A teacher that is passionate can create inspiration among students. A student’s experience in a class can be majorly altered because of the teacher. There are even points when a teacher can alter students previous outlooks on life.
For many fortunate students, Dr. Daniel Malpica has done all of that. His contributions to Sonoma State are endless and he has been a huge asset to the university as a whole.
Malpica did his undergraduate studies in sociology at Whittier College in Los Angeles County and received his bachelor’s and doctorate in sociology from University of California, Los Angeles.
After receiving his doctorate, he became a temporary professor at Claremont Pomona and Claremont Pitzer.
He has worked at Sonoma State for seven years now and is the only faculty in residence on campus.
Malpica said that he loves living on campus with the students and enjoys being able to bond and get to know them throughout the school year.
He also said that he feels now for the students after living with them.
“Its tough to be a college student, there’s so much to balance. I like understanding what the students are going through,” said Malpica.
He explained how he has become a better teacher from living in the same area as the students. He is able to connect with them and get to know them in a more personal light.
Malpica enjoys being a resource to those who live around him and believes that living on campus is the best way to get to know his students.
When asked what he was going to do after teaching at Sonoma State, Malpica said, “They are going to have to ask me to retire. I can’t see myself doing anything else.”
Dr. Malpica is extremely involved on campus.
He is a professor in the Freshman Year Experience (FYE) and Second Year Research and Creative Experience (SYRCE) programs, on the Scholarship Committee, Curriculum Committee for the Arts and Humanities Department, Engineering Committee and a beloved teacher in the Chicano and Latino Studies Department.
Along with his role on campus, he is a father and a husband. His two daughters, Lucia and Elena, have become part of the Sauvignon community and are loved by all the students.
“Being a first-year student at Sonoma State, I was not the most outgoing person. I was incredibly shy, and did not like to break out of my shell much, if at all,” said Kellie Douglas, one of Malpica’s previous students. “However, between the course materials and professor Malpica’s attitude toward teaching, I became a different student. Professor Malpica taught me to be confident in myself, and to believe that I could accomplish much more than I initially thought I could. My first year at Sonoma would not have been as successful without the support I received from Professor Malpica.”
It is clear that Malpica has changed the lives of many students at Sonoma State.
Outside of being a professor, Malpica does informal economy work, and conducts research on Mexican migrants and with indigenous migrants living in the Los Angeles area.
“I am a migrant so it helps me connect with the individuals I am interviewing for my research,” said Malpica.
His passion is in sociology and chicano latino studies and has been studying these topics since he attended Whittier College.
“Dr. Malpica is a wonderful colleague. He cares deeply about all the majors and minors in the CALS department and serves as a mentor to Latina/o students all over campus,” said Dr. Patricia Kim-Rajal, CALS department chair.
Dr. Rajal mentioned how Malpica has the ability to create a safe environment for students where they can discuss important issues like racial inequality, immigration and class differences.
Malpica’s presence at Sonoma State is highly valued by students and faculty both in departments across the university.
He has become a helpful on-campus resource for freshman students and has impacted the lives of many throughout his seven years at SSU.