Current Status: Alumni
Graduation Year: 2009
Jason Cooper (M.Ed. ’09) moved to Orange County in 2005 to teach Physical Education at Maranatha Christian Academy in Santa Ana. As a hockey fan, when the Anaheim Ducks approached their administration about including a street hockey module as part of the P.E. curriculum, Jason was thrilled. Thus begun Jason’s relationship with the Anaheim Ducks.
Two years later, a partnership program between Calvary Chapel Schools and HIU allowed him to pursue a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential and earn his Master’s in Education at HIU.
During his time as a graduate student at HIU, Jason was astonished by the flexibility and availability of professors. “We were encouraged to work collaboratively and engage in discussion to solve problems, something I now encourage as a leader in my workplace,” says Cooper.
The relationship between the school and the Anaheim Ducks eventually led to a job offer from the club in 2011 as Jason was asked to join their Fan Development department. Jason was drawn to the position because of the impact and reach sports have in a community. “I saw the opportunity to reach beyond the boundaries of a school and to impact the lives of an entire community by working with the Ducks,” Jason shares. “My vision is to provide a fun experiential learning environment for the underserved students right in our backyard.”
Jason now assists or leads a multitude of educational outreach programs, including S.C.O.R.E. Street Hockey, Girls Play Hockey, and Anaheim Ducks First Flight Field Trip. “The goal in incorporating hockey and the Anaheim Ducks into these programs is to better serve our local community. We also hope that by serving the diverse community of Anaheim we can bolster our future athletes and fan base to be more reflective of the multiple ethnicities we serve.”
For several years HIU has been a major partner in the annual Anaheim Ducks First Flight Field Trip, a free, interactive, educational experience for local school kids. Collegiate and community volunteers create content and host exhibits that teach more than 16,000 students about the science of hockey. The unique event has been recognized nationally by the NSTA and U.S. House of Representatives.
“Jason has also been generous with his time and an inspiration to current HIU students,” says Dr. Roberto Sirvent. “This past spring, he mentored two students taking an independent study on Sports, Ethics, and Society at the Honda Center, and made it possible for the students to deliver a mock presentation to a sporting executive. It was a memorable event for both students, each of whom now are strongly considering careers in sports communication.”
“My job is essentially to grow the game of hockey by giving back,” Jason explains. “Serving others through my passion for sports and young people is the path on which God has led me.”
Jason, his wife Jessica, and their three children – Jack, Henry and Elinore – currently reside in Fountain Valley.