Graduate Division announces Dr. Nicolasa Sandoval as 2019 commencement keynote speaker

by Graduate Division Staff
Friday, April 05, 2019 7:45 AM

Dr. Nicolasa SandovalThe UCSB Graduate Division is pleased to announce that education advocate and leader Dr. Nicolasa Sandoval (Ph.D. ‚Äč'07) will deliver the keynote address at the 2019 Commencement ceremony on Friday, June 14, 1 p.m. on the Commencement Green.

“UCSB has been a home, school, and community for some of the most extraordinary thinkers and change-makers in the world,” said Sandoval. “It is my responsibility and my pleasure to contribute to our UCSB community. If one person connects to one element of my story, I will be grateful.”

Sandoval currently serves as the Education Director of the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians, and has been appointed twice by former California Governor Jerry Brown to the State Board of Education.

The first in her family to attend college, Sandoval earned her bachelor’s degree in public relations from Pepperdine University and her master’s degree in museum studies from George Washington University. She held several positions at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian, and worked as a public relations professional for the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History and the J. Paul Getty Museum.

When she received her Ph.D. in Education from UC Santa Barbara in 2007, she brought home an important milestone in educational attainment to her community as the first Chumash to earn a doctorate.

Sandoval also serves as a lecturer in the Gervitz Graduate School of Education, and recently completed her terms as an elected member of the UCSB Alumni Association Board of Directors.

A dedicated Gaucho, she hopes to encourage this year’s Commencement audience to continue to maintain strong ties with their UCSB community. “Know that we are with you,” she said. “You have a family at UCSB for the rest of your life. We celebrate your successes. We are here when you make mistakes. We are here to help you when you ask. We ask you to join us in nurturing the next generation of Gauchos.”

Learn more about Dr. Niki Sandoval here:

“Celebrate this milestone as often as possible. I marked this transition with my closest friends and family, as well as my academic colleagues and community members. Each person held me throughout the journey. Know that your joy is their joy.” – Dr. Nicolasa Sandoval Ph.D. `07, Education Director, Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians