Brandi Avila has over 10 years of community college experience spanning from transfer services, success advising, guest lecturing in sociology and ethnic studies, and cultural programming. She has served on the executive board of the North Orange County Community College District Black Faculty and Staff Association since 2019. Through the association’s efforts the programs saw an increase in academic success, retention, and completion through a pedagogy responsive to the legacy of the African diaspora. She has also had the opportunity to collaborate with educational advocates to improve conditions for minoritized students, faculty, and staff so they could thrive.
“I hope my justice-centered and love-infused approach to leadership allows me to work with the outstanding faculty and staff to take our wellness services to the next level. I also look forward to working with the student leaders and student life professionals to bring vibrancy to our campus as we establish a new normal. I am filled with infinite gratitude and excitement as I prepare to embark on this new journey as a Lion."
Avila said that her most significant inheritance has been great mentors, a resilient
and powerful community, and ancestors who paid her way to enjoy the freedom to learn,
critique existing knowledge, and construct new knowledge. Lately, Avila has focused
her energy on conference presentations and professional development training on justice-focused
healing and trauma-informed care.
She is a first-generation college graduate, earning a bachelor’s degree in Sociology
with a minor in Pan African Studies. She has secured two master’s degrees, one in
Sociology from California State University, Northridge and a second from San Diego
State University in Education Counseling and Advanced Certification in Mental Health
Recovery and Trauma-Informed Care. Avila is currently a second-year doctoral student
at Loyola Marymount University in the Educational Leadership for Social Justice Program.
She is one of two UCEA Jackson Scholars to represent LMU. Her research interests include
the role of belongingness in academic success for Black and African American community
college students and the relationship between race-based stress trauma on learning
and academic success. She plans to make a case for a justice-informed educational
healing framework in higher education.
She and her husband live in the Inland Empire and have two children.
B.A., M.A., Cal State University, Northridge.
M.A., San Diego State University.
At Riverside Community College District since 2022.