The Fifth Annual Wellness Week Lived Up to the Hype


Ask Us Post Graduate Student Service Fellows (along with the help of the the Dean of Students office, Scott Rogers, Gloria Garcia and Iris Morera) successfully hosted the fifth annual Wellness Week at Miami Law. The five-day event delivered food, fun, physical fitness and even puppies.

"I'm thanking God that we have puppies today," Jacqueline Cobb said as the four-legged friends raced around her feet. Moments later, a mixed-breed puppy wiggled over her shoulder. His paws tangled in her long hair. She just laughed. "I was exhausted until I saw the puppies." For Cobb, and many other first-year students, Pet-A-Puppy day provided a break before evening midterms.

Caroline Milewski, 1L, walked up to the same energetic puppy and gave him a tickle behind the ear. "I wouldn't be so stressed if I had you," she said.

Karen Chrisman, president of the Student Animal Legal Defense Fund, believes that a furry little pet is the ultimate stress reliever. The Fellows approached SALDF to incorporate a pet-friendly experience into Wellness Week for the first time. "Having a dog made my law school experience much more enjoyable," she said. Today, she hopes to encourage others to adopt a pet, too.

It was a fitting end to the week, which focused on balancing the mind, body and spirit. Wellness Week is made possible through the Mitchell Rosen Fund, created in the memory of a 24-year-old Miami Law student who took his own life in 1986. "When I became Dean of Students, I thought it'd be important to teach students healthy coping skills while in law school," Janet E. Stearns said.

The festivities got off to a good start. On Sunday, The Society of Bar and Gavel raised $3,531 to benefit Miami Children's Hospital with the annual Race Judicata. The 5k race began at the law school parking lot. A string of participants trailed down San Amaro Drive, towards Ponce De Leon Boulevard and the Bank United Center, up and around Stanford Drive and looped back to the law school.

Fitness-friendly activities continued into the week. Mary Anne Franks, associate professor of law, led a Krav Maga self defense session. Approximately, one dozen students participated in the class, which instructed students how to safely escape real-world scenarios such as being held up by a person with a gun and being approached from behind during a robbery attempt.

"Exercise is important not just from a health perspective, but also from a psychological and emotional perspective," Professor Franks said. "Krav Maga in particular helps students to sharpen their instincts while improving their speed, flexibility, and agility."

Emily Horowitz, a 3L who attended the lunchtime session, immediately felt the benefits of learning the simple techniques. She even felt more confident. "Now, I know basic ways to protect myself," she said.

The week also included cooking demonstrations, massages, and free food giveaways that included smoothies, ice cream and cake.

"We've had phenomenal turnout at all of our events," said Georgia Vitzileos, a post-graduate fellow and event coordinator. "It's been a huge success."

Watch the Self Defense Session with Professor Mary Anne Franks and Krav Maga Brickell.