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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. Two members of the Board are WISR alumni, one of whom is now retired after having been a long-time tenured professor at a regionally accredited university. Other members of the Board bring relevant professional and community perspectives, including that of a long-time civil rights activist. WISR’s Board benefits from invaluable input by five voting members: a faculty representative, two student Board members, one representative from WISR’s Center for Child and Family Development, and WISR’s President and CEO, who was also a co-founder of WISR.

David Yamada, JD, PhD is 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.).

Marcia Campos, MA is Vice-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 an advocate for a world free of the threat of nuclear annihilation. She is a regular contributor at KPFA radio station, “Voces del Pueblo.”

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. Chuck Greene 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, Executive Director of the Volunteer Center of San Francisco, 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.

Brian C. Harris is Secretary of the Board. BA Politics and Philosophy, York University, England, 1976. Mr. Harris immigrated to the United States in 1979.  He has managed Paradigm Promotions LLC, a Public Relations and Sales Management company, since he founded the company in 1986.  Paradigm Promotions has contributed to the growth and success of a myriad of emerging and established businesses.  Among many accomplishments, Paradigm brought the concepts and analysis of emotional intelligence to the fore in the wake of the Columbine HS massacre in 1999.  They were promoters of the public television program Kanga Roddy, which applied the concepts of emotional intelligence, empathy and non-violent resolution to resolve the most complex of challenges and moral dilemmas.  The highly rated show entertained millions of children throughout the United States, through song and dance, between 1998 and 2000.  From 2010, Mr. Harris founded the Zero Net Energy Working Group to promote solutions to energy use in building and construction.  In 2017, ZNEWG secured unanimous passage of the landmark Berkeley Deep Green Building Initiative through the City Council.

Che Kum Clement. PhD in Higher Education and Social Change, (April, 2012) Western Institute for Social Research (WISR). Master of Science in Technical Education, Islamic Institute of Technology (IIT), Now Islamic University of Technology (IUT), Dhaka, Bangladesh, 1997. Specialization: Electrical Engineering. Post Graduate (PG) Diploma in Technical Education with specialization in Electrical Engineering. Islamic Institute of Technology (IIT) Now Islamic University of Technology (IUT), Dhaka, Bangladesh, 1996. Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) in Technical education with specialization in Electrical and Electronic Engineering (Power System). Islamic Institute of Technology (IIT) Now Islamic University of Technology (IUT), Dhaka, Bangladesh,1995. Dr. Clement is from Cameroon and is a professor, researcher and consultant. He has broad experience in the field of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) and workforce development; curriculum/program development, implementation and evaluation. He has directed and managed several national and international projects aimed at sustainability of TVET, with over 25 years of national and international experiences in TVET. He has worked on different capacity building and training related projects sponsored by many developmental agencies/organizations, namely; World Bank, UNESCO-UNEVOC, European Union (EU), International Labor Organization (ILO), German Technical Cooperation (GIZ), African Development Bank, Canadian Agency for International Development, Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC)-Vocational Education and Training (VET), Islamic Development Bank and the Standing Committee for Economic and Commercial Cooperation of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (COMCEC) of OIC. He is former Head of the Department of Technical and Vocational Education Department, Islamic University of Technology (IUT), Dhaka, Bangladesh (2011-18). He is the author of numerous peer-reviewed publications on vocational and technical education and has presented papers at many professional and international conferences.

Richard Lawrence, MDiv. Richard graduated from Albion College in Michigan with a BA and secondary teaching certificate in English, German and social studies. He has a Master of Divinity Degree in social ethics from the University of Chicago and completed the post-graduate Program for Management Development at the Harvard Business School. He is a retired Methodist clergyman whose ministry is committed to social justice. He organized and serves as co-chair of the San Diego Affordable Housing Coalition. Richard has contributed leadership to dozens of community organizations including several in San Diego: Southeastern Economic Development Corporation (SEDC), the Center on Policy Initiatives, Interfaith Committee for Worker Justice, and others including Chair of Negotiations for Operation Breadbasket (PUSH) – Chicago, the Englewood Action Committee – Chicago, Cummins Engine Foundation Minority Community Development Program – Chicago, Greater Lawrence (MA) Community Foundation, the Interreligious Foundation for Community Organization (IFCO – NYC), the Chicago and National Black United Funds. Richard was a founder and charter member of the Association of Black Foundation Executives, and he recently was named a Civic Ventures Purpose Prize Fellow. He was active in the civil rights movement and participated in the Selma to Montgomery March as well as marches for open housing with Dr. King in Chicago.



John Bilorusky, PhD is a co-founder of WISR (1975), has been WISR’s President for 41 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.

Sudia Paloma McCaleb, WISR Faculty Member and Director of the Doctoral Program and the MS program in Education and Community Leadership. BA in Anthropology and Romance Languages, University of Michigan, Masters in Education, Bank Street College, New York City. EdD in Multicultural and International Education, University of San Francisco, 1992. (Doctoral thesis focused on working with multi-cultural and multi-lingual families in the early literacy development of their children).  Dr. Paloma McCaleb was born into a family of educators and grew up in an apartment above the school that her parents founded.   She began teaching Head Start programs and Columbia University laboratory schools in New York City. Upon moving to California, she assumed the Educational Directorship at University of California, Berkeley Early Childhood Centers through the ASUC (Associated Students, University of California). She created the CA State accredited primary and secondary bilingual (Spanish and Cantonese) Teacher Education and Masters programs in Critical Environmental & Global Literacy Programs at New College of California in  San Francisco, where she  directed and taught literacy and English Language development, multicultural education, participatory action research, environmental education) for 15 years. In 2008 she created and served as Executive Director of CCEGL (Center for Critical Environmental & Global Literacy) which focuses on building teacher and community consciousness around Environmental Challenges. This work has extended to communities and school educators in Guatemala, Mexico, Romania, Hungary, Cuba and El Salvador. At the present time her work focuses on building collaborative relationships between bay area educators (and beyond) and indigenous communities in Oaxaca, Mexico and Sonsonate, El Salvador.

Toni Nemia, LMFT. Executive Director of the Center for Child and Family Development, School Based Family Counseling. MS, Counseling Psychology-Marriage & Family Therapy, San Francisco State University, 1987. MA, Literacy-Secondary Education, San Francisco State University, 1976. BA, English major, Anthropology minor, University of California, Berkeley, 1970. As the Executive Director of the Center for Child and Family Development, School Based Family Counseling, Toni has her hand in clinical and program aspects of this training program.  Outside of that role, she has a small sliding fee private practice in San Francisco where she sees clients. As an outside supervisor, she also works with Master’s level clinicians who are working toward MFT, PCC, and Social Work licensing primarily with a school-based emphasis.  She has a 40+ year history with the San Francisco Unified School District, first as a high school reading specialist, then as a licensed MFT when she segued into school based mental health with a joyous leap.  Supervision is a current passion.  She is a member of the Institute for School Based Family.  She can’t go a day without reading and longs for enough time to reengage with her micropetitpoint.  Toni identifies as cisgender.  As a multi-racial Jew, she is committed to anti-racist work and knows full well how much privilege she has been afforded.

Karen Young. Master’s in Public Health Education, San Jose State University, 1978. Ms. Young is a WISR student and is in the dissertation stage of completing her EdD in Higher Education and Social Change at WISR. She is the owner and Executive Director of Provider’s Friend, a health education and training company established in 1988. She provides health education and training services for residential care providers in California. She teaches health education and training courses in Bay Area Community Colleges and Adult Schools. Further, she is the author of the training curriculum and the Home Care Aide Training Workbook used to train caregivers in three Bay Area school districts. Ms. Young developed the Home Care Aide training curriculum and communication tools approved by the California Department of Rehabilitation for Home Care Aide training of individuals who are deaf or have a hearing impairment.

Nicole Bilorusky.  AA, Psychology and Sociology with highest honors, Berkeley City College.  BA, Social Welfare with honors, University of California, Berkeley. Nicole is a WISR student who is currently in the thesis stage of her MS in Psychology/MFT program studies at WISR, researching, “In What Ways Might High Expectations for Academic Performance Negatively Impact the Development of a Positive sense of Self among Youth?” As a student at WISR, she has been active in facilitating collaborative relationship and a study group among MFT students.  Her practicum was with WISR’s Center for Child and Family Development providing therapy for low-income students in San Francisco’s Mission district, and their families. Before coming to WISR, during her undergraduate studies, she interned with Berkeley City Councilmember, Kate Harrison, working on projects in such areas as homelessness. Nicole worked for several years as a Behavioral Technician, providing behavioral therapy to youngsters with autism.  She was a recipient of the Cal Alumni Leadership Scholarship, and as a graduating senior, she was considered for the University Medal, due to her 3.96 GPA. She joined Delta Xi Phi sorority because of its mission focusing on multiculturalism and inclusiveness. Her senior honors thesis was on Multicomponent Intervention to Reduce Future Incarceration for Children with Early Onset Conduct Disorder.

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.