M.S. Kinesiology Students in the Fast-growing World of Sports Management

The M.S. Kinesiology program at San Jose State University (SJSU) allows graduate students to gain skills in a variety of areas and get hands-on research experience within their interest.

We connected with two graduate students in the M.S. Kinesiology program, Sports Management concentration, and they both highlighted SJSU’s premier Silicon Valley location, the resources SJSU and their program provides, as well as the outstanding faculty. Dhwanil Shah and Ivanna Anderson-Villela are graduating this upcoming Spring 2024 and they already have skills and relevant career experience to add to their resume,

Research & Diversity and Equity

dhwanil smiling

Dhwanil Shah | ’24 M.S., Kinesiology

Dhwanil and Ivanna both spoke about the graduate student research support they received from their program and the various leadership opportunities they took on while in their program. Dhwanil worked on a research project in Sports Psychology this past April, “I had an opportunity to work on and present on the importance of teaching diversity, equity and inclusion in youth sports at a Sports Psychology conference in Long Beach.” Dhawanil said it was the faculty’s support and guidance that allowed him to develop his intellect for the research field.

Ivanna is particularly interested in the research of Sports Ecology, which will be the focus of her upcoming thesis. She told us, “I have brought to the attention of professors and classmates the importance of sport ecology and how it is a fundamental subdiscipline of sport management, motivating me to continue to research this area.” Ivanna is currently a graduate research assistant on diversity, equity and inclusion in STEM graduate education and athletic mentoring. After graduation, Ivanna plans to pursue a Doctor of Philosophy degree. It was the university’s and program’s exposure to sports marketing and analytical methods that allowed her to find a new passion for research and continue her education.

Belonging and Community at SJSU

Ivanna Smiling

Ivanna Anderson-Villela | ’24 M.S., Kinesiology

From joining clubs to bowling at the student center SJSU offers graduate students the opportunity to feel right at home. There is always something for everyone.

Dhwanil spoke to us about his passion for Cricket and how it led him to create a Spartan Cricket club, “the club provides students an opportunity to learn and play the sport of cricket on campus – cricket is an extremely popular sport among the commonwealth countries and the club provides a sense of belonging in a community with a common passion.”  Finding a community and connecting with peers was what instilled a sense of belonging for Dhwanil.

Faculty Support

Both Dhwanil and Ivanna shared how the Kinesiology faculty’s supportiveness allowed them to build an impactful education at SJSU. 

Ivanna highlighted the attention and support she receives from faculty, “the faculty in the sport management program truly care about the students and do an incredible job developing students academically and professionally. Connecting with them (faculty) will allow them to guide and help you succeed.”

Dhwanil said that the faculty created a sense of belonging to him, “The Kinesiology faculty has been very helpful and welcoming since day one and I am grateful for them in making it a smooth transition for me.”

On Why They Chose SJSU

There are many reasons why graduate students choose SJSU. Our surveys indicate that students may choose us because of the uniqueness of programs, the lower cost compared to other universities, and the premier Silicon Valley location that offers connection opportunities across the Bay Area.

For Dhwanil, we see these reflected in his own reasoning for choosing SJSU, “San José State University’s location played a major role in my decision, located in the heart of Silicon Valley and in the state of California – a frontrunner in sports and home to many professional sports franchises. Having previously worked for over 5 years in amateur and semi-professional sports, I felt it was the right moment to take the next step in my career. And the Sport Management graduate program appealed the most to me as it provided the perfect opportunity to further develop and sublimate my personality and to grow my knowledge in the field.”

Ivanna highlighted SJSU’s social justice and equity in the sports management world,  “I chose SJSU because it provides the best education possible for students to be prepared for a successful career in the sports industry, healthcare

settings, academia, and other establishments. This university also instills a sense of professionalism and commitment toward social justice, equity, and respect in sports and the world. I knew SJSU would help me achieve the educational objectives offered such as having the capacity to expose myself to the sports industry while using analytical methods in research. During my time at SJSU, my career path has changed for the better.”

Both Ivanna and Dhwanil feel ready to continue their professional journey or go onto a Ph.D. after graduation because of the support, resources, research and experiences that both their program and SJSU offered them. We cannot wait to see where their graduate education at SJSU will take them and how they will transform their communities!

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