Rick Chavolla earned his B.A. from Boston University and his M.A. from Boston College.
In 1987 Rick gained his first appointment in higher education at Northern Arizona University becoming the director of Student Support Services, a comprehensive program for first generation, low-income Native American and Latino students. He then worked at Arizona State University overseeing various multicultural success and college access programs, instructing classes and advising the Native American and Latino student organizations. Rick went on to serve as an Assistant Dean at Yale University, where he founded and directed the Native American Cultural Center, La Casa Cultural (the Latino cultural center), the Mellon Minority Fellowship, the Yale College Tutorial Program and other student achievement initiatives. Following Yale, he was an Associate Director at the American Council on Education in Washington D.C., advocating for increases in Federal Financial Assistance and the passage of the Dream Act, directing the national educational access program College Is Possible, serving as liaison to AIHEC, HACU and other national associations and coordinating numerous multi-campus collaborative efforts. From 20072011 he directed the Center for Multicultural Education and Programs and other University-wide diversity efforts at New York University (NYU). Since his departure from NYU Rick has been an educational consultant. His clients have included the American Indian Community House, Gates Foundation, Institute for Higher Education Policy, Department of Education, Ivy League Project, University of South Dakota, and Eastern Band of Cherokee.