Melany Spielman’s life has been spent working to make the lives of people struggling with various challenges to be filled with dignity, respect and the highest quality of life possible. After working for six years with children with developmental disabilities and orthopedic disabilities, her first position after graduation in Recreation Therapy from the University of Oregon was with clients with mental illness who had just been discharged from state mental hospitals closed by Governor Reagan. The challenge became how to re-socialize these folks to life in the community and to instill hope and the belief that recovery was possible. After more than 20 years working as a Recreation Therapist in various settings including Chief Recreation Therapist at City of Hope National Medical Center, she completed her Ph.D. at the University of Oregon in Leisure Management with an emphasis in Health Care Management. She has been the Coordinator of Recreation Therapy in the Department of Recreation and Community Services at California State University, Hayward since 1991. Her program prepares students to be Certified Recreation Therapists and graduates from her program pass the national certification exam with higher scores than those from other programs in our region as well as much higher scores than the national average. She is now the Chair of the Department of Leadership in Hospitality and Leisure Services at CSUEB. She is focused on helping students reach their potential and wants to provide access to education for working adults through online education.