Up Your Workout Routine for the Summer? River Row Studio Has You Covered – Step Out Buffalo

This article is a paid promotion sponsored by an SOB advertiser and designed to share valuable info with our readers.

Warm weather is here to stay in Western New York, which means its a great time to nail down your fitness routine for the season. After all, working out and staying active is one of the core components to looking and feeling your best.

Whether youre highly experienced in the world of fitness or just starting to embark on your health and wellness journey, River Row Studio has a variety of summer fitness classes for you.

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About River Row Studio

In case youre unfamiliar, River Row Studio is a one-of-a-kind fitness studio thats located in the Old First Ward.

Offering unique and highly individualized rowing classes for all fitness levels, their mission is to deliver high-quality, efficient, and beneficial physical training sessions to anyone thats up for the challenge.

You might be thinking: That sounds great, but what exactly makes River Row Studio so unique and unlike any other fitness studio in the area?

First of all, their location is absolutely unparalleled. Step inside the brand new Patrick Paladino Memorial Boathouse in the historic Old First Ward neighborhood for your class, and youll see exactly what we mean. Youll enjoy a fantastic view of the Buffalo River throughout your workout you wont find that at any other gym in Western New York!

During your workout, youll also be challenged to push yourself and maximize your potential in a positive, uplifting, and supportive environment. Hard work and teamwork are two core values at River Row Studio, and their experienced and enthusiastic staff is there to help you get the most from your class time.

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River Row Studio offers a variety of rowing classes to fit anyones unique needs, fitness goals, and experience levels. Some classes are more cardio-focused, while others are more strength-based its up to you to choose your own adventure!

From Paddle to Power classes that are great for beginners or first-time rowers, to Fatuous Forty-Fives classes that will push any athlete to their limits, every class will leave you feeling proud of the hard work youve put into your fitness that day.

If youre new to River Row Studio, you can try your first class $5 off (25% savings), but now is also the perfect time to sign up for a membership. During their summer sale (which is going on right now!), all memberships and packages are 25% off for a limited time. Pro tip: River Row Studio can also be be found on Class Pass which has great deals!

Ready to see what River Row Studio is all about? Head to their website to browse packages and see their full class descriptions, and get ready to sweat this summer!

405 Ohio Street

riverrowstudio.com

This article is a paid promotion sponsored by an SOB advertiser and designed to share valuable info with our readers.

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Looking to Shake Up Your Workout Routine for the Summer? River Row Studio Has You Covered - Step Out Buffalo


Jun 29

Apply For The Women’s Health & Men’s Health Strength In Diversity Program Here – Women’s Health

Fitness is for everyone: Its one of our core beliefs here at Womens Health and Mens Health, and its been at the beating heart of everything we do at both brands.

The fitness industry, though, has a problem with diversity, equity, and inclusion. A big one. From educational and financial obstacles that prevent too many people from becoming fitness experts to empty and enduring assumptions about who and what fitness is for, a whole weight-rack full of systemic issues (racism, homophobia, ageism, sexism, to name a few) have consistently deprived trainers from marginalized communities the tools they need to build a career in fitness. They also prevent these men and women from bringing clients in their own communities the kinds of enjoyable, exciting workout experiences that make fitness fun. That needs to change now, and Womens Health and Mens Health want to help.

Our WH and MH Strength in Diversity Initiative, which you can apply for here, will offer trainers from marginalized communities the chance to work with a cadre of elite fitness professionals. Applicants will submit either an essay or video explaining their career goals and why they want to join the program. A six-person committee will choose the participants, representing different parts of the country, communities, and socioeconomic backgrounds.

If selected, participants will enter a 15-week program consisting of the following:

Our hope is that these trainers will share their knowledge in their communities, creating fun, exciting, and effective training plans and helping ensure better fitness and long-term health for everyone. This program is open to trainers and aspiring trainers worldwide. Lets get stronger together!

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Apply For The Women's Health & Men's Health Strength In Diversity Program Here - Women's Health


Jun 29

Inside the Wizards player development program: Pain doesnt last forever – The Athletic

WASHINGTON The Washington Wizards practice gym surged to life at 8:44 on a recent weekday morning. The Kodak Black song I Wish roared through the loudspeaker, the soulful lyrics and steady beat echoing off the walls and the courts. Young players completed their stretching, rose to their feet and assembled near baskets, no more than two players per hoop.

In one corner of the gym, centers Vernon Carey Jr. and Jaime Echenique rarely stopped moving over the next hour. Player development manager Mike Batiste and assistant coaches Joseph Blair, Pat Delany and Mike Miller put the two big men through an arduous, structured workout, with the players alternating on the court. In drill after drill after drill, with the coaches often clapping and yelling encouragement, Carey and Echenique honed specific skills such as step-throughs, baby hooks and sharp rolls to the hoop. Within 20 minutes, sweat drenched the youngsters red workout shirts.

Forty minutes into the workout, Delany dribbled the basketball at the top of the 3-point arc, and Carey, going full speed, simulated setting a screen, rolled to the hoop and received a bounce pass from the coach. Carey caught the ball, elevated off his left foot and threw down a thunderous left-handed dunk over Batiste that would have brought fans to their feet. Blair, in his deep bass voice, bellowed: On his head! On his head!

At 9:45 a.m., the coaches concluded the workout, and Carey and Echenique, both spent, trudged off the court, hands on hips.

Its taxing, but its going to help you in the long run, Carey said, perspiration dripping off his forehead and chin. Pain doesnt last forever. Its gonna be a little painful for a little bit, but it wont last.

The centers grueling workout offered a window into the Wizards player development program under head coach Wes Unseld Jr., who arrived in Washington last July after six seasons as an assistant coach with the Denver Nuggets, a team well respected for developing young players such as second-round pick-turned-MVP Nikola Joki and point guard Jamal Murray. This offseason, Unseld and his assistant coaches are getting their first opportunity to work with Wizards players over an entire summer.

For players young and old alike, offseasons provide priceless opportunities to eliminate weaknesses, solidify strengths and set a tone for the season to come. For inexperienced prospects, such as 21-year-old Carey and 20-year-old forward Isaiah Todd, the spring and summer months offer chances for one-on-one coaching and time to hone their physiques. For youngsters who already have established themselves as rotation players like Deni Avdija, Daniel Gafford, Rui Hachimura and Corey Kispert this is the time to do the unglamorous work that will earn them more minutes.

Consistent incremental gains can pay big dividends down the road. Drafting well, making smart trades and identifying smart free-agent signings of course are essential to building a winner, but a franchise also needs to improve the players it already has and make them the best possible versions of themselves. Teams such as the Miami Heat and the San Antonio Spurs are renowned for developing their players and for bringing the best out of players the rest of the league undervalues. Elevate players skills, and a team not only will win more games, but it also will raise its players values, which is an essential part of roster-building.

Every player can improve, said Tommy Sheppard, Wizards president and general manager. Every skill set has areas of improvement. Every skill set can be grown and continue to be sharpened every summer. We talk about (how) you find out in the winter what you did in the summer. You want to bring back a new aspect to your game or a new-and-improved area.

The younger a player is, the more room he has to improve, which largely explains why players typically make their biggest jumps between their rookie and second seasons, their second and third seasons and their third and fourth seasons.

This is the first full NBA offseason for Kispert and Todd, who were rookies in 2021-22. But its also the first full, uninterrupted offseason for Avdija, who spent last summer recovering from a right-ankle fracture he suffered as a rookie. And considering how the pandemic disrupted and shortened the 2020 and 21 offseasons, this also is the first full regular offseason for Carey, Todd, Gafford and Hachimura.

I have a lot of stuff to work on, and I know what I need to do better, Avdija said, adding he needs to take the next step in several areas of his game, including his dribbling with his left hand and improving his outside shooting.

Under Unseld, the Wizards keep a player development book with detailed action plans for each player, updating the entries in the preseason, at midseason and the end of the regular season. Unseld said the book is ever-evolving, with the teams coaches and staff constantly measuring progress (or lack thereof) and making any necessary adjustments.

This offseason, Unseld, his coaches, the front office and the medical staff have created personalized plans for each player, which is something other teams do, too. Wizards coaches and support staffers check in at least once a week with players who spend their offseasons away from Washington and regularly visit them to evaluate their progress. Even Kristaps Porziis, a veteran who spends most of his offseason in Europe, will receive at least one visit overseas and also is in regular contact with team officials.

As we map things out in the summer, how do we think a guy can play for us? Unseld said. What are his strengths? What are his weaknesses? What do we need to do to get him up to speed so we can plug him in and he can play? Then you get to midseason, and you look at it, and youre like, well, where is he as far as that first stretch of games? What are the things that we did or didnt do to help him get to where he should be? If hes where he should be, can we add more to his plate?

No two players in Unselds system follow the same path. For instance, Unseld said he initially did not expect Kispert to play significant minutes as a rookie, but when injuries and a COVID-19 outbreak hit the team, Kispert took advantage of his opportunities. He made consistent strides throughout the season, wound up starting 36 games and improved his field-goal and 3-point shooting percentages in the seasons final months.

Avdija and Hachimura made progress last season, too. Avdija appeared in all 82 regular-season games, a testament to his work and the medical staffs work during the summer of 2021. Hachimura missed the opening months of the season as he dealt with a personal issue, but he dramatically raised his 3-point accuracy from 32.8 percent in 2020-21 to 44.7 percent in 2021-22.

Meanwhile, Todd spent almost the entire 2021-22 season playing for the Wizards G League affiliate, the Capital City Go-Go. Picked 16 spots after Kispert in the 2021 NBA Draft, Todd did not attend college and spent his year after high school playing for the G League Ignite. Because he was inexperienced and only 20 last season, team officials felt a patient but steady, long-term approach would be the best way to develop the lanky youngster.

He fits a lot of archetypes of the type of player thats very successful in the NBA, Sheppard said. If you want to call him a 3-and-D (player), he has the potential to do those things. But it wasnt going to happen if we threw him out on an NBA court. You can lose a ton of confidence your first year if youre not ready to go out there.

Sometimes its going to take some time, and you have to be patient, Sheppard added. But you have to stick with the plan. You can always adjust as you go. But you cant just bail on somebody if they had a tough week or a tough game or a tough month. Those players, theyve got to develop, and the only way to do that is to go out and play.

Todd, who is 6 foot 10, has been a regular at the Wizards practice facility this offseason. On the same morning Carey and Echenique were working out, Todd was on an adjacent court working with assistant coach Zach Guthrie and two additional staff members.

Todd said team officials want him to work on everything, with a special emphasis on rebounding, defending and learning how to be a pro. He has been motivated in part by a conversation he had a few months ago with a Wizards veteran. That veteran, whom Todd declined to name, said he made his biggest gains during the offseasons when he was 20 and 21, the formative age range Todd is in now. Its no surprise, then, that Todd is on the court and in the weight room every workday.

Every day when I come in, its specified for me and my development, the things that they want from me on the court and the things that are going to propel me forward in the league, Todd said. Like perfecting my shot, were talking about the details, not just getting up reps. The reps that Im getting up are high-quality, high-detail reps. Everybody in here is so supportive.

Sometimes I come in early in the morning, at 7 or 8 oclock, and there are six coaches here with me, and just me, on the court working on things. They watch hours of film before they even come to me, and theyre telling me the things that can help me propel in the league and get some time on the court.

Todd, along with new first-round pick Johnny Davis, is expected to be a central component of the Wizards team at the upcoming NBA Summer League in Las Vegas. To prepare, Todd and others, including Carey and members of the Go-Go, have played pickup games at the practice facility to apply their individual skill work to game situations.

Theyre showing they want to invest in their development, Unseld said. Its not us going to grab their hand and forcing them to be in the gym and put in the time and put in the work. Their willingness, thats step one. Theyre eager. They understand whats at stake. They understand the opportunity that this presents and the resources that they have at their fingertips.

It helps that the coaches and staff members attempt to make the work fun. That explains the music that blares on the gyms speaker system during skill workouts. During their recent session, Batiste, Blair, Delany and Miller who combined have 18 seasons of NBA assistant-coaching experience, plus additional experience coaching G League teams closely monitored Careys and Echeniques every move, and the coaches clapped and smiled throughout the hour-long session. As Unseld often says, there should be excitement and joy about going to work, not just for the players but for the coaches, too.

At 9:42 a.m., on the last rep of the morning, Carey, fatigued, finished a roll to the hoop with a soft layup and missed the shot.

Blair turned to Carey and said, Is that how you want to finish?

Carey picked up the ball and slammed it with a reverse dunk.

A few minutes later, still breathing heavily, Carey said, For every job, youve got to put in the work or youve got to study. Youve got to do the extra things.

(Top photo of Mike Batiste, Jaime Echenique and Vernon Carey Jr.: Courtesy of the Washington Wizards)

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Inside the Wizards player development program: Pain doesnt last forever - The Athletic


Jun 29

Arkansas Named to CSCAA Spring Scholar All-American Team – Razorbacks Arkansas

Branford Clay June 28, 2022

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. The College Swimming and Diving Coaches Association of America (CSCAA) selected 731 teams from 441 institutions to the Scholar All-America Team for the Spring 2022 semester. Teams were selected based on their Spring 2022 grade point averages and represented 17,845 student-athletes. After finishing off the year with a 3.44 team GPA, Arkansas Swimming and Diving was named to the CSCAA (College Swimming & Diving Coaches Association of America) Spring 2022 Scholar All-American Team.

Success in the classroom is always a priority as a Razorback team, said head coach Neil Harper. Collectively with our success at the NCAA Championships and as a local leader in community service our team continues to maximize their opportunities as NCAA and SEC Student-Athletes.

It is the 12th consecutive semester that the Hogs have made the CSCAA Scholar All-American Team.

More InformationKeep up with all the latest news and information and get behind-the-scenes looks into our program on our social media accounts. Follow us on Twitter at @RazorbackSD and check out our Facebook page. Stats, news, and player information can be found at ArkansasRazorbacks.com.

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Arkansas Named to CSCAA Spring Scholar All-American Team - Razorbacks Arkansas


Jun 29

ASU Online expands to offer more than 300 programs – ASU News Now

June 28, 2022

This fall, with the addition of 22 new programs, ASU Online will offer more than 300 undergraduate and graduate degrees, certificates and emphases.

Total enrollment for the 202122 academic year was more than 82,000 students seven times more than the 201213 year. In that same period, the number of graduates has increased more than tenfold to more than 11,500 for the past academic year.

But the explosive growth has been much more than numbers. Over the past few years, EdPlus, the Arizona State University unit that houses ASU Online, has worked intensely to create an experience for digital immersion students thats as close as possible to that of campus immersion students in all areas academic support, coaching, communication and fun.

Since the launch of ASU Online in 2010, it has been our goal to provide learners access to quality academic degree programs, in addition to the full university experience, regardless of their location or socioeconomic status, said Phil Regier, university dean for educational initiatives and CEO of EdPlus.

Through the advancement of technology, we have been able to expand our full online offerings from the social and soft sciences to a full suite of engineering and lab science programs. We strive to not bring anything online unless it can be as good or better than what is offered in a face-to-face setting.

Among the ways the ASU Online experience has improved:

Stronger academic support, with a new math initiative thats increased engagement and success.

Targeted communication to keep students on track.

A huge increase in engagement opportunities, with nearly 40 clubs and organizations for fully online students.

The opportunity for learners to participate in Barrett, The Honors College.

Some of the online initiatives have been so successful that theyve been adopted to help campus-immersion students, according to Julie Greenwood, vice dean for educational initiatives.

While ASU Online students access their program content in a different way than campus-immersion students, the degrees are exactly the same, she said.

Its important to emphasize that ASU, from the beginning, made the commitment to have the same faculty and the same learning outcomes, and to leverage the same content across the modalities for the exact same degree, she said.

So when a student graduates, it doesnt say, online criminology on their degree. It says bachelors of criminology the same as when a student graduates from a campus program.

We strive to not bring anything online unless it can be as good or better than what is offered in a face-to-face setting.

Phil Regier, university dean for educational initiatives and CEO of EdPlus

Of the offered degree programs, about half are undergraduate and half are graduate. Among the new additions are Master of Science degrees in addiction psychology and biological data science, and a Bachelor of Science degree in health care administration and policy.

The most popular degrees are the suite of biological sciences Bachelor of Science programs, Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees in psychology, the Bachelor of Science in information technology and the Master of Arts in special education (applied behavior analysis).

The individual colleges and schools at ASU can propose online degrees, and high-enrollment programs among on-campus students are often offered online, but new programs are also consumer-driven.

We look at Google search algorithms what are students looking for? That helps us to understand the market, said Casey Evans, chief growth officer.

Sometimes that means tweaking the name of an existing program to draw interest.

It is a very academic thing to make a degree sound interesting to a very specific part of the population, but when you go to the algorithm, if the degree is not called something theyre Googling, they wont find you, she said.

Its a strategic process of thinking about the needs of the learners, the experience of the faculty and trying to merge those two things in degrees that students want.

High enrollment is not the only factor.

We offer a masters in Indigenous education. We know for sure that theres not a huge market for Indigenous education, but these are learners who live on a reservation and want to stay in their communities and give back to their communities, and the ability to do that is important to them, she said.

Evans team meets regularly with the academic units to review degree programs.

Do we need to refresh the content? Perhaps a name change or adding courses or concentrations?

We have to think about how we keep that portfolio fresh as students are changing, she said.

Its an art and a science. There is no clear data set.

Her team has to look into the future to predict whats needed.

My dream is to know the jobs that will exist five years from today so that we can build degrees for those learners, she said.

When ASU Online began offering degree programs, it was critical to track success metrics. So the The Action Lab was created to analyze data.

Initially, it was, How does the learning of our students compare with the learning of campus students? How can we iterate and improve? Greenwood said.

Now, The Action Lab is focusing on equity and inclusion, she said.

As successful as ASU Online is, we are still, like most universities, seeing gaps in the success of students from underserved and underrepresented populations, she said.

So we continue to push the development and design of our courses so that all students can be successful. Sometimes we need to change our design or change our content to make it culturally responsive or culturally inclusive.

For example, faculty feedback is very important to populations who are underserved, she said.

Its important to students in general, but this population has expressed directly to us that knowing that someone is on their side and rooting for them helps them to stay in a course longer than they may have.

The Action Lab also is evaluating the effectiveness of new technology, such as Dreamscape Learn, as well as focusing on courses with a high failure rate.

When Greenwood came to EdPlus three years ago, she looked at high-enrollment courses that had high failure rates, and about 10 of those were math.

That led to Operation Math. Suzanne Galayda, associate director of Operation Math, said that math courses are barriers for all students, not just online. In 2020, EdPlus began working with the ASU math department, homing in on first-year courses that were problematic, including college algebra, college math and precalculus.

We thought, What can we do right now in the short term to immediately impact students and move the needle? Galayda said.

You never want to leave students behind when youre looking to the future.

The team implemented several changes right away:

Peer support: Inscribe is a system in which students are assigned to study communities, where they can ask questions when theyre stuck. Student-worker learning assistants monitor the communities, answering the questions or direct the student on to further help.

The response has been overwhelming, Galayda said, with students not only eager to answer their peers math questions but also provide emotional support. One of the things we see commonly is that students will say, Im really struggling, and then its, I want you to know youre not alone.

Instructors are available to answer math questions, but in reality, online students often study late at night or on weekends, she said.

Peer review: Math faculty started a system in which students review each others homework and give feedback before the final graded submission. The results were so successful that the Math 142 faculty added peer review in their campus-immersion classes.

You cant learn Spanish if you never speak Spanish, Galayda said. The faculty saw that peer review achieved its goal of getting students to talk mathematically to each other.

Strategic emails: Math students face several key points during the semester. For example, students must take an assessment before a course opens. In 2019, about a third of students had not taken the assessment by the fifth day of the math course. But after the emails, 85% had taken the assessment.

Overall, after the first year of increased communications, student success improved about 8% for college algebra and about 3% for college math.

Given the enrollments in those courses, thats roughly 500 students in just that year who were able to continue in their major and not have to retake a math course, Galayda said.

The math department also allowed students to split up college algebra over two semesters, but completing the course in the subsequent semester is key. For those who wait, the success rate plummets by 60%.

So now the advisers get a communication reminding them to contact their students about signing up to complete the course. This has led to better pass rates and lower withdrawal rates, Galayda said.

Exam wrap: In this new initiative, students take a survey and perform self-reflection exercises at the end of three courses: college math, college algebra, precalculus and brief calculus exams.

Exam wrap was designed with the help of The Action Lab to really get students to reflect on what they did to study, what they felt like going into the exam, what they felt like afterward and what they recognize they need to do differently about their behavior, as well as asking them to review their exam so they dont just take it and leave, Galayda said.

They actually think about what they did right and what they did wrong.

So far, students report feeling less anxious about taking exams after completing the exam wrap.

The team will analyze whether the exercise affects exam scores overall.

Longer term, EdPlus is working on Math Spine, an adaptive-learning platform similar to BioSpine, in which learning is personalized and students can review just the content they need without having to retake an entire course.

... We continue to push the development and design of our courses so that all students can be successful.

Julie Greenwood, vice dean for educational initiatives

One of the biggest initiatives thats now available is Barrett, The Honors College, which accepted its first ASU Online cohort in fall 2021.

Mark Jacobs, the dean of Barrett since 2003 who is retiring this summer, had wanted to offer the experience to ASU Online for a long time, but the challenge was how to make the signature honors course, which is discussion based, work on an asynchronous platform, according to Alexandra Aragon, director of academic planning and retention at Barrett.

But with the pandemic, we had to pivot all of our honors courses to be taught on Zoom quickly, and it went really well, she said.

So Jacobs decided to move ahead, Aragon said.

We invited ASU Online students who looked like they would be great candidates, with good GPAs and with some college experience, she said.

We had almost 100 candidates for 25 spots, and they were so strong that we actually took 48 students.

The students represented eight ASU colleges and included veterans, international students and nontraditional students. About half were in the Starbucks College Achievement Plan. They all agreed to participate in a live History of Ideas seminar course, logging in via Zoom, she said.

They immediately said, This is like nothing else Ive ever done. I have classmates and I know them and I see them weekly. I feel connected to my professors and to my fellow Barrett students, she said.

Besides the signature honors course, students also must earn honors credit in their major course requirements or electives by doing projects, such as a paper, a presentation or research with the professor.

We helped this cohort figure out how to earn that credit. People had great ideas and we encouraged creative thinking, she said.

Faculty play a huge role in this. Theyve embraced this notion of what high achievement looks like in online classes.

Its clear that this is a population of learners who are a great fit for honors. Theyre talented and curious and they want this experience, said Aragon, who noted that two of the ASU Online Barrett students are participating in study abroad this summer.

MORE:ASU Barrett Honors College online pilot program a success

ASU Online students were able to socialize together in person when they visited Tempe campus in early June to complete their lab courses. Photo by Charrie Larkin/ASU News

The isolation of the pandemic sparked a craving for socialization among online students. The number of student clubs and organizations has soared from a handful in 2019 to about 40 now, and most were created in the past two years, according to Brianne Frazier, director of student success and engagement for ASU Online.

New clubs include a student-run newspaper, the first online chapter of an honors fraternity and a group operating under Greek letters working to become the first-ever fully online sorority.

There have been some challenges to launching online student groups, such as gathering people who are scattered around the world. One ASU Online student who was in the military and stationed in Germany would get up at 3 a.m. for his club meetings, Frazier said.

And like many things, online can be less formal than in-person.

We started a pre-club option, because to be a full club, you need a certain number of members and three officers, and there has to be a constitution. Some students said, We want to get together, but thats a lot. We just want to connect, Frazier said.

So we created the pre-club option where theyre not required to go into all those things. Theyre still required to do some things, like their logos have to meet brand standards. Its an easier way to not be so strict and still allow students to connect and engage.

Students who attend on campus pay an activities fee, which funds student organizations. ASU Online students dont pay that fee, so EdPlus helps to fund their clubs, though the pre-club groups dont qualify for that.

Fraziers team has worked with Educational Outreach and Student Services to have traditionally campus-based organizations include online students. Some have embraced that, such as BeYouASU, a club for LGBTQIA2S+ students and allies, but some groups have an on-campus presence that makes it hard.

Some groups have gone fully hybrid, like government. ASU Online students created their own student government advocacy group in 2020, but in spring 2022, the campus-based Undergraduate Student Government and Graduate Student and Professional Association voted to allow ASU Online representation.

The online students work hard on their clubs.

A.J. Wolfe, a senior majoring in global health, is the president of the ASU Online chapter of Phi Sigma Pi, an honors fraternity. When he enrolled last year, he joined several groups and was interested in joining a fraternity.

As I researched, I saw Phi Sigma Pi, and it attracted me because its gender inclusive male, female, nonbinary, whichever umbrella you fall under, they will take you, said Wolfe, who lives in Virginia.

I reached out to the national staff and asked if they were interested in starting an exclusively online chapter at ASU, and they gave me the green light.

The organization requires a 3.0 grade point average for membership, and the ASU Online chapter has organized a book club, movie nights, workout sessions, game nights and meetups. The group will become involved in community service projects this year.

Building a chapter from the ground up has been a lot of work, Wolfe said.

The main thing was figuring out the bank account situation since our members are around the U.S. and the world. It was difficult to find a bank that would work with us, he said.

But they finally found a bank and should be chartered this summer, he said.

Emma Blunck, a senior majoring in mass communications and media studies in the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, is the editor-in-chief of The Spark, the newsletter by and for ASU Online students.

Its a place for anyone on the online campus who wants to write or design or edit or build out their resume, she said.

The Spark is produced monthly by students from a variety of majors. Students dont have to be a club member to pitch a story idea, work with the editors and then write the story.

We keep it engaging. Its not a full-time job and we cant expect them to write every month, she said.

Blunck said The Spark has received a lot of support from the university to build the club and offer professional opportunities, such as a seminar planned for the fall.

This is my first leadership role and Ive gotten a lot more confident managing a team, said Blunck, a senior who lives in New York City.

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ASU Online expands to offer more than 300 programs - ASU News Now


Jun 29

NC summer nutrition programs offer free food, fitness and fun for kids – The Robesonian

More than 900,000 North Carolina students rely on the nutritious meals and snacks served during the school year through the school breakfast, school lunch, and afterschool meals programs.

When school is out, Summer Nutrition Programs provide free, nutritious meals for children and adolescents ages 18 and younger.

As part of recovery from the ongoing pandemic, more families are struggling with hunger. Assistance with outreach regarding summer meals is needed to ensure no child goes hungry.

To find free, nutritious summer meals near you for kids and teens who are ages 18 and younger:

Text Food to 304-304 for information in English or COMIDA to 304-304 for information in Spanish.

Use the N.C. Site Finder Map at https://bit.ly/3MhnX1S.

Check your local school district website, social media, or other communications.

Learn more at http://summermeals4nckids.org.

For summer 2022, meals need to be eaten on-site and children must be present to receive food.

In addition to nutritious meals, N.C. Summer Nutrition Programs also provide fitness and fun through educational enrichment.

To find out about activities offered by Summer Nutrition Programs near you, search #NCSummerMeals on social media.

Summer Nutrition mascot Ray F. Sun may visit a summer meals event in your community. The F in Rays name signifies the food, fitness, and fun that take place throughout North Carolina as part of N.C. Summer Nutrition Programs.

Follow @Ray4NCKids on social media to learn where Ray will be next.

N.C. Summer Nutrition Programs are administered by the N.C. Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI), with federal assistance from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Summer Nutrition

Programs are typically located in economically distressed areas to serve the most food-insecure, vulnerable students. Meal sites may be located at schools, public housing centers, playgrounds, camps, parks, medical centers, faith-based facilities, libraries and other locations.

Meals are served to eligible children at no cost. Registration and ID are not required.

Additional information regarding N.C. Summer Nutrition Programs may be found on the NCDPI, Office of School Nutrition website. Citizens and organizations interested in getting involved as sites, activity providers, or volunteers should contact the NCDPI Summer Nutrition Programs Team at [emailprotected]

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NC summer nutrition programs offer free food, fitness and fun for kids - The Robesonian


Jun 29

FACT SHEET: President Biden and G7 Leaders Announce Further Efforts to Counter Putin’s Attack on Food Security – The White House

Biden-Harris Administration is Driving a Multi-Pronged Response to Global Food Security Crisis

President Biden and G7 leaders will announce that they will contribute over $4.5 billion to address global food security, over half of which will come from the United States. President Biden will announce $2.76 billion in additional U.S. Government funding commitments to help protect the worlds most vulnerable populations and mitigate the impacts of Russias unprovoked and unjustified war in Ukraine on growing food insecurity and malnutrition. These new investments will support efforts inover47countries andregionalorganizations, to support regional plans to address increasing needs.

Vladimir Putins actions have strangled food and agriculture production and have used food as a weapon of war, including through the destruction of agricultural storage, processing, and testing facilities; theft of grain and farm equipment; and the effective blockade of Black Sea ports. Russias choice to attack food supplies and production have an impact on markets, storage, production, negatively impacting consumers around the globe. Putins aggression in Ukraine, combined with the impacts from COVID-19, increasing conflict, high prices for fuel and fertilizer, have combined to devastate already fragile global food security and nutrition. Millions of people living far from the conflict face an increased risk of poverty, hunger, and malnutrition as a result of Putins war. Estimates suggest that up to 40 million more people could be pushed into poverty in 2022 as a result of Putins war in Ukraine and its secondary effects.

While the entire globe will continue to be affected by Russias actions, themost immediate needs will present in theHorn of Africa, as it experiences a record-setting fourth straight season of drought, that may lead to famine. As many as 20 million people may face the threat of starvation by the end of the year. The prolonged drought is also having dire nutrition impacts, putting children at severe risk of malnutrition and in need of treatment.

To address and mitigate further impacts on global food security, the U.S. Government will continue life-saving food assistance to address these growing needs and leverage additional financial commitments. Of the newly announced commitment of an additional $2.76 billion in humanitarian and economic assistance, $2 billion will be to help save lives through emergency interventions and $760 million will be for sustainable near-term food assistance to help mitigate further increases in poverty, hunger, and malnutrition in vulnerable countries impacted by high prices of food, fertilizer, and fuel.

The U.S. governments multi-pronged response to combat global food insecurity includes:

Global Humanitarian AssistanceSince the start of Russias full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February, the United States has provided $2.8 billion to scale up emergency food operations in countries impacted by the food security crisis. In addition to this funding, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) is committing another $2 billion in international disaster assistance (IDA) funds for emergency humanitarian needs over the next three months. These funds include direct food assistance, as well as related health, nutrition, protection, and water, sanitation and hygiene services, in countries with high levels of acute food insecurity, reliance on Russian or Ukrainian imports, and vulnerability to price shocks, and will support countries hosting refugee populations.

Global Development AssistanceAs we continue to address acute humanitarian needs, the U.S. government will continue to strengthen food systems and mitigate medium-term impacts on food security. The U.S. Government is investing $760 million to combat the effects of high food, fuel, and fertilizer prices now being driven up by Putins war in those countries that need it most.

Expansion of Feed the FutureFeed the Future (FTF), the U.S. governments flagship global food security initiative led by USAID, is expanding its global footprint in eight new target countries from 12 to 20 target countries, in Africa that were also most vulnerable to the impacts of Russias war in Ukraine. The new target countries are the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Zambia. This expansion of Feed the Future countries delivers on President Bidens $5 billion commitment in September 2021 to end global hunger, malnutrition and build sustainable, resilient food systems abroad.

The U.S. government currently invests more than $1.9 billion per year through Feed the Future, which builds on existing technical expertise, programs and partners in more than 35 countries. In these countries, the U.S. government investments pave the way for further investments from the private sector, donors and local governments.

Global Agriculture and Food Security Program (GAFSP)The United States through the U.S. Treasury, continues to exercise leadership in the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program (GAFSP) a $2 billion multilateral financing mechanism that has helped the worlds poorest countries increase investments in agriculture and food security. The United States is contributing $155 million to support projects that raise agricultural productivity, link farmers to markets, improve livelihoods, reduce vulnerability, and enhance resilience to shocks. The United States is also newly serving as Co-Chair of the GAFSP Steering Committee. In this leadership position, the United States will help deepen and accelerate GAFSPs response to the food security crisis.

USG Leadership in Driving Global ActionFrom the beginning, the United States has been at the forefront of global efforts to confront this crisis.

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FACT SHEET: President Biden and G7 Leaders Announce Further Efforts to Counter Putin's Attack on Food Security - The White House



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