Dr. Richard Andalon teaches at UCLA under the Department of Sociology, Department of Education, and Department of Chicana/o Studies. Prior to returning to UCLA in 2018, he was at the University of Southern California (USC) for nearly a decade. In 2008, he joined USC and began teaching courses under the Department of American Studies & Ethnicity and managing student services programs under the Divisions of Undergraduate and Graduate Education. Between 1997 and 2007, he studied at UCLA and earned his undergraduate and graduate degrees and also worked at the university as an advisor, administrator, and instructor. During the 2013 – 2014 academic year at USC, he took a sabbatical and studied at Harvard University. From 2000 to the present, alongside his academic and professional experiences, he has actively served out in the community under a variety of volunteer advisory and leadership roles.
Dr. Andalon’s areas of academic interest include the sociology of education, the sociology of work, social psychology, developmental psychology, social stratification and social mobility, entrepreneurship and social enterprises, immigration and acculturation, resilience and achievement, and qualitative research methods. Most of the undergraduate courses he teaches are related to these interest areas. He also teaches courses under the honors program, service-learning, and experiential internships. His research focuses on investigating the sociocultural and psychosocial experiences of students as they navigate through two critical junctures of the educational pipeline: from high school to college and from college to the workforce. He studies the factors that impact students’ motivation, preparation, and decision-making. Speciﬁcally, he studies students’ socio-personal traits, socio-environmental inﬂuences, and social peer networks. He pays careful attention to manifestations of agency, resilience, and community to promote achievement and success. In his research, he is especially attentive to the experiences of students from ﬁrst-generation college backgrounds, low socioeconomic levels, and recent immigrant statuses.
At both UCLA and USC, alongside his teaching appointments, Dr. Andalon has held management leadership roles. While he has enjoyed and gone above and beyond when serving under administrative roles at the university-level and out in the community, what he is most passionate about is serving as a classroom instructor and teaching, advising, and mentoring college students.
Dr. Andalon has served as a senior advisor and director under UCLA Student Affairs, Divisions of Enrollment Services and Campus Life. He has served as a director and an associate dean under USC Academic Affairs, Divisions of Undergraduate Education and Graduate Education. At USC, he was the administrator of a U.S. federal government diversity initiative referred to as the McNair Scholars Program. McNair receives grant funding from the U.S. Department of Education and operates at multiple universities across the country. He, along with the support of other faculty and administrators, used the McNair program model to establish the USC Research Gateway Scholars Program, which, like McNair, provides undergraduates with graduate school preparation, research training, scholarships, and mentorships. He was also a dean of student diversity and professional development under another U.S. federal government diversity program that involved USC, Stanford University, the University of Texas at Austin, and Texas A&M University. At USC, under the special appointment as a dean through this four-university collaborative, he designed and administered the Enhancing Diversity in Graduate Education (EDGE) Program, which provided students scholarships, research training, mentoring services, professional development, and career advisement. EDGE was funded by the National Science Foundation’s Division of Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences (NSF – SBE), and it served both undergraduates and graduate students at all participating universities. EDGE, after the federal grant support ended, continued with funding support from USC to serve its student community under the name of Diversity Outreach & Academic Professional Development (DO & APD). Dr. Andalon, along with the support of other faculty and administrators, established the oﬃce infrastructure to administer DO & APD.
In the community, Dr. Andalon has served as a board member and chairman of Learning Enrichment and Academic Resources Network (LEARN), which is a community-based educational equity and youth-focused social services nonproﬁt operating in various Los Angeles County cities. He has served as a senior consultant and program specialist with the Los Angeles College Promise (LACP), which is part of the California College Promise (CCP) statewide initiative that makes possible a community college education at no cost to students and their families. He has served as a lead advisor and coordinator of other major Los Angeles area youth and college student programs, including the California Student Aid Commission Financial Aid Awareness and Outreach (FAAO) and the United Way Pathways to Colleges and Careers (PCC). He has served as a senior counselor and manager under the University of California statewide Early Academic Outreach Program (EAOP), which also works with youth through college preparation programs in the City of Los Angeles. He has served as a founding program advisor, instructor, and coordinator under the UCLA Career-Based Outreach Program (CBOP), which provided academic advisement, career guidance, and related mentoring opportunities to Los Angeles area K-12 youth, undergraduates, and graduate/professional school students.
Dr. Andalon has helped secure and manage a variety of grant funding awards, including multi-million dollar awards. Under his state and federal grant-related service and advocacy, he has provided advisement on, served as a principal investigator for, or managed student services programs funded by the following agencies: the California Department of Education, California Department of Social Services, California Community Colleges Office of the Chancellor, University of California Office of the President, United Way of California/Greater Los Angeles, United States Department of Education, United States Department of Homeland Security, National Institute of Health, and National Science Foundation.
Dr. Andalon received his undergraduate and graduate degrees from UCLA. His undergraduate studies focused on sociology, political science, and education. His graduate studies at both the masters and doctoral levels focused on the sociology of education, social psychology, developmental psychology, social stratiﬁcation and mobility, and sociocultural context and adaptation. He also attended Harvard University, where he acquired a series of professional certiﬁcates from the Harvard Institutes for Higher Education (HIHE). His professional studies included curriculum design and development, program assessment and evaluation, policy analysis and implementation, and educational management and leadership.
Over the years, Dr. Andalon’s service and leadership have been recognized at both UCLA and USC. His civic engagement and professional work have also been acknowledged out in the community by the Los Angeles City Mayor’s Oﬃce, Los Angeles City Council, Los Angeles Uniﬁed School District Board of Education, and Los Angeles Oﬃce of the California Parent Institute for Quality Education. He has had the opportunity in communities across California and the United States to provide consultations under the areas speciﬁcally relating to his scholarly research, practical experience, and public service. He has advised classroom instructors, academic administrators, and education policymakers at various K-12 public school districts, community colleges, and university systems.