Roberta Espinoza

Roberta Espinoza
Roberta Espinoza, Ph.D.

Roberta Espinoza, Ph.D., serves as vice provost for Global-Local Affairs and professor of sociology at Loyola Marymount University. Espinoza joined LMU in 2018 following 10+ years of professional experience in diverse higher education environments, including at a large, public Hispanic-Serving Institution (California State University, Fullerton) and at a small, highly selective private liberal arts college (Pitzer College). She received her B.A. from Pomona College and her M.A. and Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of California, Berkeley. She has participated in the Executive Leadership Academy at the University of California, Berkeley Center for Studies in Higher Education and the Association of International Education Administrators Leadership Academy for New Senior International Officers at Duke University.

As vice provost for Global-Local Affairs, Espinoza oversees the Office of Study Abroad, the Office of National & International Fellowships (ONIF), the Center for the Study of Los Angeles (CSLA) and the Center for Urban Resilience (CURes). As LMU’s inaugural senior international officer, her role is to facilitate collaborations and professional relationships among LMU faculty, staff, alumni, and other institutions on efforts related to comprehensive internalization (global) and strategic community engagement (local). 

Espinoza previously served as interim associate dean of Global and Local Programs and director of the Institute for Global-Local Action & Study (IGLAS) at Pitzer College where she led successful initiatives and programs to ensure that global-local action and study were a part of the intellectual and psychosocial development of all students. She grew a program called the Global Local Mentorship Program (GLMP) that exposed first-year students via the mentorship of their academic advisors to immersive education abroad experiences in Costa Rica, Botswana, South Africa, Brazil, Italy, and Ecuador as well as local community engagement opportunities in Southern California and the U.S.-Mexico border region. She also oversaw the Office of Fellowships and Scholarships that was consistently named a top-producing institution for the Fulbright U.S. Student Scholars Program. Espinoza created and oversaw Pitzer’s First-Gen Program to support low-income students who are the first in their family to attend a four-year college. She also served as the faculty Academic Coordinator for the Claremont Colleges Mellon Mays Undergraduate Program (MMUF) and received the inaugural Claremont Colleges Diversity Teaching Award that “honors innovative pedagogical activities that effectively address issues or concerns related to diversity and inclusion in classroom or other structured settings.”

Espinoza’s scholarly expertise on higher education access is informed by her own personal experience as a first-generation Latinx student. She has written several books, peer-reviewed journal articles, book chapters, and articles in magazines for educational practitioners on the role of social and cultural capital in the educational advancement and success of first-generation students of color in higher education. Her first book titled “Pivotal Moments: How Educators Can Put All Students on the Path to College,” published by Harvard Education Press examines the theory and practice of getting low-income and minority students to college. Her second book titled “Working Class Minority Students’ Routes to Higher Education,” published by Routledge examines how first-generation and minority students acquire the educational social and cultural capital needed to forge an intentional path to higher education. She has also published articles on Latino undocumented students and women of color in doctoral education. Espinoza’s scholarly work has received funding from the Haynes Foundation and the National Science Foundation.


Roberta Espinoza, Ph.D.
Vice Provost for Global-Local Affairs
Professor of Sociology

Maria Melendrez
Assistant Director for Global-Local Affairs

Provost Office
1 LMU Drive, Suite 4820
Los Angeles, CA 90045-2659
310.338.1840 [fax]