Dr. Carl Caldwell, AU vice president for Academic Affairs and dean, indicated that Hippensteel’s resume stood out strongly among the other candidates for the job with her 15 years plus experience in the fitness field.
“She is a blend of teacher and administration and is aware of futuristic thinking with sensitivity to the desires of the clientele,” said Dr. Rebecca Hull, chair of the AU Department of Physical Education, Health and Sport. “She listens and works with them to provide what they need.”
Under her direction, the center will be a personal growth center where users can explore a broad range of activities that could include mind-body fitness, step aerobics and traditional game sports. Emphasis will be placed on fun, social connection, stress reduction and exploration of the mind-body-spirit connection instead of weight loss, body re-shaping and competition. She will be working with many different age groups, and will also seek to provide a wide range of classes and programs.
Since the moment she first heard about Anderson University’s plans to build a Wellness Center, Hippensteel says she started thinking about different opportunities the center would offer the AU campus and the Anderson community as a whole. “I’ve always had a feeling that I might be involved in some way,” said Hippensteel.
Growing up in the Anderson community and graduating from AU, Hippensteel is excited about the opportunity to intertwine both her skills and her faith in the area of fitness and wellness. She plans to focus more on helping others to learn to live a healthier life rather than focusing on what a person is not doing.
“I can’t imagine anything I would rather do than to put my God-given abilities back into a community that nurtured me so well when I was young,” says Hippensteel. “That’s a good feeling for me.”
Hippensteel is the daughter of the Dr. Robert H. Reardon, president emeritus of Anderson University and the late Geraldine Reardon. Hippensteel resides with her husband, Barry, also an AU alum, and stepson Barry II.