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Looking to the future | New Professor: Dr. Andrew Flores

Mills College’s government department will be welcoming a new professor this coming semester: Dr. Andrew R. Flores.

In Fall 2016, Dr. Flores will be arriving at Mills to teach Law and Society (SOSC 093) and Minority and Political Agency (GOVT 180). The latter course is new to the government department, focusing on how and why minority groups engage in politics. In the spring, Flores plans to teach a course on Constitutional Law as it relates to our fundamental freedoms in the United States.

Currently a post-doctorate fellow at the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law,  Dr.Flores has focused his work on how attitudes of the “American public form and change about sexual and gender minorities” and the reasons for sexual and gender minorities’ participation in politics.

“I wanted to understand why and how people can use the tools of democracy to take away or remove rights that have been granted to minority populations,” Dr. Flores said. “I wanted to understand how minorities matter in this process, and how people who are in the majority can justify this and similar policies.”

Dr. Flores finished his doctorate in political science at the University of California, Riverside in 2015. Dr. Flores’s work has been published in journals and reviews such as The Public Opinion Quarterly, Political Research Quarterly and Transgender Studies Quarterly.

According to Dr. Flores, he has always held an interest in politics, but the thing that really encouraged him to pursue his research was the outcome of Proposition 8 in Nov. 2008.

“I was struck by the outcome of Proposition 8, [and] I chose to take up a doctorate,” Dr. Flores said. “I was a senior in college when the California State Supreme Court legalized marriages for same-sex couples and I witnessed the aftermath of California voters amending the constitution to, in effect, reverse that decision.”

During a visit to Mills this semester, he felt that he could identify with the students he met on campus.

“Mills College is a very unique campus,” Dr. Flores said, “And I found that as I learned more and more about the campus, that there was going to be a good fit among me, the faculty and the students.”

Dr. Flores is excited to be joining Mills College’s faculty this fall, and he hopes to accomplish a lot for Mills students that attend his classes.

“I ultimately hope that I inspire students to be life-long learners, to be excited by discovery, and to think about ways in which the tools of science can be used for social justice,” Dr. Flores said. “I would consider it a success when students are given the tools to realize their full potential, and this includes applied skills such as working with datasets and writing legal arguments as well as critical and analytical skills.”