Barry CRW work study shines, lands new role as graduate assistant

As a work study for Barry University’s Department of Campus Recreation and Wellness, Genessys Villalba was so good at her job that, within weeks, the department created a new position for her.

“Very quickly, she showed a lot of enthusiasm and that she could be trusted,” said Lorean Mapp, CRW’s Wellness & ISR coordinator. “We’ve never had a lead work- study student, but I wanted her to have that position.”

Undergraduate work studies, who serve as the “backbone” of CRW, Mapp said, are responsible for ensuring that CRW’s fitness studios are clean and operating well, assisting with classes, and helping organize events.

As the lead work study, Villalba, a student in Barry’s seamless BS to MS Exercise Physiology program, served as the liaison between the department’s work studies and graduate assistants. She also assisted with department projects, such as Wellness Day, which she recruited participants for and facilitated the day of the event, leading a Zumba demonstration.

“I was able to put my work experience in the health and fitness field into management of staff and working as a team to put together our events,” said Villalba, who began graduate studies in Barry’s MS in Movement Science program this fall. “Experiencing all the behind-the-scenes organization and seeing it come to life was very exciting.”

Going above and beyond her regular duties as lead work study, Villalba, who aspires to own and manage a wellness center, also helped create and implement a university-wide walking program through CRW.  

“She did all the marketing for it, and she gets people excited,” Mapp said. “She’s incredibly insightful and creative.”

Edward Londono, director of Campus Recreation and Wellness, considers Villalba to be a valuable asset to the department, he said.

“She brings a great deal of energy and professionalism to the wellness area and is received favorably by both students and staff,” he said.

This fall, Villalba begins a new role with CRW as a graduate assistant, which will require her to plan and program events for CRW, while representing the department on campus.

“I feel very blessed to have had the opportunity to reach out to students, faculty and staff through CRW and get them excited to become more fit by educating them about overall health and wellness,” Villalba said. “Being able to be an important component and represent CRW is an honor to me.”

For more information about Barry’s seamless Exercise Physiology program, visit https://www.barry.edu/hpls/exercise-physiology-bs/about/seamless-bs-to-ms.html 

For more information about Barry’s Department of Campus Recreation and Wellness, visit http://www.barry.edu/hpls/recreation-wellness/

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