Meet Our Staff

Andrea AriasAndrea Arias, Ed.D.
Associate Director

Dr. Andrea Arias is the Associate Director for the Honors College. Dr. Arias previously served as the Assistant Director for the Early Entrance Program. Prior to joining, Cal State LA, she was an instructor for the College of Business and Economics and worked in various roles in K-12 public schools in urban settings for over 20 years. Her graduate school programs focused on Educational Administration, Organizational Leadership, and she earned several professional credentials, including Multiple Subject Teaching, Higher Education, Administration, and Leadership, Administrative Services, and Adult Education. She volunteered in the Puente Program as a first-year Mentor and recently earned a credential as a Career Support Services Provider through the National Career Development Association. Her professional focus includes guiding students through academic advisement and tailored support for first-gen students, neurodivergent students, and students attending minority-serving institutions. She also seeks out funding opportunities to increase student resources and supports positive mental health development. Dr. Arias is committed to increasing diversity, equity, and inclusion and remove barriers so that students can fully realize their potential.

Kidogo KennedyKidogo Kennedy, Ed.D.
Director, Early Entrance Program

Dr. Kidogo (Key-doe-go) Kennedy is a native Angeleno and alumna of Cal State LA, earning both a baccalaureate in speech and a master’s degree in communication studies before completing her doctorate in educational leadership and psychology at the University of Southern California. At USC, Professor Kennedy discovered a passion for building pathways to learning based on student-centered and collaborative approaches. She served as Director of Education for the Greater Crenshaw Educational Partnership (GCEP), where she collaborated with the Crenshaw High School principal, the National Urban League, parents, students, teachers, LAUSD administrators, and community members to reestablish accreditation and pioneer new learning communities for the school. Additionally, as founder and CEO of her consulting firm, The Kennedy Approach, she utilizes her methods of instruction to support K-12 students and collegiate athletes by helping them with learning and motivation strategies. She also assists corporate professionals in deepening their awareness of matters related to inclusion, diversity, equity, and access (IDEA).

Patrick SharpPatrick B. Sharp, Ph.D.
Director of Student Success and Engagement

Dr. Sharp attended UC Santa Barbara as a Regents Scholar where he graduated with his Bachelor’s degree in English. After working in the Graduate Dean’s office at UCSB for four years, he went on to complete his MA and PhD in English at UCSB before earning a Marion L. Brittain postdoctoral fellowship to the Georgia Institute of Technology. After completing his postdoctoral fellowship, Sharp served as the Program Coordinator of Georgia Tech’s program in Science, Technology, and Culture before coming to Cal State LA in 2001. Dr. Sharp was Chair of the Department of Liberal Studies from 2010 to 2017, and worked as Interim Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Letters in 2018. He is an interdisciplinary scholar whose work examines the history of race and gender in scientific discourse and narratives of science. His publications include the books Savage Perils: Racial Frontiers and Nuclear Apocalypse in American Culture (2007), Darwin in Atlantic Cultures (2010), Sisters of Tomorrow: The First Women of Science Fiction (2016), and Darwinian Feminism and Early Science Fiction: Angels, Amazons, and Women (2018).


Sonia Cruz Magaña

Sonia Cruz Magaña
National and International Scholarship and Fellowship Coordinator



Samantha Solis
Administrtaive Support Assistant