San Francisco State University
Adam Burke, Ph.D., professor and director of Holistic Health Studies (HHS) at San Francisco State, is considered a pioneer in integrative health and wellness education. He is recognized for directing the HHS program, a one-of-a-kind curriculum focusing on students' health and well-being to support their success in college and beyond.
Dr. Burke believes that lifestyle interventions can make a significant difference in improving students' physical and mental health and strengthen their resilience. Burke implements self-care practices in HHS's 20-course curriculum to improve students' academic and personal self-efficacy, support college persistence and graduation, and promote long-term success as contributing members of their communities.
Although most universities offer health-related courses and majors, less common are programs with systems-oriented, interdisciplinary and integrative health content like SFSU's HHS.
One of the courses, Holistic Approaches to Academic Success, earned Burke a grant from Project BUILD, a multi-year project funded by the National Institute of Health to promote diversity in the biomedical workforce. With this grant, Burke was able to conduct a 5-year comparison evaluation showing that students who completed the course had a statistically significant higher cumulative GPA at graduation than their peers.
Under Burke's leadership, HHS has become one of the most popular minors on campus, drawing nearly 700 students from all majors every semester, many of which take the courses simply for their own sanity and survival in this increasingly complicated world.
“Dr. Burke is a genuine humanist, valuing education for its ability to transform and humanize. He cares deeply about the state of the world and works tirelessly to bring his gifts and talents to help ease suffering in its varied forms," says Erik Rosegard, Ph.D., professor and chair of Recreation, Parks & Tourism at San Francisco State.