Staff You Should Know: Kathy Green
Because of her love for living a healthy and active life, Kathy Green, director of health services at the University of Northern Iowa, has a unique connection to her work. "I love meeting faculty, staff and students and having opportunities to talk to them and brainstorm ways to make the campus healthier," says Green. "It's easy to come to work and it's hard to leave at the end of the day."
You'll see Green biking around campus even when the Iowa weather is still cool.
University Health Services includes the Student Health Clinic, the Counseling Center and Wellness and Recreation Services (WRS). Through her position as director of health services, Green plays many roles each day, performing administrative, supervisory, financial and other responsibilities.
"WRS provides the campus community so many ways to have a healthy lifestyle," noted Green. Through WRS, students have access to many different programs, including everything from basketball and rock climbing to Pilates and yoga. "We have something for everyone, and it's so rewarding to be able to be a part of offering that to the campus."
Green grew up in a family that loved camping, growing their own garden and participating in other environmentally friendly activities, so she's always felt very connected to the Earth. Even in eighth grade, Green wrote a paper about wanting to become a teacher in physical education, knowing that she loved understanding everything about health and wellness.
In her free time, Green loves traveling to other states and countries, and always tries to stay outdoors as much as possible. All together, Green has camped in more than 40 states, hitting all corners of the country. "I love hiking, camping, cross country skiing and traveling to other countries to learn about their cultures," said Green.
Green also strives to play an active role in promoting and living a "green" lifestyle. Green's environmental work on campus actually began when she was assigned to a committee to reduce pesticide use on campus in the mid 1990's, and since then has jumped at any opportunity to be an advocate for reducing the environmental impact on campus. This includes Earth Week at UNI, which has expanded every year with the help of Green and other environmentally conscious advocates and organizations.
She enjoys meeting with students, faculty and staff about unhealthy habits, which includes smoking cigarettes. "One of my favorite moments has been when somebody comes to see me just to tell me that, because of meeting with me, they'd been able to quit," remembered Green, who meets with people about quitting smoking through a WRS program called Smoking Cessation.
Through her work, Green continually works to make an impact on the lives of her colleagues, and especially her students. "What I like most is that I've got variety in my job, but I especially like it when I'm working directly with students, faculty and staff," she noted. "Students keep us young. And I plan to die young at an old age."