Alumnae Wellness Takes Center Stage

Produced by: Office of Communications, Institutional Advancement

June 11, 2013

In today’s fast-paced world, it’s more important than ever to keep health and relaxation in focus – and nearly 200 alumnae and friends did just that at the recent Women and Wellness event on the Queens campus.

Hosted by the St. John’s University Alumnae Association and the Department of Student Wellness, this popular event allowed guests to learn insightful techniques to help them improve their fitness and overall health. In addition, raffles throughout the day brought in over $2,000 towards the Veronica Smith Alumnae Association Memorial Scholarship.

“Sometimes, alumnae need to take a day out to focus on themselves, shining a spotlight on their health and spirit,” said Erin Calamari, Assistant Director, Office of Alumni Relations. “What makes this event so unique is that guests can enjoy multiple workshops throughout the day, learning a variety of different lifestyle tips, ranging from fitness to diet to finances. And, best of all, some of the area’s best practitioners are here to provide their guidance.”

Sessions included: “Coming Clean: Truth and Fiction about Detox and Cleansing;” “Empowerment of Women through Travel;” “Belly Dancing Basics;” “Aromatherapy: The Nose Knows;” and “Eating for Energy: Super Foods and Smoothies for a Super Slim Life,” among others. 

Jane Vongvorachoti ’07CPS – a former member of the Red Storm Women’s Soccer team – led a panel entitled “Move with a Purpose: How to Maximize Your Workout Time,” sharing her tips on how to get the most out of everyday exercise.

“Working out regularly helps everyone feel better and be their best possible self,” Vongvorachoti explained. “I hope that today’s workshop taught fellow alumnae how to maximize even short workouts, and I think it will inspire guests to adopt a more regular exercise pattern and focus more often on health and fitness.”

Meanwhile, Rose Tummarello ’81CBA, ’90MBA – a proud double alumna – served as moderator for the panel entitled “You Go Girl: Time to Talk Financial Freedom,” sharing best practices regarding investments and wealth management.

“I hope these ladies walked away with a plan,” she noted, “a plan that can allow them to take an active role in their finances. As a graduate of St. John’s, I feel nostalgic to be back here with all of these women in one room – the energy is overflowing and powerful!”
Indeed, guests found the event informative and practical. Janet Catenacci ’84CBA, ’86MBA, whose generous contributions helped to sponsor the event, brought a very special guest with her – her daughter, an incoming freshman at St. John’s. The two enjoyed learning wellness techniques together and chatting with fellow alumnae.

“We often get lost in the shuffle of everyday life,” Catenacci noted. “So when women can come together like this to support each other, it’s a truly empowering moment. I believe wholeheartedly that we need to do this more often, and I already can’t wait for next year’s event.”

During lunch, Lidia Szczepanowski-Goldsmith ’90L delivered a keynote address on how alumnae can successfully focus on happiness, health and prosperity – all at the same time. A successful professional and the reigning 2013 Mrs. Corporate America, Szczepanowski-Goldsmith discussed her own inspiring story while reflecting on her student days.

“I look around here and say, ‘Wow, I wish I had been more involved on campus when I was a student!’” she said. “It’s great to be back, and hopefully my speech will inspire alumnae to confidently pursue a state of wellness. This whole event, which stresses such important topics centered on women, is such a perfect opportunity for alumnae to come together, reminisce and find out how to improve their mind and body. Simply put, it’s a great way to celebrate alumnae.”