California State University, Sacramento

Skip to Main Content

Sacramento State News

  • Dana Kivel: A commitment to community brings FILA honor


    B. Dana Kivel, a tireless and creative leader who helped Sacramento State become a national leader in community engagement, has received a 2020-21 CSU Faculty Innovation and Leadership Award. (Sacramento State Creative Services)

    By Dixie Reid

    When B. Dana Kivel took over as director of Sacramento State’s Community Engagement Center (CEC) in January 2014, it had no full-time leader, almost no full-time staff, and very little actual engagement with the local community.

    Now, as Kivel returns to their position as professor of Parks, Recreation and Tourism Administration, they leave a robust and fully staffed center that annually dispatches thousands of student volunteers to do good work on campus and throughout the area.

    It’s just one reason the CSU chose Kivel to receive a 2020-21 California State University Faculty Innovation & Leadership Award. Biology Professor Kelly McDonald also earned FILA honors.

    “I truly believe that there could not be a more deserving individual,” said University President Robert S. Nelsen. “Their accomplishments epitomize how justice-oriented community engagement can lead to transformative change on a campus and in a region.”

    The award comes with a $5,000 cash prize for Kivel and $10,000 going to their academic department for professional activities.

    “I am humbled beyond measure to be considered for the Faculty Innovation & Leadership Awards program,” said Kivel, who has worked tirelessly on behalf of students and the community since coming to Sacramento State as a professor in 2003.

    Last year, they took on the monumental task of leading the Sac State team that compiled hundreds of documents detailing the campus’s work in the community, which resulted in the University being named a 2020 Carnegie Community-Engaged Campus.

    Sacramento State is one of only 119 U.S. colleges and universities to earn the prestigious endorsement from the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

    Among Kivel’s other achievements that impressed the award selection committee:

    • Developed innovative courses such as Race, Class, Gender and Leisure, which prepares students to work with diverse populations.
    • Collaborated with Department of History faculty to craft a campus policy on service learning and academic internships.
    • Collaborated with faculty across campus to develop and ensure compliance guidelines for student placement in academic internships, mitigating risk for student interns.
    • Co-founded Community Against Sexual Harm (CASH), a peer-based organization for Sacramento’s sex workers. In 2009, Kivel received the Sutter Community Award for their work with CASH.
    • Through CEC, led teams of Sac State students who volunteered for Paint the Town, Soil Born Farms, and River City Food Bank.
    • Appointed by two Sacramento mayors, Heather Fargo and Kevin Johnson, to serve on the Oak Park Redevelopment advisory committee.
    • Appointed by District 4 City Council member Steve Hansen to serve on the Measure U citizens’ advisory committee.
    • On a larger stage, twice co-chaired the Leisure Research Symposium at the National Recreation and Park Association Congress, in Salt Lake City and Indianapolis, and led interdisciplinary training on qualitative research-method collective memory work at Ben Gurion University, in Israel.
    • Published more than 32 single- and co-authored journal articles and book chapters, and has co-edited two books.

    Kivel, a tenured professor since 2009, earned a doctorate in Education from the University of Georgia and a master’s degree in Recreation Administration from San Francisco State University. Their undergraduate work resulted in a degree in Print Media and a certificate in Women’s Studies, both from the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

    In their 17 years at Sacramento State, Kivel has been a tireless and creative leader dedicated to supporting students and the Sacramento community.

    “I have worked in my communities and on my campus to move the needle of change and, importantly, to establish systems that will sustain change, something that was recognized in the 2020 Carnegie Community Engagement Classification process,” Kivel said.

    “Whether teaching in the classroom or directing the Community Engagement Center, where we cultivated more than 500 community partnerships and support more than 500 faculty to teach community-engaged learning with 5,000 students, I am dedicated to the work of supporting students to grow, think critically, read, reflect, and write, so they know they can ‘be’ as well as ‘do,’ because their individual experiences are tied to collective action.”

Visit The Newsroom

Tell Us Your Stories

University Communications shares news and information about the University. We invite you to be our partners in telling the Sac State story. University Communications depends on students, faculty, and staff to alert us about campus events, projects, studies, and accomplishments.