Angela Rich

Angela Rich, Research Analyst, Institutional Effectiveness

What department do you work for, what do you do, and how long have you worked for HSU?

I’ve been at HSU for four years now. Until recently I’ve worked in Retention and Inclusive Student Success (RISS) partnering with our programs to do assessment and bringing the student voice forward in the research process. I recently transitioned to Institutional Effectiveness (IE).

Where are you from and what brought you to Humboldt?

I moved a lot growing up, but mainly I’d say I’m from the Bay Area, San Jose. Divine intervention brought me to Humboldt. I knew I needed to be here and the job was a vehicle for that, but I didn’t actually understand why I came to Humboldt until a few months after I moved. When I started to learn about the historical and spiritual significance of this area from the local Native perspective, I started connecting the dots.  

Where did you work before coming to HSU?

I served in the military (United States Army) for nine years, first doing information systems management, then changing my job into the Special Operations arena doing Civil Affairs. After that, I worked at Sacramento State University doing social research for seven years before coming to HSU.

Tell us about your family…

I have a large, very diverse family. I am the oldest of four siblings. I have three nieces, two nephews, and two niece/nephew dogs. In honor of Women’s History month I’ll share about my grandmothers. Geraldine, my grandmother on my Mom’s side is my heart. She is of Taino descent and helped to raise me. She was a Pachuca in San Francisco in the 1930’s and 40’s. She did not graduate from high school, but her fighting spirit landed her a job at Lockheed during the Cold War where she went on to retire after 30 years. She’s got stories! Jewel, my grandmother on my Dad’s side graduated from Howard and was the second African American woman aeronautical engineer in the U.S.! She worked at the Pentagon for a while, then moved on to work at Martin Murrieta (now Lockheed) where she faced employment discrimination. She filed a class action lawsuit against Martin Murrieta and won after she passed away. I was born after she passed, so I’m sad I didn’t have a relationship with her. If it’s possible to miss someone you’ve never met that’s how I feel about her. I think she would have had a lot to teach me. She was the president of the Denver, CO chapter of NAACP, marched with Dr. King, and also ran for Senate. I am so grateful for my grandmothers and their tenacity to fight for future generations. I am proud their blood runs through my veins.     

What are your favorite TV shows?

I’m obsessed with The Voice and I really like the new show “This is Us.” Makes me cry almost every episode.

What is your favorite music/song?

That’s a hard one. Music is an expression of the soul and for me there’s music for every emotion, so I like a wide range of music - but I have to say that one of my favorite songs is Nothing Else Matters by Metallica. I also love Mary J Blige. She sings my life. Mary does a duet of the song “One” with U2 that I love. My favorite Mary song has got to be “Roses,” though. I also like an artist named Beth Hart and a band called Dorothy. Dorothy has a song where she goes to make a sandwich and rages out when she finds that someone left an empty Nutella jar in the pantry. I relate to that. Ha! I also like Missy Elliot, Florence and the Machine, Bonnie Raitt, and Miranda Lambert’s “Gunpowder and Lead.” I like fierce women artists.

What is your favorite food/local restaurant you have found?

My favorite food is ice cream. I really like the Lighthouse Grill in Trinidad and they have the absolute best homemade ice cream there.  

What kinds of books do you like? Do you have a favorite author?

After all these years, I’m still reading traumatized from grad school. I try to make myself read though. Ha!  Right now I’m reading a Brene Brown book, some books about business, a book by Linda Kohanov called “Power of the Herd,” and a book by Clarissa Pinkola Estes called “Women Who Run with the Wolves,” which I have to put down and process because every chapter blows my mind.  

What is your favorite place in Humboldt County?

When you are driving on 101 heading North between McKinleyville and Trinidad and you round the corner and the ocean comes into view. On a clear day it’s an optical illusion and it looks like the freeway ends and you are going to drive into the ocean. It takes my breath away every time. I love it.

If you could go anywhere on vacation, where would it be?

Alaska, Hawaii, and New Zealand are all on my bucket list. I also want to take my partner, Kyle, to Germany so he can visit the places where his family is from.

What are your hobbies?

I love to go to garage sales and junk picking and then make random items into cool things to decorate my house with. I recently bought an on old military mechanic toolbox that is currently sitting in my living room. I also really like to build things out of wood. I recently built doors for my pantry. I also like to garden.

Are you involved in any community groups/service projects?

I volunteer at a local horse rescue. Horses changed my life. They are profound teachers and healers, so anything I can do to be in their presence and give back for the wisdom they’ve shared with me is an honor. I also do volunteer work and some research consulting in the women veteran’s community. If it has an impact on addressing disparities and improving quality of life for women veterans, I try to show up when I’m able.

What do you do when you’re not at work?

I like to be home. My home is my sanctuary and the place where my soul can rest, so enjoying quiet time there and doing renovation projects brings me a lot of joy.

What is your favorite place to go on campus during your lunchtime?

I usually stay at my desk (eek!). Sometimes I get lunch at Windows or go on a walk when it’s sunny.

What is one thing people would be surprised to hear about you?

I love to sew baby blankets!