About the Authors

    Dr. David Baker

    Bob Blumenthal

    Phil Coady

    Dr. JB Dyas

    Marcia Foster Dunscomb

    Dr. Willie Hill

    Howard Mandel

    Dr. Gary B. Nash

    Dr. Richard Olivas

    David Vigilante

Dr. Richard Olivas


J. Richard Olivas is on the history faculty at West Los Angeles College, one of nine campuses in the Los Angeles Community College District. He teaches a variety of courses in United States history and African-American history. Olivas graduated from Stanford University, and he earned a Ph.D. in Early American history from the University of California, Los Angeles. His doctoral dissertation investigated the 1740s religious revivals in Massachusetts and northern New England known as the Great Awakening. After earning his Ph.D., Olivas held a UC President’s post-doctoral fellowship at the University of California, Riverside. He has taught history courses at UCLA, UC Riverside, Baylor University, and throughout the Los Angeles-area community college system.

Dr. Olivas has presented papers and research findings in many forums: “Interdisciplinary Methods for Measuring Religious Revivalism” (presented at American Academy of Religion, Pacific Northwest Region Annual Meeting, Portland, OR; at International Sociological Association, 14th World Congress, Montréal, Canada; and at Social Science History Association, Chicago, IL); “God Helps Those Who Help Themselves: Puritan Clerical Attitudes Toward Poor Persons in Colonial Massachusetts, 1630-1776” (presented at Early Americanists of Southern California Seminar, The Huntington Library, San Marino, CA); “New Perspectives on Religious Revivals” (presented at Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture, Worcester, MA); “Partial Revival: The Limits of the Great Awakening in Boston, Massachusetts, 1740-1742” (presented at Organization of American Historians Annual Meeting, Indianapolis, IN; at African Meeting House, Museum of Afro American History, Boston, MA; and at Bay Area Seminar in Early American History and Culture, Berkeley, CA); “Old South Church and the Great Awakening in Boston” (presented at Old South Church, Boston, MA); “Rev. Nathaniel Appleton, the Great Awakening in Cambridge, and the Doctrine of Soul Equality” (presented at First Church in Cambridge, Cambridge, MA). He was also the recipient of an Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship at the Center for the Study of New England History, Massachusetts Historical Society.

Dr. Olivas has published several essays, including: “Partial Revival: The Limits of the Great Awakening in Boston, Massachusetts, 1740-1742” (In Inequality in Early America, pp. 67-86. Edited by Carla G. Pestana and Sharon V. Salinger. Hanover, NH: University Press of New England, 1999); and “God Helps Those Who Help Themselves: Religious Explanations of Poverty in Colonial Massachusetts, 1630-1776” (In Down and Out in Early America, pp. 262-88. Edited by Billy G. Smith. University Park, PA: Pennsylvania State University Press, 2004). Presently, he is working on a book about the Great Awakening.

In addition to his research and writing interests, Dr. Olivas works to help community college students transfer to four-year colleges and universities. He was a member of the West Los Angeles College/UCLA Transfer Task Force, and the FIPSE Community College Academic Consortium, created the UCLA Summer Immersion Program (SIP), and conducts “UC Personal Statement & Essay Workshops.”

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