Lecturer AY-A, Communication Studies
Additional Contact Information
Tuesdays and Thursdays 3-4 p.m., and by appointment (HGH 250)
Kathy Kahn has had a multi-faceted career including teaching high school English and drama, co-founding a theater in a rural area, working in an international public relations agency, and almost two decades working as a marketing communications manager for high tech companies. Serving as a parent volunteer in Oakland public schools inspired her to leave the technology industry and use her marketing skills to promote arts and education-related causes. Kathy and her husband, David Kahn, were co-chairs of the Skyline High PTSA Performing Arts Committee for six years, during which time they raised nearly $400,000 and managed the renovation of the Skyline theater with the support of alumnus Tom Hanks and several hundred other contributors. She has been a member of the Steering Committee for the Alameda County Alliance for Arts Learning Leadership, a member of the Oakland Schools Arts Task Force, 2004 winner of the OUSD Vibrant Arts Award for community support, and the recipient of three Academy mentor awards from the Oakland Unified School District. For three years, she worked as Arts Active Parent Coordinator for the Alameda County Office of Education, where she built a large community of parents interested in arts education and produced a monthly newsletter for them, hosted events and public discussions, and worked with parents in individual schools to encourage the growth of arts education programs in the county.
In addition to teaching at San Jose State, she currently serves as publicist, photographer, marketing writer, and graphic designer/webmaster for Oakland’s Woodminster Summer Musicals, a 45-year-old organization that presents Broadway-style musicals to over 20,000 audience members each summer. She is also a member of the Board of Directors for Oakland Parents Together, a nonprofit organization that educates and empowers parents to advocate for their children in Oakland public schools. She chaired a fundraising event in January 2011 that was Oakland Parents Together's most successful fundraiser in their 10-year history.
In 2010, Kathy Kahn served as volunteer co-coodinator of endorsements for the Jean Quan for Mayor campaign in Oakland. In a crowded field of qualified candidates, and running against a former state senator who spent about three times as much on the campaign, Jean Quan won the election, and has received national and international attention as the first female Asian American mayor of a major American city, and as a candidate who used grassroots organizing in a powerful way.