Research Areas

We are an interdisciplinary team advancing holistic health and wellness perspectives through our research. We engage undergraduate students as research collaborators and research participants and present findings at scientific conferences and in community settings. We publish research papers in peer-reviewed academic journals for dissemination to the scientific and broader community.

Fields of Research

overweight women meditating

Meditation and Health: National Institutes of Health (NIH) Funded Clinical Trials

We conduct NIH funded clinical trial research on the impact of mind-body programs involving meditation and yoga on psychological well-being and health outcomes among individuals with stress-related health conditions, such as obesity and Type 2 diabetes. People of color and those from lower socioeconomic backgrounds are more at risk for these health conditions, yet, they are less represented in intervention studies. We are addressing this gap in the research and exploring how mind-body practices may help to reduce racial/ethnic and socioeconomic health disparities in health outcomes.

For more information or to get involved:

teacher talk with students while point at computer screen

Psychophysiology of Healing/Biofeedback Lab

Making the invisible visible, the unaware aware, the unintended intended, and the unheard heard, the Biofeedback and Psychophysiology of Healing Laboratory is used by students for applied psychophysiology research and biofeedback training. It explores how mind, emotion and body affect each other to optimize health. 

For more information or to get involved:

closeup of diverse people joining their hands

Contemplative Practice and Social Justice

Information alone about social, economic and environmental injustices does not necessarily lead to compassion, solidarity, and a desire to act for change. We are conducting interdisciplinary research to explore how contemplative practices and perspectives from spiritual and religious traditions can be integrated with information about injustice to support  social change. We created and evaluated a SF State campus program, “Breathing In, Speaking Up: Contemplative Practice and Social Justice,” which incorporated meditation practices to foster well-being, community and mutual understanding of experiences of oppression and privilege to inspire social change on campus.

For more information or to get involved:

person taking a persons pulse

Tibetan Healing Arts: Active Research with Tibetan Doctors

Through an active research program in collaboration with Tibetan doctors, meditation teachers and colleagues at other universities, we are examining the impact of Tibetan meditation practices and medical approaches on health and well-being among college students, those healing from stress and addiction and those with chronic diseases such as Type II diabetes.

For more information or to get involved:

Erik Peper giving a presentation

Posture, Breathing and Healthy Computing Lab

"Breath is life" has many meanings.  Our research considers ways of measuring posture and breathing to improve health and reduce the effects of 'Tech Stress' at work and at home.  Areas of exploration currently include the Healthy Computing Assessment and Training project and the Breathing and Posture Awareness project. Both projects consider how thoughts and emotions affect the body with a focus on investigating self-healing strategies by which individuals can increase control and mobilize health.

For more information or to get involved:

SF State student on their phone while waiting a bus stop.

Media & Health: Project Censored-SF State—Independent News Research

Each year Project Censored students do media research to provide validated independent news stories for a national voting process among 18 campus groups, as well as journalists and judges from across the country. This collective vote yields a list of the “top 25 independent news stories of the year”… important news stories not covered by corporate media. These top 25 news stories are then published in an annual book about key media literacy issues for that year.

For more information or to get involved:

meeting were people are sitting at a table

Research Methods and Statistical Support: Community of Representative Researchers

Statistics Community of Representative Researchers (Stat CORR) holds special training sessions and workshops to foster, support, and promote the dissemination of quantitative and qualitative research skills. A key goal is to facilitate networking of faculty, students and staff with appropriate individuals who possess knowledge of research design and analysis. These skills can be applied from concept to data analysis. Stats CORR was created with the assistance of SF States Office of Research and Sponsored Programs (ORSP) under the guidance of Dr. Richard Harvey (Institute for Holistic Health Studies & Department of Recreation, Parks & Tourism) and Dr. Ed Connor (Department of Biology).

For more information contact:

Students Featured Presentations and Publications



Recreation, Parks & Tourism Research

Want to learn more about possible research volunteer or paid research assistant opportunities in Recreation, Parks & Tourism (RPT)? Please visit the RPT faculty & student research webpage.