A former high school teacher, Jennifer “Jeno” Rivera began her tenure at MSU in the Department of Community Sustainability researching best practices for secondary teacher preparation. This research spring boarded her curiosities to include community education and engagement and to become the Director of the Liberty Hyde Bailey Scholars Program in the CANR. Rivera's recent scholarship identifies teaching and learning components that impend or foster learning through experience. As an Associate Professor in the Residential College in the Arts and Humanities (RCAH), she collaborates in the development, implementation, and evaluation of innovative educational programs that promote self-directed learning.
Industry Expertise (1)
Areas of Expertise (8)
Cornell University: Ph.D., Learning, Teaching, and Social Policy 2006
Activities and Societies: Cornell Education Society, Omicron Tau Theta
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University: M.S., Education Specialty- Vocational and Technical Education
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University: B.S., Crop and Soil Environmental Sciences
Veteran teachers in Michigan express angst over standardized test prep
Spartan Newsroom online
For the past two decades, David Atkins has pursued his passion for teaching with excitement. As an Advanced Placement and eleventh-grade English teacher at Dearborn High School in Dearborn, Mich., he has looked forward to coming to work each day and playing a part in educating the nation’s youth.
Research Focus (1)
High Impact Practices
Rivera researches developing and assessing High Impact Practices such as ePortfolios, integrated learning, and experiential education.
Journal Articles (3)
Park T.D., Moore, D.M., Rivera, J.E.
Direct comments, drawn from more than five and a half hours of interviews with 26 high school agriculture science education teachers, speak to the frustrations felt towards ongoing professional development. Conducted in the fall of 2005, the interviews divided teachers into four focus groups and included a broad sampling of experience levels, from beginners to established to professional to mature, ranging from four years or less experience up to 20 years and more. Teachers considered and discussed professional development, what worked and what did not. The "what worked" comments highlighted a preference for informal support networks that developed naturally and a more individual-based approach to professional development. The "what did not work" comments identified skepticism for the effectiveness of institutional initiatives, programs mandated by schools or states. Outside influences played a role, with comments on how having a family helped in the classroom. The reflective aspects of the interviews also proved beneficial. The challenge becomes integrating these individual and reflective aspects into future professional development opportunities.
Integrating Curricular and Co-Curricular Endeavors to Enhance Intellectual, Intercultural, Global, Community, and Personal Student Outcomes. United Kingdom: Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Purpose: This study aimed to match high-impact, experiential learning with equally powerful assessment practices. Methodology/approach: We observed three examples of programs, analyzing individual student artifacts to identify multiple learning outcomes across domains through a novel approach to assessment. Findings: Important outcomes from this effort were boundary-crossing qualities made visible through a multi perspective assessment process. Research limitations/implications: Future research should focus on the nature of experiential learning and measurement thereof. Practical implications: Learning design should consider experiences as a means to reflection, which complement content delivery. Instructors may restructure course credit loads to better reflect additional learning outcomes. Social implications: Learners with this feedback may be able to better articulate sociocultural learning. Originality/value: Describes learning in experiential and high-impact education; novel assessment of experiential learning in university setting.
Rivera, J.E., Brander, A.A.
The purpose of the explorato ry study was to understand what youth motivations in the Michigan Youth Farm Stand Project (YFSP) offered by the C.S Mott Group for Sustainable Food Systems at Michigan State University. The qualitative study included interviews and observations to explore the motivations of youth participants. An opportunity to earn money and have something to do during the summer interested most students. Those with prior gardening experience were motivated by the opportunity to garden while having fun. Programs that strive to provide positive impacts on youth in low-income communities can gain insight from the findings in this study to strengthen and enhance youth knowledge and skill in local food systems initiatives.