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Lois Blackburn Women for Healthy Lifestyles Gateway

This Gateway is designed for young women who want to practice and promote healthy and active lifestyles as the foundation of their college lives.

The Lois Blackburn Women for Healthy Lifestyles Gateway is designed to compliment core college requirements for fitness. Its activities and contents are designed for students who seek wellness (novices) as well as those who want to maintain it (intermediate and advanced). Group Gateway experiences are designed to provide exposure to all facets of the wellness spectrum.

Gateway members complete a wellness assessment and create an individualized life-vision map. They participate — and at times compete — in small group activities. An hands-on, healthy Thanksgiving dinner is prepared in Hunt Dining Hall by and for Gateway members. Teams within the Gateway compete as they track their steps on a virtual map using pedometers.

Who may apply? All who wish to achieve and maintain a healthy lifestyle and also wish to help others attain this lifestyle are invited to apply.  Gateway membership is limited. Apply early.
MBC 101: Orientation to College (1 credit)

Will I take classes as part of the community? In addition to your academic schedule you also will take two required courses:

  • Fitness 100: (1 credit)
    • Here you will also get a personalized fitness and wellness assessment.

In which extra-curricular activities will I participate? You will participate in health awareness activities, such as planning and completing a very public and well-used communication center on the ground level of Hunt Dining Hall. You will take part in an orientation Wellness Walk as well as walking in the Women’s Health Virginia event.  You may also volunteer with the Women’s Health Initiative or other community outreach efforts.

Where will I live? You will live on campus in the residence halls where you will meet other students who have an active lifestyle priority. Commuter students are welcome, as well.

Join our Facebook group

The Skinny on Local Dining 

Join Our Relay for Life team

Meet the staff

Mary VanNortwick Mary VanNortwick, campus nutrition and wellness coordinator, campus dietitian, certified wellness coach, and assistant director of dining services will be your community leader. Peer advisors who live the healthy lifestyle, faculty advisors who support our gateway, and faculty and staff in the Athletics and Wellness department will be your guides.
P1110409  Amanda Johnson

  • Year: Senior
  • Major: English
  • Minors: Education & Coaching/Exercise Leadership
  • Career Goal: High School English Teacher & Softball Coach
  • Passion: Photography
  • Wellness Pursuits:
    • Keep better track of my activity and diet via technology (smart phone app to log meals and exercise, for example)
    • The small things–picking fruit over ice cream for dessert, salad over something fried and greasy, but also allowing room to LIVE and splurge with the occasional Split Banana trip!
    • Finding good, creative outlets to express my emotions
 IMG_9470 Tosha
Lotosha Gough
  • Year: Senior
  • Major: Business
  • Career Goal: Graduate school, anesthesiology specialty
  • Passion: Helping others
  • Wellness pursuits:
    • Being active
    • Exercising a couple times a week
    • Eating well
    • Staying focused and organized


To help you on your pathway to learn more about wellness at MBC, visit To find out what athletic opportunities available on campus, visit