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 A175
phone: (512) 245-1973

Biography Section

Biography and Education

BS Western Illinois University, major in Recreation and Park Administration
MBA Olivet Nazarene University
Ph.D. Clemson University, major in Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management

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

  • Zimmermann-Somoza, J. A. M., & Gilley, K. (2022). Fiscal Management. In Management in Park and Recreation Agencies 5th Edition (pp. 455–514). Champaign, IL, USA: Sagamore Publishing LLC.
  • Emily, E., Zimmermann, J. A. M., & Bender, S. H. (2022, August 5). Aquaticity: A new way to assess water skills. Water Safety Magazine. Retrieved from https://www.watersafetymagazine.com/aquaticity-a-new-way-to-assess-water-skills-by-weeks-zimmermann-bender/
  • Hurd, A. R., Barcelona, R. J., & Zimmermann-Somoza, J. A. M. (n.d.). Leisure Services Management, 3rd Edition. Champaign, IL, USA: Human Kinetics.
  • Deringer, S. A., Thomas, K. A., & Zimmermann-Somoza, J. A. M. (2021). Mindful Experiences of Place On a Study Abroad Trip. In M. Baker & N. Carr (Eds.), Leisure activities in the outdoors: Learning, developing, and challenging. Cabi Publishing.
  • Zimmermann, J. M. (2020). Recreation in Non-Profit Organizations. In Introduction to Careers in Recreation, Parks, Tourism & Leisure Services, 3rd. Ed. Champaign, IL, USA: Sagamore/Venture Publishing.

Selected Awards

  • Award / Honor Recipient: Presidential Distinction Award for Teaching, 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: Presidential Distiction Award for Service, College of Education. August 2022
  • Award / Honor Recipient: 2011-2012 Service-Learning Initiative Faculty Fellow Award, Texas State University. January 1, 2011 - January 1, 2012

Selected Grants

  • Zimmermann, Jo An M (Co-Principal), Bender, Stacey H (Co-Principal). Aquaticity & Motivation: A new approach to the evaluation of aquatics programs, World Leisure Organization, International Professional Organization, $5000. (Submitted: August 27, 2021, Funded: January 1, 2022 - December 31, 2022). Grant.
  • 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.

Selected Service Activities

Dr. Deringer - Mentoring Committee
January 2019-Present
World Leisure Organization / Leisure Management Special Interest Group
HHP Curriculum Committee
June 2018-Present
College Curriculum Committee
September 1, 2014-Present
College of Education Curriculum Committee
September 1, 2013-Present