Dr. Rivera is currently a Lecturer at the Institute for Excellence in Engineering Education (IE3) at the University of Florida. In this role, Dr. Rivera works towards creating educational content for Chemical Engineering and First-Year design classes. Also, Dr. Rivera research focuses on understanding the processes that contribute to the persistence and retention of underrepresented minorities in academic engineering programs. She also has projects with local companies on the topic of process simulations and analysis for environmental remediation.
Dr. Rivera was born and raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico. She is a first generation engineer and doctorate. She completed her bachelor’s and Ph.D. in chemical engineering at the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez with five publications and two patent applications on the topic of nanotechnology for environmental remediation.
Dr. Rivera has close to 10 years of teaching experience in Higher Education and professional training. Before joining IE3, Dr. Rivera was the Assistant Director of the Integrated Product and Process Design (IPPD) program at the University of Florida. Dr. Rivera keeps collaborating with IPPD as a faculty coach and instructional designer. She is a former professor of Food Science teaching courses such as Food Processing and Food Engineering. After moving to Gainesville in 2012, she became an assistant professor in Natural Science at Santa Fe College teaching general chemistry courses for young adults.
She has traveled to teach classes at universities in Puno, Perú, and São Paulo, Brasil. She loves running and is an amateur orchid collector. She enjoys to spend time at home in her crafts/maker space.