Credit: Matt Thomas
Phlectus Mimia, left, Saba Fathima, center, and Allyson Lindsley join a Zumba class at the Cleveland State University Recreation Center, March 9.

CISP introduces “Women in Motion” program

The program is designed for women as a safe place to focus on self-care and mindfulness through weekly classes in a stress-free environment.

Cleveland State's Center for International Services and Programs welcomes Women in Motion, a new on-campus program designed for women.

Women in Motion was developed in collaboration with the CSU Women's Center. It provides a space for female students to meet in weekly classes doing various exercises and different activities such as Zumba and Pilates. Zumba is a fusion of various forms of high-energy dance through Latin and International music by doing aerobic and fitness training. Pilates is similar to some forms of yoga and focuses on strength and flexibility in a less intense session than typical strength training. 

Allyson Lindsley, international education advisor for CISP, helped create Women in Motion, envisaging a program for women to come together, connect, make friends and share experiences. 

“There are students who, maybe it’s religious preferences or personal preferences, don’t feel comfortable working out in a general space, so we wanted to collaborate with the Rec center and Women’s center to create an opportunity for students to workout in a female only space and to have that community…so that was really important to us,” Lindsley said. 

Lindsley said she hopes Women in Motion builds a sense of “resilience” to encourage students to move forward, given how much stress and pressure they might be feeling

“It’s not just about the class, I want people to know that outside of the class they are supported,” she added, “They can reach out for help or questions, we are there for you outside of the class.”

Lindsley also said that the program looked to be off to a promising start. 

“We’ve had a lot of people [interested], either through social media or emailing us…so I think the program is going to grow significantly,” said Lindsley. 

CISP Graduate Student Advising staff member, Phlectus Mimia, is an international student and a member of Women in Motion. She also helped organize the program. 

 “I feel it is a great opportunity to give, especially international women, a sense of community,” Mimia said. “When you come here by yourself from a different country, you do not know anyone... So there's that sense of community this class will bring.” 

Mimia said she wanted to help other women, especially international women. 

“It gives me pride to help the people that went through the things I went through, and the comfort of ‘you’re not alone’.”

Another woman who joined the program was Saba Fathima, a mechanical engineering student at CSU and, like Mimia, an international student.

“When we have a class like this, you have friends you meet that you have fun with.” Fathima said. “It’s the best thing you can ever do, along with your health…  It’s peace for your mind as well as your body.”

Women in Motion was a perfect fit for her. 

“I’m so excited about what’s going on because this is something I wanted,” Fathima said.

Lindsley also said that Women in Motion has plans for the Rec Center pool, as “there is a need for female only swim lessons.”

Students interested in joining Women in Motion can check out the program's  Instagram @csu_cisp for upcoming schedules and announcements. Students can also contact CISP by  email: The CISP homepage is here