Yoshitaka Iwasaki, PhD
Dr. Yoshitaka (Yoshi) Iwasaki is Professor and Chair of the Department of Public Health and Recreation in the College of Health and Human Sciences at San Jose State University (SJSU) in California, USA with over 22 years of experience in community-engaged research and education, knowledge mobilization, and capacity-building. His areas of specialization include: (a) culture, diversity, and community-university engagement; (b) active living and quality of life (e.g., meaning-making, mental health, and leisure); and (c) participatory action research (PAR) to address social justice issues (e.g., human rights, poverty, empowerment, youth engagement, mental health, social change).
He envisions that SJSU Department of Public Health and Recreation has the potential to become a pioneer and a global leader in teaching and learning, research and scholarship, and professional practice and service concerning public health and recreation. In particular, our leadership mobilizes our university-community partnerships as a catalyst for social change together to build a vibrant, prosperous world where opportunities for advancing social justice promote individual and community health and wellbeing.
Importantly, our students are the reason why we are here. Therefore, the purpose of our department is to respectfully meet the needs of our talented students through student engagement and quality education to facilitate the success of each and every student in our programs academically, professionally, and personally. Another related purpose of our department is to meet the needs of our communities and workforce especially within the fields of public health and recreation. In particular, we are accountable and responsible for building our communities and contributing to workforce development through engaging our students and alumni, our faculty and staff, and our community and professional/industry partners together. More about his vision for the sustainable, meaningful growth and transformation of the department authentically is described in our new maganize-like brochure/catalog of our SJSU PHR department with our new departmental slogan of "Achieving Health and Wellbeing for All"!
His Ph.D. in Recreation and Leisure Studies was completed at the University of Waterloo, Faculty of Applied Health Sciences in Ontario, Canada in 1998. His previous employment includes being Professor in the Department of Rehabilitation Sciences, College of Health Professions and Social Work at Temple University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania from 2006 to 2011; in the Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation Studies at the University of Manitoba from 1998 to 2006; and most recently, in the Faculty of Extension at the University of Alberta from 2011 to 2018. Those include past 9 years of his leadership positions as Director of a community-based research center; Associate Dean, Research in an university lifelong learning unit; and currently as the Chair of SJSU PHR. In 2008, he was elected as Fellow/Inductee into the Academy of Leisure Sciences, and in 2017, was awarded the inaugural McKinnon Walker Trust Global Fellowship on the theme of "Transforming Vulnerable Lives" at the University of Wollongong in Australia. Below are samples of Dr. Iwasaki's works so far: