Alumna Dr. Niki Sandoval a contestant in the Lompoc Valley Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Bureau’s “Dancing with the Stars” fundraiser

Tuesday, February 28, 2017
Nicolasa Sandoval

Gevirtz school alumna Dr. Nicolasa "Niki" Sandoval will be a contestant in the Lompoc Valley Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Bureau’s “Dancing with the Stars” fundraiser. Dr. Sandoval received her Ph.D. in 2007 a UC Santa Barbara.

Sandoval is currently education director for the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians. She is the first descendant of the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians to earn a doctorate in education. In this role, Dr. Sandoval works in partnership with tribal leaders on school policy initiatives to improve achievement and graduation rates for members of the tribe.

In addition to her work for the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians, Sandoval is a lecturer in the Department of Education at UC Santa Barbara. In this role, she engages undergraduate students in the examination of equity issues in education. Several of her students have gone on to pursue careers in teaching, school psychology, and guidance counseling. Dr. Sandoval’s impressive breadth of involvement also includes human services commissioner for the City of Lompoc; trustee for the UCSB Alumni Association; and member of the California State Board of Education.

For the fundraiser, Dr. Sandoval is dancing in support of Companion Animal Placement Assistance (CAPA), an all-volunteer non-profit organization whose mission is to provide the best care for animals at the Santa Barbara County Animal Services La PAWS shelter.

“My husband, John and I have adopted all of our canine companions through the years. The caring people of CAPA and La PAWS shelter have saved thousands of lives and supported pet guardians for decades,” says Sandoval. “Our dogs have brought us profound joy and unconditional love. It is my honor to help ensure that more animals have a chance to bring their gifts to others.”

Sandoval is busy at work with a professional dance instructor to compete for the mirror ball trophy and raise as much money as possible for CAPA. Each dollar donated in her name counts as a vote, and for every ticket sold, $5 will go towards CAPA.

The event is at 6 pm, Saturday, March 4, 2017 at the Anderson Recreation Center. It will feature a prime rib dinner, wine and beer, and a silent auction. Tickets available at the Chamber Office, 111 South I Street or at

[Nicolasa Sandoval is available for interviews; contact George Yatchisin at 805-893-5789.]