Mentorship Through Exercise

"Mentorship Through Exercise" is a UREC program that provides JMU students the opportunity to meet regularly with a faculty/staff member outside of the formal classroom setting. 

About Mentorship Through Exercise
“Having a mentor on campus has made me a lot more comfortable and confident at the gym,”
- Savannah Carmichael, Mentee

Well-being of college students is influenced by several factors, including a sense of belonging, a connection to the campus culture, as well as the influence of physical activity. Mentoring has been shown to effectively connect students to faculty on their campus in a way that has the potential to increase the students’ sense of belonging to the campus community. The Mentorship Through Exercise Program brings together the positive elements of mentoring and physical activity into one intervention.

Our hope is that students and faculty/staff that select into the program will participate in UREC’s wide variety of programs and/or facilities together. Participants will be sent regular program updates, as well as informal conversation topics that could be discussed while exercising. Any JMU faculty/staff and students with access to UREC who are interested are welcome to participate.

Learn more about the program by:

Registration Information

Ready to sign up? Great! The first step is filling out a mentor or mentee form. Once we've received adequate applications, you will be paired and contacted via email by the program coordinators.

For mentors (faculty/staff), please fill out the Mentor Form:

Mentor Form

For mentees (students), please fill out the Mentee Form:

Mentee Form


Mentorship Through Exercise FAQs

The expectation is that each pair meets weekly for the duration of the semester (10- 12 weeks). Meeting times will be determined by each mentor group individually.

We hope that relationships built through the program will be long-lasting. The commitment for the program is one semester (about 10 weeks). At the end of each semester, we will ask both the mentor and mentee if they’d like to continue in the program.

UREC will provide a brief training for faculty/staff mentors. They will also be available throughout the experience to help answer questions/concerns and hear about triumphs.

You have the choice on the registration form as to how you would like to be paired with a mentee or mentor which can be based on academic interest, recreational interest, both or neither. There is not a certain skills level required for the recreational or fitness interests.

For a mentorship relationship to be mutually beneficial, both parties must be comfortable. If you have any specific requests for your pairing you can list those on the form. If you know of someone you would already like to be paired with, we can make that work too!

You can email the program coordinators Ben Zwilling (, UREC's Coordinator of Group Exercise and Tim Howley (, JMU Health Sciences Professor, to help navigate initial meetings or any issues that arise throughout the experience.

If you have questions about the Mentorship Through Exercise program, please contact the program coordinators Ben Zwilling, Coordinator of Group Exercise, and Tim Howley, JMU Health Sciences Professor.

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