Dr. Dana Kivel (they/them/their) is and has been a professor in the Department of Recreation, Parks, & Tourism Administration at Sacramento State University since 2003. Dana served as department chair from 2005-2011 and was also the Director of the Community Engagement Center at Sac State from 2014-2020. In that role, Dana oversaw programming for more than 3000 students each year who participated in service learning, academic internships, and community service. For their work in this role, Dana received the 2020-2021 Faculty Innovation and Leadership Award given to faculty from across all 23 California State University Campuses.
They received degrees from the University of Wisconsin (Journalism), San Francisco State University (Recreation Administration), and the University of Georgia (Recreation and Leisure Studies). Dana has co-authored and/or co-edited three textbooks (overview of leisure and recreation; diversity, equity and inclusion; and a reader that covers a variety of topics in the field), the most recent of which is slated for publication in 2024 and more than 40 articles, book chapters and technical reports. Dana has also written dozens of grants and contracts to support programs, research, and evaluation.
Dana has been in higher education almost 30 years and prior to working in higher education, they co-founded and directed a social support program for lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender and queer youth (LGBTQ) in San Francisco. The Lavender Youth Recreation & Information Center (LYRIC) will celebrate its 36th anniversary in 2024. And, in 2008 in Sacramento, they worked with a group of female police officers, women who have been trafficked, community members and a social worker to establish Community Against Sexual Harm, a peer-based program to support women who have been sexually exploited and/or trafficked, which recently celebrated its 15th anniversary. Dana has been appointed by Sacramento mayors and city council members to sit on redevelopment advisory and community development committees, most recently serving on the City of Sacramento’s Measure U Advisory Committee that made recommendations to the city about how to spend more than $95 million in revenue generated from a sales tax to support public safety and parks and recreation programs and services. In that role, Dana worked with other committee members to secure $1 million in funding from the city council to pilot a participatory budgeting process that collected feedback from more than 1000 residents and funded more than 30 community-based projects throughout the city.
Dana’s areas of expertise include:
- Community and non-profit development and program and event planning and implementation
- Examining leisure through a diversity, equity, inclusion, and social justice lens