Radhika Khandelwal

Radhika Khandelwal, Ed.D. '20, started her teaching career as a founding middle school teacher at Synergy Kinetic Academy in South Central, Los Angeles. There is something about “founding school culture” that draws her in; she finds being part of a team that envisions a school culture together and then actualizes it thrilling, especially when there are so many best practices that are difficult to implement when a certain ethos is deeply entrenched in a school. When she started the doctorate program at LMU, she also joined the founding team of Geffen Academy at UCLA, a 6-12 school on UCLA’s campus. As the Dean of Students and School Culture, she feels like she has struck gold. She is an administrator whose work rests squarely on student relationships. Her areas of expertise are employing restorative practices to address student behavior, incorporating best practices as they relate to diversity, equity, and inclusion in pedagogy and relational skillsets between students and educators, and South Asian American history and culture. Her research interest centers around the unearthing of South Asian American stories and connecting them to a larger narrative of the collective immigrant, PoC experience in America. The best thing about LMU for Radhika has been the cohort experience. The cohort spent three years pushing each other, supporting each other, admiring each other’s leadership in their respective communities, and going through personal moments of joy and grief together. Radhika’s dissertation, “South Asian Americans’ Identity Journeys to Becoming Critically Conscious Educators,” explored how South Asian American educators’ understanding of their ethnic and racial identity interplayed with their practice as critically conscious educators for social justice.