Raul Sandoval

Dr. Raul Sandoval is a dedicated man who inspired many students and coworkers around him. He worked at South Mountain Community College for about 12 years. He came in as an Executive Assistant, and he retired as the Vice President of Student Affairs in 2011 at age 62.

Raul Sandoval, Fall 2019

Before his family settled in 1970, Tempe, Arizona, Sandoval’s family moved all over the place from city to city. As a young boy living in the early 60’s, he explains he lived a very freely and simple life. His mother was born in Sonora, and his father, born in Tempe, worked at a manufacturing textile plant. His father was fired for attempting to form a Union. Eventually, his dad began working at Arizona University to help Sandoval eventually afford college.

Initially, Sandoval never realized how his ethnicity would ever affect him until one day in high school; he asked a girl to prom, unfortunately he got rejected because she said she wasn’t allowed to date Hispanics. Sandoval had taken some time to think about the situation. He said to himself “that no matter what had happened, he would never stop embracing his culture.” This occurrence was not going to make Sandoval feel any different. Therefore, that shows the strong mindset Dr. Raul Sandoval had. 

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Sandoval graduated from Tempe High, and decided it would be best to attend a community college rather than a university. He felt it would be best to learn the correct ways of being a student. While at Mesa Community College, Raul learned the foundations of being a disciplined and dedicated student. 

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After graduating from MCC, Sandoval transferred to Arizona State University. He later enrolled in a Master’s program, where he excelled. When asked of his motivations, Sandoval replied that, “he never wanted to work manual labor; he wanted things to come easy for him in the end, rather than having to struggle. Initially, Sandoval wanted to be a high school teacher, but in a “round about way,” he ended up taking a short-term job at Phoenix College in January 1985. Upon the urging of his mentors, Sandoval decided to get his doctorate. While at Phoenix College, he launched the first recruitment program in the District.

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Sandoval counts coming to South Mountain Community College in 2000 as one of the highlights of his career. His first job at SMCC was Executive Assistant to the President, focusing on Workforce Development. In this role, he helped to streamline the dual enrollment program, and helped oversee the construction of the South Phoenix Community College among other successful projects. In those days, South Phoenix had a challenging reputation, and Sandoval was amazed and how SMCC contradicted the negative image.

Dr. Raul Sandoval’s motive before helping others was to understand what leadership was. Leadership is being able to understand the people that work with you then take action. Being a leader is to take charge and do what you believe in. To be a leader, someone must understand what motivates others, than encourage them to do a better job. It’s a positive approach rather than a negative approach. One main thing Sandoval says is “it’s not how much you do something; it’s how you do something.” For instance, if you’re asked to hang 1,000 posters, take pride; don’t just do something because you’re asked of it. Taking pride is hanging each poster neatly and making sure it looks the best it can be. By the way you approach things is how people are going to look at you. 

Overall, Dr. Raul Sandoval is a motivator to all who came to know him. By him sharing his story to others around him, it gives us an idea of how successful we can be if we just took the time to take pride in things and set goals. If we don’t like something, then do something to change it. A quote of mine is always to be a leader, not a follower.

Works Cited

  • Gallow, Lauren. “Impact of Free Trade, 2000–2004.” The American Mosaic: The Latino American Experience, ABC-CLIO, 2020, latinoamerican2.abc-clio.com/Topics/Display/43. Accessed 28 Apr. 2020.
  • Parker, Jessica. “Latino Economic Woes and U.S. Policy, 1962–1965.” The American Mosaic: The Latino American Experience, ABC-CLIO, 2020, latinoamerican2.abc-clio.com/Topics/Display/32. Accessed 28 Apr. 2020.
  • Thomas, Lauren. “A Changing Society, 2016-Present.” The American Mosaic: The Latino American Experience, ABC-CLIO, 2020, latinoamerican2.abc-clio.com/Topics/Display/46. Accessed 28 Apr. 2020.
  • Thornburg, Mika. “Populism, 2008–Present.” The American Mosaic: The Latino American Experience, ABC-CLIO, 2020, latinoamerican2.abc-clio.com/Topics/Display/45. Accessed 28 Apr. 2020.
  • Thornburg, Mika. “The Maya Empire, 250–1527.” The American Mosaic: The Latino American Experience, ABC-CLIO, 2020, latinoamerican2.abc-clio.com/Topics/Display/1. Accessed 28 Apr. 2020.
NarratorRaul Sandoval
Place of OriginTempe, Arizona
Place of ResidenceTempe, Arizona
OccupationExecutive Assistant to the President
Years Active in South Phoenix2000-
Recording Duration01:09:00
DateFall 2019
LocationSouth Mountain Community Library
Interviewed ByStudent Researcher: David Martinez
Story Written ByStudent Writer: Daniel Zepeda