Thrilled to be at Scripps

by Whitney Eriksen '09

Things are in full swing at the Sallie Tiernan Field House (TFH) just months after opening its doors to the Scripps community. Attendance is through the roof, fitness classes are a hit, and new programs in the wings make for a very promising and healthy year ahead.

Tamsen Burke, director of the TFH, is bubbling over with ideas for programs and enthusiasm for the coming year. Sitting in the chair opposite me, she explains the ins and outs of the field house. Although this is not the first athletic facility she has been in charge of opening and running, she counts it among her most successful and enjoyable. It took the month-old staff many late nights and considerable help from maintenance and grounds services, but they did it! Having TFH up and running on the first day of classes, despite last-minute delays in construction and equipment delivery, has been the greatest success for Burke, personally, this year.

Simply opening its doors hasn’t been the only success of TFH this year. The accomplishments of the weight training and cardiovascular orientation, which taught the Scripps community how to safely use the brand new equipment, and the new FitScripps program, non-credit, group fitness classes, which students, faculty and staff can attend at their convenience, have fueled the drive of the field house staff to continue creating a healthy, engaging environment.

This year, Burke is focusing on two new wellness-based programs. Healthy Lifestyles, an extension of the FitScripps program, focuses on creating a forum in which women’s health issues can be addressed, particularly those most relevant to Scripps women. Next semester, Burke is working to bring Reflections, a “friends don’t let friends talk fat” body image workshop, to the field house.

Burke says she is “absolutely thrilled” to be working at Scripps. “The community at Scripps is so inviting and supportive to the well-being of our students. The students are empowered to take ownership and leadership within the [field house] for both their personal and professional development. The smiles on students’ faces, the beautiful gardens, and the view of the mountains everyday make for a very inviting place to be.”

Student input is greatly appreciated at the field house. A suggestion-and-comment box, in the lobby is loaded every week with everything from quirky, fun suggestions to serious and essential comments.

Burke salutes Scripps women with what she sees as one of the goals of THF: “We empower your confidence and self pride.”