Meet Jody Reiss! Jody serves as the Healthy Living Program Project Director within the Volunteers for Youth Agency based in Claremore, while also volunteering as a member of the OK in the Know Community Council.
Below you can learn more about Jody, and her roundabout journey to the field of public health, and how she has incorporated her passion into improving the lives of those around her. Despite never having played a sport in her life, she stays very active. Read on to find out how!
Q & A
Q: Everyone has a story to tell! What have you done in the past?
A: The path that has led me to where I am has definitely been curvy. I lived in Europe for 3 years, and during that time I saw what it was like to live in a fully functional community that encourages active transportation. It was my first experience with a slow-paced lifestyle that thrives on being a tight-knit “place.” I often look back on my time there and remember some of the best days of my life.
When I moved back stateside, I went to work at Rogers State University. I loved working in Higher Ed, and I honestly never saw myself leaving. While working in the admissions office, I went back to school and obtained my Bachelor of Science Degree with an emphasis on Sport Management. I have been a certified aerobics instructor for many years, as well. I am married and have 4 kids that keep me busy!
Q: What are you working on now?
A: I currently work on the TSET Healthy Living Program assisting businesses and local governments in Rogers County. I have been working towards obtaining Safe Routes to School funding in my communities. I sit on a committee that looks at new developments that come to town, and add a public health voice in these matters. I am working with the communities to be Certified Healthy, so they can potentially receive healthy community grant funding. I just wrapped up a fellowship program with America Walks that will help me to implement active transportation initiatives (read more about it here or here!).
One community is in the process of updating their master plan and I have been informed that they would like me to be involved in this process. All of these projects will increase access to active transportation, creating an environment for all people to become active in daily living, which in turn can improve health outcomes for Oklahomans.
Q: What are your favorite ways to use OK In the Know?
Ask Her About…
Fitness and nutrition! I have been passionate about fitness and nutrition for quite some time. I have become quite nerdy about active transportation over the last couple of years.
- I am very uncoordinated, but I teach aerobics.
- I taught cycle and kickboxing up until i was “due pregnant.”
- I have never played a sport in my life (not even a pickup basketball game).
- I love hanging out with my family, hiking, kayaking (mostly being outdoors, but I don’t camp)!