Go Sharks Go! KIN Alumnus: Eric Manuta

Kinesiology Alumnus '10 graduate Eric Manuta.

Kinesiology Alumnus ’10 graduate Eric Manuta.

College of Applied Sciences and Arts Kinesiology (KIN) alumnus Eric Manuta has been putting his Sports Management degree to work receiving a recent promotion for the San José Sharks Ticket Sales department. Manuta graduated fall 2010 and has been working with the Sharks for 7 years.

Manuta started as a ticket sales intern for the SAP Open Tennis Tournament in November 2008. He later earned a full-time position in 2011 with the Arena Group Sales department after he graduated. Manuta built a reputation within group sales working on major events such as Disney on Ice, World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) and the 2012 United States Olympic Gymnastics Trials which led to him being promoted to manager.

Promotions didn’t slow down for this KIN graduate. Manuta’s hard work and leadership skills paid off as he moved from Arena Group Sales to an Account Sales Manager for the Sharks Ticket Sales department in 2014. He now holds the rank as Senior Sales Manager for his department with a focus in selling Sharks season tickets, partial plans, and premium group ticket packages.

Sharks pregame entrance.

Sharks pregame entrance.

Working in sports was pre-determined during his high school and junior college days. As he set foot on SJSU’s campus he found that the department of Kinesiology was a great fit for him. “One month into my KIN 70 (Introduction to Kinesiology) class, I grew a strong interest in Sports Management and never looked back,” said Manuta in describing how that course set the stage for where he is now.

Manuta said that he remembers his professor’s discussions about fieldwork, volunteering and applying for internship hours. It’s what he learned in the classroom and in the field that helped him move forward throughout his professional career.

“I found that constantly networking and having proven work in the field definitely pays off in the long run,” said Manuta.

Manuta is continuously setting new goals for himself as the Sharks Ticket Sales department continues to grow. He plans to build relationships with local schools to create more internship programs and, in particular, he wants to give back to his alma mater through internships.

“Things are constantly changing and I love setting new goals for myself to strive for,” said Manuta.

Aside from professional hockey games, the SAP Center gets little rest with concerts, shows and sporting events year-round. Manuta enjoys the fast paced environment of working for a professional sports franchise in one of the busiest buildings in the business.

Eric Manuta and Dean Schutten pose for a photo with the San José Sharks logo after a tour of the SAP Center.

Eric Manuta and Dean Schutten pose for a photo prior to the San José Sharks versus Minnesota Wild game. Sharks won 4-3.

Community nutrition class raises money for soup kitchen

San José State University students enrolled in a community nutrition class put their classroom knowledge to the test by planning a fundraiser to benefit a local soup kitchen.

On April 24, more than 100 people attended a fundraiser for Martha’s Kitchen, a community soup kitchen near downtown San Jose, coordinated by students in the College of Applied Sciences and Arts’ Nutrition, Food Science and Packaging department.

Nutrition, Food Science and Packaging students Annie Su, Jovanna Ponco, Anna Dong, Tracey Nguyen and Vi Tran with Martha's Kitchen Executive Director Edita Cruz and their professor, Marjorie Freedman, pose for a photo at the Martha's Kitchen Empty Bowl event.

Nutrition, Food Science and Packaging students Annie Su, Jovanna Ponco, Anna Dong, Tracey Nguyen and Vi Tran with Martha’s Kitchen Executive Director Edita Cruz and their professor, Marjorie Freedman, pose for a photo at the Martha’s Kitchen Empty Bowl event.

The students who are enrolled in Marjorie Freedman’s Community Nutrition class organized the fundraiser, called “Empty Bowls” as part of a service learning requirement for the class. Organizers included Anna Dong, Annie Su, Tracey Nguyen, Jovanna Ponco and Vi Tran. The students raised more than $1,700 for Martha’s Kitchen.

Since 1981, Martha’s Kitchen has had the mission to “feed the hungry with dignity, no questions asked, no judgment made.” The organization has served more than 2.75 million meals since it opened. The SJSU Nutrition students decided to join forces with Edita Cruz, the executive director, to raise money for  the Kitchen’s essential nutrition services.

The students coordinated all aspects of the dinner fundraiser, from soliciting donations for raffle prizes, menu planning, ticket sales and marketing the event. Attendees were entertained by the SJSU Mambo Club, King Library Rockers and the SJSU Polynesian Club. Some of the donations included a signed puck from the San Jose Sharks hockey team and a signed picture from Steve Blake, of the Golden State Warriors basketball team.

The week before the event, the students had raised $900 but only had 10 people signed up to attend the event. They worked with some Nutrition professors to offer attendance at the event as an extra-credit activity or to use the time for a professional meeting. Their last-minute marketing efforts paid off when more than 100 people showed up for the fundraiser.

The students learned how to navigate event planning, solicit donations and learn about marketing while working effectively as a team.

Student Jovanna Ponco said in a press release, “If we had been missing just one team member, the event would not have gone as smoothly and as successfully as it did. As seniors in our last semester of the Dietetics program at San Jose State, we will graduate not only with the skills and experience that we gained through this event, but the bonds of friendship that we strengthened as well.”

The students also thanked Freedman and Cruz for their support in coordinating the fundraiser.