SF State appoints Alvin Alvarez dean of the College of Health & Social Sciences

A photo of SF State health and social science dean

Alvin Alvarez has been appointed dean of SF State's College of Health & Social Sciences.

Counseling professor has been lauded for his efforts to increase diversity in field of psychology

SAN FRANCISCO, Dec. 4, 2015 -- Alvin Alvarez has been appointed dean of San Francisco State University's College of Health & Social Sciences (HSS), the University announced today. Alvarez has served as the college's interim dean since 2014.

"In addition to his excellent academic credentials, Dr. Alvarez has been a national leader in ensuring individuals from underrepresented backgrounds have a voice in the health and social science fields," said Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Sue V. Rosser. "I am so pleased that he will continue to lead the college's efforts to develop a diverse, talented and critically thinking workforce for our community and beyond."

Alvarez's academic work has focused on Asian-Americans, racial identity and the psychological impact of racism. His widely published research has looked at the ways in which Asian-Americans cope with racism and how to develop interventions to help them do so in constructive ways. Prior to his tenure as interim dean of HSS, Alvarez served as associate dean from 2011-2014 and professor in the Department of Counseling since 1997.

Since 2008, Alvarez has served as director of the Leadership Development Institute for the Council of National Psychological Associations for the Advancement of Ethnic Minority Interests, an organization that provides training, mentorship and networking opportunities to psychologists of color. He is also a past president of the Asian American Psychological Association. In August, Alvarez received the Lifetime Achievement in Mentoring Award from the American Psychological Association’s Society of Counseling Psychology in recognition of his work to promote diversity in the field of psychology.

SF State's diverse student body -- many of whom are from underrepresented backgrounds -- as well as the caliber and dedication of the faculty provide the College of HSS an opportunity to be a leader in addressing inequities in health and the social sciences, Alvarez said.

"At CHSS and SFSU, we can be an incubator of ideas that serve all of public higher education," he said. "How can we help first-generation, low-income students earn their degrees? That’s the kind of question for which we can create innovative solutions. That's who we are, and it's a gift and an honor to have the opportunity to lead those efforts as the dean of HSS."

Alvarez received bachelor's degrees in psychology and biological sciences from the University of California, Irvine, and earned his master's degree and doctorate in counseling psychology from the University of Maryland.


San Francisco State University makes things happen. Founded in 1899, it is the only master's-level public university serving the counties of San Francisco, San Mateo and Marin. Its nationally acclaimed programs span a broad range of disciplines. Nearly 30,000 students enroll at the University each year, and its more than 236,000 graduates have contributed to the economic, cultural and civic fabric of San Francisco and beyond. Through them -- and more than 1,600 world-class faculty members -- SF State proudly embraces its legacy of academic excellence, community engagement and commitment to social justice. For more information, visit sfsu.edu.