McComas Hall announced the winners of the spring semester Makeover Stories sponsored by the New River Valley Mall and TiVon Salon and Spa.

The lucky winners are Accounting Major Kim Pope of Hopewell, Virginia and Entomology Professor Dini Miller. "I am so excited and ready for change," said Pope. "I am open to anything as long as you don't shave my head and put me in a tutu." Crazy hairdos and costumes are definitely not on the agenda for these makeovers, but a healthy, happy life is in the plan. Both winners will embark on a 12-week journey to a healthier lifestyle that will be covered by VTTV.

The winners were chosen from a pool of applicants who purchased eight or more personal training sessions and sent in pictures and letters telling the fitness department why they needed a Rec Sports makeover. This is the second time that Rec Sports with their sponsors New River Valley Mall and TiVon Salon and Spa has offered the Makeover Stories and the first time it is open to faculty and staff in addition to students. Winners will undergo an intense workout regimen and receive nutrition, wellness, and apparel selection advising. At the completion of the program each newly made over participant will be given a $250 shopping spree to the New River Valley Mall and $200 to TiVon Salon & Spa.

Big changes in 21-year-old Pope's life were what led her in the direction of big changes in her lifestyle. This Virginia Tech senior will be graduating in May, beginning a new job as an auditor in Richmond, and getting married. Her fiancé, Tim Adams, moved from Cleveland to Richmond to be with her, and Pope hopes this makeover will help her, "get back to the beautiful girl he fell in love with three years ago." Pope has tried all of the fad diets in the past, but none of them keep the weight off. She is looking for a balanced diet and steady exercise plan to help reach a healthy, stable weight. "Now is the time to make a change before I get settled in," she said.

California native Dini Miller spent the past six years researching cockroaches and working on the intense tenure process here at Virginia Tech. Dini, who specialized in German Cockroaches at the University of Florida, came to Virginia Tech to teach Entomology, research household pests and pest treatments, and go out into the community to inform people of safer pest control methods. "I was interested in studying bugs in the rainforest so I could name different bugs after my family members, but this nutty professor from the University of Florida convinced me to research cockroaches with him instead," Miller said . Miller spends so much time traveling for her work that she has no time to do anything for herself.

One day Miller's husband, Tim McCoy, gave her two $50 bills to spend on herself. With those bills in her pocket, she was looking at a personal training billboard in War Memorial Hall when Personal Trainer Chris Parker suggested the program. "I took it as a sign that that would be my way to get on track," said Miller who has never tried to diet before. "Some days I sit at my computer for hours and just eat a whole bag of beef jerkey or Funyuns, I just don't know when to stop." Dini is hoping that the makeover will help her find a way to eat healthy and exercise despite her busy work and travel schedule. She is also concerned with increasing her bone density, as osteoporosis is a dangerous threat to women.

The Makeover Stories are turning out to be a great success. "It's great to see what a big impact we can make on their lives," said Fitness Coordinator Ali Arner. The program provides the opportunity for individuals to improve their health and their lifestyles. "I love this contest," said Pope through tears of joy after being chosen. "It is such a great idea and a great motivator." The fitness department intends to continue the program each semester. Visit if you would like to track their progress and find out more about the exciting opportunities with Rec Sports.

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