Health Heroes

Want to be the healthiest top dawg on campus? The Health Heroes program involves competitions between residence halls, sororities, fraternities, organizations, faculty and staff, and students.

  • Individuals or groups submit an application to become a Health Heroes
  • All possible winners will be reviewed according to their healthy activities
  • Optional: log numbers of hours exercising, number of miles walked/ran, amount of weight loss, healthy eating habits established, tobacco cessation, participation in health program

The steps you take to improve your health with better nutrition and increased exercise will make a huge impact on your health, both today and in the future! Congratulations to all of our winners on making positive strides in your health.

Randall Little's Health Hero Story

Dr. Little plays noontime basketball three times a week at the Sanderson Center and joins the yoga group on Tuesdays and Thursdays when he can. Over the summer he was diagnosed with a tick borne illness that has made him allergic to red meat. He has since completely revamped his diet and fully embraced the turkey, eating a diet that consists mainly of vegetables, nuts, and chicken and fish. I’ve seen a shift in his perspective from trying to be healthy because it was what he was supposed to do, to being healthy because he values his body and knows that when he eats right and gets exercise, he is his best self. Not just for his family, but also for himself.

Kaitlynn Orlandi's Story

Kaitlynn Orlandi has taken it upon herself within the past two years to spread the word of body positivity and self-love on the Mississippi State University campus. She is one that displays confidence, strength, and beauty in all that she does. During her time as a graduate student, Kaitlynn has worked to influence others by not only promoting self-love within herself but also within the residence halls, the staff that she supervises, and even on social media. Her efforts have been selfless, intentional, and have influenced others around her. Kaitlynn has even used her passion to work alongside Health Promotion and Wellness to create The Body Project training, as well as continue her efforts with the students that she supervises and oversees. Due to all of her work with body-positivity, I believe that Kaitlynn is a great candidate to be a Health Hero.

Kaitlynn currently serves as the Residence Director for the all-female Greek living residence hall, Hathorn Hall. During her time, Kaitlynn has worked to teach her residents and Resident Advisors to love themselves and to promote body-positivity with positive words, quotes, and programming. This is displayed when she is constantly worried about her staff and their well-being, whether that is her telling them that they are beautiful, or that they are intelligent women. Another example of something that she has been known to do is program with body positivity, including a program called “Love your Selfie” where the residents can take pictures and can write positive affirmations for each other. Not only does Kaitlynn work to promote body positivity and self-love on campus, but she also has taken her efforts to social media. Kaitlynn creates and runs a body-positivity Instagram, @cheesefriesandthickthighs, that has taken off. With this Instagram, Kaitlynn is able to influence her follows and remind them that body-positivity and self-love is an issue that many people face today. Kaitlynn’s efforts have been greatly appreciated and I believe that she deserves the award of Health Hero.

Eytan Stern's Story

In 2012 a gastroenterologist diagnosed Eytan with Crohn’s disease and recommended medications including steroids, remicade, etc. but they didn’t really help alleviate symptoms.

In June 2013, he saw a Dr. in NYC who offered two options. One was to try to find another medication, the other was to begin the “specific carbohydrate diet”. Eytan met with a nutritionist, and after eating whatever he could for a week, began the diet. Within two months he was off medication. It has now been 4.5 years medication free, and he feels better than ever. During this time, he decided to become a registered dietician to help people with similar GI issues. He completed his second bachelor’s degree in nutrition and food science, and then came down to Mississippi State to complete his internship and finish his Masters of Science in Nutrition. He also passed his registration exam this past summer so he is officially a dietitian!

Cole Carter’s Story

Cole recently graduated (in August 2016) after playing at Mississippi State for 4 years. He was on the offensive line as left tackle. During the majority of his time as a player, he was overweight, averaging 320 pounds and eating poorly. As soon as he was finished playing and no longer “needed” the offensive lineman size, he began working out for his health rather than the line. After about a year and a half, Cole has lost 80 pounds, now weighing 240. He takes supplements, vitamins, and works out 5 times per week. He walks rather than driving whenever he can and has drastically improved his diet.

Cole is noticeably happier and more energetic after his weight loss. He has motivated many of our friends to begin their own fitness journeys, in addition to myself. He has gained an exponential amount of self-confidence and is simply doing better. I am extremely proud of him. As his twin sister, I have witnessed this journey almost firsthand. I’ve seen his ups and downs, his ruts, his new workout routines, and his varying meals. It has been difficult for him, but he has perhaps the most will power and greatest mental strength of anyone I know. Though he has received many compliments, he deserves to be recognized for this amazing transformation he’s made mentally, physically, and nutritionally.