campus news

UB steps up to the challenge

Photos submitted during this year's Step Challenge. On left a person in front of a local business during a walk, on right a beautiful nature photo during a walk.

Walkers captured scenes of their walks and posted to social media. On the left, community member Doc Thomas was the winner of this year’s social media category of the Step Challenge for using the hashtag #UBSteps24 and documenting his daily walking journeys. On the right, Meredith Forrest Kulwicki, photo/video design assistant in University Communications, walked more than 400,000 steps throughout April and captured some beautiful photos of the UB campus along the way.


Published May 16, 2024

“It was a wonderful way for us all to get outside, move more and connect with one another. ”
Stacey Brown, human resources assistant
SUNY Research Foundation

More than 2,200 people recorded more than 400 million steps during April as part of the ninth annual Step Challenge, hosted by the School of Public Health and Health Professions.

Step Challenge participants made their way outside — or inside when spring snow made an appearance — upping their fitness goals, making connections with their walking partners and enjoying the scenic views in their area.

Faculty and staff, students, alumni and more stepped on their own or with a team in a bid for prizes that included a shiatsu foot massager, smart water bottles, Columbia quarter-zip sweatshirts and more.

This year’s 2,261 participants logged more than 460 million steps, surpassing the more than 432 million steps recorded by nearly 1,900 participants in last year’s challenge.

“We had many staff members participate in the challenge this year. It was a wonderful way for us all to get outside, move more and connect with one another,” says Stacey Brown, human resources assistant for the SUNY Research Foundation.

The Step Challenge is also open to the greater Buffalo community and beyond, with steppers across many states and countries increasing their overall fitness.

“I really enjoyed participating in this program,” says Judith Courtade, senior secretarial stenographer with the Erie County Department of Health. “It encouraged me to walk more and I am continuing to walk every day, even after the challenge. I even purchased a treadmill.”

Photos of dogs going for walks with Step Challenge steppers.

Furry friends were also part of the Step Challenge, walking with their humans and getting in their own four-legged steps.

Fun facts for Step Challenge 2024:

  • 30 days.
  • 2,261 steppers.
  • 194 teams.
  • 460,000,000-plus steps.
  • 200,000-plus miles.
  • 164% of challenge goal completed.

The winners:

  • Grand prize, one person randomly chosen from the top 15 steppers on the leaderboard: Sue Neumeister.
  • Most improved, the stepper who made the greatest improvement in effort during the challenge: Meredith Kaplan.
  • Top teams, the three teams with the highest average steps per team member: Shabdiz, XcBulls and Gymrats.
  • Step superstars, five randomly chosen steppers who met the activity goal they set in StepSense each day during the challenge: Eugenia Riollano, Kyle Schottmiller, Christine Hendricks Stanton, Katie Camm and Lucas Abbatiello.