May 21, 2018

Chelsea Holcombe Named VSU’s Spring 2018 Employee of the Semester

VALDOSTA — Chelsea Holcombe is Valdosta State University’s Spring 2018 Employee of the Semester.

Holcombe, who has worked at VSU since 2009, is the coordinator of fitness, wellness, and marketing for Campus Recreation. She oversees all of Campus Recreation’s fitness and wellness programs; trains and manages all personal trainers and group fitness instructors; coordinates special events, such as De-Stress Fest and Gloga (glow-in-the-dark yoga); and oversees promotions for all Campus Recreation events and activities. She is also an adjunct professor in the Department of Kinesiology and Physical Education and teaches intermediate swimming.

“I was surprised and honored to win the award,” Holcombe said. “I am very appreciative to have a supervisor, Shawn Phippen, who takes the time to acknowledge his staff’s hard work and accomplishments. It was a big honor to be nominated, especially alongside so many other amazing staff.”

Phippen, director of Campus Recreation, nominated Holcombe for introducing several highly successful group fitness programs; attracting more people to Campus Recreation events through her promotions; launching an online Fitness and Wellness Portal that offers helpful information and instructional exercise videos to the campus community; and demonstrating overall excellence in her duties.

“Chelsea has taken on a leadership role here at Campus Recreation and has proven to be a critical force in engaging students,” he said. “Her passion for helping all students and serving VSU is clear. Her greatest strength is perhaps her love for student success.”

Holcombe said interacting with and supporting students is the best part of her job.

“My favorite time of the year is De-Stress Fest, which is an event I help to coordinate alongside the Counseling Center and Campus Wellness that allows students to relax and have a little fun right before finals,” she said. “I have so much joy when I interact with these students and they say, ‘This helped me so much.’ Being able to make a little bit of an impact is awesome. I love helping students get involved with our group fitness classes, especially ones who were afraid to come at first but ended up really enjoying it. I love seeing a student who has never been in the pool before learn how to swim in one of my classes. Watching student growth and development is so rewarding.”

Holcombe is a two-time graduate of VSU; she earned a Bachelor of Science in psychology in 2011 and a Master of Science in clinical-counseling psychology in 2013. She also holds professional certifications in group fitness and Rape, Aggression, and Defense (R.A.D).

She started working at VSU in 2009 as a student assistant for Event Services. She stayed in that office for five years, becoming a graduate assistant and then the event reservations coordinator. In 2014, she became the health educator for the Office of Health Promotions. She assumed her current role at Campus Recreation in 2016.

Holcombe is chairwoman of VSU’s Relationship and Sexual Violence Prevention Task Force and treasurer of the Campus Wellness Committee. She is a member of the Substance Abuse Task Force and the Division of Student Affairs Marketing Committee. She also serves as a mentor to freshman student athletes.

She enjoys long-distance running, working out, practicing yoga, diving, reading, being outdoors, and spending time with her husband, Johnny, and her three dogs, Oakie, Oreo and Major. 

Sgt. Jesus Arreola, a police officer from the Department of Public Safety, and Selenseia Holmes, coordinator of multicultural affairs for the Office of Social Equity, were runners-up for VSU’s Spring 2018 Employee of the Semester. The other nominees were Sarah Bring from Information Technology; Andrea Butler from Student Affairs; Wesley Cameron and Alan Sanderson from Physical Plant and Facilities Planning; Tricia Hale from the Counseling Center; Ryan Hogan from the Office of Admissions; Mary Marshall from the Department of Mathematics; Hazel McCoggle from Campus Recreation; Rebecca Murphy from Employee and Organizational Development; Beverly Phelps from the Office of Alcohol and Other Drug Education; Brian Roberts from the Office of Student Life; Jennifer Shinpaugh and Lenora Willis from Housing and Residence Life; and Jenny White from Budget Services.

VSU’s Council on Staff Affairs presents the Employee of the Semester Award at the end of every fall and spring semester. All full-time classified staff employees are eligible for the award.

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