Faculty Profile for Dr. Jo An M Zimmermann-Somoza

profile photo for Dr. Jo An M Zimmermann-Somoza
Dr. Jo An M Zimmermann-Somoza
Associate Professor — Dept of Health & Human Performance
JOW A171
phone: (512) 245-1973

Biography Section

Biography and Education

Prior to beginning my doctoral studies in 1999, I had worked in the field of recreation since I was 16 years old. I began as a day camp counselor and progressed through multiple part-time and seasonal jobs and agencies as I pursued an undergraduate degree in Recreation and Park Administration. I worked as a full-time Recreation Program Supervisor and Manager for 15 years in the public sector, during which time I earned a Masters in Business Administration. Much of what I do as an academic is grounded in those years working in the field developing and refining my skills as a programmer and administrator.

Teaching Interests

As an academic, my desire is to help prepare professionals for the field so that they become capable and passionate about planning and conducting quality recreation programs and services. I believe it is my job to help students gain a wider view of the world as well as prepare them to succeed in the workplace after graduation.
Teaching in an International Context: Academic Program Director for Study Abroad programs to Australia and New Zealand, 2017 and 2019.
Invited Foreign Expert to Beijing Sport University: 2017, 2018, 2019

Research Interests

According to Carpenter & Howe (1985), recreation programming is a continual process of planning, implementing, and evaluating leisure experiences for an individual or a group. A more contemporary definition defines recreation programs as, “purposeful interventions deliberately designed and constructed to produce certain behavioral outcomes in an individual or group” (Jordan, DeGraaf & DeGraaf, 2010, p. 7). A recreation administrator is concerned with how multiple programs work together for the benefit of a community or targeted group of users. The teaching and research I prefer is applied in the sense that it relates to professional practice. My goal is to conduct research that will improve the planning and delivery of community based recreation services. As such, the literature would suggest that I should focus my efforts on the following areas: “administrative foundations…external influences on administration… organizational functions… personnel administration … fiscal administration… and administrative responsibility”(Hjelte & Shivers, 1978, p. xii).

Selected Scholarly/Creative Work

  • Hurd, A. R., Barcelona, R. J., Zimmermann, J. M., & Ready, J. (2019). Leisure Services Management, 2nd Edition. Champaign, IL, USA: Human Kinetics.
  • Zimmermann, J. M. (n.d.). Recreation in Non-Profit Organizations. In Introduction to Careers in Recreation, Parks, Tourism & Leisure Services, 3rd. Ed. Champaign, IL, USA: Sagamore/Venture Publishing.
  • McGrath, R., Tower, J. R., Sibson, R., Adair, D., Bevan, N., Brown, G., … Zimmermann, J. M. (2018). State of Leisure Studies in Australia and New Zealand. World Leisure Journal, 60(1), 58–66. https://doi.org/10.1080/16078055.2017.1343326
  • Meaney, K. S., Zimmermann, J. M., Martinez, G. P., Lu, Y., & McDonald, J. (2017). Champions for Health in the Community: Critical Service Learning, Transformative Education, and Community Empowerment. In In Liston, D. D. & Rahimi, R. (Ed.), Promoting Social Justice  Through the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning. Bloomington IN, United States: Indiana University Press.
  • Walters, S. E., & Zimmermann, J. M. (2017, September). Making the Case for Adaptive Sports Programming. Parks and Rec Business, 15(12), 51–53.

Selected Awards

  • Award / Honor Recipient: Presidential Distinction Award in Teaching for the College of Education., College of Education. February 2018 - May 2018
  • Award / Honor Recipient: Outstanding Educator of the Year, Texas Recreation & Park Society. November 2017 - March 2018
  • Award / Honor Recipient: 2012 Seele Education Award, City of New Braunfels. January 1, 2012 - December 1, 2012
  • Award / Honor Recipient: 2011-2012 Service-Learning Initiative Faculty Fellow Award, Texas State University. January 1, 2011 - January 1, 2012
  • Award / Honor Nominee: The Presidential Award for Excellence in Teaching, College of Education, Dean's Nominee, Texas State University-San Marcos. January 1, 2009

Selected Grants

  • Zimmermann, J. M.. The nature/status of how practitioners measure effectiveness and/or outcomes in Texas, Texas Recreation & Park Society, Professional Association, $2500.00. (Submitted: September 26, 2018, Funded: October 4, 2018 - October 2019). Grant.
  • Meaney, K.S. (Co-Principal), Zimmermann, Jo An (Co-Principal), McDonald, J.D. (Co-Principal). Champions for health in the community, Texas State University San Marcos, Research Enhancement Program, Institutional (Higher Ed), $11441. (Submitted: 2010). Grant.
  • Zimmermann, Jo An (Principal). Teaching and Technology Workshop, Institutional (Higher Ed), $1200. (Submitted: 2008). Grant.
  • Craike, M. (Co-Principal), Symons, C. (Co-Principal), Zimmermann, Jo An (Co-Principal). A longitudinal study of the individual, social and environmental determinants of sport and physical activity of young women at transitional life stages, Sport and Recreation Victoria, Municipal, $60000. (Submitted: 2007). Grant.
  • Zimmermann, Jo An (Principal). Young women's participation in physical activity at transitional life stages., Texas State University San Marcos, Start-up Funds, Institutional (Higher Ed), $12500. (Submitted: 2007). Grant.

Selected Service Activities

Co-Chair
World Leisure Organization / Leisure Management Special Interest Group
2018-Present
Other
HHP Curriculum
June 2018-Present
Member
Mentoring Committee- Dr. Kim
2017-Present
Member
Texas Recreation and Park Society Nomenclature Task Force
March 2017-Present
Undergraduate Advisor
Undergraduate Coordinator - Recreational Administration
August 1, 2015-Present