As the Chemical Hygiene Officer for the CSUDH Environmental Health and Safety Department, Ricardo Magallanes is responsible for making sure that students, faculty, and staff are safe while on campus and working with chemicals. This can mean everything from working with administrators to develop good hygiene policies to maintaining accurate inventories of the chemicals that are stored here.
To that end, he says he spends most of his days “going through emails, conducting lab inspections, leading a variety of safety training events, reviewing CSUDH safety programs–and going to lots of meetings.” Magallanes has been at CSUDH for three years, and is proud of the work he’s done building up and improving its safety programs and policies.
A graduate of CSU Long Beach (CSULB), Magallanes had already been working in the environmental field when he started college, but he had never thought about pursuing such work as a career. It was while at CSULB that he found his calling.
“My third year at Long Beach, I was required to pick a major,” he recalls. “My counselor asked what I like to do and what I worked in. I said that I loved music and playing guitar, but I couldn’t see myself making money with it. He suggested that I try out Environmental Science & Policy as a major. I took one course from the program and never looked back!”
Since graduating from CSULB with a degree in Environmental Science and Policy, Magallanes has held a variety of related jobs in both the public and private sector. He’s spent the bulk of his career working in university safety positions, having spent time at UCLA, the University of Nevada-Las Vegas, and CSULB before coming to Dominguez Hills.
Magallanes appreciates the atmosphere on the CSUDH campus, saying “it still has that small-college feel even though it’s in a major urban area.” He enjoys working with the students and the community engagement aspects of his position, and takes pride in “making sure that students operate in a safe manner, whether in a research or instructional setting.”
When he’s not working, Magallanes’ favorite place to spend time is at the beach. He considers himself an adventurous person by nature, and loves hopping in his car and “driving someplace new,” as he puts it. Other favorite pastimes include “reading, a glass of whiskey, smoking cigars, and working out.”
Although he would happily trade jobs with Philip LaPolt, Dean of the College of Natural & Behavioral Sciences, if he had the chance, Magallanes is happy where he is at. “I enjoy the challenge of solving new and potential problems at Dominguez Hills,” he says.