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Welcome to my site!


My name is Mario Alberto V. Espinoza-Kulick, and I am a PhD in Sociology from the University of California, Santa Barbara and Health Policy Research Scholar with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. I teach Ethnic Studies at Cuesta College in San Luis Obispo. I received my BA in Comparative Ethnic Studies from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, and my MA/PhD in Sociology from the University of California, Santa Barbara.

My research focuses on Latinx Immigrant and Indigenous communities at risk for disease. Most recently, for the “La Gente Unida” project on California’s Central Coast, I developed a decolonial-inspired framework to engage with community leaders around immigrant health, health policy, and advocacy. Addressing health inequities is a priority because I know first-hand the difficulties and barriers that immigrant families face in accessing health care. My work has appeared in academic venues like Psychological ServicesNew Directions for EvaluationOxford University Press and the Carnegie Education Blog at Leeds Beckett University and regional newspapers like El Latino and the Santa Maria Times


Being an Indigenous, Queer, and Latinx person has motivated me to seek justice and opportunity for underserved communities. I’m actively involved in the community as a Board Secretary for Corazón del Pueblo: The Cultural and Creative Arts Center of the Santa Maria Valley, which expands access to the arts for underserved communities, and Board member for Access Support Network, an organization that serves HIV and HCV affected communities in San Luis Obispo and Monterey counties.

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“What I most appreciate about Mario his ability to identify immediate social issues and not only build from contemporary empirical research, but also draw from deep theoretical traditions. He, thus, has the potential to make contributions to policy makers, area-specific researchers, as well as theoreticians.” - Dr. Victor Rios



"La Gente Unida: Immigrant Health and Advocacy in California's Central Coast"

"Mental Health Needs and Assets of Monolingual Spanish Speakers in Northern Santa Barbara County, CA"



"Let’s be clear, there is no vaccine for racism. We’ve got to do the work.”

- Sen. Kamala Harris