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Board of Trustees

Role of WISR’s Board of Trustees

As is the case with the Boards of all non-profit educational institutions, WISR’s Board of Trustees holds final decision-making authority regarding all policies and actions at WISR. Throughout WISR’s history, we have been fortunate to have had Board members who deeply understand and appreciate WISR’s mission. Board members provide ongoing informal advice and collegial support to WISR’s President, faculty and students, especially regarding issues of institutional development and planning, educational improvement, and the formation of new policies and procedures (financial, administrative and educational). They take formal action on needed policies and substantive institutional changes, as well as make decisions on special matters that call for important and definitive attention. They take such actions and make such decisions, after carefully considering input from those at WISR who are most involved in the day to day workings of WISR.

WISR has also had the good fortune to have had great continuity in Board membership–some members of the Board have served for over 20 years, and most all Board members serve for at least 10 years. The Board gets the benefit of varied perspectives on the Board–in terms of gender, culture and ethnicity, professional background and types of involvement at WISR. The Treasurer has extensive CEO experience at Bay Area nonprofits and has an MBA from Harvard. One long-time volunteer core faculty member serves on the Board, thus ensuring strong input from WISR’s faculty, but without a personal financial interest. Three members of the Board are WISR alumni, one of whom is a tenured professor at a regionally accredited university. Two other members of the Board bring relevant professional and community perspectives and have served on the Board for about 10 years each. WISR’s President and co-founder has also been on the Board for over 20 years. WISR has recently added three new Board members, one, a long-time WISR adjunct faculty member, and another, a WISR alumna.

Marcia Campos, MA is the Chair of WISR’s Board.  1980-1985: Enrolled, Political Sciences Doctorate Program U.N.A.M. – Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. 1978: Master of Arts in Sociology, FLACSO – The Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences. Mexico D.F. 1973: Psychologist, MA, University of Chile – School of Psychology, Santiago, Chile. Marcia has been affiliated with WISR since 1998 as an adjunct faculty member. She is a Chilean born US citizen who was a student leader in her native country during the socialist government of Salvador Allende. She was a political exile in Mexico after the military coup of Augusto Pinochet of 9/11, 1973 where she pursued an academic career in the National Institute of Anthropology focusing on  the US/Mexican border. She was actively involved in the international movement of solidarity with the victims of the Pinochet terror regime. Upon her relocation in California in 1986, Marcia Campos has worked with migrant families and children at a grassroots and  legislative level. She has been involved  with multiple organizations such as UC Berkeley Health Initiative of the Americas, The National Council of La Raza, and the Obama Committee for the Latino Heritage Museum in Washington DC. She is a Board member of  Western States Legal Foundation, where she focuses in developing further connections between the USA and Latin American countries as well as Latino migrants in the USA under the concept North of Tlatelolco, to advocate for a world free of the threat of nuclear annihilation.

David Yamada, JD, PhD is Vice Chair of the Board. David Yamada, a WISR PhD alumnus, is a Professor of Law and Director of the New Workplace Institute at Suffolk University Law School in Boston, where he is a globally recognized authority on workplace bullying and psychological abuse and has authored leading law review articles on the topic. He is a frequent invited speaker at interdisciplinary conferences in fields such as organizational psychology, health care, and labor relations, and he has been sought out often by the media on employment relations topics, including the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe, Chronicle of Higher Education, National Public Radio, MSNBC, and ProPublica. David’s extensive academic and civic affiliations have included leadership positions with the Association of American Law Schools, Americans for Democratic Action, International Therapeutic Jurisprudence Project, Workplace Bullying Institute, and Human Dignity and Humiliation Studies Network. His blog, Minding the Workplace, is a popular source of commentary about dignity at work, employment and labor law, and employee relations. David has earned degrees from WISR (Ph.D.), New York University School of Law (J.D.), SUNY-Empire State College (M.A.), and Valparaiso University (B.A.).

Charles Greene, MBA is Treasurer of WISR’s Board. Chuck graduated from the University of Pittsburgh (Bachelor’s) and has his MBA from Harvard Business School. He is the Executive Director of the Cedars of Marin, which has model day and residential programs for adults with developmental disabilities. Chuck has more than 36 years of nonprofit management experience as co-founder and Administrative Vice President of World College West, as Executive Director of the Volunteer Center of San Francisco, and as Executive Director of The Richard and Rhoda Goldman Fund and the Goldman Environmental Prize. He has been an interim executive director for nine Bay Area nonprofits, including at CompassPoint Nonprofit Services. Previous interim assignments include Chinese for Affirmative Action, Angel Island Immigration Foundation, Zen Hospice Project and the Marin Institute. .

John Watkins, PhD, is Secretary of the Board, and was born, raised and schooled in the in the Bay Area. After serving in the Navy for two years and graduating from UC Berkeley in 1961 with a degree in electrical engineering (EE), he was employed for three years at the Berkeley Lawrence Radiation Laboratory designing equipment for exploration in particle physics. His engineering career continued at three other companies, one that designed medical electronics, and included completion of a Master’s degree in EE in 1965. During the late 60s, he joined the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) and participated in protest actions against worker discrimination in the auto sales industry and later volunteered to counsel young men wanting to file for conscientious objector status during the Korean war. In 1971, John entered the field of psychology, completing a Master’s degree in clinical psychology in 1973 with additional training as a school psychologist, and then worked half-time as a school psychologist in Oakland Public schools and half-time in a community mental health center in East Oakland. Later, while continuing work in community mental health, he earned a MFT license in 1976 and a PhD in clinical psychology in 1985. Retiring from clinical work in 1988 and having acquired rental property in the 70s and 80s, he entered semi-retirement by working part time to manage and maintain three multi-unit buildings.

Vera Labat, MPH has also served as a member of WISR’s faculty for 30 years, and has volunteered in that part-time role for the past 27 years.  Most recently, Vera has assumed the key role at WISR as Chief Financial Officer, which does without salary and no conflict of interest. Vera has her BS in Nursing from San Francisco State University (1964) and her Master’s in Public Health from the University of California at Berkeley (1974). Vera has recently retired after a long career in the field of public health. For many years, she was in charge of immunization for the City of Berkeley, and prior to that, she was school health consultant for the Berkeley Unified School District. She taught community health at the University of California, San Francisco, and taught in the School of Medicine at the University of Dar Es Salaam in Tanzania. She was the founding Executive Director of the Over 60 Health Clinic in Berkeley.

John Bilorusky, PhD is a co-founder of WISR (1975), has been WISR’s President for 36 years, and has served as a core faculty member at WISR since its inception. John’s academic degrees are: BA in Physics cum laude, and cum laude in General Studies, University of Colorado, 1967. MA in Social Foundations of Education, University of California at Berkeley (1968), and PhD in Higher Education, University of California at Berkeley (1972). He previously served on the faculty in Social Science Interdisciplinary Studies (University of California, Berkeley), Community Services (University of Cincinnati), and as Director of Graduate Studies at University Without Walls-Berkeley. He has written and published extensively on adult learning, action-research, and reform in higher education. Over the years, John has served as a consultant and project director for many educational institutions and community organizations, and for innovative action-research projects aimed at community improvements and educational reform.

Gabriela Hofmeyer, BS earned an undergraduate degree in Chemical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, with concentrations in Materials Science, Metallurgy and Biochemical Engineering. Her undergraduate research was in metallurgy, transition metals in medicine, physical chemistry, pharmaceutical development and novel large-scale water purification and desalination systems.  She is currently pursuing her MS in Education and Community Leadership at WISR. Gabriela was born in London and grew up in El Paso, Texas. Her mother practiced as a medical doctor in rural Mexico. Gabriela has painted murals in New York City, Troy, New York, Boston, Massachusetts, Cambridge Massachusetts, and San Francisco, California. Her artwork has been featured nationally and internationally. Most recently, her music, art and jewelry have been featured at Rene Yanez’ Frida Kahlo Exhibitions and collaborative exhibitions at the DeYoung, SFMOMA and SOMArts Galleries.  Gabriela has performed as a violinist with the San Francisco Civic Symphony, the El Paso Youth Symphony, the Carnegie Hall Youth Symphony Orchestra, Troy Symphony Hall and more.  Gabriela has volunteered with various educational, arts and music programs. She has advocated for access to quality Medical, Housing and Social Services for the Elderly, Disabled and Economically Disadvantaged families. She testified before the US Congress during Bill Clinton’s administration under Secretary of Labor Robert Reich regarding workplace accommodation and the Family Medical Leave Act. Gabriela has advocated for disability rights, workers rights, inventors’ rights, equal access, health care, housing rights, women’s rights, minority and women educational initiatives, STEM and STEAM programs, language, music and arts programs. She has also researched and advocated for environmental, industrial, agricultural, transportation, global warming and climate initiatives. Gabriela knows firsthand what it is to live with a debilitating physical limitations. She has suffered from a painful neuromuscular condition for many years. She is also a mother of two young children. As a mother living with an often debilitating condition, she understands various struggles that those who suffer with ‘hidden’ disabilities face.

Na Limopasmanee, MA, LMFT. Na Limopasmanee is WISR’s newest Board member and an alumnus of WISR’s MFT program.  She immigrated to the United States from Thailand, earned a Master’s in Education, and worked in a community agency in the Bay Area prior to enrolling in, and then completing, the Master’s program at WISR toward the MFT license.  She recently obtained her State of California Marriage and Family Therapy license.  A more detailed bio is forthcoming.

Suzanne Quijano, MBA, MA, LMFT is a WISR alumna, having received her Masters of Psychology for MFT and LPCC, and is a California Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. Suzanne has also earned degrees from the Anderson School of Business at UCLA (MBA), and Stanford University (BA, Dual Majors, Economics and Spanish Literature). She currently works in private practice in the San Francisco East Bay, where she offers family and teen counseling and child play therapy. In her private practice, she centers her work on issues of anxiety, emotional sensitivity, intellectual giftedness and Neuro-differences, as well as leverages her business background to offer career development and transition counseling. She also provides bilingual (Spanish/English) counseling at a community agency, and serves recent immigrant families and at-risk teens at the local middle and high schools, and through the probation department. Suzanne’s previous business experience was in Brand Management where she was Principal at a consulting firm and provided project management and marketing services to the food and technology industries with clients such as Golden Grain, TriValley Growers, and The Learning Company. She currently is also an active member in the community serving on UCLA Alumni Scholarship Review Board and providing over a decade of service through Girl Scouts where she serves as a Troop Leader, Gold Level Project Advisor, and provides workshops on topics of self-esteem, teen development, and community building.

In Memoriam: Dr. Robert Blackburn, served as a Board member for over 30 years. WISR was blessed with his wise council, his unequaled and loving sense of humor, and his unwavering commitment to social and racial justice and to quality learner-centered education. He passed away, September 11, 2016

WISR President, John Bilorusky shares some of his recollections of Bob:  “Bob served on WISR’s Board for many, many years, going back to the 1980s (for over 30 of WISR’s 41 years) until he had to retire a year or two ago, for health reasons.  During much of that time, he served as Chair of WISR’s Board.  Bob also served on a number of dissertation committees and was often available to have advising consultations with students.  Beyond this, we often called on him to lead and facilitate all school gatherings and sessions of our annual conferences–because Bob always did this with a joyful, uplifting and non-pretentious sense of humor, and with a very down-to-earth grace.  We had one Board meeting (near Halloween) when walked through the door to our Board meeting dressed as a Cardinal, right out of the Vatican.  Another time, when he was participating in the Graduation Review Board of Richard Allen, he sat down at the conference table, with an old style briefcase (hard cover, luggage type) in his hand.  He dramatically sat the briefcase on the table and clicked open the lid of the briefcase.  He pulled out a big linen napkin and wrapped it around his neck, then he pulled out Richard thick dissertation and placed it on the table, and finally, he reached into the briefcase and pulled out a very big carving fork and knife.  He rubbed the knife and fork together and said:  “Now, let’s carve this sucker up!”  And as was so often the case when in Bob’s presence, we all laughed, felt really good about ourselves and about life, and then we proceeded to have a wonderful and collegial discussion of Richard’s outstanding dissertation.  Bob knew how to live life fully, and I imagine he, more than most of us, always appreciated life.  In 1973, when the Symbionese Liberation Army murdered African American Oakland School Superintendent, Marcus Foster, Bob (who was Marcus Foster’s Deputy Superintendent and close friend) was nearly killed–many more than a dozen bullets went in and through his body.  He once told me of an “out of body/near death” experience he had on the surgery table.  He survived, and the world and so many of us, have been blessed that he went on to live for more than another 40 years.  I know I have lived my life better because of my good fortune to have associated with Bob for so many years.”

Robert Blackburn earned his PhD in Leadership in Higher Education, at the Union Graduate School (1984), the MA in Intergroup Relations, Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania (1964), and his AB, in Sociology and Education from Oberlin College (1957). He went to high school in Roslyn, New York and at the Texas Military Institute, San Antonio. Bob’s work history included civil rights, school improvement and citizen action, regional director for the Peace Corps in Somalia, central office leadership in the Philadelphia public schools, Deputy and Superintendent for the Oakland Public Schools, Professor and Chair, and Department of Educational Leadership and Administration, Cal State East Bay. He held Board memberships in various professional and civic organizations in Philadelphia and Oakland, and served on the California Attorney General’s Commission on Hate Crimes. He provided extensive mentoring and coaching for Oakland school principals through the Principal Leadership Institute of the University of California at Berkeley and Cal State.

Trustee Contributions to Student Learning

A number of Trustees, and former Trustees, serve as valuable resources to students and are sometimes invited to speak at WISR seminars. They provide added advice on students’ programs, and sometimes help to guide the students’ study of areas in which they have special expertise. A number of these people have had high and unusual educational qualifications. For example: The late Dr. Robert Blackburn–previously a member of the California Attorney General’s Commission on Hate Crimes and Professor Emeritus in the Department of Educational Leadership and Administration at California State University, Hayward, as well as a former Superintendent of Schools in Oakland–often provided added advice to students while working on their theses. Assistance was given freely by former Trustee Mildred Henry, a nationally known researcher on teaching methods, faculty development, and student personality development. Charles Greene, formerly Executive Director of the Richard and Rhoda Goldman Fund and former Executive Director of the Volunteer Center for San Francisco, is a resource person for Board, faculty and students on matters of community service work, professional and community networking and business affairs. WISR Board member, Dr. John Watkins, holds a PhD in Psychology and was previously a practicing, licensed Marriage and Family Therapist.

WISR Board member, David Yamada, often consults with students on their studies having to do with the growing epidemic of bullying in the workplace in particular, and throughout the society in general.  In addition, David is serving as editor of our new newsletter, Social Research/Social Action (SRSA). It will be a semi-annual newsletter that shares stories, resources, and tools for applying research and analysis to social change initiatives.

In addition, by being involved with the teaching-learning at WISR, and taking advantage of their extensive academic expertise, WISR Board members are able to work with WISR faculty in evaluating the quality of the teaching-learning at WISR. This includes assessing how well student learning needs are being met, and noting any needed additions to the faculty or the curriculum.

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